Synch licensing panel. Outdustry asked question about their experiences in mainland #China. Met with general silence apart from film producer who says film syncs are growing nicely. #musicmatters #singapore #od #t #t http://bit.ly/16ajkAk

6Outdustry Instagram, Staff Blog,

At #musicmatters #singapore. Look forward to some live coverage #od #f #t http://instagram.com/p/Zo2ILHk_DA/

6Outdustry Instagram, Staff Blog,

At #globalmobileinternetconference in #beijing. Lots of #games, lots of #apps, not a lot of #music. #GMIC #f #t #od http://bit.ly/11RGcxS

6Outdustry Instagram, Staff Blog,

Spotify Asia Off To Promising Start

Two days after Spotify announced it’s first launches in Asia - via Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore - and it looks like they are off to a good start, making strong entries in the various iTunes Free App stores:

Hong Kong iTunes, April 18th:

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Singapore iTunes, April 18th:

Malaysia iTunes, April 18th:

It is interesting to note the absence of an “Unlimited” tier, leaving only free and Premium (unlimited access with full cross-device functionality) - a strategy that makes sense in emerging markets where “mobile-first” is that much more important.

Premium prices come in as:

Hong Kong : HK$ 48 ~ $6.18 USD

Malaysia : MYR 14.9 ~ $4.92 USD

Singapore : SG$ 9.9 ~ $8.01 USD

These markets have been carefully picked as “the perfect stepping stones” into Asia according to Spotify’s Asia Head Sriram Krishnan, speaking to The Next Web, highlighting the heathy local indie scenes and advanced social media behaviour, particularly with regards to crucial Spotify social partner Facebook.

Strategically speaking Hong Kong and Singapore are seen as the go-to locations for headquartering international corporations coming in to the region. Combined with their small but relatively well developed music industries, these two territories (plus the also fairly small Malaysia) represent obvious launch markets for Spotify to get a feel of the region. There is no question that Spotify will need to approach Asia differently to elsewhere in the world so this move makes sense as a cautious entry. One that, so far it seems, is being received well.

6Asia, Spotify, Asia Music Industry, Asia Digital Music, Medium,

Intrigue In The Chinese Digital Music Industry : What Exactly Is Happening on July 1st?

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Image credit: Sohu

Something is afoot in the Chinese digital music space. At the end of last year we saw a number of major music services including QQ Music, Baidu Music, Kugou and Duomi - having apparently reached a private agreement - publicly announce [UPDATE 9th June 2013: They did not make a public announcement] start moving towards charging for their music services in the very near future (a Dec 31st 2012 deadline was mentioned but evidently not adhered to).

Fast forward to March 19th and an announcement from famous music composer, producer and TV talent judge, Gao Xiaosong, that July 1st was now the big date for the change and that “various record labels, music websites and the government are all doing the tail-end of the work. The Chinese online music market will step into an era of legal copies.”

The SPs initially took a “this is news to us” (Chinese article) approach, which then developed slowly into some kind of recognition of the situation. The assumption is that, as the new boss of a well funded music label, Gao Xiaosong tried to force the hands of the SPs by announcing early and putting pressure on people to actually deliver. He is also not shy of publicity either, it is worth noting.

Since then, rumours have been flying around the Chinese internet. Long time observers of the Chinese digital music landscape will be a little wary of any silver bullet solutions and supposed “deadlines”, having seen countless such announcements before, but there seems to be more convergence at play this time round. July 1st may not be the world changing event some have suggested, but broadly implemented paid-for music services now seem to be an inevitability in China.

With that in mind, we will be keeping a close eye on this story. As a primer for new-comers to the situation we have translated this recent round-up article from China Economic Weekly (via Sohu) for your reading pleasure:

Read More

6China, China Digital Music, China Music Industry, Medium, Translation, News Link,

Fresh off the press: The first official #China CD releases of #Adele 19 & 21 albums. Patience is a virtue! #BeggarsChina @officialadele @xlrecordings @swilso26 #od #t #f http://bit.ly/ZbbssQ

6Outdustry Instagram, Staff Blog, Medium,

#Grimes at a packed #MAOLive #Beijing. Love this girl. #JUE13 #JueFestival2013 @splitworks #od #t #f @4ad http://bit.ly/ZgBDtR

6Outdustry Instagram, Staff Blog,

#GangOfFour with #reTROS and #AVOkubo at #YugongYishan #Beijing. Another great show from @splitworks #JueFestival2013 #JUE13 #od http://instagr.am/p/XGgp6UE_DD/

6Outdustry Instagram, Staff Blog,

Social Media Panel At Bookworm Literary Festival

L to R: Ed Peto (Outdustry), Hu Yong (ChinaFile), Duncan Hewitt (BBC/Newsweek). Photo Courtesy of the Bookworm Literary Festival

Last week I was asked to moderate a panel at the Bookworm Literary Festival here in Beijing. The panel was called “Future Perfect : Social Media” and was described thusly by the organisers:

"Due to governmental and technological restraints, social media is different in China - in both form and function - than in other countries. Join us as Duncan Hewitt (Get Rich First) and Hu Yong, the MediaFile Editor at the newly launched ChinaFile and Professor of Media Studies at Peking University discusses the possible social, economic and political implications of social media in China; the way the government is both using and regulating social media and what the future for this powerful media is.”

Due to the sensitive nature of the subject material we opted for an “off the record” approach - i.e. the speakers are not to be quoted - which led to a fascinating, free-ranging chat from two bona fide China social media experts. To get the ball rolling, though, I offered up the following introduction to the subject:

"It has been said that there two internets on the planet: The internet, and the Chinese internet. Of the 2.4 billion internet users in the world, currently around 24% (570 million) of these reside within China, inside one of the most tightly controlled internet environments in the world.

