MusicDish e-Journal - May 19, 2002
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The Chinese Show The World A New Way
By Allen Johnston, The Music Specialist
(more articles from this author)
2009-01-18
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The Olympics has shown the world that the Chinese way of life is NOT what the American mass media has made it out to be over the past years. There is an upward mobile, well educated population that is increasing in size, stature and financial independence. One of the things that the Chinese have gotten right is the ability to create contemporary entertainment careers. How they have accomplished this is exciting and seems to be a road map to success. Let me give you a few examples that may assist you in creating your entertainment career.

1. In China music is looked at in a very different way. There music is part of their culture and should be enjoyed by all and not guarded by the creators. They have found ways other than selling CDs to make money from music in Asia, such as live shows, merchandise, downloads and ring tones.

2. Fans are the record companies. Ownership of the song does not lie with the artist or the label or the publishers, but rather the consumer. This concept is basic to the establishment of a continuing flow of interested entertainment seekers and consumers.

3. Fans get involved. Chinese artists make special mixes of popular recordings available for fans to create their own versions of artist's songs. Some fans create band merchandise and make videos then the artist has competitions to see which the best is, and which can be used as the next music video. Getting fans involved builds the Chinese artists' brand and the connection with the artist. It's economical and extremely beneficial.

4. Artists are brands. You may not like the word but that is essentially what Chinese artist are, and in order to succeed they have focused on ways of building that brand. The Chinese see the importance in maintaining a brand image.

5. Mobile is the delivery system of choice. China as is India are miles ahead in their mobile technology and so are able to consume content differently than Europe and the United States.

6. The Chinese understand TRIBES. Understanding the concept of tribes, means knowing that you have fan based groups or tribes and within these tribes fans will like the same music, clothes etc. Getting early adopters in the tribes liking an artist will build exposure.

7. Amazing technology is available and the Chinese embrace it, build online communities and create opportunities within the digital world.

8. The Chinese marketplace sells digital tracks cheaper (the tipping point)......possibly 25 cents US. This seems to dissuade people from illegally downloading and the artists end up making more of a profit from selling a lot of cheap tracks than a few higher priced tracks. This also makes the consumer think that music "feels like free".

Finally the Chinese government, although much more repressive than the United States government, does NOT try and Legislate to solve the copyright ownership problem. Suing consumers won't make the problem go away or help to promote their national musical treasures.

The Chinese are showing the world that not only are they able to become a super power in sports but also in how to revitalize the entertainment industry,


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