Lil Nas X is currently sitting pretty high with the No. 1 song in the United States right about now, and it was winding saga full roadblocks that led the Atlanta-area artist to such fame. Nevertheless, he’s keeping his eye on the prize, working to dismantle the barriers genre as we know it. Now his removal from the Top Country Songs charts proved that the goal may not be too close to the horizon, but the battle continues.
With his latest social media play, Lil Nas has now teased a new song, potentially slated to disrupt the Rock genre next as Nas pens, “Y’all think they gone let me on the rock charts?” in a caption under a 30-second clip his latest track, laced with pop and rock sounds.
Once again, Nas is posted up in a bathroom, lip-syncing to his creation, his preferred mode delivery for everything he’s got in the vault.
Where “Old Town Road” earned the cosign Billy Ray Cyrus, the new track, tentatively titled “Bring U Down” is apparently a collaboration between Lil Nas X and Ryan Tedder One Republic.
“It’s from the perspective people who try to ruin other ppls career when they see them on the rise,” Lil Nas wrote the track in a response to a fan.
Sound f with your thoughts down below. Could “Bring U Down” match the success “Old Town Road?”
This week on the charts, K-Pop supergroup BTS has earned their third No. 1 album within less than one year. With Map the Soul: Persona, BTS pushes 230,000 equivalent album units in their first week United States sales, with 196,000 accounting for pure album sales.
It becomes the third album that BTS places at the top in just under 11 months with their Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer both topping the chart last June and September, respectively. The last artist to chart three No. 1s in a shorter amount time was Future who did so in six months with DS2, What A Time To Be Alive and EVOL. BTS also makes history as the only group to grab three No. 1 albums in less than 11 months since The Beatles did so in 1995-96 with their Anthology trio albums.
Following behind BTS is singer Billie Eilish with 98,000 equivalent album sales for When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Khalid slips from No. 1 to No. 3 with Free Spirit earning 82,000 units in its second week.
At No. 4, Anderson .Paak made his first top 10 entry on the chart with Ventura raking in 55,000 units in its first week. Prior to that, the closest he’d gotten was a No. 11 peak with December’s Oxnard.
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At No. 5, Nipsey Hussle‘s Victory Lap still claims its place in the top 10 as fans, both new and old, continue to explore the late rapper’s catalog, logging 55,000 units. No. 6 is occupied by Ariana Grande‘s Thank U Next after the album grabbed 46,000 units. The next debut in the top 10 goes to Beyonce, whose surprise Homecoming: The Live Album earned 38,000 equivalent units with only two days tracking activity after dropping in the middle the tracking week (which runs from Friday to Thursday) on Wednesday (April 17th) without warning. The album is a supplement to Bey’s Netflix Homecoming special and becomes Beyonce’s eighth top 10 effort as a solo artist.
The remainder the short list is occupied by Juice WRLD’s Death Race For Love at No. 8 with 34,000 units, Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys at No. 9 with 29,000 units and is completed with A Boogie wit Da hoodie’s Hoodie SZN at with 29,000 units.
Homecoming, the name of the first of three projects, is a behind-the-scenes look at Beyonce’s 2018 Coachella performance. The price tag associated with this project by itself is reported to be $20 million.
Beyonce is also releasing a live album associated with the documentary. The album is 40 songs and includes two bonus songs near the end. The bonus add-ons are “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly & Maze and “I Been On,” a song that was uploaded to Soundcloud back in 2013.
Other sources indicate that Netflix may have outbid HBO to secure Beyonce’s documentary. This is a departure from Beyonce’s 2016 association with HBO, Lemonade. Neither HBO nor Netflix have commented on the details of these discussions.
The documentary of the behind the scenes performance promises to be an impressive display.
Expect to see many backup dancers, a marching band, and an impressive musical showcase. At one point, over were counted on stage. The performance was a performance feat, with Beyonce stating that she wanted to “bring her culture” to Coachella.
Netflix has previous experience with similar content, include Lady Gaga’s Gaga: Five Foot Two. Other popular music-based documentaries include the recently-released Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, though perhaps that one should thrown into a different sub-category entirely.
