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Music Events (more headlines) 11-27-2012

MIC Taiwan: Discussing The Future Of Taiwan Music In The World

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Email: chinasounds@musicdish.com
Website: http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=13319
Music: http://www.mictaiwan.com/en/index.html

Taiwan is a country that has consistently pulled above its weight, and it's culture is no exception. While there are only 23 million inhabitants living in this sub-tropical island, Taiwan is Greater China's (Mainland, Hong Kong & Taiwan) culture superpower with revenues from domestic TV, film and pop music industries reaching US$45 billion in 2009. Its dominance of the pop music industry has produced the sector's top earning stars such as Jolin, A-Mei and Jay Chow, with over 85% of the music listened to in Greater China being produced in Taiwan.

While Taiwan is not alone in culturally pulling-above-its-weight on the world stage - think Canada, Sweden and South Korea - it finds itself facing some unique challenges in an increasingly competitive environment. Taiwan has always had to compete with Japanese Pop culture since the 70s, however, now Korean Pop (K-Pop) has grown within East and South East Asia's cross-regional musical phenomena. This has pushed countries across the region, notably Singapore and China, to invest in developing their soft power, ie., global cultural reach.

But it is the Mainland that presents the greatest challenges and opportunities for Taiwan. Take just one statistic - a survey in 2011 found that Taiwan had 2.9 million smartphone users, however, China is estimated to have 100 times as many users and continues to grow rapidly. 2013 is also likely to be a landmark year for China's music industry as the government is to begin rolling out a new model to clamp down on piracy and track usage, enabling royalty payments to creators. As one expert consulting the Chinese government on digital music standards recently told me, "Perhaps next year, music will no longer be free in China." This tremendous opportunity, of course, also presents Taiwan with its greatest challenge of holding its lead in the sector as the Mainland's music industry inevitably develops.

This was the context for the Music Industry Conference (MIC) Taiwan held at the Sunworld Dynasty Hotel in November. Since 2010, Taiwan's Government Information Office has been increasing its support of Taiwan artists performing in the West. MIC, on the other hand, gathered international expertise for an open discussion on key issues to form the building blocks of Taiwan pop music's international development, including:

* Artistic collaboration between Taiwanese and Western artists, from songwriting and co-production, to live events and touring.
* Investments in music education and curriculum, particularly of music professionals through training and certification
* Digital platform: mobile & web audiovisual stream business collaboration

I had the opportunity to participate in several of the panels, so I wanted to share some of my takeaways from the forum... read more here

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