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Chinese copyright body officially bans exclusive music deals


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Stop us if you saw this one coming – the streaming services in China certainly did – but the National Copyright Administration of China has officially banned exclusive copyright licensing deals.

“Record companies, songwriting copyright companies and digital music platforms should… settle payment according to a guaranteed sum plus a share of actual usage, and should not sign exclusive copyright agreements except under special circumstances,” was the copyright body’s description of the new system, as reported by Reuters.

This is not a surprise: Tencent Music and NetEase Cloud Music, the two main streaming firms in China, have been moving away for some time from exclusive licensing deals to non-exclusive agreements akin to those in the west.

The ‘share of actual usage’ aspect is interesting though, in terms of the work the DSPs may need to put into reporting usage and calculating royalties based on that.


Written by: Stuart Dredge