Amber Rose‘s 2nd pregnancy has been a revelation sorts, as she’s come to find a bunch her so-called friends are simply in it for the clout. You might have heard, Rose is expecting a “sweet little baby boy” with current beau Alexander “AE” Edwards sometime in the near future. In an effort to clear out the have-nots, the model/activist took to Instagram to call out the “unlisted” friends who’ve been neglected her late, now that she’s toned down her partying in preparation her maternity cycle.
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“Funny how my phone blows up when I’m having pool parties and shit is lit,” she wrote in a series Instagram Story posts neatly patched together by the mods who run The Shade Room. “But as soon as bitch is sick and pregnant it’s crickets. No ‘just checking on you’ text or nothing, shit’s wild. But when I pop out this beautiful strong baby boy don’t try to be my friend again. Deadass.”
Amber closed her account by bidding the unnamed “toxic ass fake friends” farewell. And though we can only dwell on her side the story at the present moment, Amber does appear to be resolute in her intentions to focus on the task motherhood, considering she has the undying support her boyfriend Edwards, her current baby father Wiz Khalifa, and their son Sebastian, who is apparently really excited to be big brother come deadline day.
A$AP Rocky’s “Sundress” was a breath fresh air the moment it debuted in November, nearly 20 days after it had as an unsanctioned demo reel. Even hardened hip-hoppers were forced to lean back, at the thought A$AP Rocky picking daffodils to the sound a Brit Pop drum section. leaving no zero Yam’s sketch-up in passing.
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But rest assured, A$AP Rocky’s expanded musical horizons are a welcome addition in the greater sense hip-hop. Part the credit “Sundress” indubitably goes to his collaborators Tame Impala, whose influence is hard to mistake, if you’re familiar with their solo material. For what it’s worth, “Sundress” was one two songs that Rocky previewed during last year’s Camp Flog Gnaw with Tyler the Creator – the other being the unpublished “Shittin Me.”
With Tame Impala booked to perform at week two Coachella last night, the opportunity for Rocky to join them onstage was there for the taking and he did just that. They performed “Sundress” in unison, while also repackaging A$AP Rocky’s “LDS” with the backing the band’s live instrumentation. Thanks to the vigilance the Coachella crowd, numerous videos were recorded, documenting the whole affair in a series amateur postings. See for yourself.
For almost every hot-right-now rapper deep into the trap scene, rolling up to the scene drippin’ while flexing the latest fashions and jewelry is nearly as important as spitting fire on wax. With artists like Migos, Cardi B and 21 Savage all dropping chart-topping projects that popularize the term, arguably no other rapper in the game embodies the true sentiment what it means to be drippin’ better than Yung Gunna. So confident is this ATL-bred rapper in his style, his swag, and his drip, he doesn’t care if you give him the credit that he’s due for popularizing the term.
With his discography existing as an evergreen testament to the lifestyle, (Drip Season, Drip Season 2, Drip Season 3, and Drip Harder, to name a few) you don’t have to give Gunna props for his contribution to the mainstream – you just have to respect his drip.
“I think it’s always been in my life,” said Gunna, waxing lyrical about his drip. “I always like to dress up, you know what I’m saying? Put on nice, expensive clothes. But before it was even “drip,” I used to be like, “swag.” That’s what we used to call it back then. It’s just a lifestyle,” he continued. “Even artists who make songs now with “drip,” they’ll hit me up like, “Oh, I got a song for you, it’s gonna say something about ‘drip.'” So they just putting me to the word anyway, just because I came with Drip Season.”
Check out the Instagram gallery below to check out all Gunna’s drippiest social media uploads.
“Living life bro I’m happy 😃 on god!” captioned Gunna alongside a pic him fanning some serious cash while covered head to toe in designer duds. With a fit like that, who wouldn’t be happy?
There’s so much color in this picture, you almost need shades.
You can almost feel the chill from Gunna’s ice in this picture.
Leave it to Gunna to pair a neon belt chain with a Louis Vuitton billfold.
Sorry Yeezy and Jay-Z but according to Gunna, it’s “Drippers in Paris!!” now.
“I’ll prolly have the Baddest Bitch N the Game Wearing my Chain 🤷🏽♂️,” captioned Gunna alongside a short video showcasing the incredible shine on his new ice.
