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Collabs, socials and more: international marketing for Chinese artists

The inaugural Music Ally China Digital Summit is taking place this week, and a panel session today focused on international marketing, with a particular focus on Chinese artists.

“Outside of China, the main Chinese music markets are Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao,” said Keith Tan, director, market development, APAC at CD Baby.

“But I think that the digital side of things has allowed Chinese music artists specifically to also play in a lot of the big cities like London, Sydney, San Francisco, Vancouver, this kind of thing. If you backtrack it to maybe even 10 to 15 years ago, I don’t think Chinese artists – or not that many – were touring to those markets.”

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Music opportunities in China: ‘Artists really need to move fast…’

In China, the music industry works differently. Music fans quickly – and in the tens of millions – adopt new technologies, new methods of supporting artists or ways of consuming music. The audience seeks a different experience from artists, who are often hybrid stars – equally at home as actors, TV personalities or models. What happens in China is a useful indicator of what may soon happen around the globe.

It’s also a tricky market to fully understand without some context. So, last Friday we invited the experts from Kanjian, the Chinese music services company – and partner for Music Ally China – to join us on Music Ally TV Show to help us understand the business and cultural differences.

Kanjian’s VP of international business, Tinko Georgiev, international marketing manager Jane Polubotko and international business Specialist Yutong Situ explained how in China, artist branding must hit different touch-points, and how building a long-term, diversified approach across multiple businesses is essential for success. They also explained what artists looking to break into China must do to properly engage with the market.

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What can we learn from Covid-19’s impact on China’s music industry?

The Chinese music industry saw 16% growth in its recorded music revenues in 2019 according to the IFPI, but it was also the first country to be affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Does that make it a canary in the coalmine for the global music industry, in terms of learning lessons from the coronavirus impact, but also the industry’s reaction?

Perhaps so. Music Ally has spoken to a number of Chinese market experts to understand what happened, how the industry responded, and what the lessons might be for the music business elsewhere in the world.