In the modern world, many aspects of life exist outside our everyday knowledge and understanding.
One of these may be the music industry in Asia – a realm where diverse talents from across the continent pursue their dreams, making unforgettable marks with their work.
As Yoko Ono once said, "all those things I’m creating are just part of me." The same can be said when talking about music. It not only entertains us but also brings us together.
In this edition of music markets, we'll visit Asia's vibrant and eclectic soundscape, which gifts everyone charmed by its magic and an endless trove of unique musical experiences.
So join us as we explore the captivating sounds of these fascinating countries and look at what makes each market so compelling.
Asia's Part In Global Recorded Music Revenue
2021 was a booming success for music sales worldwide. According to the Global Music Report released by IFPI, the year saw a recorded-music revenue of 25.9 billion dollars across all major regions globally.
While this was mainly due to paid streaming services, it was also the first time in over 20 years that the revenue from physical music sales grew worldwide.
This was largely due to Asia's music market making waves with its phenomenal growth, taking in a whopping 49.6% of the global physical revenues!
Thanks to the evolution of technologies and creative opportunities to share musical experiences, this marks an incredible feat for artists and producers alike on their journey towards financial stability from pursuing their craft.
The Music Industry In China
There's no question about it. The music industry in China is booming. The country skyrocketed from 12th to 7th place in the IFPI global recording market rankings in just two short years.
That kind of remarkable growth can't be found anywhere else!
This stunning development has made China an increasingly attractive destination for global recording artists, labels, and streaming services, proving that the country is now a significant player in the music industry.
With the success of its three core sub-industries: concerts, recorded music, and publishing, estimated revenues in the Chinese music market have now reached an impressive $1.1 billion.
The Rise Of Tencent
Tencent is an internet-based technology and media conglomerate that operates out of Shenzhen, China.
Founded in 1998, the company offers various services, including communication platforms (QQ and WeChat), online payment systems, mobile games, streaming services, social media networks, AI-driven byproducts such as facial recognition software, digital content production, and more.
Tencent has become a significant force in the music business in China as well - their music streaming app QQ Music is one of the most popular services in the country, with over 730 million active monthly users.
Additionally, Tencent Music Entertainment Group - established in 2016 - curates playlists and acts as a record label for both online distribution and physical albums.
Tencent has acquired stakes in large entertainment companies like Universal Music Group (owning 20%) and Sony Music Entertainment, allowing them to shape the current landscape of the music industry in China.
This powerful combination of services has enabled Tencent to remain at the forefront of the booming Chinese music market.
Singapore Music Industry
Despite the turbulence of 2020, the Singapore music industry took off in Southeast Asia amidst the pandemic.
During this period, according to IFPI's Global Music Report, Singapore saw a 16% rise from USD 26 million to 31 million in digital and physical sales - while the regional market soared even higher with an impressive 63% increase, rising from 176 million up to 287 million.
As people sought solace and comfort through tumultuous times, perhaps music was their guide as they navigated adversity.
Record companies have been instrumental in the rapid growth of the Singapore music industry - nurturing talent and connecting them with markets at home, across Asia, and beyond.
With its prime location and outstanding business infrastructure, Singapore plays an ideal gateway for launching artists into global reach.
The region has attracted global music companies, with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, Def Jam SEA, The Orchard, and Astralwerks Asia all setting up shop in the Singapore music hub.
It's an exciting development that gives more opportunities to showcase local talent and creates plenty of employment possibilities.
The Japanese Music Market
One source of music that always seems to be on the cutting edge is Japan.
The country is second only to America in terms of its worth in the global market, ringing in at an impressive $3 billion.
A powerful player in the global music industry, over one billion Yen is spent on international tunes yearly in Japan!
In addition, it has skyrocketed since 2020 - digital sales of foreign artists now dominate Japan’s audio recordings and have surpassed CD purchases.
With such great potential for profit, the Japanese music market is an incredible opportunity for worldwide talent to get their songs heard.
Other Notable Mentions
There are plenty more notable mentions regarding how Asia shapes the music industry. Here are a just a few:
Indian Music Industry
Triller is taking the world by storm, having recently found success in India's growing Asian market. 2023 looks set to be a big year, spotlighting emerging talent and creators globally.
Korean Music Industry
2022 shaped up to be a remarkable year for K-Pop! Both Blackpink and BTS smashed records - with the former becoming the first music artist ever to gain 75 million YouTube subscribers.
Asian Music Markets: Wrap Up
The Asian music market is impacting the global trend and production process, establishing itself as an international powerhouse of creativity and talent.
We have seen artists from incredibly diverse backgrounds make waves in traditional and modern markets worldwide, and this is only the beginning of a much larger revolution.
Asian culture has always been renowned for its creativity, and it's fantastic to see that manifesting itself in new and exciting ways through the intersection of music and technology.
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