The Whole Package
Gunna has the fits, the ice, the drip and the cars to back up his image and personal brand.
“When it come to Business I’m Handling Mine,” says Gunna while decked out in a money-green suit jacket.
“In Paris wit sum Fashion Gods,” wrote Gunna in a pic uploaded during his attendance at the exclusive Paris Fashion Week.
Steal Your Style
Advising his followers to stay on the lookout for those trying to swipe their swag, Gunna is confident that no one can touch his drip.
In what has to be the least expected update concerning George Zimmerman’s civil status, Creative Loafing is reporting that he’s been given the boot by popular online dating platform Tinder for operating under a fake name.
Zimmerman was famously acquittedmurdering Trayvon Martin, causing him to become a virtual “enemy the state” for taking his civic duties to a whole other level bigotry. The Tampa-based periodical claims that Zimmerman listed “himself” on Tinder as a self-employed consultant seeking quote-unquote “carefree fun,” as well as a partner to share in his love camping and outdoorsy activities.
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“At Tinder, we take our users’ safety very seriously and our team has removed this prile from our platform,” a spokesperson for Tinder told the Washington Post once the news had come to light. “We utilize a network industry-leading automated and manual moderation and review tools, systems and processes — and spend millions dollars annually to prevent, monitor and remove bad actors who have violated our Community terms and guidelines.”
It’s not readily known whether the false identity Zimmerman created on Tinder had any effect on the dating pool within his geo-network. A similar situation occurred late last year when Bumble forced him f their platform as well, citing the same old ruse a false identity. I gather it’s pretty hard to get a date when most people know you as a cold-blooded murderer, and rightly so.
Wiz Khalifa celebrates 4/20 with the surprise release of Fly Times, Vol. 1: The Good Fly Young.
On his second project of 2019 (following his Curren$y collaboration 2009), the Taylor Gang boss calls on friends including Ty Dolla $ign, Problem, Curren$y, Chevy Woods, and Houston singer Young Deji, who appears on six of the 14 tracks. The surprise release also features production from hitmakers like DJ Fresh, Harry Fraud, Statik Selektah, and TM88.
What Max B is doing on the cover is exactly how you should listen to Fly Times. Except wit headphones on.
“I’m back and rolling joints bigger than ever,” the superstar stoner boasts on the opener “Real As You Think.”
Earlier this week, Wiz premiered his Apple Music documentary series Wiz Khalifa: Behind the Cam. During the five episodes, he offers fans an intimate glimpse into his life, with appearances from those closest to him including his son, mother, and Taylor Gang family. He can also be seen playing a skunk in Lil Dicky’s star-studded video for “Earth.”
Wiz Khalifa celebrates 4/20 with the surprise release of Fly Times, Vol. 1: The Good Fly Young.
On his second project of 2018 (following his Curren$y collaboration 2009), the Taylor Gang boss calls on friends including Ty Dolla $ign, Problem, Curren$y, Chevy Woods, and Houston singer Young Deji, who appears on six of the 14 tracks. The surprise release also feature production from hitmakers like DJ Fresh, Harry Fraud, Statik Selektah, and TM88.
What Max B is doing on the cover is exactly how you should listen to Fly Times. Except wit headphones on.
“I’m back and rolling joint bigger than ever,” the superstar stoner boasts on the opener “Real As You Think.”
Earlier this week, he dropped his Apple Music documentary series Wiz Khalifa: Behind the Cam. During the five episodes, he offers fans an intimate glimpse into his life, with appearances from those closest to him including his son, mother, and Taylor Gang family. Wiz can also be seen playing a skunk in Lil Dicky’s star-studded video for “Earth.”
Spotify has surpassed 500 million downloads on Android, despite having only 207 million monthly active users.
How many ‘zombie apps’ does Spotify have? According to the latest Google Play Store counts, Android devices alone have 500 million total Spotify apps installed.
The high install number is undoubtedly inflated by people who no longer use the app. But the same person installing Spotify across multiple Android devices also counts, making a precise ‘zombie’ estimate difficult to calculate.
Still, this is the first non-preloaded music streaming app to pass 500 million downloads on Android — ever.
Spotify has beat Pandora, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, and several others to the 500 million mark.
