Earlier this year we covered a new music industry gathering called Digital Music NY. Since then, the event – organized by the fine folks at Fortex Group and MusicDish – has gone from strength to strength, increasing its now monthly meeting attendance and creating a version in Los Angeles.
This past Tuesday night was the latest installment of the New York City meeting and we were on hand to bring you a summary of the insights provided by the talented professionals in attendance. To kick off, various businesses and individuals took the ‘One Minute Mic’ to give us their news and announcements:
- Reggie of Music Intelligence Solutions introduced Uplaya, a service site that rates the hit potential of a song within 30 seconds. Aimed at assisting recording industry professionals find the best songs for them more easily and to help artists get noticed, they are looking for mutually beneficial partnerships for the service.
- A service called songbright was announced, which is a subscription-based service paying a fixed cost for plays on their site.
- Amanda from Legend Factory announced their next showcase in August and that they are seeking unsigned artists to work with, as well as other suitable partnerships.
- Carla Lynne Hall, a hard working artist and music industry entrepreneur, asked the question of all attendees: “What do you want to know?” Following on from her recent ‘Engage Your Fans’ webinar on, Carla encouraged people to contact her for assistance on anything from songwriting to online marketing initiatives.
- It was also announced that the next Digital Music NY would be on Tuesday July 27th.
Following the announcements, a Q&A session with global soul musician Tomas Doncker and 88tc88 representative Robert Singerman was held, focusing primarily on topics flowing from the recent Music Matters conference and the artist’s upcoming ‘Small Worlds’ tour in China, including a stop at the Shanghai World Expo.
After a little background on how the tour came to be, the discussion moved to the potential of the Chinese music market and the challenges of getting Western music into it. These summary points cover the main thoughts:
- The Chinese market has 800m mobile users and 380m net users at the current time.
- Chinese music video platform Mogo was discussed as a primary sponsor. They can bring videos from associated Western artists to their large domestic audience.
- Tomas emphasized the critical role his manager Miguel played in making the connections to start moving in China, including the important media representation he created with MusicDish.
- The importance of lyrics to the Chinese audiences was raised. Success in the market is often related to the translation into Mandarin, a service provided by 88tc88. They also then distribute to 10 major retailers.
- Robert noted that “China is 50 years behind the international music industry” but that the market potential is enormous and the government committed to tackling piracy from the beginning and getting a wide variety of music into their country.
- As a contrast to the previous point, it was also noted that there is a great deal of bureaucracy in getting music licensed and into the Chinese market, as well as the predominance of pop music making it harder for rock and indie bands to get the attention they might expect of such a large audience.
- Robert talked about their partnership with SSCEG (Shanghai Synergy Culture Entertainment Group), an organization with 14 TV stations and 23 radio stations serving the Chinese market; a great conduit for artists working with 88tc88 to gain exposure.
- A lack of technical infrastructure and expertise was acknowledged as one challenge facing the country. As a result – and the government’s commitment to music – opportunities for sound engineers and those with tech skills are growing.
- A cautionary note was raised on what percentage of royalties, if any, actually reach the artist after the service providers take their cut. Corruption and bureaucracy was again acknowledged as a challenge for China to tackle.
- Finally it was noted that brand building is a huge focus in China, so sponsorship opportunities with links to the country can work wonders for musicians. Once a foothold is gained, the speakers agreed that establishing a live reputation was the next key step.
- After the speakers set the scene for us so well, Tomas left us with the words: “See you all in China!”
As a starting point for your exploration of the Chinese market, both Music*Dish China and 88tc88 are great resources. Eric de Fontenay is a font of knowledge on the region and clearly has a great passion for its potential. The question they leave artists and music industry professionals with is: Do you have that same passion, interest, and commitment to tackle the market?
As mentioned, the next Digital Music NY is on Tues July 27th. Mark your calendars!