Last month’s IFPI Global Music Report revealed that China had overtaken France to become the fifth biggest recorded-music market in the world.

A big moment, as IFPI boss Frances Moore explained at the launch of the report. “That’s really something. It’s the first time, really since records began, that we’ve seen any change in the top five,” she said.

China’s recorded music revenues grew by 28.4% in 2022, according to that report, with streaming accounting for more than 89% of those revenues.

Music Ally’s latest country profile explores some of the trends driving this growth, in a country where there are currently estimated to be around 100 million paying music subscribers, with plenty of room for growth.

“There are about 700 million fee-paying users for video streaming services in China,” Warner Music China MD Sherry Tan told us, in an interview for the country profile. “This indicates that people will pay for contents that they are interested in and music lovers in China are increasingly willing to pay a reasonable fee for subscription-based services.”

“China has a massive 1.4 billion population base and currently a relatively low subscription rate compared with other traditional mature markets. As such, I believe that the Chinese music market has an enormous potential,” continued Tan.

Yutong Situ, senior manager of international creative at Kanjian Music, predicted that the number of music subscribers in China will one day go beyond 313 million.

A very specific figure, but one that Situ explained was based on “the current US music streaming services paid membership penetration rate(22.4%), while taking into account the growing consumption capabilities of the Chinese listener, the trend of limiting free-tier users from accessing all catalogue and also the increasing degree of acceptance for paying for online entertainment products.”

The full country profile is available for Music Ally subscribers, and includes analysis of shifting DSP deals; why digital albums are still sold as well as streamed; and the potential for Chinese music to be exported internationally.

Interested in a subscription? You can sign up here.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

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