Avex Group Rediscovers Mainland China Market
Japan-based Entertainment Management firm grants Chinese platform NetEase Cloud Music an exclusive license to its copyrighted music
Japanese entertainment firm Avex Group Holdings Inc. and Chinese digital music platform NetEase Cloud Music jointly announced the signing of an agreement forming 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 calls for NetEase Cloud Music to handle the distribution and promotion of the Avex collection of music in the mainland Chinese market, placing NetEase Cloud Music in the position of being the platform with the largest collection of copyright-protected Japanese music in the country. The move signals Avex's reentry into the market after a six-year hiatus.
Avex first set up an office in Taiwan as early as 1998, when it planned its first formal entry into the Chinese market, followed by an office in Shanghai. Six years ago Avex retreated from the market when it found itself no longer able to deal with the rampant pirating of music on the internet. Avex decided to return to this important market on the heels of the success of the efforts on behalf of China's regulator, the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC), to bring order to a market that had been a flagrant violator.
The partnership between NetEase Cloud Music and Avex sets a precedent for the importation of Japanese music into China on a large scale. Chinese online music platforms had been struggling with what they could offer in terms of Japanese music with proper copyright protections, resulting in fans of the music remaining dissatisfied with what was available.
The increasing demand for Japanese music on NetEase Cloud Music as well as the managerial competence of the staff also played a role in leading Avex to choose the platform as their partner. 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), with the number of music streams from Japan increasing 80% over the previous year, while ACG-related music saw its streams soar a whopping 280%. Among these users, it is mainly the youth segment that dominates, especially fans born after 1990.
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