Listening to streaming music in China gives you a social community with other listeners, artists and the service, sorely lacking in Western streaming services. By leaving comments on the songs that you are listening to builds attention to you and the music. Other users or even the artists themselves can reply to your comments creating a community unlike any other social media platform.
When NetEase Cloud Music was established, Ding Lei the chairman and CEO of the company's board of directors positioned it as a platform to listen and share music with others at any time, making this the biggest differences between other music platforms.
“It’s not like sharing on any other social media platform. People are using songs like ‘treeholes.’ Some of them are going through seriously tough times and sharing it with complete strangers helps them feel better,” says Zhang Jingnian, a cultural analyst.
“We encourage everyone to express themselves honestly, but we also object to those seeking to catch eyeballs through fabrication, plagiarism, and verbal abuse, as this causes misunderstanding and harms people who actually have depression,” NetEase Cloud Music wrote.
NetEase Cloud Music aka Cloud Village outperforms Tencent’s 5Sing and Alibaba’s Xiami Music, referring to the Chinese research group FastData. NetEase does not yet have the user base of Tencent, however, they share their personal thoughts and feelings, inspired by the music they listen to, in the comment section.
Netease has stepped up their care by turning a potentially life threatening outcry by some users to a positive situation. Taking the initiative to a growing number of users leaving dark and even suicidal comments with their favorite songs and albums. Having tens of millions of users in China, Netease has invited experts and volunteers to provide 24-hour online service for users in need of psychological comfort.
A college student and Netease user, Lin has expressed her gratitude to everyone who has read her comments and given her encouragement over the years to overcome the obstacles, “I’ve been through some traumatic experiences that I couldn’t talk about with my friends or family, so I preferred writing them down while listening to music. That’s why we love music. It helps us share our emotions,” described in a Chinese publication Sixth Tone.
There is a concern that users have abused the community by leaving false comments just to gain attention. Netease promised to closely monitor the comments not only to help anyone leaving sad comments but to ensure that anyone making up stories just to gain popularity will face consequences. Taking another step forward they have invited content moderators to write positive comments to try and alleviate emotional distress. Users can now send virtual hugs to each other.
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