Dépêches

Music Matters – the Asia Pacific Music Forum; Multi Million Album Selling Jazz Artist, Jamie Cullum, Performs at the Conclusion of Music Matters

Dépèche transmise le 5 juin 2009 par Business Wire

HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jamie Cullum’s brilliant and unforgettable rendition of Radiohead’s Hi and Dry concluded the fourth annual Music Matters conference in Hong Kong on June 4th. It was just one of several piano based songs the Golden Globe winning modern jazz singer performed in between stories about his career before well over 600 attendees from around the world. “From Content To Context” may have been the theme of this year’s only Asia-Pacific music forum, but it was the tunes and artistry that outshined any industry talk.

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 President and 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 percent 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.

While the ever present issue of piracy was on the minds of many execs, other industry leaders focused on the user experience of consumers during today’s every changing digital age. “If we are going to succeed — and there are signs — in the digital business of Asia, we have to provide a better consumer experience through digital services and offer a value proposition that’s simple and easy,” said Lachie Rutherford, President, Warner Music Asia Pacific. “The future of the music industry is all about access and my view of that future is very positive,” said Rob Wells, Senior Vice President Digital at Universal Music Group International during a speech about the global digital landscape.

Representatives from Google marked their first ever attendance at a music industry event by outlining what they have learned about China’s internet users and what services they plan to offer in light of their recent tie-up deal with the mainland legal download service top100.cn. “China’s internet users have experienced 50 percent growth over the last two years and now have more users than in the U.S.,” said Bin Lin, Engineer Director at Google China. “But the market reality is that there is a 99 percent piracy rate. Out of 7,000 online music services in China, only 0.1 percent offer legal downloads.” Faced with this challenge, Google plans to develop a potential new revenue stream for labels via a better product experience and representatives demonstrated the use of an online music search “bubble” which will allow users to find similar tracks in a range of genres.

Other developments at the forum included the statement by Asian online social marketing upstart Alive Not Dead.com that they have signed a partnership deal with mainland based website Tom.com. “We will be more active in China,” said Alive Not Dead CEO Patrick Lee. Universal Music executive Rob Wells suggested that an “unlimited” MP3 offer will be available to consumers in the not too distant future and “we will reach our anti-piracy destination commercially.” Jay Kim, Head of APAC Business at RealNetworks Asia Pacific, spoke of an upcoming “Cloud” service, in which “virtual media storage will converge with an entertainment service” soon.

More than 50 musical artists played at the event in venues across the city, including major guest acts from Canada and up and coming female Hong Kong musician J.E.M. And, for the first time ever, artist mentoring sessions were held during the event, including one session with Canadian based Nettwerk Music Group CEO Terry McBride and U.S./Hong Kong based rapper MC Jin. During another session, McBride and Linkin Park manager Rob McDermott advised new artists on topics which ranged from submitting music to potential managers to lessons learned over the course of their career.

“This year, people really responded to the musical aspect of this year’s Music Matters event and that will be a major focus of our plans for next year,” said Music Matters President Jasper Donat. “We have interesting development plans which will be announced in the near future. Based on the positive feedback from attendees this year, Music Matters is only going to become stronger and an even more important forum for the music industry annually.” Next year’s Music Matters event will be held in the first week of June 2010.

ABOUT MUSIC MATTERS

Attended by an abundance of industry heavyweights from Asia and around the world, Music Matters is the only conference of its kind in Asia, offering delegates the chance to connect, forge business partnerships and create new business opportunities. In addition to the forum there are three parties showcasing up-and-coming acts from around the Asia-Pacific region.

Now in its fourth year, Music Matters is a forum created with, by and for the Asian music industry and has become a permanent, must-attend fixture on the global music industry calendar. It is solutions driven, featuring face-to-face sessions, keynote presentations and discussion panels with some of the most innovative and successful companies and individuals in the businesses of music, entertainment and technology.

Previous speakers include: Paul McGuinness (Manager, U2), Edgar Bronfman Jr. (Chairman & CEO, Warner Music Group), Edison Chen (Artist), Sam Duann (President, Rock Records Co. Ltd), Terry McBride (CEO, Nettwerk Music Group and Manager Avril Lavigne), the IFPI’s John Kennedy, Charles Huang (Co-inventor of Guitar Hero), Globally renowned concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith, Haji Taniguchi (Managing Director, Avex Group Holdings Inc), Tero Ojanperä (EVP, Head of Entertainment, Nokia) and many others sharing the stage with a wealth of other local Asian and international music business leaders.

Created, managed and promoted by Hong Kong based entertainment marketing company, Branded Limited, the Music Matters programme is customised with the assistance of an advisory board comprising of senior representatives from across the entertainment value chain including major record companies, independents, promoters, digital retail, lawyers, financiers, mobile and media owners. The ongoing success of Music Matters clearly reflects the deserved attention that the Asia Pacific is receiving from the rest of the world and demonstrates that the business of Music… Matters!

Plug into Asia!

Music Matters Event Information:

www.musicmattersasia.com

June 2nd – 4th, 2009 (Forum on June 3rd and 4th)

Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong

Business Wire

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