Both TIDAL and Apple Music still have a paltry 10-50 million downloads. That’s in comparison to the previously mentioned apps which all have 100-500 million downloads.
The stat comes with good news, and bad news. Even with the inflated numbers over actual subscriber counts, it appears that Spotify is the most popular streaming app among Android users. It’s not hard to see why, especially when Spotify with Android-heavy manufacturers like Samsung.
There are also rumors that Spotify is looking to create its own physical hardware in the future. Earlier this year, The Financial Times reported that Spotify would release an in-car music player this year. The rumored player is expected to cost around $100.
Spotify is attempting to compete at the same level as pre-loaded music streaming services.
Apple Music and Google’s have the advantage of coming pre-installed on every iOS or Android device. Spotify is the new default on all Samsung devices, which is a direct threat to YouTube Music.
Spotify is hoping that most auto owners will want a single service device that can be left in their car. Instead of fiddling with the Spotify app every time you want to listen to music, Spotify’s in-car solution is just a few taps away. Spotify has already released a for Android users, which activates automatically when connected to a car’s Bluetooth.
It’s about time we get the major summer tour announcements. Earlier today reports surfaced saying that Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj were plotting on a tour together which was set to kick f this fall. Those reports are indeed true but there was an inaccuracy: the R&B star and Queen rapper will be hitting the road together this fall. Breezy took to Instagram to confirm the tour was happening but they’ll be hitting the road this summer.
Chris Brown has confirmed that he and Nicki Minaj will be hitting the road together. Although he didn’t clarify if it would be a co-headlining tour or not, he did say the tour would be happening this summer.
“The tour will not be in the fall,” he wrote on his IG story. “It is in the summer! The summer!”
The tour announcement comes shortly after the two artists collaborated on, “Wobble Up” which also features G-Eazy. They’ve worked together on numerous occasions prior to that. She previously enlisted Breezy for “Right By My Side” and “Only” featuring Lil Wayne and Drake.
A tour date for New Jersey popped up earlier today so it’s safe to say that this will be a North American tour. Nicki is fresh f the “NickiWRLD” tour in Europe where she brought Juice WRLD along as her opener.
New York, NY – Nine years to the day, the Hip Hop community suffered a tremendous blow with the passing of Keith “Guru” Elam, the incredibly skilled lyricist who made up the emceeing half of the venerable rap duo Gang Starr.
While fans will remember the late Guru and the group’s production muscle, DJ Premier, weren’t exactly on the best of terms at the time of his death, the end of the road usually forms a friendship bridge. And the conclusion of Gang Starr brought just that.
DX: I still get a chuckle to this day how you slipped in the hospital undetected. There was all this security and red tape, and you were like, “I just saw him the other day. What y’all talking about?” I just always thought that was super gangster.
DJ Premier: Yeah, man. It was risky, but like I said, I love a challenge. I’m like, “I’m gonna figure this out. I’ve got to see him.” Again, I always credit his nephew, Denzel. His nephew was the one that stressed to me … His exact words was, “If anybody needs to see him, besides his family, it is you,” and I was like, “Dude, they’re not gonna let me in.” He said, “I don’t care, man. I don’t care what you do. Find a way.” He said it in a way … The tone was so piercing, like a knife in my stomach, that I was like, “All right, I’m going Monday.”
I called two of my homies that would definitely hold me down if drama pops off, and they were like, “We’re going with you,” and then they went in first.
They went in to make sure they could get in, so they could tell me the coast was clear for me to get in, and so they were already in there before I was. They texted me and said, “Come on in, come on in. Now, now, hurry, hurry.” I got caught, and then once I got caught, Guru’s father was the one that said, “Hey, if they run on you, ask for a proxy advocate, and they know you ain’t gonna be talking on that level unless you know what you’re talking about.” They have to let you see a proxy advocate. If they say, “Well, the proxy advocate’s in a meeting right now, so it’s gonna be about another hour or two.” I said, “Okay, I’ll wait,” and then I just waited and waited. That wasn’t working.
