NetEase Cloud Music Announces Dolby Atmos Support, Touts Itself As the Leading Music Platform ‘Among China’s Vibrant Generation Z Community’

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A nighttime shot of Hangzhou, where NetEase is based. Photo Credit: Kana Toyama

As competition between China’s foremost streaming players continues to heat up, NetEase Cloud Music has announced support for Dolby Atmos “across its vast music library.”

NetEase Cloud Music (HKEX: 9899) emailed Digital Music News about its Dolby Atmos integration, and the announcement arrives just days after the platform’s Tencent Music rival posted seemingly solid first-quarter financials. According to the NetEase-owned music service, the spatial-audio technology already extends to “smartphones from many renowned brands” as well as “vehicle models from leading automakers.”

And during the remainder of 2023, Hangzhou-based Cloud Music says it intends to make Atmos available to users through “the home music space” and “Intelligent Connected Vehicles.” Meanwhile, the decade-old platform, which reported having an average of 189.4 million monthly active users in 2022, also took the opportunity to emphasize its perceived status as “the most popular entertainment app among China’s vibrant Generation Z community.”

In keeping with the latter claim, higher-ups noted that Atmos will reach the works of (Universal Music Group acts) Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Justin Bieber, Imagine Dragons, and Sam Smith out of the gate. Driving home the on-platform presence of releases from well-known international artists, Smith provided a brief statement about Cloud Music’s Dolby Atmos addition.

“I’m so happy that fans can listen to my music in a whole new way with sounds all around you. Introducing spatial audio ft. Dolby Atmos, now available on NetEase Cloud Music,” communicated the 31-year-old, whose ongoing world tour includes stops in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong alike.

Now the world’s fifth-largest music market, according to the IFPI, China has as of late demonstrated its vast commercial potential for both emerging and veteran artists.

The Backstreet Boys last year drew a reported 44.2 million viewers to a concert and Q&A broadcast on Tencent’s WeChat, for instance, whereas sales data shows that the aforementioned Taylor Swift moved a substantial number of digital copies of Midnights on Tencent Music’s QQ and NetEase Cloud Music. More recently, BTS agency Hybe and its SM Entertainment competitor relayed that they’d achieved continued growth in China during Q1.

Especially because each of the major labels – Sony Music (which owns a sizable piece of NetEase Cloud Music), Warner Music, and the previously noted Universal Music – has taken far-reaching steps to develop a presence in the nation of about 1.4 billion residents, it’ll be worth keeping a close eye on the revenue possibilities of China moving forward.

NetEase Cloud Music alone reported 2022 income of about $1.28 billion (factoring based upon the current exchange rate), whereas Tencent Music indicated last week that it had generated over $1 billion – and north of $171 million in profit – during 2023’s opening quarter.