A few months ago, as part of their Maximum Exposure edition (Sept 26th 2009), Billboard magazine sat down with Outdustry’s Ed Peto to find out 5 good ways to build a bit of presence for your artist in China. Here, printed in full, is the resulting piece by Jonathan Landreth.
Rampant piracy and a lack of transparency have long complicated efforts by record labels to do business in China. Still, for those willing to be flexible and patient, the Middle Kingdom could still prove to be a useful laboratory for new business models.
Relative to it’s potential, China’s music market remains microscopic. Recorded music sales totalled just $82 million in 2008, up 8% from a year earlier, according to IFPI data. But digital sales, which accounted for 62% of total music sales, provide a glimmer of hope, having surged 45% last year to $50.4 million.
Ed Peto, founder of the music business consultancy Outdustry in Beijing, believes artists must adopt a 360 degree approach to China. The man on the ground for the Beggars Group of labels, Peto works to tap a network of promoters, critics, DJs and Web entrepreneurs to position acts aiming to connect with Chinese music fans. Asked to identify the best means to promote music in China, Peto cautions that no single platform would suffice, given the China market’s fast pace: “The menu could change at any minute,” he says.