Avex Group Holdings Inc. is rediscovering the Chinese Mainland market big time with a joint announcement with NetEase Cloud Music that it has granted an exclusive license of its copyrighted music to the Chinese internet technology company.
The agreement between the Japanese entertainment firm and NetEase Cloud Music forms part of a strategic partnership that grants the Chinese platform an exclusive license in mainland China to the copyright of the entire inventory of Japanese songs under Avex’s management.
The agreement will see NetEase Cloud Music handle all distribution and promotion of Avex’s music collection in the mainland Chinese market. This has placed NetEase Cloud Music in the position as the platform with the largest collection of copyright -protected Japanese music outside of Japan. A move that will significantly see the reentering of Japanese music into China. NetEase, headquarted in Beijing, reported total assets of CN¥ 58.032 billion in 2016 and has just under 13,000 employees.
Avex closed down its Taiwan and Shanghai offices about six years ago and retreated from the Chinese market when it found itself no longer able to deal with the rampant pirating of music on the internet. Regaining confidence after the successful efforts of the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) to tackle piracy, Avex decided to return to this important market.
On a larger scale, the importation of Japanese music into China will gradually see more Chinese online music platforms offer legally copyrighted music to its audience. Over the years, dissatisfaction among fans demanding for Japanese music saw Chinese platforms struggle to provide any proper music catalogue.
According to usage data from the platform, there has been a considerable increase in the number of times a Japanese song has been streamed, especially songs associated with Japanese animation, comics and games (ACG). Just last year, the number of music streams from Japan increased by 80%, while ACG-related music saw its streams soar a whopping 280%. Mainly youths born in the 90s dominates this demand.