NetEase Cloud Music Trouble Game

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The day when we first met, the song that accompanied us the longest, NetEase Cloud Music’s 2022 listening song report is here as scheduled. The “villagers” posted their playlists on social platforms as in previous years, but some changes are quietly happening.

  The most criticized thing is that there are more advertisements. From the opening page to the attention page to the comment area, some users complained that advertisements are “like dog skin plasters” everywhere, and “it can’t fit in a full screen.” Recently, Netease Cloud Music also launched the function of watching advertisements and listening to songs for free for some non-member users, which triggered discussions on user polarization.

  NetEase Cloud Music has “really changed”, and many users feel so emotional.

  It is not Netease Cloud’s first practice that non-member users obtain the rights to listen to songs by watching advertisements. As early as the end of 2021, QQ Music has already tested this model first. The management stated in the earnings conference call that this function contributed 10% of the advertising revenue.

  One year later, if you learn from NetEase Cloud Music, what will you get?

Listen to songs for free, “Cyber ​​Work”

  There is an episode of the British drama “Black Mirror” known for its big brain holes called “The Value of Fifteen Million”, which tells the story of a world full of technology. , and then consume mileage points in exchange for living resources and services.

  You can listen to songs for free by watching advertisements on music platforms, which seems to have the same purpose.

  In the new version of NetEase Cloud Music’s iOS terminal, there is an extra word “free” on the homepage. Invited users open the app, click the “free” button on the right side of the search bar, and they will automatically enter the advertisement page. After watching a 5-30 second video advertisement, you can listen to 30 minutes of VIP songs for free.

  Snow Leopard Finance and Economics found that NetEase Cloud Music can currently watch up to 6 advertisements and get 3 hours of free listening time.

  In the free listening mode interface, users can see their remaining listening time, and they can also click “Continue Duration” to continue watching advertisements to accumulate time. At the bottom of the page, there is also a list of VIP playlists and VIP singles to make users feel “excellent value for money”. According to the rules issued by the platform, digital albums, paid singles, paid audiobooks and other content are not allowed to participate in this activity.

  In contrast, QQ Music seems to have no exchange limit. According to the experience of Snow Leopard Finance and Economics, QQ Music can continue to stock up after redeeming 10 hours of free time.

  However, both of them get natural time instead of listening time. That is to say, if you pause during listening to the song, the free time will continue to pass.

  On social platforms, users’ evaluation of this function is polarized.

  Wool party people have fun. Someone said excitedly on Weibo, “I only watched 4 commercials, and I listened to songs for free for two hours. That’s great!”

  Before NetEase Cloud Music launched this function, some users said, “I hope NetEase Cloud Music can also watch advertisements and listen to songs for free.” Another person said that the reason why he switched from Netease Cloud to QQ Music was because “it has the function of watching advertisements and listening to VIPs for 30 minutes for free.”

  Some users also expressed dissatisfaction. Some people commented on the relevant news, “Why did it become a Pinduoduo model”, and some people thought that “over-commercialization” would bring a bad experience to users. “Have you ever thought about why users want to use NetEase Cloud in the first place? This will really lose many old users!”

  This model, which is exclusively for free users, points to one purpose: to tap the “residual value” of users, and indirectly realize the user’s time and attention through advertisements. For users, selling time in exchange for rights and interests seems to be no different from the cyber-beating workers in “Black Mirror”.

  In “Black Mirror”, participating in the draft and becoming famous can bid farewell to the life of cycling. The multiple-choice questions NetEase Cloud Music leaves to users are equally simple—want to listen to VIP songs, recharge as a member or watch advertisements.

Realization Anxiety

  Behind the model of watching advertisements and listening to songs for free is Netease Cloud Music’s deep realization anxiety.

  The 2022 Q3 financial report shows that the year-on-year growth rate of Netease Cloud Music’s revenue continued to slow down, from 34% in the first half of the year to 23%, far lower than the 102%, 111% and 43% in the previous three years, coupled with high copyright costs , In the past four years, NetEase Cloud Music’s annual loss has exceeded 2 billion yuan.

  How to make a profit has become the top priority of NetEase Cloud Music. In order to accelerate the realization of cash, Netease Cloud Music has carried out various commercialization explorations in 2022.

  In addition to cooperating with NetEase Games many times to expand brand exposure, NetEase Cloud Music is also constantly exploring the possibility of monetization through equity classification.

  In October 2022, Netease Cloud Music will launch Vinyl SVIP. On the basis of the original Vinyl VIP, it will add audiobook membership library, free listening to paid albums, Dolby Atmos and other rights and interests. The price is 40 yuan a month. Continuous monthly subscription is 28 yuan. Users who previously purchased vinyl VIP can also directly upgrade to SVIP, but they need to pay an extra 18 yuan per month.

  On December 26, 2022, Ideal Auto issued a statement announcing that starting from December 31, members of NetEase Cloud Music’s in-vehicle version of the music library need to activate in-vehicle VIP or vinyl SVIP, which is equivalent to transferring the rights and interests that originally belonged to ordinary VIPs to Got SVIP. In order to calm the emotions of users, Li Auto will convert the owner’s remaining vinyl VIP into a car VIP of the same duration.

Daniel J. Brown

Daniel J. Brown (Editor-in-Chief) is a recently retired data analyst who gets a kick out of reading and writing the news. He enjoys good music, great food, and sports, with a slant towards Southern college football, basketball and professional baseball.

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