NetEase Cloud Music ‘Adds Expansive J-Pop Portfolio’ In Pony Canyon Licensing Deal

China Cloud Music
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China Cloud Music
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Photo Credit: NetEase

About two weeks after scoring an expanded licensing deal with J-pop giant Avex, Chinese streaming service NetEase Cloud Music has officially added the catalog of Tokyo-based anime and music company Pony Canyon to its library.

NetEase’s nearly decade-old streaming platform and 56-year-old Pony Canyon just recently unveiled their licensing tie-up via a general release. NetEase Cloud Music has closed a number of other licensing deals to this point in 2022 – pacts with Seoul’s SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment among them – after the Chinese government formally banned all exclusive copyrights towards the year’s start.

Now, NetEase Cloud Music users (who drove a reported double-digit Q3 2022 revenue hike for the company) will have access to “more creative music content, especially J-pop and anime music,” from Fuji Media Holdings’ Pony Canyon, according to the companies.

Among the many artists signed to Pony Canyon (which produces anime programs including Attack on Titan) are J-pop stars GARNiDELiA (roughly 290,000 monthly listeners on Spotify), Kana Hanazawa (77,000 monthly listeners on Spotify), Aiko (1.7 million Spotify monthly listeners), and Maaya Uchida (about 79,000 Spotify monthly listeners).

Though NetEase Cloud Music hasn’t publicly shed light upon the licensing deal’s length or terms, the Tencent Music rival did take the opportunity to reiterate the other catalog-expansion moves it’s made this year. Plus, higher-ups emphasized their plans to “pursue further collaborations with upstream copyright owners and continue to provide more high-quality music content for music lovers in China.”

More broadly, NetEase Cloud Music isn’t the only China-based streaming service that’s reporting heightened revenue, for the aforementioned Tencent Music posted an almost 20 percent YoY jump in income attributable to online music during Q3.

Tencent Music, which operates the QQ, Kugou, and Kuwo streaming services, indicated that it had generated profits of approximately $154 million during the third quarter, having debuted an international distribution option (from which artists will receive “up to 70%” of the resulting compensation) earlier in 2022.

Additionally, Tencent Music (which spearheaded a secondary listing in Hong Kong in September) launched “TME Business Intelligence for Artists” over the summer, at about the same time that it created the first producer alliance in China.

Worth mentioning in conclusion is that TikTok owner ByteDance has also entered China’s quick-growing streaming market this year, with a service called Qishui Yinyue. Meanwhile, ByteDance, which is facing ample stateside scrutiny concerning TikTok, has likewise taken steps to roll out an international streaming service involving the popular short-form app, according to reports.