HANGZHOU, China, April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 11, 2017, NetEase Cloud Music, a popular online music platform in China, held a press conference in Shanghai to announce the completion of a 750-million-yuan (approx. USD 108 million) A round financing whose estimated value is 8 billion yuan (approx. USD 1.16 billion), thereby becoming a member of a Chinese internet "Unicorn Club". Zhu Yiwen, CEO of NetEase Cloud Music, announced a major product milestone that the number of NetEase Cloud Music users has exceeded 300 million. This indicates that within only four years, NetEase Cloud Music has become a platform with the fastest growth rate and highest public praise in China's online music industry.
Officially launched in April 2013, NetEase Cloud Music is a music product focusing on discovery and sharing. With an innovative product spirit and offering the ultimate user experience, NetEase Cloud Music rapidly developed. Within 2 years and 3 months, the number of users increased from 0 to 100 million in July 2015. This was further expanded to 200 million in July 2016. Now, just 9 months later, the number of users has reached 300 million with a year-on-year growth of over 100%, demonstrating a remarkable growth momentum.
In the development process, NetEase Cloud Music achieved substantial optimization of their products. To illustrate, due to big data analysis and accurate algorithms, NetEase Cloud Music offered personalized recommendations allowing users to locate their favorite songs in the shortest amount of time. Moreover, in the latest version 4.0, NetEase Cloud Music added the function allowing users to "upload a short video" in its post, which extended the social aspect of music further to the audio-visual level. This feature was a first in the music APP sector.
For the users, NetEase Cloud Music is the ideal platform for social music interaction. According to NetEase's statistics, NetEase Cloud Music users have created more than 400 million high-quality song lists on their own, with a daily volume of 620,000 lists, a total of 400 million music reviews, and an average of 1.5 million reviews. As an example, Zhao Lei's studio version of Chengdu, which was exclusively released on NetEase Cloud Music, has triggered a "Chengdu sensation" on the network, and the number of comments for this single song has exceeded 250,000. For comparison, 1.3 million comments were made addressing Jay Chou's song entitled Sunny Day on NetEase Cloud Music.
With both the product and user numbers in an agreeable state, NetEase Cloud Music decided to raise funds. In order to provide users with a richer music experience, NetEase Cloud Music will upgrade the product experience, increase the content input, construct a healthy copyright system and establish solutions for the upstream and downstream music players.
From an investment perspective, the leading strategic investor, SMG, is the largest integrated cultural industry group in China. SMG possesses the top domestic content production and IP development strength, as well as strong resource integration capabilities and industry appeal. SMG and NetEase Cloud Music have a strong complementarity with regard to resources and capabilities, and the cooperation uniquely promotes the development of the Chinese music industry.
The strategic investment party of this round of investment is Mango Cultural and Creative Industry Private Equity Fund, a fund set up by Mango Media under the flagship of Hunan Broadcasting System. Its main focus areas are film, TV series, variety shows, music, animation and other cultural and creative projects. In the future, Mango Cultural and Creative Industry Private Equity Fund will strategically coordinate with Hunan Broadcasting System and NetEase Cloud Music, integrate resources and provide young audiences with a wide range of music content and service experience.
As the number of users exceeds 300 million, NetEase Cloud Music will enter a new development paradigm. Forthcoming, NetEase Cloud Music will continue to develop its layout construction on the basis of the users' music experiences. The joining of SMG and Mango Cultural and Creative Industry Private Equity Fund will leverage and integrate the advantages of the music industry chain and facilitate NetEase Cloud Music to gain more users, to upgrade its product quality, and to usher in larger breakthroughs.