The concept of the truly global hit must have started with South Korea’s Gangnam Style by K-pop star Psy in 2012. Until then, a global star was the mainly Englishspeaking rock or pop act generating millions by exporting recordings in one direction, including the developing Asian economies.

Now, it is the Asian music business, cultures and application of digital media that are being sold to other regions.  Whether it is K-pop, C-pop in the fast-growing Chinese market, J-pop in Japan or I-pop in India, Asia’s commercial popular music is already explosive!

As local talent also get influenced by the Western market’s most popular genres, from hip hop to alternative indie rock, the international potential of up-and-coming music creators, from China to Thailand, has caught the keen interests of the global major labels.

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All this is analysed in Midem‘s new exclusive White Paper, about the Asian music industry, called, Music in Asia – Exporting New Sounds & Innovation.

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The 2019 revenues generated by the recorded music in Asia grew 3.4%, according to the 2020 IFPI Global Music Market report. While that is much slower than the global growth rate of 8.2%, it represented a healthy digital picture for a region where physical recordings on CDs as well as vinyl still account for a significant share of the total business.

Japan, China and South Korea are in the world’s Top 10 markets by revenue.

Digital’s growth

The potential number of music listeners in Asia exceeds 3.5 billion, and that is referring to only China, Japan, South Korea, India and Southeast Asia. A significant portion of consumers are accessing music via the still expanding broadband-Internet pipes and smartphone penetration.

There is a growing middle-class section of the inhabitants with increasing affluence to enjoy premium live and recorded content: a new generation of young consumers has boosted the number of Asians listening to streamed music.

Asian Music Industry: a local repertoire

While the local streaming companies, with the relevant licences, introduce international hits into their respective countries, they also understand the local audience and cultures better than anyone else.

Targeting the domestic 1 billion-plus citizens, Chinese music has always found enough fans to be effectively self-sufficient. International hit makers, however, see the local platforms as a huge chance to reach that colossal number of potential new followers.


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This exclusive White Paper, Music in Asia – Exporting New Sounds & Innovation, is being published during the current global pandemic that has shattered the industry worldwide, and focuses on:

Introduction: Asia – An Overview of a Multifaceted Market

Chapter 1: The Big 4 Power Markets – China, India, Japan, South Korea

Chapter 2: One To Watch: An Overview of Southeast Asia

Chapter 3: The Pandemic in Asia – How The Industry Is Responding to Covid-19

Chapter 4: The Experts’ Perspective – INTERVIEWS

  • Jungsu Han, Kiwi Media Group (South Korea)
  • Priyanka Khimani, entertainment lawyer (India)
  • Piyapong (Py) Muenprasertdee, Fungjai Co Ltd (Thailand)
  • Bing Ni, Taihe Music Group (China)
  • Marty Ro, Sound Republica Inc (South Korea)
  • Kaz Shimada, Universal Music Group (Japan)
  • Alex Taggart, Outdustry (China)
  • Mandur Thakur, Times Music (India)


Read more…

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