6 Top Chinese Music Apps You Can Download Today
You love Chinese music—and you know that listening to it often will work miracles for your listening comprehension skills.
But trying to find hidden gems while living outside of China can sometimes feel impossible, and you’re getting tired of listening to nothing but Chopstick Brothers and Teresa Tang.
Well, look no further.
In this post, I’ll introduce you to the six best apps to easily find Chinese music and keep up with Chinese pop culture trends.
- 1. Kugou Music
- 2. QQ Music
- 3. Kuwo Music
- 4. NetEase Cloud Music
- 5. YouTube Music
- 6. Spotify
- How Can Chinese Music Apps Help Me Learn Mandarin?
1. Kugou Music
This Chinese music app is so popular that it has over 450 million active users per month, making it the world’s largest streaming platform.
Created in 2004, Kugou Music lets you stream and download thousands of Chinese songs. It also hosts Ku Music Asian Music Awards—an annual music awards ceremony—alongside Kuwo Music, its sister streaming service.
Kugou’s streaming site lets you download songs and read the lyrics as you listen, making it especially useful for Chinese learners.
2. QQ Music
QQ Music lets you browse and stream thousands of Chinese songs, plus songs from other regions worldwide.
There are sections for mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, European and American, South Korea, Japan and more.
You can also browse songs based on what’s trending and what’s just been released, letting you stay up to date with Asian pop culture. There are live radio stations you can stream as well, plus premade playlists for different genres and artists.
3. Kuwo Music
Kuwo, QQ and Kugou Music are owned by Tencent Music Entertainment Group, so this one is similar to the first two.
Kuwo Music has tons of recommended playlists and artists. There’s also a leaderboard that lets you keep track of which artists and songs are currently trending.
Apart from streaming songs, you can also watch full music videos on Kuwo Music. And of course, there are plenty of categories—including dance, sad, European and American and more.
4. NetEase Cloud Music
NetEase has tons of options for finding new Chinese music, and it also has an iOS version. Their popular music categories include pop, rock, folk, electronic and more.
But unlike other streaming services, NetEase puts more effort into promoting indie artists. This means it’s even easier to find hidden gems that aren’t being overplayed.
They also have features that let you interact with artists who have NetEase profiles. And there’s even a cool live stream called Run FM. Once it knows your heart rate, it chooses the songs that best match your beats per minute (BPM) to help you keep pace.
5. YouTube Music
YouTube Music hosts several Chinese music videos that come with Chinese and English subtitles, plus HD audio and video—making it one of the best resources for Chinese learners.
You can save different videos to your favorites with ease, too.
YouTube Music is free to use with ads but they also offer a premium subscription.
To find Chinese music, try searching for these keywords in either English or Chinese:
- 中国 (zhōng guó) — China
- 中国音乐 (zhōng guó yīn yuè) — Chinese music
- 中国流行音乐 (zhōng guó liú xíng yīn yuè) — Chinese pop music
- 中国嘻哈 (zhōn gguó xī hā) — Chinese hip-hop
- 国语音乐 (guó yǔ yīn yuè) — Mandarin music
- 普通话曲调 (pǔ tōng huà qǔ diào) — Mandarin tunes
I suggest checking out:
Spotify lets you stream tunes from every corner of the world, including Mandarin-speaking countries.
You can easily find user-made playlists and albums in Chinese. Spotify is free to use with brief intermittent ads.
I suggest searching for the keywords I mentioned in the YouTube Music entry to find Chinese music.
I also recommend checking out:
How Can Chinese Music Apps Help Me Learn Mandarin?
- Listening to music is one of the best ways to improve your listening, comprehension and memorization skills. Many bilingual people will tell you that listening to music in a particular language helped them learn. It might seem like a subconscious thing, but actively trying to translate lyrics and singing along helps bridge gaps between unfamiliar words and their translations.
- You can listen to them during downtime to improve your fluency. Actively studying 24/7 is impossible, but throwing some passive practice into your leisure time is a great way to add variety to your language learning routine without doing much work.
- Some of these apps feature music videos with subtitles, which can help you improve your reading skills in Chinese. For example, FluentU has interactive subtitles. This means you can click on words you don’t know in the subtitles while watching Chinese videos to instantly see its definition, pronunciation, example sentences and more. Plus, clicking on words automatically adds them to your personalized SRS flashcard decks.
It’s surprising how many Chinese music apps are out there, isn’t it?
I bet at least a couple of these handy apps will become a staple when commuting to work or school. If you can, don’t be afraid to sing along!