NetEase Cloud Music Scores Space Shower FUGA Partnership Deal, Bolstering Its Japanese Catalog

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

Space Shower FUGA, a joint venture between the namesake Japanese entertainment company as well as the Downtown-owned distributor, has unveiled a deal with NetEase Cloud Music.

The JV established in September of 2021 by Space Shower Networks (TSE: 4838) and Amsterdam-headquartered FUGA just recently announced the distribution pact with NetEase Cloud Music (HKEX: 9899). Tencent Music’s foremost rival, NetEase Cloud Music previously reported boasting nearly 207 million monthly active users during H1 2023.

Meanwhile, Space Shower has for over three decades operated a music-video-focused television channel in Japan, besides a more recently founded record label and management firm. Among the former’s signed acts are Sagosaid, Butaji, Cikah, and Age Factory.

Now, works distributed via Space Shower FUGA have officially arrived on NetEase Cloud Music, which is promoting the releases with a “commemorative campaign.”

One component of the latter is a 54-track playlist of “Japanese classics.” According to the counter displayed on NetEase Cloud Music, this playlist had racked up 9,751 plays at the time of writing.

Longer term, however, the newly finalized deal will bolster the Japanese music offerings of Ryce Entertainment– and Avex-partnered NetEase Cloud Music, which, in addition to battling the aforementioned Tencent Music for listeners, is fending off a comparatively new and seldom-discussed competitor in TikTok parent ByteDance’s Qishui Yinyue.

On the other side of the equation, the tie-up could help Japanese artists find new fans in China’s quick-expanding music sphere. As we’ve reported, certain international acts, ranging from superstars like Taylor Swift to the three-decade-old Backstreet Boys, appear to have a number of dedicated supporters in the nation of about 1.4 billion.

Of course, the Chinese music market is creating homegrown stars of its own, and the major labels and others have during 2023 taken noteworthy steps towards breaking the professionals on the world stage.

Warner Music Group and Shanghai-born G.E.M. over the summer released a Spanish-language project entitled Revelación, for instance, a follow-up to 2022’s Revelation and promoted as “the first time a Mandopop artist has released a full-length Spanish album.”

Then, late August saw the same label ink an album distribution agreement with Lay Zhang, aiming to bring the domestically prominent actor and artist’s “music to fans across the globe…showcasing the captivating voice of Chinese singers to the world.” Subsequently, the former Exo member Zhang in September signed with Range Media Partners for global representation in all areas, according to Variety.