CHINA // INDUSTRY NEWS
// WARNER MUSIC LAUNCHES ASIAN DANCE LABEL
Warner Music has been investing in Asia and China for a number of years now, last month cementing these endeavors with the announcement of a new label focused on Asia’s dance scene, called Whet Records. First release is from Chinese artist Lizzy Wang, check the tune in our Spotlight section below!
// LIVE NATION LAUNCHES ‘ONES TO WATCH’ CHINA
Live Nation’s revered music discovery platform Ones To Watch is coming to China, with plans to showcase exclusive interviews, playlists, live performances, and other music content from local artists. Great place to surf for recommendations of artists to collab or feature with.
// NETEASE AND TENCENT CONTINUE TO RENEW CONTRACTS IN CHINA
I’m unsure if this is still considered “news” as it would be phenomenally foolish to not continue to sign these deals, but I suppose major labels and huge platforms signing deals is news no matter the region. In any case, all the majors, Merlin, and even indie distributors continue to push deals that keep their music in China.
// VIDEO APP KUAISHOU IPO’S, GAINS USERS, LICENSES MUSIC
The West is still trying to figure out China’s video platforms in my opinion. Douyin is now well understood and used by many international artists, and more and more are pushing to license and distribute to the platform. But few will have even heard of Kuaishou (快手), Douyin’s main competition, perhaps for good reason. It’s target demographic has been 2nd and 3rd tier cities (traditionally less wealthy or populated), and has not had any focus on music. It seems that is slated to change, as the company launches their IPO along with its first music licensing deal with 7digital. User base is still around 1/3 of Douyin, but growing.
// WHEN LEGACY ACTS MEET CHINA
One of the biggest rock bands of all time, Pink Floyd, has officially joined the fray of Chinese social media, joining NetEase, QQ Music, Bilibili, and Weibo. This was somehow reported on by the Global Times and Music Ally, which is fascinating, but I think it’s worth taking a look at these platforms one month on to see how they’re doing. They are not a GD client, but do appear to have a team working hard for them.
Legacy acts like Pink Floyd can be notoriously difficult to market in China, where the industry effectively skipped the entire rock’n’roll era, and is largely supported by younger listeners, who may not have even heard of bands like this. Bilibili appears to be the strongest platform of all, where they’ve got a library of old interviews and other historical content meticulously subtitled going online. So far they’re at 129k followers and 1.7M video views, no small feat by any measure. Fans on NetEase and QQ Music are higher than I would expect for a group of their age, with 300k and 100k followers respectively. Coming in last is Weibo, which some could argue they are struggling to convert, with only 7.5k followers and many posts going by with no comments at all.
Their strategy of focusing on the legacy of the band, is a good one for China, where it seems many of their fans are trying to learn about their history rather than listen to their music. This is the opposite approach of most large artists, which turn to DSPs to convert hit songs into followers of new media. I’d be very interested to check in another six months later, as I imagine the band will fade a bit without new content to drive follower growth and engagement on their socials.
SPOTLIGHT // CHINESE MUSIC
This section highlights local Chinese artists, DJs, and labels.
// RECENT CHINESE RELEASES ON WESTERN DANCE LABELS
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please consider sending to a friend or colleague!