The Deals: Tencent Acquires 35% Stake in Indian Streaming Giant Gaana

Indian streaming giant Gaana has raised roughly $51 million in debt from existing investors Tencent Cloud Europe and Gaana majority owner Times Internet. Tencent contributed $41 million — bringing its stake in the service to 35% — while Times Internet added $10 million to the deal. Gaana additionally secured a $5 million loan last week for “principal business requirements.”

The news was first reported by Inc42.

The Tencent investment is notable given the recent clash between the Chinese and Indian governments, which has resulted in a ban on apps from Chinese companies, including Bytedance’s TikTok. Perhaps in an effort to skirt a potential ban, Tencent made the investment in Gaana via its Dutch-based entity Tencent Cloud Europe.

Gaana – a major rival to Spotify and Indian streaming service JioSaavn in the country – reported 185 million monthly active users in August, which would make it India’s largest audio streaming service.

Cinq Music Group has acquired J.R. Rotem’s Beluga Heights joint venture with Warner Records. The deal includes the lucrative catalog of Jason Derulo, who was on the Beluga Heights/Warner roster until May of this year.

Jason Peterson, CEO of Cinq parent GoDigital, described the deal as the largest acquisition in the company’s history, surpassing the eight-figure acquisition of T.I.’s catalog in 2017.

Founded by Rotem, Rotem’s brother/A&R exec Tommy Rotem and manager Zach Katz in 2006, Beluga Heights – which ceased operations in 2010 – developed artists including Derulo, Sean Kingston and Iyaz. The joint venture with Warner was formed in August 2008.

Derulo’s debut single, “Whatcha Say,” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in Nov. 2009. The singer’s other hits include “Ridin’ Solo,” “Talk Dirty,” “Wiggle” and “Want to Want Me.”

Atlantic Records UK has signed DJ/producer Joel Corry to a long-term artist deal.

Corry began working with Atlantic in 2018 when he signed to Perfect Havoc, the independent label affiliated with Warner Music’s ADA. His successful releases under that deal included “Head and Heart” feat. MNEK, which spent five weeks at No. 1 on the UK singles chart, “Sorry” and “Lonely.” All three tracks were supported by Atlantic UK’s A&R, marketing, promotions and publicity teams.

Atlantic UK will continue working with Perfect Havoc on Corry’s next two singles.

Singer-songwriter Kat Cunning (they/their) has signed with LAVA Records, which released their new single and music video, “Supernova (tigers blud)” on Aug. 21.

In 2019, Cunning – also an actor who appears on the Netflix drama Trinkets – independently released the singles “King of Shadow,” “Birds” and “For the Love” and supported LP on her U.S. tour. They are slated to release an EP soon.

Concert promoter Move Concerts Argentina will produce the popular Latin hip-hop program DAMN! out of its Buenos Aires studios.

Hosted by Veeyam, Tata and Pluzito and co-produced by MAD, DAMN! boasts more than 430,000 subscribers on its YouTube channel. The series discusses the impact of American hip-hop in the Latin world and puts a spotlight on Latin artists in the genre, which has enjoyed a boost in popularity in Argentina over the last several years.