Search results for 'project blog'

Outdustry’s Ed Peto confirmed for a panel at Great Escape in Brighton, UK, May 8th. Some big names on there…..and Ed.

CONVERSATION: TALENT SCOUTING IN EMERGING MARKETS

We talk a lot about exporting our music to emerging markets, but what about scouting those territories for exciting new music talent? A&R legend Seymour Stein has been doing just that – in China, India and beyond – and now he shares his experiences to date, while considering the challenges and opportunities for working with the music community in these regions with Great Escape co-founder Martin Elbourne and Outdustry’s Ed Peto. The Evening Standard’s David Smyth asks the questions.

6Project Blog, Events, Medium, Ed Peto,

BAM! We have just announced the first official China releases for The xx albums on CD.
xx (BCYT080CD)
Coexist (BCYT031CD)
On all good Chinese e-commerce sites as of April 20th. In several hundred physical stores around China in the weeks following that. 
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BAM! We have just announced the first official China releases for The xx albums on CD.

  • xx (BCYT080CD)
  • Coexist (BCYT031CD)

On all good Chinese e-commerce sites as of April 20th. In several hundred physical stores around China in the weeks following that. 

6Project Blog, Beggars China, Client Work, Medium, Label Services,

China Music Business

We have just launched our own China music industry analysis site under the brilliant name of ‘China Music Business’. We aim to publish an article every month or so from a range of China music industry experts and insiders. This month sees a contribution from Outdustry boss, Ed Peto, covering the state of play in the Chinese digital music market. Please sign up, bookmark, RSS, follow, tweet etc.

China Music Business will also be our platform for general China market intelligence, reports, introductions, market visits. More info here.

6China Digital Music, Project Blog, Medium,

Beggars/4AD : Efterklang's Casper Clausen talks sampling China and horse-head fiddles with Ajinai's Hugjiltu f

Free Love

Chris Anderson has just published his latest book “Free : The Future Of A Radical Price”. In it the Wired Magazine Editor and bestselling author of The Long Tail discusses the economic peculiarities of a world in which goods, services and media are increasingly being made available for what feels like free: How has this happened, and what does it mean going forwards for us both as consumers and producers?

Free : The Future Of A Radical Price

As a market where digital content has largely been free from the get-go, China is an obvious case study along with other developing nations such as Brazil. Chris has therefore devoted a chapter to these markets, looking at how people are dealing with such realities.

I met Chris for breakfast during one of his research visits to China towards the end of 2007 and, amongst other things, outlined the basic concept of MicroMu (不插店) to him a good 8 months before we actually got round to trying the idea out. A year and a half later (and a year into the MicroMu project) and our copy of Free arrives through the post, complete with a whole page devoted to MicroMu as an example of an experimental free music model:

"The moment you put a fee on accessing music in China is the moment you cut off 90% of your audience," says Peto. "[Paying for*] Music is a luxury for the middle class in China, a flippant expenditure. This model works against that. We simply use free music and media as a way of saying that ‘everyone is welcome’, building a dialogue, building a community, becoming the trusted brand of the grassroots music movement in China. To do this though, we have to become all things to all men: record label, online community, live events producers, merchandise sellers, tv production company."

*Just to clarify: It is the idea of paying for music and not the idea of music itself that is a luxury for the middle class. The words “paying for” were not included in the original text.

The pressure is on to deliver! Many thanks for the mention Chris and good luck with the book launch.

6MicroMu (Buchadian), Project Blog, China, Outdustry Media, Ed Peto, Large, China Music Industry,

MicroMu Turns 1

Happy Birthday MicroMu

It seems like it has been a hell of a lot longer, but our little concept record label MicroMu (known in Chinese as 不插店, or ‘Buchadian’), turns 1 year old today. You can feel paternal pride radiating throughout Outdustry HQ as we package up a one year compilation album of b-sides and rarities to celebrate:

MicroMu is our attempt at a sustainable record label model in an environment where people, by and large, aren’t used to paying for music. The solution? Give music (and lots of other things) away for free, build a loyal community around it all, and then support this (largely) through a partnership with a brand who shares your audience. Or, as we say in our label intro:

MicroMu is an experimental, sponsor-driven, free-to-user record label model designed to discover new talent, create original music and reward artists in seemingly impossible conditions.

