Recently China has been seeing massive rapid growth in its population's consumption of electronic/dance music over the past year. As online music platforms play an ever more important role in accessing music, the EDM charge in China is being led by NetEase Cloud Music.
Guest post by Mathew Daniel
China has seen explosive growth of 45.2% in electronic/ dance music listeners, according to the
2016-2017 China Electronic Music Market Research Report by leading Chinese research firm iiMedia Research. From 197 million online listeners in 2016, there is now an estimated 286 million listeners in 2017. This number is projected to reach 358 million in 2018 and exceed 400 million by 2019.
With online music platforms playing an increasingly important role in both popularizing electronic/ dance music and shaping the accompanying culture, iiMedia Research ranked the online platforms based on its Target Group Index (TGI). NetEase Cloud Music came out tops with a TGI of 122.2, which is significantly higher than the industry average; the second spot went to QQ Music at 103.7, followed closely by Kugou Music.
This is evidenced by the increase in number of online streams of electronic/ dance music in China – in 2016, there were 163.05 billion streams, and for 2017 iiMedia Research projects 38.7% growth to 226.08 billion. By 2020, this number is likely to reach an incredible 360.86 billion, marking electronic/ dance music as an exponential-growth genre.
In comparison, NetEase Cloud Music saw the number of electronic/ dance music streams soar by an astonishing 434%, representing the the fastest growth by a music genre on the platform. Correspondingly, the number of its listeners to the genre grew a phenomenal 147% year-on-year. This has pushed electronic/ dance music to become the second most popular genre on NetEase Cloud Music, outpacing rock, folk and hip-hop.
Interviewees on the iiMedia Research panel rated NetEase Cloud Music the highest in the electronic/ dance music genre for professional proficiency. NetEase Cloud Music’s unique characteristics of customized personal recommendations, user comments, vast catalogue of playlists and embedded social network community have elevated it to become the largest domestic hub of electronic/ dance music lovers.
iiMedia Research noted that the number of user- generated playlists for electronic/ dance music on the platform grew at an exponential rate, contributing to unprecedented levels of engagement.
Year-to-Sep 2017, the number of electronic playlists grew at a rate of 128.1%, compared to the same period last year.
The other factor for NetEase Cloud Music’s high level of user engagement is its in-built social network and user comments. In her keynote speech on the state of electronic music in China at the recent International Music Summit (IMS) Asia-Pacific 2017 conference in Shanghai, NetEase Cloud Music’s International Business Director Ms Jessie Wang highlighted that the typical listener of electronic music on the service peruses an average of more than 75 comments each week whilst contributing to about 16 comments – a rather remarkable level of interaction.
Ms Wang also noted that in providing the most comprehensive electronic/ dance music offering in China, NetEase Cloud Music has nurtured a highly active and passionate community that will play a significant role in driving the success of the electronic music sector in China. To further develop this sector, Ms Wang announced the launch of dance music lifestyle brand Fever to better serve fans of the genre.
Added Mathew Daniel, NetEase Cloud Music’s Vice-President, International: “Along with the increasing popularity of electronic artists and DJs in China via NetEase Cloud Music and its social platform, we are also, interestingly, noticing international music over-indexing as a whole on our music service. This is certainly welcome news to international labels and artists who can now work closely with us.”
NetEase Cloud Music, which started only in 2013, has shown phenomenal growth relative to its competitors, taking just 2 years to reach 100 million users; currently it has over 300 million users.