One of the most influential music companies has launched a music subscription service in China. This month, Douyin, ByteDance’s Chinese counterpart for TikTok, released a beta version of Qishui Yinyue (translated as “Soda Music” in English).
Qishui Yinyue has almost no relationship with TikTok other than sharing ByteDance as a parent company. They operate independently in separate markets and “there is no relationship between the apps at all or in any way,” a company spokesperson said. Billboard in an e-mail response to questions. TikTok operates outside of China; Douyin, available only in China, is a separate platform with different – some say more advanced – e-commerce and social features.
ByteDance has another music streaming service, Resso, which operates in Brazil, Indonesia, and India. Launched in 2020, Resso reportedly had 40 million monthly active users by November 2021. But Qishui Yinyue is only available in China “and there are no plans to offer it in other markets”, said said the spokesperson. Billboard.
China was the world’s 10th largest recorded music market in 2021, according to IFPI. Its two biggest music streaming companies, Tencent Music Entertainment and Cloud Village, have a big lead over any newcomer. As of December 31, 2021, TME and Cloud Village had 76.2 million and 28.9 million paying users, respectively, according to the companies’ financial statements.
At the moment, Qishui Yinyue is more concerned with acquiring users than generating revenue; premium features are currently available to anyone using the app. “Monetization is not a priority at this time,” according to the spokesperson, who declined to disclose pricing. Some reports indicate that Qishui Yinyue has 10 million tracks; the company’s spokesperson did not disclose the size of the catalog to Billboard.
Douyin showed good timing by casting Qishui Yinyue now. The Chinese government opened the door to new entrants last year when it forced TME to cancel its exclusive licensing agreements with content owners. Cloud Village called the government order “a favorable change as it promotes a healthier development of the entire online music industry in China.”