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Kobalt allies with NetEase in China

By | Published on Monday 4 December 2017


Bucking the trend of Western music companies allying with Tencent in the Chinese market, Kobalt has announced a partnership with another China-based web firm that also owns a streaming service, NetEase.

Under the deal, NetEase Cloud Music will get access to music controlled by Kobalt and its distribution platform AWAL, while also becoming a sub-licensor of that content in China.

There’ll also be a tie-up with Kobalt’s collecting society AMRA, which, the company says, “will work closely with NetEase operations to provide digital processing and reporting services to further uplift royalty earnings and maximise value for Kobalt clients”.

Under the deal, Kobalt and NetEase say that they “will work closely to drive increased creative collaboration, development of artists, and enforced copyright protection for Kobalt writers and artists. This partnership will also improve transparency for creators and drive new access to data, reporting, and sustainable pay models”.

Says Kobalt chief Willard Ahdritz: “As we continue on our journey to help bring the music industry into the digital age, monetising the huge Chinese music market has always been a priority for us. This partnership reinforces not only our commitment but also creates a world of new collaborative opportunities for our artists and songwriters”.

Meanwhile NetEase Cloud Music CEO Zhu Yiwen added: “We are honoured to be the strategic partner of … 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”.