Getting music online in China is a relatively straightforward process today. Reaching out to the Chinese followers and getting artists to interact with them, however, may be more challenging.
With restricted access to virtually all Western social media, including Facebook and Instagram, Twitter and YouTube; and Google and major news outlets, artists who want to focus on China effectively lack the very thing they have worked hard to build – their online audience.
Well, that logically pose quite a few questions. “Is it worth investing in China?” is the key one. With streaming rates from Chinese digital stores significantly lower than the likes of Spotify many are asking themselves, ”Are the large numbers of potential listeners really making up the gap?”. As the market in China continues to mature and evolve the answer is increasingly – “yes”.
Norwegian electronic artist Alan Walker’s success story is a good example. Being one of the very few success stories, however, it is also a very good example of how difficult it is.
China has its own social media platforms that in almost all cases don’t have an alternative exact match elsewhere. Understanding how these digital services work, and what their value proposition is, will also help you understand who uses them and why they use them, which means you will understand your audience in China.
China is a mobile-first country, and never really developed an appetite for websites. People would jump on their preferred apps and search for the artist there. By way of example, celebrities such as Luhan or Jackson Wang, A-list artists in China – do not have websites; instead, they have their official Weibo accounts.
China is not a cheap place to break an act into – reaching a billion people (who do not speak English) costs time and resources; a long-term strategy is a must, as well as a detailed understanding of the socio-cultural context of the Chinese audience.