Tony Yip: Transforming The Online Music Market Through Innovative Strategies

Tony Yip: Transforming The Online Music Market Through Innovative Strategies

Tony Yip, Chief Strategy Officer

Tony Yip

Chief Strategy Officer

The consumer internet industry is becoming increasingly competitive and therefore it is more crucial than ever to develop and practice scalable and profitable business strategies. This asserts how crucial having a capable Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) is for a company.

Tony Yip, Chief Strategy Officer of the Tencent Music Entertainment Group, has over two decades of experience leading various organizations such as Goldman Sachs, Baidu, and through significant growth. Tony has a proven track record and he regularly produces outcomes that have influenced the course of the sectors he works in.

Embarking on an engaging interaction with CEO Insights Asia magazine, Tony shares his strategies, professional milestones, and much more. Let’s delve into it.

Tell us about some of the milestones during your tenure as CSO of Tencent Music Entertainment Group.

TME was a private company when I started my tenure. In 2018, I led the initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. It was a challenge mainly because the US initiated a trade war against China just as we were about to commence our roadshow. Nevertheless, through diligent preparation and teamwork, we were able to attract a lot of interest from investors all over the world and the IPO was ultimately a success as we achieved a market valuation for the company of $20 billion.

The key to a good corporate strategy is in combining thorough assessment of the external environment through in-depth research, with realistic & achievable internal priorities

I also led TME through a second IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2022. Despite market conditions in that period being relatively tough for Chinese stocks, we were successfully listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at HKD18 per share.

The HKD share price recently reached as high as HKD60 per share, which represents gains of over 230 percent.

Another significant milestone was leading the Chinese online music market's transition from a primarily free model to one where a sizeable portion of users pay for monthly subscriptions. At the beginning of 2018, we had only 20 million paying subscribers, and right now there are more than 110 million paying subscribers, a 450 percent increase. This makes China the largest market in the world in terms of number of paying music subscribers in one country.

The third milestone is our investments in Universal Music, Warner Music, and Spotify. Along with our parent company Tencent, we became strategic shareholders and very good partners with all three companies. It was the first time a Chinese online music company had strategically invested in three of the largest companies in the global music industry.

How do you guide your team to identify growth opportunities in the market to ensure that the group is progressing at a stable pace?

Being the Chief Strategy Officer, I manage both the Strategic Development team and the Investor Relations team. I work closely with these two teams to stay on top of the changing market dynamics.

First, we conduct thorough market and peer analyses both in the domestic and international domains. Second, we adopt a long term outlook to predict crucial industry developments that could have an impact on our industry in the future. We also keep an eye on the emerging technologies and trends from the US, Japan, Korea, and other countries to strategize our next move. Third, we initiate internal strategic projects based on this thorough and long term market research. I lead these projects and make sure that our internal priorities and resources are fully aligned with the strategies to take full advantage of these prospects. Lastly, our Investors Relations department provides valuable perspectives on how our shareholders view the changing market and industry trends.

How do you foresee the industry trends evolving in the future?

The future is continuously evolving, and this requires us to constantly be on the edge. I believe a significant paradigm shift is happening in macro trends, global markets, and industry, and will continue for the next three to five years. Geopolitics and the development of artificial intelligence (AI) will have a profound impact on the music industry and the internet sector.

Considering your strong professional experience, what would your advice be for budding industry leaders and entrepreneurs?

I believe that in the next three to five years there will be substantial changes in global markets and industries. Therefore, it is crucial to stay disciplined, open-minded, and diligent in learning about these new trends. This will help us to position ourselves to be able to benefit from these drastically shifting dynamics.

Tony Yip, Chief Strategy Officer, Tencent Music Entertainment Group

Tony Yip has served as Baidu's Vice President and Global Head of M&A and Investments and as a board member at, China’s largest online travel company. Tony has over 15 years of investment banking experience, including as Managing Director at Goldman Sachs.

  • Favorite Hobbies: Learning about macro trends & investing
  • Favorite Cuisine: Chinese cuisine
  • Favorite Book: The Coming Wave by Mustafa Suleyman, and The Changing World Order by Ray Dalio
  • Favorite Travel Destination: Australia
  • Awards & Recognition: Top 100 Most powerful music executives in the world by Billboard in 2020

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