Asia turns up the volume at Cannes music fair

24th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, Jan 24 (AFP) - Asia's dynamic music industry is out in force at this year's influential MIDEM music trade fair to showcase the best of the region's talent and give an added boost to its flourishing music sector.

CANNES, France, Jan 24 (AFP) - Asia's dynamic music industry is out in force at this year's influential MIDEM music trade fair to showcase the best of the region's talent and give an added boost to its flourishing music sector.

With digital music players taking off around the world and Asian artists starting to break into the music scene abroad, an impressive line-up of companies and musical talent from China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong have jetted in to this French Mediterranean seaside resort.

And the initial signs are that their long trip halfway around the world won't have been made in vain. Business here on Sunday's opening day of the MIDEM, which runs until January 27, started on a brisk note, buoyed by signs that flagging music sales might finally be recovering.

"Today has been very, very busy," Shingo Nagai of Japan's foreign trade body JETRO told AFP. Asia's music powerhouse, Japan is the world's second-biggest music market after the United States. This year, the 39th annual Midem fair, 40 Japanese companies are grouped together in the Japanese pavilion.

Many international artists have become big hits in Japan, which is also starting to successfully export some of its best musical talent abroad. MIDEM-goers get a chance to see and hear some of the newest up-and-coming Japanese performers on Monday at a "Japan Night", featuring ethnic pop group Tokyo Ethmusica, teenage newcomer Satomi and female rock vocalist Bonnie Pink, one of Japan's most original and best respected singer-songwriters.

Taiwan is also pulling out all the stops with 25 companies here, up from 22 last year, and a much bigger pavilion.

MIDEM participants will also get a chance to hear some Taiwanese artists, whose music is popular throughout the Chinese-speaking world. Am Band and Samingad, a singer who performs folk and modern songs in two of the country's ethnic languages, will both be performing this week.

Although China's presence here, with nine exhibiting companies, is Lilliputian compared with its Asian neighbours, it is still double that of last year. Everyone knows that it is early days with very few people selling today into China but no one wants to be left out when the potentially massive Chinese market does open up.

The Chinese music market is getting ready for tomorrow by restructuring its industry and the country's expanding professional class and increasingly urban lifestyle "are expected to further boost the music business," according to the MIDEM organisers' music representative for China, Udo Hoffmann.

South Korea with its powerful mobile telephone sector and widely exported pop music industry is Asia's second biggest MIDEM exhibitor. It is focusing on clinching alliances in record production, concert organisation and mobile telephony at this year's fair, the Korea Culture and Content Agency said.

With the global music industry's sights firmly fixed on the huge money-making potential it could receive by getting more music content on mobile phones, business should be brisk for the mobile phone-savvy Asian MIDEM participants.

There is lots of "mobile talk" shaping up at this MIDEM but it is early days yet and it remains to be seen how much of the discussion will get translated into hard deals by the end of the week.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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