feature stories

Listen, The Music Industry is Changing in China

When searching ‘China music industry’ on Google, the first result is an article from Quartz ‘Why is China’s music market still so small?’ With 975 million music listeners, the statistics suggest the value of China’s music market is that of 7.8% of the UK (2016). Zhangran, founder of Sound of the Xity, is among the industry pioneers to tap the great potential of China’s music market. He founded the one and only music conference six years ago to export Chinese music culture to the world. In 2014, Modern Sky, a big player in the Chinese music scene bought Sound of the Xity and started a more international approach through their music network. The conference now is an effective international music industry trade event with high level of delegations and large number of international exhibitions.

This year, the British Council brought a delegation of four to the conference with hopes of better understanding China’s music industry and to lay the groundwork for possible future collaboration. In addition, the British Council also supported three music bands to perform at the conference and at the Strawberry Music Festival in Shanghai and Kunming (the Strawberry Beijing Music Festival was cancelled). Beyond that, the conference presented some intriguing topics on digital streaming and music licensing in China.  

 

Music Festivals

Music festival season in China roughly last from May to October each year. Recent years have seen some formalisation of the process to set up a festival. An organiser must submit every details of the line up including performers, songs, and lyrics. The process usually takes about a month but sometimes the results can be delivered at the last minute- Beijing Strawberry Music Festival this year was cancelled quite suddenly.