What Is The Chinese Equivalent Of Spotify?

What Is The Chinese Equivalent Of Spotify?

The music streaming industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, with Spotify emerging as the global leader. But have you ever wondered what China’s answer to Spotify might be? As one of the world’s largest digital markets, China offers a unique landscape for online music consumption.

If you are interested in leveraging China’s music streaming apps to reach a wider audience and promote your brand, check out the following: How to Get Benefits from China’s Music streaming apps?

Key Takeaways of the Chinese Equivalent Of Spotify

  • Tencent’s KuGou, QQ Music, and Kuwo plus NetEase’s Cloud Music are the major music streaming platforms in China with over 900 million monthly active users altogether.
  • While these Chinese services share similarities with Spotify, there are key differences that cater to unique Chinese market preferences such as an extensive collection of Chinese songs, lower-priced premium subscriptions, and an emphasis on social features.
  • Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) is the leading music streaming service in China with a significant market share of 60%, offering a wide-ranging library, freemium model, joint venture ownership, profitable status, and dominance in the industry.
  • NetEase Cloud Music provides a diverse range of musical genres and community engagement through its association with EDM streaming in China.
  • It is possible to access these apps from outside China through methods such as using a VPN or subscription service.
market music in china - china online music revenue 2015-2022 - GMA

China’s Music Streaming Market

Overview Of Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) And NetEase Cloud Music

With its vast collection of music content and user-friendly interface, Tencent’s KuGou has emerged as the most popular music streaming service in China, offering a diverse range of music genres from Mandarin pop to traditional Chinese folk music.

QQ music, on the other hand, has carved out a niche for itself as a platform that provides users with access to high-quality music streaming and online radio.

Kuwo has become a popular choice for users who prefer a more personalized music listening experience, thanks to its advanced recommendation algorithms that take into account user preferences and listening habits.

In contrast, NetEase Cloud Music is owned by NetEase – another leading company that gives Tencent fierce competition.

Both platforms cater to their users’ evolving preferences exceptionally well, which is evident from their impressive user acquisition rates.


Differences From Spotify

AspectSpotifyTME and NetEase Cloud Music
Market ReachAvailable in multiple countries across the world, including the US and Europe.Primarily targeted at the Chinese audience, with limited availability outside China.
ContentInternational music from various genres and artists.Extensive library of Chinese music, accompanied by a selection of international content.
PricingHigher-priced premium subscriptions ranging from $4.99 to $14.99 per month.Lower-priced premium subscriptions, ranging from RMB 8-15 ($1.20-$2.25) per month.
ProfitabilityReportedly losing $200 million a year.Profitable, thanks to Tencent’s diverse revenue streams.
User ExperienceEasy-to-use interface, personalized recommendations, and extensive music library.Emphasis on social features, allowing users to connect with friends and attend virtual concerts.

TME: The Leading Music Streaming Service In China

TME (Tencent Music Entertainment) has grown significantly since its inception in 2016, with a reported 800 million monthly active users as of December 2022.

It has successfully outperformed local competitors like NetEase Cloud Music, not only capturing a significant share of digital music industry revenue but also maintaining profitability, unlike Spotify.

Features And Advantages

  • TME offers users access to a wide-ranging music content
  • It uses advanced recommendation algorithms to provide users with personalized music recommendations based on their listening habits and preferences.
  • Their music services offer high-quality music streaming, with options for high-resolution audio for premium users.
  • TME allows users to interact with other music lovers and discover new music through social features such as commenting, sharing, and following other users.
  • It partnered with various record labels and artists to offer exclusive content and live performances to its users, enhancing its appeal and providing unique experiences for its users.
  • Tencent Music Entertainment offers a mobile app that allows users to access its music streaming services on the go. This is making it convenient and accessible for users who want to listen to music on their mobile devices.
digital music

NetEase Cloud Music: Alternative To Spotify For Chinese Music Lovers

One of the most impressive features of NetEase Cloud Music is its vast library of both Chinese and international songs that are free to use.

Another standout feature of this popular app is its association with EDM streaming in China. NetEase Cloud Music provides abundant EDM-related services such as real-time party information updates, live-streamed performances by prominent DJs, and exclusive access to sold-out concerts.

NetEase Cloud Music is an ideal alternative for those seeking something different than traditional Western-centric offerings like Spotify or Apple Music when exploring international sounds.

Accessing From Outside China

It’s good to know that there are options available to enjoy the extensive libraries of these cloud kinds of music. Here are some ways to access these apps from outside China:

  1. Virtual Private Network (VPN): By using a VPN, you can connect your device to a server in China. This will make it appear as though you are accessing the app from within China.
  2. Download the App through an APK: If you cannot access the app from your device’s app store, you can download it directly through an APK file.
  3. Third-party app store: Some third-party app stores such as APKPure may have versions of the app that do not require you to be in China to use them.
  4. Subscription service: Some subscription services offer access to Chinese music streaming services. This may involve paying a fee, but it is often hassle-free and reliable.
Kuwo music app

We Can Help You Market Your Music on Chinese Platforms

If you are a music lover in China, TME’s KuGou, QQ Music ad Kuwo are the leading music streaming services to enjoy. With its large collection of Chinese songs and many features, it offers an enticing option for those looking for a Spotify alternative.

Meanwhile, NetEase Cloud Music provides another option that’s similar to Spotify with good-quality sound and a range of features to explore. Though different from Spotify in some ways, these services demonstrate how China has developed its own digital market with rules and trends unique from those in Western countries.


We are a Shanghai-based agency helping Western brands enter Chinese market since 10 years. Our team of Chinese and foreign experts has the experience and know-how needed to succeed in this lucrative environment.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your options in China. We offer a free consultation call with one of our experts that will guide you through the main point of interest and explain how we can help you achieve your goals. Let’s keep in touch!

1 comment

  • Spotify is a music streaming service that is popular in many countries. However, the Chinese equivalent of Spotify is not well known. There are several music streaming services that are popular in China, such as QQ Music, Kuaiji Music

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