Moderated by June Zhan Managing Director of ATB International, Gateway to Taiwan’s session at Music Matters discussed the possibilities for artists and music businesses break in Taiwan and how it is already a gateway to the music industry in China.
Taiwan has been leading a healthy music scene for the last decade and with the upcoming music scene in China, it has taken a gatekeeper role for any artists hoping to break into the China. Over the last three years, China has been tackling piracy but that was not the only reason why it has started protecting rights of owners especially on the online scene.
While many artists are still going through a more conventional way towards being booked for a live concert there’s such band like Cigarettes After Sex, who has never released a single album since their music career began, have sold out concerts organised in Taiwan. The panels were quick to resonate the same concept that Taiwanese love a good old story. As the post rock culture continues to hold strong amongst the younger generation, it is a good and creative story that has really made post-rock genre one of the most famous genres in Taiwan. While disco, funk, and R&B have yet to take more precedent, there is also more electronic music than ever before being performed in clubs across Taipei. However, those who have attracted the interest of Taiwanese include local talent FFION and international artists like Bon Iver.
From a DSP perspective, Daphne Lee from Taiwan Mobile goes back to the basics by stressing the importance of working with local labels and artists ‘to capture local insights’. For any artists hoping to break into Taiwan, the panel agreed that local consumer insights are an important factor to engaging with local fans and a form of direct marketing.
The Taiwanese government has long supported the music scene allowing artists to perform without a need to apply for a visa. “There’s a huge untapped market in the Chinese music industry. All you need is a very good YouTube video,” said Jesse Liu from ICON Promotions.
“Most of the time, we don’t have the time to check out the albums sent over by bands. However, a YouTube link makes it all easier for us to get access. If you are from a label, get your management to send us your public profile as booking agents just love to see those,” he added.
While Golden Melody Awards (GMA) and Golden Indie Awards (GIA) are some of the most important conference and award shows held annually in Taipei, Kenney Shiu from Kobalt Music Group added that it is vital to gain acceptance from Taiwan, perhaps even win an award, to ease the chance of being accepted in China.