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Music streaming sheds light on young dreams of stardom


02-13-2017 13:57 BJT

Thanks to the internet, perhaps there is no easier time for people to become famous. And music streaming platforms have given hope to millions of Chinese who want to be cultural idols. So how has the industry transformed with the rise of these platforms?

ZEXY is a young rock band founded two years ago. Now its biggest wish is to release its first single.

“It’ll be great if we could release our first song or album this year. We’ll be happier if people can enjoy it,” said Shef Leung, Band Leader.

In the past, a small band like ZEXY would be buried under thousands of other artists, all fighting for the attention of record labels.

But now, smaller, indie bands see an open door to a bigger market – music streaming platforms.

“I can apply for a certificate of Original Musicians on several music apps. Then I can directly upload our songs to the platform,” Shef Leung said.

Bands like ZEXY see a breakthrough in this digital era. And these streaming platforms are also betting the future on these young artists.

“People still consumer old singers and songs – that’s currently the biggest problem with China’s music industry. We need to find new singers and songs,” said Zhao Haizhou, Vice President, Kugou Music.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to find new artists in this diversified era of digital music,” said Garand Wu, Managing Director, Universal Music China, Greater China.

Kugou Music is one of the leading online music providers in China. On its mobile app, its live-streaming service has become an important channel for the company to single out future stars.

“Let those young talents gradually expand their fan base. If they can gain 300,000-500,000 fans online in half year, it means they have market potential. Then we can pick them out and make them stars,” said Zhao Haizhou, Vice President, Kugou Music.

Even the most common of people have a chance to become the next big thing.

“We also launched a service called Music Showroom on our app. Users can directly record Karaoke on their phones and upload their songs to our platform,” Liao Yu, CEO, Migu Music.

“If they’re not pretty enough, we’ll make them pretty. If they don’t sing well enough, we’ll give them special training. If we have one million artists every year, the next super star will definitely emerge,” Zhao Haizhou said.

In this era of digital music, being a star could be the new Chinese dream for this young generation. But what does it take to be the one in a million?

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