QQ Music

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QQ Music
QQ Music Logo.png
Developer(s) Tencent
Stable release
* Windows PC - 11.44 January 6, 2015; 3 years ago (2015-01-06)
  • Mac - 2.2 December 20, 2014; 3 years ago (2014-12-20)
  • iPhone - 5.2 May 8, 2015; 3 years ago (2015-05-08)
  • Android - 4.9 January 6, 2015; 3 years ago (2015-01-06)
  • Windows 8 - 1.0.3 March 4, 2013; 5 years ago (2013-03-04)
  • Windows Phone - 2.2.1 July 3, 2014; 4 years ago (2014-07-03)
  • iPad - 4.3 February 11, 2015; 3 years ago (2015-02-11)
Operating system Microsoft Windows XP and above, Google Android, Apple MacOS, Apple iOS
Size 13.9 MB (for Windows), 24.08MB (for Android), 32.8MB (for MacOS)
Available in Chinese Simplified
Type Music streaming
License Proprietary software
Website y.qq.com

QQ Music (Chinese: QQ音乐) is one of the three Chinese freemium music streaming service owned by Tencent and is under their QQ brand. As of 2018, the service is set to reach over 700 million users with an estimated 120 million subscribers.[1]

The service in 2016 merged with China Music Corporation, owners of the second and the third largest streaming services known as KuGou and Kuwo respectively. With this merger, QQ Music currently has a 15% share of the Chinese online music market.[2]

Outside of streaming, the service leverages its brand to the public through the annual QQ Music Awards.

In 2017, Swedish music streaming company Spotify bought 9% stake of the company as part of a share swap[3] and in late 2018, Tencent is planning for the company along with several other music services that the conglomerate provides for its IPO[4].

Business service[edit]

QQ Music operates under a freemium business model in which basic services are free whilst enhanced features are available on a subscription. However unlike similar subscription service Spotify, labels have the ability to restrict its content to be restricted to subscribing users (known as VIPs or green diamonds) or be purchasable on their website which usually costs around 19 to 20 yuan, artists using this strategy include Noah Cyrus, Ariana Grande[5] and Taylor Swift[6] in which certain albums are restricted to be purchased only.

QQ Music generally encourages users to purchase their VIP subscription service.

Accounts and subscriptions[edit]

As of May 2018, QQ Music offers three subscription types.[7]

Type Mobile and desktop listening Sound quality Listen offline Overseas listening Purchasable music Customisation and themes (mobile feature)
QQ Music Free Some songs. 128kbps streaming. Some songs No No No
QQ Music VIP All songs (excludes purchased music) Up to SQ lossless streaming. Up to 300 downloadable songs per month. Yes Yes Yes
QQ Music Luxury All songs (excludes purchased music) Up to SQ lossless streaming. Up to 500 downloadable songs per month. Yes Yes Yes

Listening limitations[edit]

QQ Music only operates in China however for an uncertain amount of time, the free service was freely available to used worldwide and international users took it upon themselves to use the service in order to circumvent paid services such as Apple Music or Spotify. In 2016, to strengthen copyright restrictions, QQ Music took it upon themselves to block international users and users overseas will generally receive an error when trying to play music such as this one: '抱歉,应版权方要求,暂无法在当前国家或地区提供此歌曲服务' ('Sorry, this song is not available in the current country or region at the request of the copyright owner'). In 2017, Alibaba Music and Tencent Music had a deal to collaborate on music copyright allowing Alibaba Music service Xiami and QQ Music to share exclusive copyright deals.[8] However, Alibaba Music has exclusive rights to certain S.M. Entertainment Korean releases (such as Luna, EXO, EXO-CBX, Girls' Generation) meaning that QQ Music and other competing service's users will not be able to stream these songs.[9]

Downloads[edit]

Downloads on QQ Music are limited to some songs for free users. Labels can control whether free users can download their songs on the free plan or restrict downloading to the VIP plan. Downloads on the free plan are DRM-protected on both desktop and mobile whilst VIP downloads are free from DRM on desktops but are still protected over mobile platforms.[7] When purchasing an album, a user is automatically entitled to the album and thus even if a VIP subscription ends, the user is still able to listen to the songs they purchased free of charge.

Technical information[edit]

QQ Music is proprietary and generally uses Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection.

Streams and downloads are in two formats, the MP3 media file system is used for standard quality streams and downloads at 128 kbit/s and 320 kbit/s for High Quality (abbreviated as HQ in China). The FLAC media file system is used for SQ streams and downloads. HQ and SQ streams and downloads are only available for the VIP and Luxury plans. SQ streams is not available on the QQMusic web player.

QQ Music also connects to the Music app on iOS systems and allows for users to combine their Local Files library with their QQ Music library through the download section of the app. Such feature also works on the desktop application where the QQ Music application will scan for local music files and allow users to play it via the application.

See also[edit]

  • JOOX (Tencent's foreign music streaming service)

References[edit]

External links[edit]