Alibaba Music, Alibaba Group’s music division, has upgraded its music streaming business with the debut of an online platform where fans can connect with stars, merchants and others in the entertainment industry.
Through the just-launched Alibaba Planet platform, music fans can use their smartphones to follow their favorite stars, participate in fan activities, purchase related merchandise and watch live shows of cyber celebrities and popular singers, in addition to listening to streaming songs, Alibaba Music said. The platform is built on TTpod (Tiantiandongting), a music streaming app acquired by Alibaba Group in 2013.
Alibaba Planet is more than a fan portal, according to the company. The platform is also open to composers, music producers, merchants, and other companies related to the music business that are looking for business opportunities. For instance, singers will be able to find songwriters and merchants will be able to seek out celebrity endorsements. Stars currently on Alibaba Planet include Chinese actor and singer Li Yifeng, Chinese Malaysian singer Cao Ge, and Korean pop band EXO, who have set up their own zones in the app to engage and interact with their followers.
Alibaba Music was established last year as part of the e-commerce company’s expansion into digital entertainment. Besides integrating the TTpod and Xiami streaming apps, Alibaba recruited several music-industry veterans to run the division, including well-known songwriter, film director, and talk show host Gao Xiaosong to serve as chairman, influential music industry executive Song Ke as CEO and popular Hunan TV host He Jiong as Chief Content Officer.
The division has rights agreements with numerous Chinese and Western music labels such as Universal Music Group, BMGand S.M. Entertainment and Rock Records, and owns millions of copyrights to supports its subscription streaming service and album downloads.
The launch of Alibaba Planet is part of Alibaba Music’s bid “to become the world’s largest Internet-based music company, and to build up the commerce landscape for the global music and entertainment industry,” Song said in a statement. “Alibaba Planet amplifies interaction among stars, users and merchants, creating more business opportunities and delivering more entertainment offerings,” he said.
Alibaba Music said it plans to launch an English version of Alibaba Planet aimed at global entertainment companies, artists and users in the second half of the year.