Saturday, May 18, 2024

Jackson Yee’s TFBoys to Get Global Boost From Universal Music Deal

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TF Entertainment, the company behind Chinese pop sensations TFBoys and Teens in Times (aka TNT), has struck a strategic alliance with Universal Music Greater China.

The deal includes global digital distribution for TF Entertainment’s roster of talent and the targeting of markets outside Mainland China. The objective is to leverage parent group Universal Music Group’s global distribution capabilities and marketing network to elevate Chinese pop’s global prominence.

TF Entertainment was founded in 2009 and developed a trainee system to cultivate idol groups within Chinese pop. That led to the establishment of the TF Family, under which various groups have flourished. TFBoys, a teen idol group launched in 2013, is its most notable success.

Comprising Karry Wang, Roy Wang and Jackson Yee, the group rapidly became a sensation in China’s music scene, on TV and social media. TFBoys performed for four consecutive years at the CCTV New Year’s Gala, often the most-watched TV program of the year, and the three members have a combined following exceeding 250 million on Weibo, a Twitter-like Chinese social media platform.

Yee, who studied drama, has developed a substantial body of film and TV acting work. He starred in Oscar-nominated “Better Days” in 2019, featured in patriotic war films “The Battle at Lake Changjin” and “Water Gate Bridge” and starred in the biggest Asian movie of 2023, the Zhang Yimou-directed “Full River Red.”

TNT has had major hits including “Ne Zha,” “Wiggle” “I Like You” “NAN ER GE” and “1440.” The band also won the Tencent Music Entertainment Awards “Top 10 Songs of the Year” prize in both 2021 and 2022, and The Group of the Year, and Most Influential Music Group prizes at the Weibo Music Awards in 2022 and 2023.

TF Entertainment launched the fourth generation of its trainee program in 2021 and debuted its selected acts in February 2022.

“We are excited to join forces with UMG, propelling our artists and the rich catalogue of TF Family onto the global stage,“ said Chen Chunhui, CEO of TF Entertainment.

“This alliance underscores our dedication to elevating Chinese pop music to global acclaim, both culturally and commercially. It also provides a unique opportunity to advance our superfan strategy, offering fans around the world access to distinctive cultural experiences,” said Timothy Xu, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Greater China.

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