Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Global Entertainment & Technology Businesses Gather At Asian Music Industry Event

MusicDish is an official sponsor of Music Matters Eric de Fontenay (founder of MusicDish) will be attending

Over 300 companies will be in Hong Kong next week (June 2-4) to attend, sponsor or partner with Music Matters - the Asia Pacific Music Forum. Asia Pacific's music industry event, now in its fourth year, is continuing to draw much attention, even at a time when the global economic downturn has savaged companies' marketing and travel budgets.

Global companies including Google, Virgin, Sony Ericsson, Coca-Cola, BMI, Ticketmaster, Nokia, Gibson, MTV, Real Networks, Converse, Star TV and Friendster will be rubbing shoulders with Universal Music, Warner Music, Sony Music, EMI, Live Nation and some of Asia's leading independent labels. With over 70 speakers, 23 sponsors, 26 media partners, 30 supporting organisations and over 50 artists attending and performing, music clearly matters to a lot of very influential people.

"We are absolutely thrilled by the level of support we have received this year. Music Matters is a unique marriage of entertainment and technology consummated in the heart of Asia Pacific. Times are tough but we have found that the music industry wants to get together to promote a brighter future" says Jasper Donat, Director of Hong Kong-based event organisers Branded and President of Music Matters. "Music Matters participants have the opportunity to steer the future of the music industry and to be a part of the platform in Asia for finding and creating new business opportunities."

Attracting a stellar speaker lineup of music, entertainment and technology heavyweights, Music Matters is a forum created by, with and for the Asian music industry. "I think the future is conferences like this." says Terry McBride, CEO Nettwerk Music Group.

Global Music Marketing Manager for Coca-Cola, Umut Φzaydinli will be attending Music Matters not only to join the speaker line up, but also to explore business opportunities in the region. "Coca-Cola has a strong footprint in Asia. What I'm trying to do is see if some proven western acts can come to Asia in a different way" says Φzaydinli. "I am personally here to discover and look for the opportunities to bring western acts here and vice versa".

The theme of this year's programme is From Content to Context and all that lies in between. The potential of the music business in Asia - particularly in the mobile space - is sure to be a hot topic. "Asia is growing as a youth culture for both technology and culture; that combination on mobile smart-phones is the future of the music business." says McBride. Music Matters keynote speaker, Vice President of Music, Nokia, Elizabeth Schimel agrees "Youth culture is exploding in Asia, and that energy, creativity and innovation makes it a hugely compelling entertainment market".

Also up for debate will be whether an ad-funded model could fast track the music industry's digital potential as the top players in recent Google Music deal take the stage at this year's conference. "New music media will become a billion dollar business within the next 10 years on the internet and mobile phones." says Gary Chen, Founder & CEO, Orca Digital Inc. ( "200 million people are downloading music at one time and China is the second biggest advertising in the whole world; last year it was worth US48 billion. Every company, including Chinese companies, is spending their advertising budget in China. China surpassed Japan to become the second biggest advertising country in 2006. If you have 200 million people going to a site, lots of advertisers will advertise on a legit music platform, like Pepsi, Nokia, Armani, Ford, anybody!"

Networking will continue at day's end as Music Matters' traditional showcases feature live music from the region and around the globe. This year will see special guest appearances from jazz superstar Jamie Cullum, local HK pop sensation G.E.M, American Chinese Hip Hop star MC Jin and the Waking Eyes from Canada. "It is so exciting to be back in Hong Kong" says Cullum, "and I am honoured to be given the opportunity to perform at Music Matters. Asia is always a highlight for me on tour; amazing food and a huge wealth of musical talent. The fans in Asia rock, they never fail to provide a warm reception"

Now a fixed appointment on its annual calendar, Music Matters is ready to welcome the world's music industry to Hong Kong. "Great programme, great bands… It's going to be a great 3 days!" enthuses Donat.

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