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Tencent Music Goes Live in Partnership with U.S. Virtual Gig Master Wave

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Tencent Music Goes Live in Partnership with U.S. Virtual Gig Master Wave

Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) is entering the virtual concert arena in partnership with a U.S. startup, as it extends its offerings beyond simply providing songs licensed from third parties.

On Thursday, the unit of internet giant Tencent said its latest tie-up will give it the rights to animated live concerts from Los Angeles-based Wave, which TME will air on its platforms including QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing.

Demand for virtual concerts, in which artists are transformed into digital avatars using broadcast and real-time gaming graphic technologies, has surged recently, especially as most live shows have been canceled or delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two companies will also co-develop virtual concert content for TME Live, a live performance brand TME created in March. So far, 5-year-old Wave has produced more than 50 virtual events for a number of popstars, DJs and artists, including John Legend, Lindsey Stirling and The Weeknd.

In announcing the partnership, TME also said it will acquire a minority stake in Wave for an undisclosed amount.

TC Pan, group vice president of content cooperation at TME, described the partnership as a milestone in its “efforts to integrate technology and music.”

In this year’s third quarter, the number of TME’s paying online music users jumped 46% year-on-year to 51.7 million, according to the company’s latest financial report released last week.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Tencent Music Inks Deal with U.S. Publisher For Rihanna and Bieber Rights

 

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How Proposition 22 Blocks Cities and Counties From Giving Hazard Pay to Gig Workers

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Haney added that Proposition 22 has given gig companies legal grounds to sue and block an ordinance like this if they decide they don’t want to comply with it.

“Sometimes, as a local government, we are preempted by the states or feds, but usually when that’s the case, another regulatory body or the state Legislature is taking up the responsibility,” Haney said. “What’s the case here is that some regulations that were written into law by the companies and passed by the voters have made it impossible for anyone to provide more extensive and stronger regulations.”

Rey Fuentes, a legal fellow at the Partnership for Working Families, said California cities and counties have a history of pioneering progressive pro-worker legislation, like San Francisco’s paid sick leave program, which he said was the first of its kind in the nation.

Fuentes said it’s important for municipalities to test new policies out so that there are models for state and federal laws. “This allows for the experimentation that I think is so vital to our democracy and to developing good policy,” he said.

While grocery stores are pushing back on the hazard pay by temporarily closing locations and threatening legal action, gig companies don’t have to. Proposition 22 stops local governments from even trying to get higher wages or better benefits for gig workers, halting local experimentation with policy that could help the state’s growing number of app-based gig workers who are denied employee benefits and protections.

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IIROC Trading Halt – GIG.P – Yahoo Finance

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UK Deliveroo riders to strike over pay, gig work conditions

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Wednesday, April 07 2021
AP

LONDON (AP) — Riders for the app-based meal delivery platform Deliveroo held a strike in London Wednesday over pay and working conditions, part of a broader backlash against one of the U.K.’s biggest gig economy companies.

Scooter and bicycle delivery riders waving flags and red smoke flares rode through the streets of Central London. Socially distanced protests were also planned in York, Reading, Sheffield and Wolverhampton to demand fair pay, safety protections and basic workers’ rights.

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, which represents migrant and gig workers, expected hundreds of riders to take part.

Deliveroo said that “this small self-appointed union does not represent the vast majority of riders who tell us they value the total flexibility they enjoy.” Rider surveys found most are happy with the company and flexibility was their priority, the company said in a statement.

The strike coincides with the first day of unconditional share trading for Deliveroo, which went public last week in a multibillion pound stock offering that was one of Europe’s most hotly anticipated IPOs this year. However, a number of institutional investors skipped the initial public offering, citing concerns about employment conditions for riders and a dual-class shareholder structure that gives founder Will Shu outsize control.

The company, which operates in a dozen countries in Europe, the Mideast and Asia, saw its business boom over the past year because of COVID-19 restrictions that powered demand for meal deliveries. More than 6 million customers order through its app each month and the company promised some longtime riders bonuses from the IPO.

However, riders say they haven’t been sharing in the success because the company has been paying them less.

The “success they claim to have had during the pandemic was built on our backs,” said Wave Roberts, a Deliveroo rider in Reading and vice chair of the union’s couriers branch. “It’s not sustainable. It’s got to the point where they’ve hired too many people. They’ve lowered the fees too much.”

Deliveroo and other gig companies in the U.K. that rely on flexible workforces are also facing looming regulatory challenges, after the U.K.’s top court ruled Uber drivers should be classed as “workers” and not self-employed, entitling them to benefits such as minimum wage and pensions.

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For all of AP’s tech coverage, visit https://apnews.com/apf-technology

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Follow Kelvin Chan at www.twitter.com/chanman

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This story corrects Roberts’ title to vice chair of union’s couriers branch.

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