Tencent Music Entertainment Group releases year-end report for China’s digital music industry in 2021


The report is made up of three sections that offer a comprehensive overview of the music industry from different angles. The first section describes a new assessment methodology that uses five parameters to analyze the music industry: industry productivity; new content consumption; major artists and song variability; diversity of ecosystems; and content crossover capability. The second section discusses four industry trends in 2021, while the third section provides a review of the top songs and artists of the year.

A vital industry with burgeoning scale and growing variability

Productivity, which is a fundamental evaluation index, reflects the dynamism of the industry. In 2021, China musical productivity set a new record in terms of scale and speed. According to the report, the number of new songs in 2021 reached over 1.14 million, representing a 53.1% year-on-year growth. In addition, the newly launched music attracted more users’ attention, with listening growth of 9.3% and an increase in listening share to 24.3%. The number of new musicians increased by 41.2%, indicating a trend in which independent musicians are increasingly able to create and distribute their own original musical works. Over 100 musicians have achieved at least 500 million annual streams, reflecting the growing variability in the industry, which has provided vast opportunities for more musicians and contributed to the long-term vitality of the industry’s development.

Additionally, genre diversity has increased significantly in 2021. Across rap, R&B, electronic, rock, and folk music, the number of songs that received over 1 million streams increased by 4.5%, with significant growth in rap and electronic genres. Traditional Chinese cultural music and global pop music also saw a notable increase in popularity, with the former’s listening volume up 26.2% compared to 2020.

The crossover with other forms of content has also led to improvements in the vitality of the music industry. Besides movies and comics, the musical crossover has penetrated business marketing, recording 206 commercial songs with brand cooperation deals by TME in 2021, with an average annual listening volume of more than 6.82 million.

Improve music quality and provide superior user experience

The report provided observations and analysis of widely discussed topics in the industry and shed light on future prospects, serving as an insightful reference for music professionals. The report points out that the development of the Internet has reduced the requirements to enter the industry, as musicians have more opportunities to create and distribute music. With this shift, music platforms need to integrate resources and data to support music creation and musician culture. From July 2021the number of musicians who had earned an average monthly income of more than 10,000 RMB on the Tencent Musician Platform grew eight times over the same period in 2020.

Faced with unprecedented growth in music creation, the industry has started thinking about how to create a high-quality music ecosystem. The report says music labels should focus more on quantity than quality in music creation, while music platforms should introduce advanced technologies for content distribution and user recommendation. Through such efforts to seek strategies that benefit the ecosystem, the industry will achieve healthy and sustainable development.

With this attitude of embracing sharper concepts, the music industry has also leveraged the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in 2021. TME has pioneered NFT initiatives by introducing NFT vinyl records, figurines 3D digital collectables and more, providing new ways for musicians and fans to interact.

TME is dedicated to providing cutting-edge information and advice to China The music industry. By driving innovation in products and services, TME will continue to empower musicians, enrich the user experience and fulfill its social responsibilities. TME is committed to using technology to elevate the role of music in people’s lives, to promote the healthy development of China the music industry and optimize the music ecosystem.

On Tencent Musical Entertainment Group

Tencent Music Entertainment Group (NYSE: TME) is the leading online music and audio entertainment platform in China, leveraging the country’s highly popular and innovative music apps: QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing. TME’s mission is to use technology to elevate the role of music in people’s lives by enabling them to create, enjoy, share and interact with music. TME’s platform includes online music, online audio, online karaoke, music-focused live streaming and online concert services, allowing music fans to discover, listen, sing, watch, play and socialize around music. For more information, visit ir.tencentmusic.com.

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