The Chinese Music Industry’s Plight and Future

4413 Words18 Pages
The Chinese Music Industry’s Plight and Future
At first thought, some people, including myself, would not include the music industry as part of the grand macroeconomic development blueprint. Yet music not only represents an essential part of our modern lifestyle, but also exists as a key stimulus to economic growth. Nevertheless, following the advent of the internet, rampant piracy and lack of copyright protection led the Chinese music industry into the darkest period it has ever seen. Song Ke, one of the China’s most prominent music industry gurus, has been pressured to open two Peking duck restaurants to have sustainable income. Thousands of musicians have been forced to reevaluate their lives and decide whether they would like to
…show more content…
China both as a cultural empire and as a transitioning economy need its music industry to prosper and the demand for plausible solutions is urgent.
An important concept to note is that having music does not equal to having a music industry. Chinese music has existed for thousands of years and represents a distinctive genre in world music today. However, for the “music industry” to form, there must be a clear and sizable economic chain that links producers of music products to consumers. Additionally, the existence of pop music is a prerequisite for the music industry to exist. Again, to clarify, pop music here does not refer to a specific style of music but rather music that is popular or widely consumed by a significant portion of the population. Another thing to note is, for the purpose of this essay, “Chinese music” shall not include those by Taiwanese or Hong Kong companies since they do not contribute to the Chinese national GDP. “Big Data” startup entrepreneur Ailuo Wang said during an interview, “With no money, there is no industry” (Song). Creative industries such as film and music must find routes to sustainable profit before they can begin expanding on their creative fronts. This is why the Chinese music industry has been waning despite the ever expanding music consumer base. During the 1990s, Chinese artists can easily break a million in record sales individually, yet in 2012, fewer than 10 Chinese
Get Access