Read More

6MicroMu (Buchadian), Project Blog, China, Ed Peto, Large, Music,

Hedgehog + Re-TROS + Sterling Sound

Outdustry clients Sterling Sound have just mastered a couple of cracking Beijing indie albums. Hedgehog went so far as to say that they “could die happy” after hearing the results:

6China, Client Work, Large, Sterling Sound, Production Services, Project Blog,

Li Zhi vs U2

The last release on our in-house label MicroMu has been going down a storm. Li Zhi’s live album, 'There's Nobody On Gongti Dong Lu' was recorded at a packed show in Beijing’s Yugong Yishan venue in mid-January.

Since it’s release on Jan 22nd, the Jiangsu folk hero’s first offering since 2007 has been meet met with unanimously glowing reviews across the Chinese internet. At the time of writing, well over a month after it’s initial release, it is still sitting strong at number 6 on uber-review-site Douban's Best New Release list, ahead of some pretty distinguished company:

6MicroMu (Buchadian), Project Blog, China Music Scene, Ed Peto, Large,

China Indie Music Report : TV & Radio

NOTE: This is an extract from ‘Access China’ report, written by Ed Peto, commissioned by UK Trade and Industry Department and British Underground.

The Chinese government is acutely aware that TV is the most effective medium for delivering key cultural and political messages. China Central Television (CCTV), the state-run national station, operates a range of channels, which, in the main part, are barefaced propaganda and state trumpet blowing. Their large scale, televised music galas showcase traditional and government approved music forms and are regularly watched by audiences in the hundreds of millions. These are the kind of viewing figures that excite people about China but in reality the shows are impregnable fortresses of glittery, spandex-clad state guff.

When Pop Idol imitator ‘SuperGirl’ hit China in 2004, the final was watched by 400 million people. The rush of mobile votes sent the government into a panic and severe restrictions were implemented, preventing the show ever happening in the same format again - The idea of a democratically decided pop show proving too much for a one-party state.

Channel V

Further down the pecking order, regional TV is a bit more conversational about the idea of coverage but the act really has to be sizeable due to the broad audience - mass appeal rules. You have to go to the foreign owned stations to find recognisable music programming.

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6Published, Ed Peto, Large, China Music Industry, China Media, Access China Report, UKTI, British Underground, China, Project Blog, Client Work,

China Indie Music Report : Publishing

NOTE: This is an extract from ‘Access China’ report, written by Ed Peto, commissioned by UK Trade and Industry Department and British Underground

Publishing is a tricky concept in China. The typical Chinese approach to intellectual property is that ‘ideas belong to everyone’, so while it is difficult to make money out of something tangible like a record or a download, it is VERY difficult to make anything from the intellectual property contained within it. The Copyright Act was only passed in China in 1991, so it is still early days.

The Mechanical Copyright Society of China (MCSC) was set up in 1992 as the sole administrator for composition but it’s effectiveness is often brought into question by the publishers. In the last few years, the majors have taken it upon themselves to either do their own collection or find independents to take it on for them.

While the MCSC claims that they maintain a good flow of revenue back to the western rights owners, there is no mechanical collection agreement in place between MCSC and, say, the MCPS in the UK.

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6Published, Staff Blog, Ed Peto, Access China Report, UKTI, Project Blog, British Underground, China Digital Music, China Publishing, Large, China, Client Work,

China Indie Music Report : Live Music

NOTE: This is an extract from ‘Access China’ report, written by Ed Peto, commissioned by UK Trade and Industry Department and British Underground

The live industry in China has real potential. The annual Midi Festival in Beijing shows that there is a sizeable live audience for western derived independent music, with a crowd of 20,000 moshing, flag-waving, ironic t-shirt wearing, squiffy-hairstyled rockers per day over four days. The international bands playing were unanimous in saying they “didn’t think this was possible in China”. Those same international bands also had to find their own money to make the trip as performance fees and flights were not provided, so ‘one step at a time’.

The big question is where do those 20,000 indie music fans (and people like them) go for the rest of the year?

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6Published, Ed Peto, Staff Blog, Large, Access China Report, UKTI, British Underground, Project Blog, China Live Music, Midi, Split Works, China Market Entry, China, Client Work, China Festivals,

China Indie Music Report : Digital & Mobile

NOTE: This is an extract from ‘Access China’ report, written by Ed Peto, commissioned by UK Trade and Industry Department and British Underground.

