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Lizhi FM off shelf on Apple Store—-Loom Wars in China’s audio market A variety of mobile radios were directly off the shelf on APP Apple today, among which most attention was paid to Duoting FM and Lizhi FM.

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(Writer: Lucy, English Editor:Ellie)Recently, a strange thing happened, when you type “lychee FM” into the search bar in the Apple APP Store, you’ll only find “Himalaya FM” ; when you search “lizhi FM”, the result is still “Himalaya”. However, it has been restored to normal as to “Duoting FM”.

A variety of mobile radios were directly off the shelf on APP Apple today, among which most attention was paid to Duoting FM and Lizhi FM. The reason why Duoting FM was removed off shelf was that Yang Yue, the founder of NewRadio podcast platform, reported infringement to App Store. As for Lizhi FM, it was because of Himalayan FM’s infringement complaint. Coincidentally, today also marked the opening of “Himalaya 2015 Conference” organized by the Himalayan FM, on which the company informed the public of its large number of authorized genuine exclusive copyrights. At
the meeting, IFLYTEK also announced a strategic partnership with the Himalayan FM.

It is reported by 36 Ke that Lizhi FM’s founder, Marco, said “We have definitive evidence that Himalayan FM also violated the exclusive copyright of Lizhi FM. However, even with strong evidence, the Himalayan FM has not been subjected to any punishment. Actually, on the day of its conference, several competitors were simultaneously off the shelves. This is what we are very confused at. “In addition, Marco also mentioned to 36 Ke that Himalayan FM had a lot of malignant optimization in the Apple store. And even if you search for major banks App, the second to come out is still Himalayan FM.

At 3:40 pm, the founder of Duoting FM, Zhao Siming said: “Duoting FM is now back to normal, thank you for your concern. Lizhi FM and we feel shame about this nasty practice, and the next step is that they will sue Himalaya of its unfair competition.”Previously, the Himalayan engaged conference tickets up to 2888 yuan, thus Duoting FM wrote in its official Wechat: ” Despite the fact that Himalayas had gained a $ 35 million financing, signed over one thousand exclusive anchors and the boss also preached everywhere that ‘tens of millions of revenue from we media would emerge’, there is no evidence of any profitable anchor on their platform.

According to an industry research report from Talking Data, requesting, recommending and live have become mainstream product forms. With the assistance of explosive growth of users, Qingting FM and Himalayan FM had become the industry leader; the frequency growth of mobile radio users is good of which Qingting FM is the most frequently used while Lizhi FM ranks the first of growth rate.

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It is said that Qingting FM had completed the A, B, and C Round of financing with 150 million users at present. In 2014, its revenue reached to 50 million yuan and the company is considering going public in two or three years. In A round, 2013, Qingting FM won $ 2,000,000 financing form Innovation Works owned by Kai-fu Lee, however, there was no further detail of the latter two rounds of capital raising.

In early 2015, the number of FM users on Himalayan FM exceeded 120 million with more than 7 m sound bar on the platform, nearly 4000 we media as well as thousands of brands settled. The odd thing was that in some of the media, the number of users is 150 million on Himalayas, known as the largest audio sharing platform in China. Who has the larger number of users, Qingting or Himalaya? Are they playing up with the data? Temporarily, it is unable to prove.

Statistics show that in May 2014, “Himalaya” confirmed the completion of $ 11.5 million in A round financing, leading by Susquehanna International Group (SIG) lead investor together with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Sierra Ventures to become the largest Internet audio industry financing case in China’s history. Himalayan was foundedin August 2012, located in the UGC model. With the slogan “re-inventing the radio”, its mobile client “Himalaya APP” formally launched in 2013 and there were excessively 50 million active users early in May, 2014.

Since 2014, Qingting FM, AnyRadio, Himalayan FM, Duoting FM, Lizhi FM and other audio companies have completed B and C Round of financing that were worth of ten million US dollars.

Earlier this year, Lizhi FM had completed its C Round of financing, with 2000 million RMB worth of investment from Mi Technology, Shunwei Capital, Matrix Partners, Morningside Group and other capital. Lizhi FM was established in Guangzhou in 2013; in November, 2014, it also obtained its B round financing of $ 10 million investment from Morningside Ventures and Matrix Partners China. Lizhi did not disclose the number of users, the founder Lai Yilong told the media that the current number of users might be a bit “embarrassing” to be published as compared with its counterparts,
Lai Yilong believed that Lizhi FM’s strengths was the superior quality of its uesrs.

November 2014, mobile audio apps, “Duoting FM” finished its $ 10 million B round in financing, leading by Ivy Capital! In the meantime, its C round financing had also been launched. Earlier, in August 2013 more than ten million yuan was obtained from Cowin and attracted Qihoo 360 as angel investor. Duoting Technology was established in June 2012 and launched on APP STORE in March 2013; in December 2013, there were more than 10 million mobile users.

In September 2014, Anyradio, a free Internet radio of Anyradio Internet Media Technology (Beijing), gained 20 million RMB in the A round of financing, supported by investors as Hgcapital and
Cashcapital.

According to the 21st Century Business Herald, the current domestic online audio companies can be divided into three basic tiers. The first is headed by Qingting FM and Himalayan FM; in the second tier is consisted of Lizhi FM and Kaola FM kaolafm, though the gap between them is about 5 to 10 times; the rest of the audio companies were classified as the third tier, judged by the number of users and their activity.

It seems that the audio market has rapidly running directly towards the “Copyright wars”. Is there any unfair competition in this copyright dispute? Will Lizhi go back on the shelf? We will continue to follow further details. One thing that is sure is that the competition between audio market and mobile audio users will be fiercer, so who will really win in the melee?

 

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