Mainland Chinese music market is dying

Music is part of our lives, and that is why I started this blog. Is it true that people are used to listening music mostly from their own countries? In countries like America, UK, the answer maybe is positive. However, in china, people are listening more songs from other countries or from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Even for me, I only listen some old songs from old artists of mainland China. If someone asks me which artist I like most in mainland china, I can’t name even one single younger one.

I can still remember the good old-time when we still had good bands, good artists and good voices. How come they stop developing this market in mainland China? I don’t think music itself is the reason though our songs may be not as good as those in US and UK. Nowadays, we still have good voices and the audiences still give hope on the music market because those music competitions such as “I am a singer” got huge attention. However, comparing our approaches of promotion to other countries’, we can find that in US it works better.

Here is my favorite old song. It’s from Leslie Cheung, he is from Hong Kong, but China is included in the market. The song is “The moon represents my heart”.

The first reason came into my mind is radio. If you drive in US and you listen to these radios, you must find them really annoying because basically they never change their songs. In the certain period, they play the same songs on and on and on until every audience can remember these songs and even lyrics. It is annoying, we should admit. But it really works. All the Grammy songs went through this situation. In China, in most time, the DJ are talking about how is everything going on recently and making conversation between audiences, including call-in. These music radios in China never play a song more than once a day, which will never make these songs familiar to audiences.


Sina Weibo worksSocial media also matters in the reasons why mainland China music market is dying now. Although Chinese is, like people in any other countries, using social media frequently, we don’t have as many approaches as people who are from other countries. Sometimes we are just not able to know who and what songs are coming out. Furthermore, the PR people in music market in mainland China don’t use social media well enough. They messed it up more than use it properly. For example, in China, the artists can’t have Facebook pages for themselves. And on Weibo (Chinese Twitter), the artists share more personal lives than their music. Some of them barely care about PR.

It is also very important that people in China can download music free, which will reduce the profit of making music a lot. As long as they can’t make money, the whole market won’t live long.

If you are a Chinese, do you agree that our music have no branding work and they don’t promote them enough to let themselves famous? If you speak English, how do you think about the promotion of US or UK music? Do you like these radios?



  1. Luke Armour · April 10, 2013


    I wonder – how many artists in the U.S. actually care about PR either? Recall your earlier post on Bieber. Or look beyond music to sports stars – this is why we have Media Training, so people don’t make fools of themselves. We should all learn that lesson, yes?

    • ottoten · April 10, 2013

      Sure. But now I think more and more stars are starting to care about PR, even if they don’t really have a PR team. They still started to do PR work, which is really good.

  2. Hauson · April 15, 2013

    In fact I think they all know that promotion is necessary. It’s just that different people would use different ways to approach the target. For the current Chinese music industry, the promotion does exist, though it may not be developed in a healthy way. Catchy melodies and the potential profit of the tracks are emphasized. They need the track itself to be the promotion, and that’s why there are so much meaningless music and so many tracks which are simply imitations of a former hit song. As a profitable industry, Chinese music is not dying, but if we do really want good music with quality, we need to find solutions from other countries which are successful both in the music industry and the music itself.

  3. Noah · April 15, 2013

    I like him!! Nice work~ I’m amazed about your things here!

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