NetEase Cloud Music Dominates Japanese Anime J-Pop in China

Chinese Anime / Manhua Comics / Game / Freemium Light Novels

By Ryan Carroll, Editor-at-Large

September, 2018.

I will be honest, Anime J-Pop Music, out of all the markets and possibilities in China’s ACGN this was not one of them. Though it was standing right in front of me the entire time.

In Japan pop music has its own sub-genre, if you can even call it that, of Anime J-Pop. If you have ever seen an anime series in your life, you would have noticed the opening and ending titles prominently feature a J-Pop song. With the opening title song being, at times, in-your-face and the ending much more melodic.

Bilibili’s Macro Link fan expo, which went from 8,000 attendees in its first convention in 2008 to over 100,000 last year, one of the most prominent features of the event is the J-Pop featured performers. J-Pop stars or groups who are associated with popular anime series that stream on Bilibili’s platform.

On YouTube the only videos available (at this time) of Macro Link are videos of J-Pop performers at the event’s concerts. This and the recent (copyright) licensing agreement between NetEase Cloud Music and NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan, highlights the growing significance of Anime Music to the future growth of ACGN in China.

NBCUniversal Ent. Japan has been a powerhouse in anime music since its inception in 1990, and this deal, though important to those watching the music industry and cloud streaming services in China. Is one, that those in the ACGN periphery should be paying attention to as well.

NetEase is the second largest game company in China, only behind Tencent, making it one of the largest in the world. Games are by far the driving factor behind ACGN’s rapid growth, being the largest source of revenue gains for Bilibili Group since their Nasdaq IPO earlier this year.

NetEase is also one of the largest comic book platforms in China, along with Tencent Comics, and it was NetEase which became the official partner for Marvel Comics in China.

Just like Hollywood with films being the base of their business models, but tentpole films such as Star Wars, MCU, and Disney Animations only bring in 30% of their revenues from the box-office, while the revenue streams from licensing and merchandising make up the rest.

Anime, along with the growth of Chinese Anime & animation is the base for the ACGN market. ACGN will hit $72BnUSD in revenues before the end of 2019, and it is aspects such as Anime J-Pop that will continue to find new avenues of supplemental growth for the industry in the years to come.

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About the Author
Born and raised in the Missouri-Ozarks Ryan studied Film Production, and East Asian Culture, at the University of Kansas where he was a UGRA recipient that led him on a seven-year long, Journey From the West, to China. Where he worked with Warner Brothers, the China Film Group Corp. and the National Bureau of Statistics of China. Before returning to the States, where he specializes in Chinese Anime & Comics, China’s Box-Office, and Chinese entertainment-tech industries. He has a dog in China, Abigail, and a dog in the Arkansas-Ozarks, King Blue, who help ease his anxiety of suffering from the “Two-Dimensional Complex” that is trying to understand the Culture Industry landscapes of the Middle Kingdom.

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