hype train t-pop

After K-Pop’s global success in recent years, will other regional scenes in Asia follow suit? In the list of contenders alongside C-Pop (China), J-Pop (Japan), Pinoy or P-Pop (the Philippines) and Dangdut (Indonesia) we can also count T-Pop from Thailand. Universal Music Group certainly is: it’s just expanded one of its partnerships in Thailand with the stated aim of introducing T-Pop to a global audience.

The deal is with Thai label Hype Train Group, which was already using Universal Music Thailand for distribution. Label CEO Krerg ‘Nino’ Chankwang will remain in charge of signings and creative output, with UMG in a supporting role including global marketing and development for Hype Train’s artists. Those include Seedaa The Villain and Sprite, who have already been making waves beyond Thailand on YouTube, TikTok and streaming services.

Thailand is interesting: ranked as the 25th biggest recorded music market in the world in 2021 by the IFPI – up from 29th in 2020 – with 89.6% of its $93.2m revenues last year coming from streaming. Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube compete with local service Joox, although Thailand has also seen new DSP entrants too. Entertainment conglomerate GMM Grammy launched its Plern music-streaming app in November 2021, working with B2B firm Tuned Digital.

When Music Ally wrote our last country profile on Thailand in early 2020, there were around 3.5 million people using streaming services there, 700,000 of whom were paying. What was striking at the time was the popularity of domestic music, with Joox reporting that 89% of Thai users listened to Thai music over international music. That’s been the base for the emergence of the stars who UMG (and quite possibly its rivals too) will hope to break globally now.

Analytics firm Chartmetric has also written in the past about Thai capital Bangkok’s status as a ‘trigger city’ where the intensity and scale of listening can vault tracks and artists into the global rankings (and algorithmic recommendations) of the biggest streaming services. It also noted that Bangkok was “the second most YouTube-hungry city in the world” during the week of its analysis, behind only Mexico City.

All of this augurs well for the prospects of Hype Train’s roster, now it’s backed by UMG’s global marketing muscle. But the proof will be on the playlists and charts of the big, global streaming services in the coming weeks and months.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you build the strategies for artists to thrive in new international markets!

Music Ally's Head of Insight

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *