In a country where more than 75% of the population listens to music, China’s music market is still very little developed compared to major powers like the United States. Developing and commercializing music in China remains an enormous challenge for the players, due to government regulations, the musical culture of individuals and how to establish themselves in the market.
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The music market in China
China does not yet fully exploit its full potential for musical growth. Indeed, with a population of more than 1.3 billion inhabitants, the size of the market ranks only twelfth in the music market, behind smaller countries like Sweden, Belgium, or the Netherlands, Low.
music market in China
However, the market is in the process of developing rapidly. The value of the industry is estimated at over $ 169 million with an annual average growth of more than 60%. Moreover, the digital channels of the industry are what allows the market to pursue this exponential growth. The future of the country’s music industry will be digital. Companies recognize the potential and opportunities of digital distribution on the market.
The beginnings of the Chinese digital music industry
The digital market represents more than a billion dollars, a market in a phase of growth that only needs to meet the supply and the demand. More than 70% of the Chinese population listens to music through digital and mobile channels. This figure rises to more than 80% when we speak of the younger generations. The average time spent listening to music per week is 16 hours compared to 19 for young people.
The market enjoys a real development that still needs to be exploited, particularly with regard to music listening applications on smartphones. 70% of Chinese listen to music through their phone so it is time for the market to be exploited and meet its new expectations.
A digital market dominated by local brands
The tencent group dominates the market with a market share of 78% thanks to all its applications such as QQ, Kugou and Kuwo. According to QQ Music CEO Andy Ng, “the platform was able to sell more than 20 million digital albums in the first year of operation of the platform, ie a total value in terms of revenue of more than 15 million of dollars “.
The Tencent group can enjoy this leading position thanks to the user base it owns upstream of its music application. Indeed, the group owns the WeChat platform, the largest social network in the country, accounting for more than 850 million subscribers. QQ Music in a year and a half already has a user base of 200 million of which 15 million subscribed to a paid subscription per month.
Music market in China
The success of the company also lies in the diversity of musical choices. The platform offers music of national singers such as Lu Han or Tao but also international singers like Adele or South Koreans like Big Bang or BTS.
Barriers to entry for foreign actors
While the market has an interesting growth potential for companies wishing to set up business in China. Developing yourself is likely to be more difficult than it was before. Indeed, the government has forbidden all foreign companies to share or publish digital content whether audio or video on the territory. This ban is justified by China’s dissatisfaction with the agreement known as THAAD signed between the United States is South Korea to protect the US allies from North Korean attacks.
Kpop, a South Korean music industry, is a market that is going to suffer enormously from this ban as China is a growing market for the Korean entertainment industry as it represents more than $ 5 billion a year. The dramas, the Kpop, and the Korean culinary culture is a great success with the young Chinese generation. By banning, the Hallyu Wave in the country, China hopes financial harm to South Korea.
Difficulties to develop but certainly not impossible!
These new regulations make the market more difficult to integrate, but this is not impossible. Effectively to overcome these new government laws, international actors decided to go through local intermediaries to promote their music.
This is the case of BMG, which has partnered with the Alibaba Group, a leading player in e-commerce in china, to promote its composers within the country. The association between the two groups takes the form of an agreement that allows Alibaba to obtain digital rights on 2.5 million music from BMG. In this list, we can find the Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars or Kylie Minogue.
Digital seems to be the ideal weapon for foreign actors wishing to promote and develop their music in China. For this, an effective digital marketing strategy has to be put in place. In this article, we will outline some practices that it is interesting to put in place.
Positioning on Chinese social media
A majority of people in China use social networks to get information, the media are no longer used only to stay in touch with their loved ones but also to search for and find out about a product, service or brand.
Social media strategies are mostly used by players in China as they provide an interactive platform between the brand and its current and potential customers. However, if you want to succeed in developing on Chinese social networks, it is important not to replicate the strategies you have already been able to carry out in the West. Indeed, the digital universe in the Middle Kingdom operates quite differently from the one we know. The rules of the game are different, no Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. The great virtual wall blocks all Western social networks.
Your social media strategy should focus on Chinese networks that are used differently.
To learn more about social networks in China it’s right here!
Made you know through Press Relations
To develop your fame and make you a name in China, PR is the most effective communication tool. They will be used to develop and give the public more information and content about your company, its products and services. Generally, the goal of PR is to improve your reputation with your target audience and communities, improve your image through content delivery, and manage your reputation downstream.
In a country where the print media is heavily controlled by the government, looking into E-PRs becomes the most logical solution for any foreign brand wishing to make a name for itself. Moreover, these media are increasingly used by individuals who buy less and less paper-based press.
Here are some PRs you can target for your content:
- Sina: the biggest Internet portal in China
- Sohu: the second most important
- 163 / Netease: news.163.com
- QQ News
Use Online Marketing Videos to Attract Your Audience
According to Forbes, marketing videos will be sources of traffic for 80% of advertising on the Internet by 2019. Videos become a form of marketing more and more demanded by Internet users. The advantage of a video is that it has a strong auditory and visual impact in contrast to written content. The consumer is able to remember a message passed through a video only on another medium. Remembering an advertising video makes it possible to remember another measure of the brand or the product.
To music market in China, Bring your content viral
The advantage of social networks and the internet sphere is its diversity and the speed at which content can be shared and become viral. The effect of network on the Internet makes it possible to reach a wide target of Internet users in a short time. The virality of a video can also affect other channels of communication if it has a strong impact. In most cases many media relay the content via television or the online press.
In China, buzz marketing is a technique enabling the attraction of many prospect and arousing their interest. However, the main difficulty lies in creating content that is original enough to impress and capture the audience. For this, you help digital means facilitating the sharing of the video for Internet users can already be a way to make your content viral.
Develop your presence through events
The upsurge of new technologies and their exponential growth to restructure corporate communications strategies. Nowadays, social networks enjoy a preponderant place in the communication techniques of the brands. As a result, events are increasingly used in agency strategies.
Event marketing consists of a set of techniques put in place during events, shows, events allowing the promotion of a brand and its offer to different publics. The event allows to complement its communication offer to its public and thus to develop its reputation and brand image with its target audience.
In the continuity of presenting you digital means to develop your music in China, the use of applications and functionalities allowing the direct transmission of events that you will organize is a means of gaining visibility on the country. Live event broadcasts have a strong interest on the part of Internet users. Touching your target through this channel can make your content attractive and give it a positive image.
Partner with Gentlemen Marketing Agency
The Chinese digital sphere is very complex for new entrants to the market. Setting up on it requires a good understanding of the rules and standards of the market for the success of your implementation. To increase your chances of success, we advise you to partner with a local agency that can develop your interests in the country.
Gentlemen Marketing Agency is a digital marketing agency based in Shanghai looking for long-term partnerships with companies wishing to establish themselves in The Middle Kingdom. If you have a concept for the Chinese market, contact us and one of our market experts will be in touch.