Apple Music China

Apple Music is now looking for a top lieutenant to head its Chinese platform.

Who says Tencent and Netease get to have all the fun in China?  Now, Apple is looking for someone to lead Apple Music in China.

On Apple’s job board, an interesting want ad has recently appeared: ‘Head of Apple Music, Greater China’.  The Shanghai-based executive is expected to have ample experience ‘scaling complex businesses,’ with Mandarin and English fluency both musts.

But Apple is aiming for a bullish expansion, especially given recent surges in streaming uptake across the region.  “We are not looking for an ordinary manager,” the post states.  “We are looking for someone who is a great leader, passionate about music and experienced at scaling complex businesses.”

The job listing also demands a resume with “extensive work experience in the music industry, both internationally and locally,” and “an innate start-up mentality”.

And one more thing: the new Apple Music chief will “live and breathe technology,” and “excel at working in a fast-paced environment within a global organization.”  That sounds like translation for working insanely long, high-stress hours, though heading Apple Music China does sound like a juicy gig (with hopefully a juicy salary to go with it).

Once a piracy backwater, China has emerged as a far more serious region over the past few years.

And part of that transformation has been driven by Tencent Music, which owns streaming music properties QQ Music, Kuguo, and Kuwo.  The company also owns We Sing, a popular karaoke app.

In total, Tencent Music claims more than 800 million monthly active users, with as many as 21 million paying subscribers.  Not to be undone, Netease Cloud Music says it has 600 million users, with 200 million arriving over the past year alone.

All of which sounds a bit inflated, until the broader Chinese population of 1.39 billion is considered.  These are numbers that are simply difficult to conceptualize from a Western framework.

But not too hard for Apple Music and others to wrap their heads around.  At present, Apple Music has not disclosed its Chinese subscriber numbers, though Apple CEO Tim Cook did claim a leadership position over Spotify in Japan.  Cook also claimed that the service has more subscribers than Spotify in the United States and Canada, leaving China as a major battleground.

Apple Music first launched in China in September of 2015, with a price tag of 10 yuan, or approximately $1.44 a month.