They were never showing up. I see them whispering and staring at me, and I’m just like, “Man, I’ve got to figure out another way in.” Thank goodness, the regular public bathrooms in the hospital were under repair, and I really did need to use the bathroom. I even went around the corner to see … My homie was like, “Yo, the side doors, we can go through one of them.” I’m like, “No, those are all emergency exits. The alarms will sound.” I’m like, “That’s not good.” We went around there, just to take a look, and I see a black guy taking a lunch break, smoking a bogie outside by the dumpsters, and I said, “You know who I am?” He’s like, “Yeah, you Gang Starr.” I was like, “Yo, man. Is there a way you can get me in through one of those doors?” He’s like, “Man, I work in the morgue.” He said, “It’ll be hard to do, but I’ll tell you what.” No bullshit, he said, “If you listen to my demo, I’ll sneak you in.” Even though he couldn’t do it, I was like, “Motherfucker, I’ll sign you if you can get me in.” He said, “I’ll be back.”
He took too long, I got impatient. Everything’s with my gut. I went back in and told them, “Can I use the bathroom? I’ve really got to use the bathroom.” The lady was like, “I’m gonna let you use the bathroom, but you’ve got to come right back, and I’m gonna time you. I’m gonna give you 10 minutes, and you better be back.” Right when I said, “Okay,” she left me behind, where I can go toward the elevators and go down the hall, ’cause the bathroom’s down there, some black dude rolled in, in a wheelchair, and started causing a ruckus at the information desk, about seeing his doctor, and just causing distraction” “I wanna see my doctor now,” and they knew his name.
They were like, “Mr. Samuels, okay, we’re gonna let you … ” He goes, “No, I wanna see him now.” He’s yelling and screaming. He said, “Y’all did this shit to me yesterday!” I’m like, “Damn, he’s got their whole attention. This is the best time to go up to the floor,” because Guru’s nephew and them had already told me what room to go to, if I can get in there, so I knew to go to room 269. I didn’t get on the elevator yet. I was walking, and seeing, “Damn, the elevator’s that close to me from the bathroom,” and you could still hear that guy at the front desk, yelling, “I don’t give a fuck.” I mean, he’s really causing a ruckus. I see the numbers on the elevator, when it’s counting down, it’s coming from another floor, and it was on five.
I looked, ’cause it’s right by the gift shop, and I saw it go five, four, three. I was like, “Damn, let me see if I can jump on the elevator without the lady turning around and seeing me get on it,” ’cause I had the dude still causing the distraction, yelling at the information desk. Soon as it opens, a family of about five Latinos, but really big people … He looked like a football player, and even the wife was a sizeable women. They were getting on with their kids, and I hopped on with them, and stood behind them, so I could be blocked, where they couldn’t see me. They said, “What floor you going to?” I said, “Two.” They said, “Oh, we are too.” I was like, “Great.” As soon as it opened up on the second floor, I kind of stayed bunch up with them. I remember the nurse, “Yes, may I help you?” They said, “We’re going to see whoever in 268.”
I was like, “If they’re going to 268, I’ll follow them, because she’s leading them to the … ” Then I doubled back and went to 269, and that’s how I got in there. She caught me again. She was like, “Hey, you’re not supposed to be in here.” I explained. I showed her the CD, ’cause I had my Moment of Truth CD with me, and then my Gang Starr shirt. She didn’t understand the logo part, but I said, “Look, that’s me and him.” I showed her the Moment of Truth CD. I took the little folder part out since they have other pictures of us. I said, “See, that’s me and him.” She goes, “Okay, I’m gonna give you five minutes, and then you’ve got to go. I’m gonna get in trouble. You ain’t supposed to be in here.” I said, “That’s all I need, is five minutes,” and that’s how I was able to say my piece.
That’s exactly how it happened.
DX: How does Gang Starr exist in the present day?
DJ Premier: Touring, merchandise, and branding — that’s where the money is and I’m glad that your brand makes enough money to feed more than just myself. It’s feeding Guru’s family.
His sister, son, his son’s mother, and nephew are all part of Gang Starr Enterprises, and we all share that together. I make sure his half goes directly to them, and I’m glad our brand has stood the test of time, being that we come from the late ’80s into the ’90s era, and April 19th will be nine years of his being passed away. I didn’t see him for six years after the Ownerz tour, so you add that up with the nine years, that’s 15 years, and later. Look, the brand still is keeping lights on, paying the bills and still letting his son buy Balenciaga [Laughs]. It’s a beautiful thing.
