Over the past six months, the world has changed in nearly every way you can imagine. The music industry was one of hardest hit by Covid-19, as sweeping event cancellations have not only cut a major source of income for artists, but shifted fans’ sense of value and expectations for entertainment.

The new digital world, led by live streams, comment sections, and a constant stream of new content, brings an opportunity for artists to connect with their fans in a way that wasn’t possible before, or at least was much more difficult to achieve. And China has ferried in its own shift in digital landscapes, ranging from the way events are done to streaming activity, to daily social content.

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Groove Dynasty // Digital China in a Post-Covid World

Further Reading

Music Ally // What can we learn from Covid-19’s impact on China’s music industry?


Tencent Music (owners of QQ Music, Kugou Music, and other platforms in China) IPO’d in December 2018, and since then has been making bets on the music industry at large, most recently spending $200M on Warner, who had their own IPO this year. While this further confuses the family tree of the major labels and Spotify (what Cherie Hu calls ‘somewhat incestuous’), it signifies two things to me. First that the companies’ investors see value in worldwide growth of the industry, and that China wants to continue it’s globalization and inclusion in that market. I also expect more players to try to buy into Tencent Music as it’s investments and business models mature.

Further Reading

MBW // Tencent Buys $200M+ Stake in Warner Music Group

Bloomberg // Tencent Group Buys 10% of Universal Music for $3.4 Billion

Cherie Hu on Twitter // the “somewhat incestuous new music-industry landscape”


Music industry execs and players worldwide foam at the mouth for IFPI’s annual report, and for good reason – it does a fantastic job laying out the state of the industry and how it translates to local markets in each region.

A few takeaways for how this report relates to China:

// pg 5, 15-16: Figures by Region 2019
China holds tight at #7 for global markets, but gains some market share within that. #6 South Korea is not an easy one to surpass, but China had double its growth rate in 2019.

// pg 20-21: Local Engagement to Shape the Global Environment
I disagree with Simon Robson, President Asia, Warner Music, who is “encouraged by the growth of domestic repertoire as a percentage of overall consumption in the region”. Outside a few notable examples, I’ve seen little interest worldwide in Chinese artists outside a couple specific examples, and equally little interest in the Chinese government or major players in investing heavily in local talent. The opportunity is there, but not the infrastructure, part of the reason foreign labels are stepping in to look for talent.

// pg 22: Launching Def Jam South East Asia
Great move from Def Jam. 88 Rising has well proven the allure of hip-hop in the region. Not mentioned here is Spinnin’s launch of Spinnin’ Asia, and other labels who are beginning to follow suit. Groove Dynasty is certainly seeing more interest from labels looking to promote their whole catalog in the region as well.

// pg 55: Just a full-page ad from Tencent Music
You can read my comments above about China buying into the global music industry 😉

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