How Aussies Are Getting A Slice Of The Lucrative Chinese Music Market

28 January 2016 | 2:25 pm | Neil Griffiths

Thank you, Cantara Global.

Gaining exposure overseas is never an easy task for bands and artists and though it is one of the most lucrative markets, China has always been a tough country to crack, but that is all about to change thanks to Brisbane songwriter Nik Phillips who has launched a digital platform that is connecting music to over a billion people across China. 

The company coined Cantara Global delivers international music to China through content-led digital marketing. In 2015, Cantara streamed live concerts into China with an audience of over 250 million viewers in partnership with the country's largest social media company, Tencent. 

Speaking to theMusic, Phillips says that even Australia's biggest artists don't have significant exposure in China, though there are "pockets of recognition".

"The problem is, in the past, because China is so big, how do you connect to those pockets of recognition?", Phillips says. 

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"Because it’s broken down into Tencent management. we’re able to identify through social media process which people are aware of the Australian artists, get them exposed further to it and draw them into seeing concerts online and that way the artist can build their market base without having to go to the risk of travelling over there and playing to no one." 

In relation to the concerts that Cantara stream for Chinese audiences, Phillips says that the data from these streams can be used by artists to see what people viewed it and in what location. 

"They might find that they have a bigger recogniton in a city like Chongqing say, then in Beijing, so then it would make more sense for the Australian artist to then tour in Chongqing," he explains.

"While they [the artists] don’t have a huge presence, there will be pockets that know them and we need to identify those pockets and help them grow.

"It becomes more of a way of building a commercial platform rather than taking a high risk."

As well as the launch of Cantara TV this year, which will be accessible to over 200 households, Cantara also works closely with the Copyright Protection Centre of China and can assist in protecting copyrights in China, as well as helping to build artists' profile through selling merchandise. 

Phillips believes big-name Australian artists such as Tame Impala and Chet Faker have the opportunity to capitalise on their local success in the Chinese market. 

"I think one of the big opportunities is for one of those artists to start collaborating with a couple of Chinese or Korean artists and that would really help them gain more traction in market and then introduce their music on the back of that," Phillips says.

"I just think the size of the economy can’t be ignored these days. The problem has always been, it’s too hard for people to get in…where as we are providing a solution for that." 

For more details, check out the Cantara website.