The music industry’s biggest music company, RIAA, is expanding its streaming services, and its newest addition, Apple Music, is launching in a major new market: China.
The Wall Street Journal reports that RIAa will launch in China on January 17 and its first-week sales are expected to reach $1 billion.
RIAas music streaming service is named Spotify, and the company said it has plans to launch in more than 30 countries by the end of the year.
RIAa said it’s also expanding its music service in China.
In the first half of 2017, it said it sold 1.3 million music tracks, up from 500,000 in the same period last year.
Spotify is still the dominant music player in China, accounting for more than a quarter of all music purchases.
It also offers streaming-music-to-device-rental and streaming-playlists services.
With a new Chinese music streaming platform and an expanded music service, Riaa is positioning itself as a player that can tap into a new and emerging audience, as well as compete with the likes of Pandora, which it acquired for $3 billion in 2012.
“It’s been quite an interesting ride for RIAaa and for the music industry in general, as it expands into more and more countries,” Chris Wysopal, RCA’s head of global music and media, told the Journal.
Apple Music has been under fire from artists, who have complained about its lack of access to their catalogs and a lack of transparency.
It’s a move that comes as the music streaming market in China is expanding at a much faster pace than the U.S., where the industry has been struggling for years to get off the ground.
As a result, the music service’s launch in Asia is also a significant milestone for the company, which has struggled to attract consumers in the region.