That’s why, selling our merch makes a lot of money. I sell it on my site, and it’s dope because I’m able to … 50 percent goes directly to his son’s estate and his family, and it’s still so good that, when I check the numbers of what we sell, especially when we do these capsules, and leave it up for only a couple weeks, and then tear it down, those make a nice chunk of money, and it automatically goes right to the estate, and his son can eat off of what his father’s legacy established.
That’s a beautiful thing, where it could be like, “Oh, Gang Starr’s not hot anymore. Yeah, I used to like them. I’ll buy a little shirt.” They’re buying hats, they’re buying backpacks, they’re buying hoodies, they’re buying everything. It’s a beautiful thing that, after all these years, the fans still want something that’s Gang Starr oriented, to hold onto, to own, in their life, on top of the music.
DX: Well, speaking of the music, I mean, obviously, you guys didn’t benefit from streaming. How do you look at Gang Starr albums on Apple Music or Spotify now? Is that bringing new life into the legacy, you think?
DJ Premier: Yeah, I was very anti, because of the payouts and everything, but I have a great attorney, and my attorney warned me, early, about how it’s gonna work, and how we’ll be able to make it work in our favor, and all that stuff, and still, I’ll always release physical product. Anytime I release something, I always make sure we do vinyl. I always make sure that we do CDs and something physical. The digital word is here, so it’s just another extension of how to get it out there. You’ve just got to know how to negotiate your deals, but the label’s got to make sure they include the artist, because our deals were set up with three different types of formats, when we signed our contracts, and that was cassette, vinyl and CD.
It didn’t involve streaming. If you’re gonna involve that now, you’ve got to sit down with us and negotiate a new contract to make that an additional way of our product being released and how we’re gonna break those percentages down to eat off of. I hate the business side of it, but I had to become a businessman, just because there’s no running from that. If you really, really wanna make the money-money, you’ve got to stay on top of your business, and that’s the part I hate to have to focus on because it gets in the way of focusing on creating new music, but you have to do it. I had to set aside a good hour or two with my manager and hear him run it down to me, and then I’m good at asking questions. If I don’t get it, I definitely will push it till I do understand it.
In addition to the commemoration of Guru’s passing, Preemo is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of Gang Starr’s commercial breakout album, Hard to Earn as well as Nas’ Illmatic (which coincidentally shares the same release date as Guru’s death).
This week, Nicki Minaj and Chris Brownreunited on record for a track f Breezy’s upcoming album Indigo. We’ve now heard a trio songs that are expected to make the tracklist, which means that Chris could be gearing up to take us all for a ride pretty soon. The release date for Indigo has not yet been announced but you’ve got to believe it’s on the way. Perhaps, by the time he goes on tour with Nicki Minaj in the fall, we’ll all be singing along to a new batch his songs.
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You read that right, folks. According to Variety, Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj will be heading on tour together later this year. The two just linked up with G-Eazy on “Wobble Up” and they may have more planned because, while an exact schedule has not yet been shared, one tour date in New Jersey popped up for September 13 at the Prudential Center. It’s currently unclear whether the two will be co-headlining or if Minaj is a support act for Brown. The way it’s being listed on the Prudential website makes it seem like the latter is more likely, but we wouldn’t expect Nicki Minaj to be okay with taking second billing. After all, they’ve both enjoyed long, successful careers.
NetEase Cloud Music has been on the move as of late.
Late last year, and ahead of Tencent Music’s fabled IPO launch, the Chinese streaming music giant an important financing round.
NetEase Cloud Music raised $600 million in funding. Strategic partners included Baidu, General Atlantic, Boyu Capital, and several other unnamed investors.
Following the fundraising announcement, the company confirmed it would remain the controlling shareholder of its streaming music business.
Two years ago, the company had reached a valuation of $1 billion after raising ¥750 million (around $108 million then) in funding.
In addition to the $600 million in funding, the company confirmed it had reached over 600 million registered users. Since 2017, the company had added 200 million new users.
