Music Execs Critical Of Chinese Market
May 31, 2007 at 9:36 AM (PT)
Top executives from the world's major record labels expressed doubts THURSDAY about the Chinese market, questioning the country's media restrictions and its musicians' level of artistry, reports FORBES. In a panel discussion at a music conference in HONG KONG, SONY BMG ASIA Pres. KELVIN WADSWORTH said CHINA's Ministry of Culture limits their number of album releases in the country.
"If they interfere too much in the digital space and the wireless space of content, then it's not going to be the next big thing," WADSWORTH said. "I don't think we are wise to put all our eggs in the CHINA basket, because there are several other booming economies in ASIA that could be equal opportunities."
WARNER MUSIC ASIA PACIFIC Pres. LACHIE RUTHERFORD complained that the quality of music in CHINA had slipped since the 1980s. He blamed the popularity of using popular songs for cell phone ring tones, saying they were conducive to writing lightweight "novelty" songs.
CHINA has a reputation for rampant piracy, with the INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PHONOGRAPHIC INDISTRIES (IFPI) estimating that pirated CDs or tapes account for more than 85% of the market.
UMG INTERNATIONAL ASIA Pres. MAX HOLE said the Chinese market needs time to be cultivated, calling it a "five- to 10-year project." He said that he was pleased with the level of artistry in CHINA, and that UNIVERSAL has talent scouts in seven Chinese cities.