NetEase Music: A Guide to ‘Chinese Spotify’


In this post, we look at NetEase Music – the most popular music app in China, and very similar to Spotify.

The name of the app in Chinese is 网易云音乐.


NetEase Music: The Name

First, let’s look at the Chinese name. It will give us a hint about the app:

网 wǎng – net (from 网络 wǎngluò, the Internet)
易 yì – easy (from 容易 róngyì, easy)
云 yún – cloud
音乐 yīnyuè – music

So neteasy cloud 音乐 music ➡ NetEase Music (:


NetEase Music: Facts

Now, here are some facts about the app:

✔ the company was founded in 2013;

✔ the app has over 300,000,000 users;

✔ it offers over 10,000,000 songs;

✔ it gives personal recommendations to each user;

✔ it allows to create and share playlists;

✔ it also has a ‘personal radio’ channel;

✔ it allows users to leave comments to songs;

✔ it allows to search for songs (similar to Shazam);

✔ it provides lyrics;

✔ it’s almost entirely free;

✔ it’s available on many platforms including iOS, Android and Windows.

One disatvantage of this app is – it doesn’t have an English version. So this guide might come in handy for Chinese learners, especially at the very beginning of their learning journey. Let’s learn to use it now!


Step 1: Download NetEase Music

That’s what the icon looks like on Apple Store:

An icon of NetEase Music App | NetEase Music: a Guide to Chinese Spotify

When you open it, you’ll see the main page. Don’t let the characters scare you away! It’s quite easy to use:

🎵个性推荐 gèxìng tuījiàn – Personal recommendations

🎵主播电台 zhǔbō diàntái – Radio

🎵 私人FM sīrén FM – Personal Radio

🎵 每日推荐 měirì tuījiàn – Daily Recommendations

🎵 排行榜 páihángbǎng – Top Charts

🎵歌单 gēdān – Playlists

🎵 推荐歌单 tuījiàn gēdān – Playlist Recommendations

🎵最新音乐 zuìxīn yīnyuè – Latest Releases

🎵 发现 fāxiàn – Discover

🎵 视频 shìpín – Videos

🎵 我的 wǒde – My

🎵 朋友 péngyou – Friends

🎵账号 zhànghào  – Account

The main page of NetEase Music App | NetEase Music: a Guide to Chinese Spotify


Step 2: Search a Song/Band Name

For example, let’s search for Imagine Dragons. Once you type it in search, you will see categories:

综合 zōnghé – all categories from the right side are on the one page

What does it include?

🎧 单曲 dānqǔ – Songs

🎧 视频 shìpín – Videos

 🎧 歌手 gēshǒu – Singers

🎧 专辑 zhuānjí – Albums

🎧 歌单 gēdān – Playlists

🎧主播电台 zhǔbō diàntái – Radio

🎧 用户 yònghù – Users

The search of NetEase Music App | NetEase Music: a Guide to Chinese Spotify


Step 3: Choose a Category

For example, click on 歌单 gēdān (Playlist), and you’ll see different playlists with this band’s songs.

Once you play a song, you’ll see the lyrics appear on the screen:

Songs in NetEase Music App | NetEase Music: a Guide to Chinese Spotify

Step 4: Learn Chinese

Apart from making your own playlists, sharing them with friends, and finding similar songs, you also can read comments (评论 🔊 pínglùn). This can really help improve your Chinese – and pick up many slang words (as well as from our Instagram).


Step 5: Listen to Podcasts

Another way to grow your vocabulary is to listen to podcasts in this app. There are plenty of topics – from learning foreign languages to psychology. Most podcasts come with subtitles , so you can listen to them in Chinese and read the captions. It’s useful if you are going to take HSK, because doing this simple exercise will help your listening skills improve quickly.

Podcasts in NetEase Music App | NetEase Music: a Guide to Chinese Spotify

That’s all for today!

Good luck exploring the app – and don’t forget to let us know what you think about it on twitter (@thatsmandarin) 😉

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