Music Matters Confab Wraps Up In Hong Kong
June 5, 2009 at 5:21 AM (PT)
The fourth annual MUSIC MATTERS conference in HONG KONG concluded YESTERDAY (6/4).
FRIENDSTER’s Head of ASIA, IAN STEWART said, "This was by far the best MUSIC MATTERS yet, if not one of the best conferences I have attended. Relevant speakers, amazing networking (that lead to real deals), and a whole lot of fun in between. And what a finale!"
"It’s amazing how far we’ve come in four years," said another attendee at the event’s conclusion. "Just a few years ago we were talking about piracy and now people are making money." The optimistic sentiment was reflected in many of the interactive panel discussions that were held over the three-day event. "It’s immensely pleasing to see that even in these times of economic difficulty and amidst fears about travelling that we have had such a huge turnout this year," said MUSIC MATTERS Pres./Branded co-founder JASPER DONAT at the conclusion of the forum. "It just goes to show that music really does matter and people are so passionate about it."
Social networking, brand awareness, mentoring sessions, digital music downloading and closer relationships between telecommunications and record companies were among the topics that dominated this year’s event. During the keynote address, UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN CEO KEI ISHIZAKA revealed that digital music accounted for US$953 million last year in JAPAN, accounting for 20% of the country’s total music sales. "Digital and physical music can coexist," he insisted, and to prove his point, revealed that while young people "can’t live without their mobile phones," half of the Top 10 albums on JAPAN’s local charts are taken up by people over 40.
Other major points during his address included the revelation that piracy outstrips legal downloads three to one and the current three-pronged approach taken by JAPAN’s music rights body RIAJ to combat piracy: criminal charges for offenders, technology measures as deterrents and public education. He was optimistic about the future of the industry though, claiming that new radical marketing strategies have been put into place since major labels have assumed more of a role in the marketing of mobile music instead of telecommunications companies.