Netease Cloud Music: The Chinese Version of Facebook in the Music Sector
Netease Cloud Music, a service that was launched more than 3 years ago, serves as an illustrative example for the music sector
The Jessica Stuart Few album "The Passage" on Netease Cloud Music
In recent years, the build-out of the internet infrastructure and the consistent growth of the economy have made mainland China an increasingly important global center for internet development. In the Chinese market, the trend to consume content and do one's shopping online has continued apace, with a slew of innovative and highly acclaimed internet services emerging, among which Netease Cloud Music, a service that was launched more than 3 years ago, serves as an illustrative example for the music sector.
Netease Cloud Music CEO Zhu Yiwen
Netease.com, Inc., one of the leading internet companies in China, was founded almost two decades ago and now has a market value exceeding $US 35 billion. Netease Cloud Music was first released internally in 2013. Netease founder and CEO Ding Lei (who also goes by William Ding) saw the music site as a key component of the larger company and, with Netease Cloud Music founding member and CEO Zhu Yiwen, personally took charge of the project, constantly making changes to the platform until they each felt fully satisfied with the performance and customer experience. Just on the single item of the how quickly – how many revolutions per minute - the image of the vinyl record spun on the play page, they adjusted it more than two dozen times. As a result, the music service quickly garnered a lot of attention among music lovers and became the go-to venue for a large user base since it was launched in April, 2013.
At the outset, the core concept was that the service would be driven by the ability of users to create their own playlists, yet, aside from the basic requirements for searching and listening to music, Netease Cloud Music has since added many social media features, expanding the horizon of what a music site is all about and giving listeners the opportunity to learn about the music and the performers. As a result, the service has built for itself an excellent reputation across the Chinese music industry.
April, 2013, Netease Cloud Music formally went online.
February, 2014, the number of users exceeded 20 million.
August, 2014, the number of users exceeded 40 million.
December, 2014, more than 55 million music lovers were using the platform.
July, 2015, the number of users broke the 100 million mark.
July, 2016, the number of users broke the 200 million mark.
In just three short years, Netease Cloud Music has attracted more than 200 million music lovers, something unprecedented among similar online services in the history of the music industry.
In October, 2016, China's widely-read economic journal CBN Weekly released its "Top Brands Ranking for 2016", and, based on the music service's excellent performance during the year, Netease Cloud Music was selected as one of the "Rising Star Brands". It was the only music application brand in the category.
Compared to older music apps that had been released in China, Netease Cloud Music has become so popular that its fans are active on most major social media networks such as zhihu.com (the Chinese version of Quora.com), the various microblog platforms, Wechat (a free message and phone app, similar to but with more features than Skype) and several BBS's. The level of stickiness that the service has developed with its users, reflected by the number of comments that fans leave on the pages dedicated to the individual songs, is being viewed by music industry insiders as a kind of miracle within the Chinese music market.
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