Number of digital music users in China 2013-2023

In 2019, the world’s most populous country was home to 750 million digital music users. Mobile streaming is one of the backbones of this massive music market. As of March 2020, over 632 million netizens in China had used mobile devices to access online music services.

The value of music intellectual property

Although the music userbase is huge, not everyone is paying for the creativity. When it comes to copyright protections, more regulations are needed in the Chinese internet. In 2015, the National Copyright Administration began to tighten the control of unauthorized music on streaming platforms. However, many Chinese consumers are accustomed to free online content. The number of paying music members amounted to less than 40 million in 2018 – a penetration rate of about five percent.

The outlook of music payment

The awareness of copyright and intellectual property protection was slowly rising in the recent years. A survey on Chinese music consumer behavior found out that respondents were willing to spend nearly double every month on music services in 2019, compared to three years earlier. This represents an opportunity for the digital music industry to further limit access through premium subscriptions that prevent copyright infringement. Industry analysts expected that the revenue of paid music membership would increase gradually, contributing about 33 billion yuan to the market by 2023.

Number of digital music users in China from 2013 to 2019 with estimates until 2023

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

2013 to 2019

Supplementary notes


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