Digital is the hot topic in China. Due to the under-developed, pirate-dominated physical market and burgeoning mobile environment, China is on track to becoming the world’s testing ground for the digital age. The statistics are pretty staggering, with some suggesting a digital market of US$1.5billion by 2010 - With the second largest broadband network in the world, the advent of 3G later in 2007, 460 million mobile users and five million new mobile subscribers a month, who, on face value, would doubt them?

The view from the ground, however, is that all of these statistics need to be taken with a bucket of salt. All attempts by the Chinese government to combat online MP3 piracy, including all public ‘victories’ against pirates, should be seen as totally superficial - a lip service to the lobbying western majors. Internet MP3 piracy remains endemic, with less than 10% (a very generous estimate) of downloaders actually paying 14 pence/download for the privilege.

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6Published, Staff Blog, Project Blog, Ed Peto, Large, Access China Report, UKTI, British Underground, China Market Entry, China Digital Music, China MVAS, China, Client Work,

China Indie Music Report : Retail

NOTE: This is an extract from ‘Access China’ report, written by Ed Peto, commissioned by UK Trade and Industry Department and British Underground.

The 90% physical piracy rate obviously puts the kibosh on your average high street retailer. FAB, the only significant legal high street chain is really out there on its own. One large distributor lists only 86 other stand-alone legitimate stores stocking independent content, servicing the whole of China - A worrying figure in a country where you literally can’t move for audio-visual outlets and CD/DVD street hawkers. None of your HMVs, or your Virgin Megastores have dared set foot over here yet.

The arrival of western product in the early 90s came courtesy of ‘saw-gashed’ CDs: Excess stock and deleted titles from western majors attempting to avoid taxation and disposal costs. These CDs had their cases cut to mark them as defective and were then shipped in to China through free-market economic ports like Guangzhou, only to end up on the black market. An end result that can be seen as a partial ‘shooting-in-the-foot’ for the western majors who then had to come in and fight against the pirate networks they inadvertently helped set up.

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6Published, Staff Blog, Project Blog, Ed Peto, Large, Access China Report, China Market Entry, Retail, Physical Distribution, China, UKTI, British Underground, Client Work, China Physical,

China Indie Music Report : Record Labels

NOTE: This is an extract from the ‘Access China’ report, written by Ed Peto, commissioned by UK Trade and Industry Department and British Underground.

Due to piracy and negligible airplay royalties, the western record label model simply does not work in China. In most cases, domestic companies take over an artist’s entire life - Records, management, publishing etc. There is so little money to be made from simply exploiting a master that a label has to ensure it doesn’t miss any area of income in order to survive. This obviously poses a problem to western rights owners/managers looking to make money out of their narrower areas of interest.

The majors are all here doing their stuff, struggling away, but like all foreign companies they have had to enter into joint ventures to operate in China, slashing their already slender profits. They own the lion’s share of domestic pop music but with regards to international repertoire, they stick very much to frontline releases and global priorities with the occasional catalogue title.

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6Published, Staff Blog, Project Blog, Large, China Music Industry, China Market Entry, Record Labels, Modern Sky, Universal Music, Physical Licensing, Access China Report, Ed Peto, UKTI, British Underground, China, Client Work,

China Indie Music Report : Introduction

NOTE: This is an extract from the ‘Access China’ report, written by Ed Peto, commissioned by UK Trade and Industry Department and British Underground.

Every man and his dog is looking to China as the ‘next big thing’, but should the western music industry executive also be packing Fido into air freight and de-camping to the Middle Kingdom? Before anyone considers investing energy in China, it is important to be aware of just how different the industry is over here. There are some genuine areas of opportunity but let’s start with the grim facts:

  • Physical piracy runs at around 90%.
  • The average gig ticket is £3 and charging anything over £7 for a concert will alienate the young Chinese music crowd.
  • Publishing is a foreign idea to the Chinese and is therefore a tiny, unpredictable source of income.
  • All media is government owned or heavily government monitored and, in most cases, requires ‘financial incentives’ in return for coverage.
  • Despite a population of 1.3 billion people, the legitimate physical music market was only worth US$86million in 2006, making it the 20th biggest in world.
  • All foreign companies must enter a joint venture in order to set up shop in China, handing over at least 51% of their company in the process.
  • All music has to go through lengthy and seemingly arbitrary government censorship procedures.
  • China is a black hole of statistics, quite often by design, making market research and due diligence incredibly difficult.

Read More

6Staff Blog, Published, Project Blog, China Music Industry, Large, Access China Report, China Market Entry, UKTI, British Underground, China, Client Work,

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