Kobalt Music has inked a strategic licensing and distribution deal with fast-growing Chinese streaming platform NetEase Cloud Music that will bring 600,000-plus songs to what it describes as the “next great land of opportunity for the music market.”
Announced today, the agreement means NetEase will license and distribute the Kobalt publishing and AWAL recording catalogs on its digital platform, which boasts over 400 million users. As part of the deal, NetEase will also be the sub-licensor of Kobalt and AWAL’s content in China, plus Kobalt’s collection society AMRA will work with NetEase to process royalties for clients.
NetEase Cloud Music will now have legal access to the song catalogs of Paul McCartney, Max Martin, Miles Davis, Fleetwood Mac, Lionel Richie, Ed Sheeran and others, as well as many famous tracks by Asian artists such as Big Bang, EXO, F(X), Girls’ Generation, Shinee and Super Junior.
The companies said they’ll work closely together to enforce copyright protection for Kobalt writers and artists, develop new ones and improve transparency by providing more data-driven reporting and sustainable pay models.
“As we continue on our journey to help bring the music industry into the digital age, monetizing the huge Chinese music market has always been a priority for us,” said founder & CEO of Kobalt Music, Willard Ahdritz. “This partnership reinforces not only our commitment but also creates a world of new collaborative opportunities for our artists and songwriters.”
Added Laurent Hubert, Kobalt’s president and chief revenue officer: “The Chinese market is the next great land of opportunity for the music market as hundreds of millions of fans, especially the younger generations, will pay for an engaging music streaming experience. NetEase is a natural fit for our catalog as they have millions of young members who embrace music from across the globe. Additionally, NetEase believes in doing what’s best not only for their customers but doing right by creators as well — the latter being something we base our ideals on as well.”
NetEase Cloud Music CEO, Zhu Yiwen said, “We are honored to be the strategic partner of the world’s leading music group, Kobalt Music in mainland China — it is also an endorsement of our pan-entertainment industry effort that will benefit music fans and artists. We will aim to use our deep industry knowledge and huge user base to expand Kobalt Music’s reach in the market.”