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From Eric Zho, Founder and CEO, A2LiVE
Accounting for 60% percent of the world’s population, Asia is undoubtedly one of the most exciting environments in the world for music. While not yet as mature of a market as those found in the West, much of Asia is still on a greatly steeper growth trajectory.
Most buzz surrounding growth in this region has focused on the digital sector. We at A2LiVE have seen markets opening up in places thought far from possible. Easy access to mobile devices for a rising online population, combined with new music media such as Musical.ly or DianYinTai (DYT), and earnest steps taken by government officials to legitimize their market, has opened the floodgates to new paying consumers contributing to this phenomenon. China in particular has shown itself a clear frontrunner here.
In Asia and many countries around the world, the trend seems to be one of digital music overtaking physical and streaming overtaking downloads. It is worth noting that Japan though, has stayed strong in the traditionally more profitable retail of physical music product. For this reason, it still holds the title of largest Asian music market by music consumption revenue.
With all the new media contributing to growth in digital music, live streaming of events has been a particularly hot topic in Asia. The often unsung hero though, in measuring the true size of the market, is the live events themselves. It’s no secret that the majority of money spent on music is on live. Reframing how we measure the Asian music market with this in consideration changes the landscape significantly.
Just as new markets have come forward in digital, so too have they in the live space. This forward movement rings especially true with dance music. New festival brands have been popping up left and right, Asia’s Budweiser STORM Music Festival has expanded to 7 cities and other western titans such as Live Nation and Ultra have been increasing their activity in the area.
With this growth in accessibility over the last few years, a passionate community has developed around dance music in Asia and the Nielsen data in this report underlines that. Dance music listeners (DML) are consistently more engaged and outperform the average music listener in nearly every scenario. They are more likely to pay for digital music; they are more likely to attend a live event; and their overall spend is notably higher as well. The value of a dance music listener to the music industry is 15% higher than that of an average music listener when averaged across the 5 pillar countries representing Asia in this report. The value then, of an avid dance music listener is even higher at 55% above an average music listener for the region.
While this may be interesting to brands seeking to attract a more affluent crowd, they must be cautious in their approach. Being too overt with branding can have an adverse effect on recruiting music listeners, especially for those more advanced. That said, avid dance music listeners across all the countries, interestingly enough, are more receptive to brand partnerships than the average music listener. This report lists a number of ways a brand can engage and activate at a live event and while not a comprehensive list, these methods give an insight into what is culturally appropriate for each demographic.
By incorporating tactful activations into their sponsorship strategy, brands can help fuel sustainable growth with dance music for all parties involved. By preserving the sought after “edge” factor, brands can further grow our dance music community of high value individuals.