Editors note: We’ve updated our list of top 5 music apps in China. Check here to see what the landscape looks like in 2017.
KuGou, TTPOD (reportedly required by Alibaba Group), QQ Music (of Tencent), Kuwo, Duomi (backed by Chinese digital music company A8) and Baidu Music were the top six music apps in China that had a combined market share of about 80% as of the second quarter of 2014, according to the latest report on China’s mobile music app market released by CNIT-Research, a Chinese mobile market research firm.
Apart from Duomi which was born as a mobile music app (It now has PC-based online music streaming site too.), the other five started from PC-end as a digital music player, music downloader, or streaming service. When it comes to the mobile end, almost all of them offer music streaming and download services.
Though the research results on China’s mobile music streaming/download apps by Sootoo Institute, a research division under Chinese online tech media Sootoo.com, show that Kuwo has a larger market share than QQ Music, the top six are the same names.
The top six and many other Chinese music streaming/download mobile apps offer basic steaming service for free while charge for premium subscriptions which include higher-quality files, downloads, among others.
Different from the top six streaming/download apps, the seventh-ranked in the CNIT-Research report, Changba, is a mobile Karaoke app. Online singing has proved a profitable business and several Chinese services have grown to be big companies on PC end — YY and Tiange have gone public with this business model. Changba, now the biggest player of this kind on mobile, have begun monetize its user base through their monetization approaches, virtual item sales and premium subscriptions.