Xiaomi Music has reached a copyright transfer agreement with NetEase Cloud Music, continuing the trend of music sharing among platforms after the government banned unlicensed music streaming in 2015.
The agreement will give Xiaomi access to music from HIM International Music and Tianyue Media, including such artists as SHE, Hebe Tien, Yoga Lin, Power Station, and Where Chou.
While Xiaomi Music is not a dominant player in the market, it was the first Chinese smartphone manufacturer to obtain licensing rights to Warner Music’s catalog, shortly after signing agreements with Sony and Universal.
With a smartphone penetration rate of 92 devices for every 100 individuals, China’s music streaming industry is enormous. Over 86% of users listen to music on their mobile phones, creating an increasingly competitive market for music streaming businesses, which is dominated by players including Kuguo Music and QQ Music.
This competition has resulted in various license infringement lawsuits and counter-suits between QQ Music, NetEase Music, Alibaba’s Xiami Music, and Kuguo Music, and competitors in the market. The turbulence eventually led to the government enforcing the previously mentioned music copyright regulations in 2015.
However, since then there has been a growing number of licensing agreements between platforms. Tencent Music and Entertainment (TME) teamed with Ali Music Group in 2017 on music copyrights. The company then reached a cross-licensing agreement with NetEase Music following copyright disputes.
Total revenue for the music streaming sector amounted to $522 million in 2017 and is expected to grow by 130% to reach nearly $1.2 billion by 2022. The average revenue per user (ARPU) will also see triple-digit growth during the same period, increasing from $0.84 to $1.69.