Social media is perhaps the defining technological advance of our age, allowing the individual to publish globally at the touch of a button, completely revolutionising media, personal expression and, as a result, society itself in the process. 

When it comes to China, however, from a western viewpoint the Chinese internet is often characterised by what it lacks: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, true freedom of speech. From this outside perspective censorship is the defining element of the Chinese internet experience.

What of the inside perspective though? Perhaps surprisingly, China has the most active social media population in the world, with a 2012 McKinsey study showing 91% of Chinese internet users visiting a social media site in the last 6 months, vs 70% in super connected South Korea, 67% in US and, astonishingly, only 30% in Japan.

Should this really surprise us? It is a question of degree. Coming from a recent history of tightly controlled media, the Chinese internet user has that much more to gain from social media vs their western contemporaries and are therefore expressing themselves with a fervour not seen elsewhere in the developed world.

Social media has catalysed revolutions and been the scourge of political misdoings across the globe. This sense of threat is writ large through the Chinese governments handling of what is perhaps the greatest ever challenge to it’s control. It knows it must engage with social media, but how has it managed to allow social media’s development, provide enough functionality to satisfy the people and yet still “keep a lid on it”? Or is the lid slowly, inexorably coming off?

Today we will try to cover some of these complexities.”

Many thanks to Hu Yong and Duncan for taking this subject and really running with it and many thanks as well to all at The Bookworm Literary Festival for another great event.

6China, China Social Media, Medium, Staff Blog, Ed Peto,

News Link : QQ Music Activate Hardware Strategy With Sonos Partnership

"Chinese Internet giant Tencent is trying out a new hardware strategy for its QQ Music service, starting with a collaboration with wireless music system Sonos.

Sina Tech has noticed a new teaser page at Faxian.51buy.com for a QQ Music-compatible Sonos setup. Late last year, Tencent’s digital music team announced its vision to expand its music service to dedicated music hardware through its QPlay standard. The company has reportedly partnered with ten audio equipment and TV manufacturers, including DENONMarantz and TCL.

QQ music boasts an impressive 250 million active PC users and 50 million mobile users. By comparison, Spotify recently announced it has 24 million active users.”

- NextWeb

6China Music Industry, China Digital Music, China, News Link, China Hardware,

News Link : China Hopes To Duplicate World’s Music Profits

"According to the 2012 Report on Chinese Pop Music Market released by the China Record Working Committee, "the physical market has practically disappeared, while the new digital music market has not given record companies their due shares The traditional recording industry is in great depression."

The report says that the revenue of physical format sales in China has declined 95 percent,from 1.22 billion yuan ($196 million) in 2003 to 60 million yuan in 2010, the latest available statistics.

"The problem with the Chinese recording industry is that the cost of piracy is too low while thatof protecting copyright is too high," says Zang Yanbin, president of China Record Working Committee. "That’s why capital is reluctant to enter the industry and no good works are coming out."

The Chinese digital music market amounted to 1.26 billion yuan in 2011, with 280 billion units downloaded and streamed. The China Record Working Committee contends that music copyright owners should get royalty of 632 million yuan, but the actual income was only 99 million yuan due to piracy, lack of a fair system of profit distribution, and inefficiency of the collecting agencies.”

- China Daily

6China, News Link, China Music Industry, China Digital Music, China Physical,

News Link : Samsung Tops China Smartphone Market

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Samsung’s rise in China was at the expense of rival phone maker Nokia. The Finnish phone maker, which was No. 1 in 2011 with 29.9 percent market share, plunged to 3.7 percent last year to take seventh place, according to the research.

The No. 2 smartphone brand in China for 2012 was PC maker Lenovo, with 13.2 percent market share, which represented a 4 percent growth from the year before. Apple was third with 11 percent, followed by Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer Huawei with 9.9 percent, the report said.

- ZDNet

6China, China Smartphones, News Link, China Mobile Market,

#Grimes on #HitMusic cover ahead of #China shows: #Shanghai #MAOLive March 20th + #Beijing #MAOLive on March 21st. Well played @splitworks #JueFestival2013 #od #BeggarsChina @4AD http://instagr.am/p/WgN7HmE_KA/

6Outdustry Instagram, Staff Blog,

Majors Settle With Sogou MP3 Search

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As search engine for Chinese mega portal Sohu, Sogou presents a familiar sight for Chinese internet music searchers: Instant, well ordered lists of direct “deep links” to MP3 search results, purportedly hosted on third party sites, available for free download.

Rights owners have typically been excluded from any revenue from ads sold around these search results, meaning that MP3 search represents the single greatest villain in the Chinese internet music space.

As populariser of this format - and with roughly 80% of the Chinese search market - Baidu.com played the role of public enemy number one until it’s 2011 deal with the majors saw the (then) big four’s catalogues made available legally through Baidu’s Ting streaming service (now rolled into “Baidu Music”). The deal also saw the majors drop any existing actions against the search giant.

Yesterday saw a similar - if not much smaller - result coming out of Beijing’s High People’s Court

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6China Music Industry, China Digital Music, Staff Blog, Ed Peto, Medium, China,

Many congratulations to @officialadele and @paulepworth for the Best Song #Oscars win! Thoroughly deserved. #od @xlrecordings http://instagr.am/p/WJQtqTk_De/

6Outdustry Instagram, Staff Blog,

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