Similar to SoundCloud, the company has also aimed at providing a platform for independent musicians in the country. Over 70,000 indie musicians have uploaded over 1.2 million songs to the platform.
Then, last January, and thanks to the massive popularity of K-Pop in China, NetEase unveiled a strategic partnership with South Korea’s Cube Entertainment.
Under the partnership agreement, NetEase Cloud Music now provides users with the entirety of Cube’s catalog. This includes popular artists such as BTOB, CLC, PENTAGON, Yoo Seon-Ho, and (G)I-DLE.
The streaming music giant would also promote its platform as the go-to brand for Chinese fans of Korean music. The company also has existing partnerships with major Korean music award events.
Now, NetEase has unveiled a brand new partnership.
Teaming up with Nippon Columbia.
Earlier this morning, NetEase confirmed a new licensing agreement with Nippon Columbia, Japan’s premier record label.
Under the partnership, the Chinese streaming music giant has gained access to Nippon’s expansive music library. This includes pop music and enka – a popular Japanese music genre resembling traditional Japanese music stylistically. Artists now streaming on NetEase include 04 Limited Sazabys, NakamuraEmi, Aoi Yuki, Miku Itou, and Hibari Misora, among others.
Financial terms of the agreement remain undisclosed. Yet, the strategic partnership comes at a critical time for the Chinese tech company.
According to a separate report, and unlike competitor Tencent Music, NetEase Cloud Music reported a gross loss of ¥326 million ($48 million) last year. The company attributed the loss to higher costs related to licensing music as well as decreased revenue contribution from ‘other online business platforms.’ In 2018, for example, the company shelled out ¥170 million ($25.4 million) just to license 2,000 tracks from Taiwanese label, Huayan.
Speaking about the deal, and staying silent about the company’s losses, Zhu Yiwen, the Chinese streaming music giant’s CEO, said,
“As a music platform adored by Chinese young people, NetEase Cloud Music can leverage its position to actively promote outstanding artists and music works of Nippon Columbia in China.”
Miyomatsu Abe, President of Nippon Columbia, added,
“We’re very happy to work with NetEase Cloud Music to bring Nippon Columbia’s music to listeners in China.”
NetEase remains the first company to partner with the Japanese label in China.
Several years ago, in an attempt to cut down on piracy around the world, the US Trade Representative (USTR) placed Baidu, a top Chinese search engine and tech giant, on its annual “notorious markets” list.
According to the USTR, Baidu knowingly directed consumers to third-party pirated websites hosting infringing content. In 2011, the search engine ranked as the most-visited website in China and among the top 10 in the world.
Despite mounting evidence proving it had directed users to piracy sites, the Chinese tech giant remained quiet.
Now, the company has attempted to win over the music industry with a brand new music business app.
Can Baidu undo its ugly history of directing users to illegal content?
In 2002, Baidu reached fame after launching its own music search service, Baidu MP3.
While the search engine blossomed – reaching a third of all music search traffic in China – the music industry quickly slammed the service.
According to music executives, the Chinese tech giant allowed users to download a huge number of MP3 tracks for free.
In order to win over the industry, Baidu then launched its first copyrighted online music website – Ting – eight years ago.
Admittedly, the service wasn’t as popular as its MP3 site.
Last year, for example, Ting had 29.5 million active users. In contrast, Tencent’s QQ Music and Kugou’s apps had 329.6 million and 303.7 million users, respectively. NetEase Cloud Music had around 156.5 million.
To stay alive in the music market, the Chinese tech giant partnered with NetEase last October.
The Chinese tech giant will develop a mobile ‘music business’ app along with talent competition shows. To that end, Baidu has formed a special product group.
The group had first built a music video app similar to TikTok’s popular Chinese counterpart, Douyin. Yet, company executives later rejected the idea to “make something bigger.”
To achieve mainstream success, the tech giant will launch a reality TV competition to compete with Tencent’s talent show, ‘Produce 101’ and Hunan’s ‘Singer.’ As the company doesn’t have any experience in the entertainment industry, Baidu will likely outsource production work.
In addition, the company’s new music project will now include an online app as well as offline music events.
Speaking about the talent show, one source explained,
“It’s still in a very early stage of preparation…these [projects] may change at any time.”