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I will only be talking about China, partly because I know the Chinese music industry better and partly because government action there can make things happen. If we want the China market to generate income for the West, we have to start by helping the Chinese industry become successful domestically and in their near East.

Now we come to Taiwan, which at the moment is getting on with China remarkably well, and a very high proportion of successful Chinese recorded music is either made by Taiwanese creators, or else by mainland Chinese performers recording in Taiwan.

It is likely too that the Chinese will look at how Taiwan does it and try and follow successful leads.

So we should nurture Taiwan by providing content to them, particularly for the digital market, accepting pretty low fees and rates, because they have quite a serious piracy history. But the Taiwanese are trying to develop ways of generating revenue from the use of content in the digital environment.

The success of their electronic goods manufacturing is making them increasingly aware of the importance of  IP, and they have  a strict anti piracy policy, and technologies that contrive to increase ARPU for the use of music by working with Chinese consumer behaviour. By providing content we can really see how effective their policies and unique technologies really are

Although the bulk of the local content will be in local languages there is clearly a strong interests and  influences in Western Rock, Pop and Rap etc and it is probably worth licensing content for Taiwan to show how the revenue models develop, and how that in turn further stimulates the vibrant local market. This in turn is likely to improve the quality of local content, and with relations with Western companies could lead to fruitful mutual relations.

I feel sure that once the mainland sees what is happening in Taiwan there will be a heightened enthusiasm to develop the local market. Furthermore, being dependent on Taiwan for content is embarrassing for the mainland industry, given the relative size of the two territories. If they can see that opening up and working with Western music improves markets for local talent as well as for foreign talent in Taiwan then maybe it will be the same on the mainland.

It is in our interest then, I would suggest, to be supportive of requests for content from Taiwan , even if the size of that market makes it not very attractive in its own right. But success in Taiwan could well lead to success in the mainland, both for the local industry and for imported music. Although there may not be much revenue from the exploitation of recorded music at the moment it is likely to grow. Consequently the live market is likely to grow a lot, from a strong base, and the Taiwanese business can be very helpful in guiding the way into the future for the mainland market.

So maybe it is worth taking a bit more notice of Taiwan , and being a bit more skeptical about the mainland in the short term. Food for thought !


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About Author

James Martin

James Martin is Head of Social Media for Midem organisers Reed MIDEM. This includes defining and rolling out Midem's social media strategy, editing midemblog, influencer outreach, developing Midem's fanbase of 75,000+ music professionals and more.

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