NetEase Cloud Music Breaks International Artists in China

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While technology has allowed all kinds of data to be collected, it is no surprise that we’ll eventually see more of it coming from one of Asia’a fastest growing music scene – China. NetEase Cloud Music, one of China’s largest tech companies, has recently released some of the most popular international artists on its platform. This is not just any statistics, but a show of China’s most preferred acts, and a glimpse into perhaps one of Asia’s largest music tastes.

“Musically, China has had a different evolution to the rest of the world – for a long time, international music was blocked in China and then one day, it opened up and all of the world’s music was accessible at the same time defying chronological timelines. But without the benefit of context and evolution, many users simply gravitated to low common denominator Top 40 music. NetEase Cloud Music with its playlisting, social and comments features have provided more context and tools to make international artists’ music relevant to users.”

While Chinese listeners have been showing huge interests for local music with international preference extended mainly to Korea and Japan in the beginning of the decade, NetEase Cloud Music [NCM] is seeing a shift in its recent algorithms from its user-generated playlists. NetEase reported that over 30% of all its activities come from streams, comments, and playlists involving content generated from international artists.

These statistics show China’s growing appetite for music from the outside world since opening its doors to international trade. The influx of international artists hoping to break into the Chinese music market, inevitably, means more competition. Although this may not come as a surprise as more volume means more demand, this new economy signifies a positive growth for the marketplace in China.

When asked to comment on how NetEase is evolving with the changing music market, Mathew Daniel, Vice-President, International of NetEase Cloud Music commented: “Musically, China has had a different evolution to the rest of the world – for a long time, international music was blocked in China and then one day, it opened up and all of the world’s music was accessible at the same time defying chronological timelines. But without the benefit of context and evolution, many users simply gravitated to low common denominator Top 40 music. NetEase Cloud Music with its playlisting, social and comments features have provided more context and tools to make international artists’ music relevant to users.”

International artists began to use China’s local social media platforms such as Weibo and NetEase Fan Connect to engage with their mainland fans. China’s policy has continue to disallow access of popular social media channels such as Facebook and YouTube. This has not only given NetEase Cloud Music and other social media platforms to proliferate, but also grow huge followers that would also mean huge e-commerce opportunities. With over 400 million registered users today, NCM remain one of China’s largest platform for international artists to directly engage with their fans.

Artists benefiting from NetEase include Steve Aoki, KSHMR, Armin van Buuren, and most recently Alan Walker, R3hab, and Galen Crew. R3hab increased his follower from 8,000 a year ago to over 280,000 after becoming the most active international artists on NetEase Fan Connect platform. The direct engagement with fans allows R3hab and Galen Crew to sell out shows in tier-one cities in China.

We asked Daniel how its existing technology is complimenting its users’ behaviour. He highlighted their differences from Spotify’s playlist format highly focused on a ‘democrated user-generated playlisting, commenting that:

“At NetEase Cloud Music, we moved early into playlisting; not Spotify-style controlled playlisting but democratic user-generated playlisting.”

“With more than 450 million playlists, these are then pushed by our algorithm to users with similar tastes resulting in an even larger percentage of playlists and songs being actually listened to, exposing more and more independent artists to new fans.”

“User habits have now been formed such that 60% of all listening is done via playlists; probably one of the highest in the world. Our social network, NetEase Fan Connect allows artists to reach out directly to fans to further provide interaction opportunities and build a more loyal fan base.”

R3hab
R3hab
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