K-pop giant SM Entertainment strikes licensing deal with NetEase Cloud Music

aespa, SM's 'Metaverse Girl Group’ that features four human members and four virtual counterparts

Chinese tech giant NetEase‘s subsidiary Cloud Village – which operates music streaming service NetEase Cloud Music – has entered into a licensing deal with K-pop company SM Entertainment, granting Cloud Music the right to distribute SM’s music catalog.

According to a media statement issued by NetEase, the terms of the deal will see the two companies “work collectively to carry out in-depth cooperation and jointly promote Korean music and artists”.

Established in 1995, South Korea’s SM Entertainment features a roster of prominent K-Pop artists like KANGTA, BoA, TVXQ!, SUPER JUNIOR, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, EXO, Red Velvet, NCT and aespa.

SM Entertainment is led by founder and Chief Producer Lee Soo-man. He recently delivered a speech at Stanford University about the company’s history and vision.

NetEase Cloud Music notes today that it has been “actively expanding its broad portfolio”.

The platform adds that it recently struck agreements with record labels including Modern Sky, Emperor Entertainment Group and China Record Group.

Paris-headquartered music company Believe also recently inked a renewed deal with NetEase Cloud Music (as well as with its rival Tencent Music Entertainment Music).

MBW reported last month that NetEase Cloud Music and its rival Tencent Music both added more paying music users than Spotify in Q1, 2022.

NetEase Cloud Music’s overall monthly active users (MAUs) of online music services stood at 181.7 million in Q1 2022, down slightly from 183.1 million in the prior year quarter.

The platform’s paying online music users (36.7m) accounted for 20.2% of all of its online music MAUs in the quarter.

NetEase Cloud Music’s revenue increased by 38.6% YoY in Q1 2022, to RMB 2.1 billion (approx USD $331m).

SM Entertainment’s licensing deal with NeatEase Cloud Music follows the K-pop company’s recent deal struck with Warner Records for girl group aespa.Music Business Worldwide

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