Tencent Acquires Stake in LA-Based Concert Platform Wave
Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake
The Chinese majority-owned Tencent Music Entertainment is acquiring a minority stake in the L.A.-based virtual concerts company Wave, giving the startup a door into the country's state-controlled internet.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed but the agreement will allow Wave concerts to be distributed on TME's platforms, including QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing, that operate within China's "Great Firewall." The two companies will also collaborate on developing shows for TME Live, TME's livestreaming platform the company launched in March.
Tencent, TME's behemoth majority parent company, came under fire earlier this year when the Trump administration issued an executive order to ban WeChat, its messaging app, in the U.S. Much like the parallel TikTok ban, that order has not amounted to much.
Tencent is one of China's state-owned enterprises. The deal comes as Chinese authorities appear to be showing small signs that they could ease some of the restrictions on long-banned foreign sites.
For Wave, which renders artists into avatars for real-time performance and fan interaction in imaginative digital settings, the deal not only gives it – and the artists who work with the company – access to what can be a hard-to-reach market, but also the monetization expertise of TME.
In the third quarter this year, about 70% of TME's revenue came from "social entertainment services" such as virtual tipping and digital gifts. Those are tools that Wave already uses to an extent but which have been slower to take off in the West compared to the Asian markets, where such consumer behavior is far more ingrained. Wave's new partner may help to accelerate their use, at a time when artists are particularly hungry for more revenue.
Wave launched five years ago as a VR-only company but has since made its shows available on social media platforms including Twitch, YouTube and TikTok, in addition to gaming consoles and headsets. The company raised a $30 million Series B round in June. It has orchestrated over 50 shows for artists, including John Legend and The Weeknd, whose TikTok performance in August attracted over 2 million unique viewers.
TME is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In addition to Wave it also owns stakes in Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Spotify.
Sam Blake primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Find him on Twitter @hisamblake and email him at samblake@dot.LA
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The spread of the novel coronavirus has sped the adoption of telemedicine in the United States, eliminating barriers like insurance reimbursements. It's also shone a light on the need for faster vaccines and a need for greater investment in public health, experts said on a dot.LA virtual panel Tuesday that looked at how investors are responding to COVID-19.
A move to telemedicine "was a long time coming," said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "A lot of doctors and institutions weren't comfortable with that" but now those concerns have been "blown out of the water." Since the pandemic erupted, two-thirds of UCLA medical visits have been done using telehealth.
Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the David Geffen School of Medicine.
Jeffrey Klausner, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the David Geffen School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in the Fielding School of Public Health.<p>Dr. Klausner earned his Medical Degree from Cornell University Medical College with Honors in Research. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at the New York University—Bellevue Hospital Center. Dr. Klausner earned his Master's in Public Health with a focus on International Health and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. After that training, Dr. Klausner was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. Dr. Klausner completed his Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington, Seattle.</p>
Jay Goss is General Partner at Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health
Jay Goss, General Partner @ Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health<p><span id="selection-marker-1" class="redactor-selection-marker" data-verified="redactor"></span>Jay is a General Partner at Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health. Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health is Southern California's leading Seed-stage healthcare-focused venture capital fund. The fund's investment thesis is that after 40+ years, healthcare is transitioning away from fee-for-service to value-based payments, and with that comes a massive amount of disruption. There will be no shortage of clinical operations and business challenges to solve in the coming decade, and entrepreneurs are already coming out of the woodwork to solve these problems. Moreover, countless business models are now for the first time commercially viable because the healthcare industry is embracing value-based payments. The fund counts among its investors 50+ healthcare senior executives, eager and extremely able to add value to the early stage companies in which the fund invests. Prior to launching Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health, Jay operated dozens of early stage companies all over Southern California, and advised dozens more.<span id="selection-marker-2" class="redactor-selection-marker" data-verified="redactor"></span> </p>
Llewellyn Cox is a general partner at MarsBio
Llewellyn Cox, General Partner at MarsBio<p>Llewellyn is an entrepreneur from Gillingham, Kent, England. He founded LabLaunch, the leading biotechnology incubator network in Southern California, and BioBuilt, a firm that assists early-stage companies in building lab space.Llewellyn received a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology at Cardiff University, before moving to New York City to perform postdoc research in neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College. Llewellyn is an adjunct professor at Keck Medicine of USC where he teaches translational biology and science communications.</p>
Rachel Uranga, is a reporter at dot.LA.
Rachel Uranga, Reporter @dot.LA<p>Rachel covers the intersection of business, technology and culture. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines. </p>
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