Apple launches music service in China

Beijing :Apple has launched its music service in China, tapping into a fiercely competitive market believed to be one of the largest in the world.

Chinese customers, 70 per cent of whom use android phones can also access iTunes Movies and iBooks.

Apple products mainly the iPhones fetched about USD 17 billion revenue in the first quarter in China making it the second biggest market for the company after the US.

Apple Music was introduced in over 100 countries and regions following an announcement at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.

The first three months for Chinese users will be free, as in other markets.

The monthly subscription fee is 10 yuan (about USD 1.5) and the family plan provides the service for 15 yuan for up to six members with individual accounts.

The prices are less than one-sixth of those for the US market.

“We think the price of 10 RMB is hard to beat for all the music and all the sensational products like radio, movies and books,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a tele-briefing yesterday.

He said Apple wants to be very competitive in the Chinese market, where most songs and movies are available online for free.

He said Apple’s service is unique for its cloud music library and ability to sync and save a user’s spot in a book or song when switching between devices, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, bought music service Xiaomi, and Netease launched its cloud music service.

In July, China’s top copyright regulator announced stricter rules for music streaming, demanding online streaming services stop providing unlicensed music to users.

“We will absolutely establish and build relationships with the local music community,” Cue said.

On local regulations and supervision, Cue said that Apple always complies with local laws and regulations wherever it operates.

The volume of China’s digital music market was estimated at 12.6 billion yuan for 2015, an increase of 30 per cent year on year, according to a report by Analysys, a leading information product and service provider in China’s Internet sector.

As the country’s mobile music copyright environment improves, music service platforms will supplement existing content to meet the demands of users, said the report.