Kobalt Music will fasttrack the exploitation of its catalogue in China through a strategic deal with NetEase.

Under the new pact, NetEase Cloud Music, which claims to be the market’s fastest growing music platform, will license and distribute the 600,000-plus songs catalogues of Kobalt Publishing and AWAL Recording.

Also, NetEase will be the sub-licensor of Kobalt and AWAL’s content in China and Kobalt’s global collection society AMRA will work with its new partner to digitally process royalties for clients.

For Kobalt, the doors to the world’s most populous market now swing wide open – a key objective for the independent music group, which views China as the “next great land of opportunity.” While for NetEase, the platform gets access to a prestigious (and considerable) library of publishing and master catalogs, which include the works of Paul McCartney (MPL) and Max Martin (MXM).

NetEase Cloud Music, which launched in April 2013 and today boasts more than 400 million users, will also have access to tracks recorded by Australian acts Gotye, Flume and Crowded House, and a wealth of big-name internationals from Miles Davis, to Fleetwood Mac, Foo Fighters, Zayn Malik, Maroon 5, Pet Shop Boys, Elvis Presley, Ed Sheeran, Skrillex and others.

The arrangement will also cover well-known tunes from Asian artists such as A-Lin, Jolin Tsai, Wanting Qu, Jane Zhang, and Bibi Zhou, as well as including the catalog of EKKO Music Rights; Big Bang, EXO, F(X), Girls’ Generation, Shinee and Super Junior.

As part of this multi-pronged arrangement, the companies have pledged to work closely to “drive increased creative collaboration,” enforce copyright protection for Kobalt writers and artists, develop new creators and improve transparency by providing more data-driven reporting and sustainable pay models.

“As we continue on our journey to help bring the music industry into the digital age, monetizing the huge Chinese music market has always been a priority for us,” comments Kobalt Music Founder & CEO Willard Ahdritz. “This partnership reinforces not only our commitment but also creates a world of new collaborative opportunities for our artists and songwriters.”

Never miss industry news

Get the latest music industry news, insights, and updates straight to your inbox. Learn more

President and Chief Revenue Officer of Kobalt Music, Laurent Hubert, added, “The Chinese market is the next great land of opportunity for the music market as hundreds of millions of fans, especially the younger generations, will pay for an engaging music streaming experience.

“NetEase is a natural fit for our catalog as they have millions of young members who embrace music from across the globe. Additionally, NetEase believes in doing what’s best not only for their customers but doing right by creators as well — the latter being something we base our ideals on as well.”

NetEase Cloud Music CEO, Zhu Yiwen noted, “We are honoured to be the strategic partner of the world’s leading music group, Kobalt Music in mainland China – it is also an endorsement of our pan-entertainment industry effort that will benefit music fans and artists. We will aim to use our deep industry knowledge and huge user base to expand Kobalt Music’s reach in the market.”