“The Chinese music market has huge potential right now,” says Cussion Peng, CEO of Tencent Music Entertainment Group, citing the rapid growth of record producing revenue in the country over the last five years, more than doubling from $88 million in 2012 to $202 million now. This growth, he believes, has arisen from a renewed effort in protecting IP rights.
“Tencent has been a pioneer in this area, working with partners in all areas to fight piracy,” says Peng, speaking at Music Matters 2017, part of the All That Matters sports and entertainment summit in Singapore. Tencent has partnered with record labels to form a privacy alliance in China. “I think the China music market right now is more legitimate and healthier compared to the last few years,” he adds.
“Right now we have a comprehensive music catalogue with over 70 million songs, and we’re also helping the Chinese labels to distribute their music overseas,” he says. Peng also credits the development of more creative business models, such as monthly online subscriptions with offline privileges centred on “making the subscriber feel like a VIP,” such as offering users the opportunity to meet their favourite musicians. “It’s about shortening the distance between the fans and the superstars,” he says.
And he is excited by the new stream of young home-grown performers who can sing, dance and act, and who are beginning to make their own mark on China, in genres such as R&B and hip-hop, which are gaining new momentum. The music variety show is a great source of music content for this market; the number of these kinds of TV programmes has almost doubled from last year, with more and more popping up online.
Data is also helping offline organisers work more effectively to promote live music events. For instance, if an artist is planning to perform in one particular city, Tencent’s system can funnel a user in that location, who is listening to that artist’s music, towards buying a concert ticket.
Pretty soon, though, the definition of “attending” a concert may well be very different, thanks to live streaming, and very soon, VR experiences. “A live concert can draw around 10,000 people,” says Peng. “With a live stream, that audience grows to 100 million. We can use the power of online to magnify the reach of offline events.”
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