China Makes Splash At Midem

Japan, which is the world’s second-biggest music market, was once again the main Asian representative at the music industry trade show Midem, which was held in Cannes two weeks ago.

Japan’s pavilion hosted 127 companies. However, the spotlight was on China, whose presence at the music market was much larger than it had been in previous years, with 30 companies and eight representatives from the powerful Ministry of Culture.

Chen Tong, a senior manager with the ministry’s audio and video division, told reporters the government is making a concerted effort to boost China’s profile in the world music market ahead of the Beijing Olympics next year.

The challenge is formidable. Western music companies are still wary of China and even continental Asia, where piracy remains a seemingly intractable problem. Even worse, according to IFPI, the international recording industry association, digital sales, which are quickly becoming an important factor in the success of artists and their recordings, are basically non-existent in China.

The Chinese delegation tried to offset this trepidation by insisting that the country is doing everything in its power to stop piracy, and the IFPI noted that the normally closed Chinese market has become much more receptive to outside music in the last year.