NetEase Cloud Music Reaches Strategic Cooperation on Licensing with Warner Chappell Music

NetEase Cloud Music, the leading music product of Chinese internet and gaming giant NetEase, has on Tuesday reached a strategic partnership with Warner Chappell Music (WCM) on music licensing as well as online karaoke and music IP development, according to a report from 36Kr

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The partnership will give NetEase Cloud Music copyright access to the more than 1.3 million songs from the WCM catalogue, including those from western singers such as George Michael, Green Day, Katy Perry, Madonna, and Radiohead. Also included are music produced by a wide array of Chinese musicians.

The library of NetEase Cloud Music already included these songs prior to the partnership, but they were sublicensed from Tencent’s subsidiary Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), which is known for its exclusive deals with major labels and charging unreasonably high fees from smaller rivals. According to a Bloomberg report, licensing from TME could be twice as expensive as licensing directly from labels. Direct licensing could help NetEase Cloud Music lower the cost of copyrighted music.

NetEase declined to provide additional information when reached by Pandaily.

In March, NetEase Cloud Music announced a strategic partnership with Taiwan’s Rock Records. The two companies will work together on music licensing, talent cultivation, and development of music projects, a Caixin Global report said. NetEase has since been sublicensing music from Rock Records to TME.

NetEase Cloud Music has stepped up its licensing efforts in 2020. In March, the app teamed up with Japan’s Studio Ghibli to stream music from some of the animated films directed by Hayao Miyazaki, including My Neighbour Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle.

Launched in 2013, NetEase Cloud Music is one of the largest online music streaming platforms in China. According to statistics from analytics firm Analysys, NetEase Cloud Music had 92.5 million monthly active users (MAUs) in March, far lagging the 256.3 million MAUs of Tencent’s Kugou Music and 250.0 million MAUs of its QQ Music.