The huge Chinese music streaming platform has just gained the rights to a huge catalogue of music from Warner Chappell.
NetEase Cloud Music is a giant in the music streaming landscape. With over 800 million registers users at the start of the year the Chinese service is miles ahead of the Western top dogs like Spotify and Apple Music.
Their potential has just grown with a huge new deal with major record label Warner Chappell. NetEase has gained the rights to use 1.3 million of their licensed tracks. It’s a huge addition to the platform which claims to have been behind 270 billion streams of more than 100,000 independent artists last year.
NetEase’s main competition comes from Tencent Music Entertainment, which claims 3 of China’s most popular music services: QQ Music, Kugou, and Kuwo. Between the services Chinese conglomerate Tencent say that they have 657 million monthly users making them hotly contested for the biggest user-ship with NetEase.
However NetEase are looking positively towards even more growth amidst rumours that Tencent’s exclusivity licenses on music will expire in the next year. NetEase CEO, William Ding, feels that the current playing field for music streaming in China is unfair and the balance will be reset soon.
Speaking in their Q4 earnings call in February, Ding said: “We hope that, going forward, all label companies, not just the big three, can all comply with the regulatory frameworks serving China, with the aim to provide a healthy environment to the overall industry as a whole.
“Financially, [the end of Tencent exclusivity deals] is definitely going to make the cost structure of NetEase Cloud Music [and] of the whole industry to return to a more healthy and normalized level.”
The Warner deal with NetEase is a big sign of the content that they will be able to start adding to provide even more comprehensive offerings for their many listeners. As well as providing music for streaming, the two companies plan to “work together in areas from online karaoke to IP development”.
Warner Chappell Music’s regional digital VP for Asia Pacific, Zoe Wang says: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to partner with the brilliant team at NetEase Cloud Music. We share a passion for enabling fans to access our amazing songwriters’ music and for creating great experiences that their users will truly value.
Wang added: “We hope the Warner Chappell Music catalogue will further accelerate the growth of the digital music business in China with NetEase Cloud Music.”