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Pro Soul officially launches in Beijing, China

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Chinese flag We’re excited to officially announce something we’ve been working on for over 2 years now, launching Pro Soul Alliance in China.
China is a huge, emerging market for the music industry, but currently in it’s infancy, and immature. Professional assistance is desperately needed due to crippling discouragement for artists attributed to the pervasive downloading of music. There is also a huge lack of ‘official’ presence for foreign artists who are becoming very popular in China. That means huge opportunity for those willing to support, develop and nurture this challenging market.

At the end of 2011, We announced a new world class recording and production studio in Beijing as our first step. Now we are offering promotion, marketing, sales and distribution both within China and outside to our existing artists and Chinese artists through our local office in Beijing. Unlike other companies offering music services in China, we are based within China, and our local office is staffed with bilingual locals who know the market and culture, and have experience working with Chinese and international artists here.
Our company has been legally registered as a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise in China under the name ‘敬真堂(北京)文化咨询有限公司’ Which translates to ‘Respect Truth (Beijing) Culture Consultancy Co. Ltd.’ (This was as close as we could get to our english name given the language and cultural differences. We kind of like how depending on the translation of our Chinese name, it can mean ‘Church of Truth’)

Because China is a complex and daunting market for a foreign company, we are starting out with the following basic range of services:

For Chinese artists:

  • Focusing on getting Chinese artists who are ready exposure internationally
  • Getting international distribution and sales for Chinese music (iTunes, Spotify, Nokia)
  • Promotion and marketing for Chinese artists overseas by connecting with interested markets and fans

For International Artists:

  • Digital distribution for international artists in China (including essential mobile stores China Mobile, Unicom, Telecom)
  • Promotion and marketing in China focusing on key social networking sites like Weibo, Douban, Youku
  • Collaboration with Chinese artists and recording traditional Chinese instruments with local professionals

As we continue researching the industry and experimenting with new techniques for promotion and marketing music in China, we will also be offering licensing for Chinese music internationally in Film, TV, and online, expanding their revenue sources. We will also assist Chinese artists who are ready create their own business and develop music career in China to maximize their profit and control. Of course we will also be able to assist international artists book shows and organize tours in China in future.

We have already begun assisting international artists Elika Mahony, and Hart as well as Chinese artist Abominati get exposure in China.

You can sign up right now for promotion, marketing and  distribution in China with the ‘Professional Artist Management and Consulting Asia’ option on our Get Started page.
For artists within China, we have a new website entirely in Chinese with a helpful blog focused on the local market.

For more information, please contact our China artist services manager BeiBei Lei

Watch for our next post with more about why China is an important market backed up by the latest statistics.

Pro Soul meets with Lady GaGa manager Troy Carter

Monday, May 28th, 2012

A few days ago, we were at music conference in Singapore called Music Matters, focused on the future of the music industry, particularly in Asia.
(Thanks to the talented Michael aka Mobidextrous & Miss Melody for helping making this happen!)

Although we didn’t hear too much that we hadn’t heard before, it was great to gain some insights into the music scene in Asia, where Korean Pop is becoming like Beatlemania, and Mainland China is still no where to be seen…
Amongst many industry leaders and respected professionals, we had the pleasure of spending some time briefly with the busy Troy Carter, manager for Lady GaGa.

Troy Carter with Jarome Matthew of Pro Soul Alliance
Troy Carter with Jarome Matthew of Pro Soul Alliance

Pro Soul CEO jarome Matthew discussed the importance of Asia for Lady GaGa despite difficulties in places like Indonesia with pressure from Islamic groups causing cancellation of her show there this week.

Troy confirmed that China is an important place for the future of Lady GaGa, but given the undeveloped state of the music industry there and various other challenges for foreign artists, they will take some time to plan and prepare for an official presence in Mainland China.
Ga Ga however sold out 4 shows in Hong Kong recently, with many mainland Chinese attending.

We were happy to hear Troy confirm that building a relationship with fans is the most important thing an artist can do, even for a major success like GaGa. he also talked about the importance of being comfortable with using social media and other technology to connect with fans, as important as touring was 20 years ago.

We look forward to helping out when China is ready for Lady GaGa’s appearance in the near future!

Troy Carter, manager, Lady Gaga

Trent Reznor’s thoughts on illegal downloading

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

“OK. The record business is broken. The model is broken.” I’d go through periods of having to look in the mirror and say, “Let’s see. I just made an album I spent a year working on. I turned it over to the record label to get manufactured. It leaked, and I’m online, just boiling furious, at fans who’re talking about how much they love this new album, that they just stole.”
And then I’d think, “Wait a minute. They’re not standing outside my house, bootlegging copies out the back of their van, y’know, to make money. They’re sharing their excitement about songs I’ve written, and music I’ve done. And they’re excited about it. And I’m pissed off at ‘em, because what? They didn’t wait until a month from now, when they’d have to drive to a record shop (if they can find one,) to buy a piece of plastic they don’t want, then rip it back to their computers, to…man, this sucks. Ok, something’s not right.” Or they can buy it from iTunes at a lower bit quality, which at that time was also copy protected, which I was originally strongly against.

It becomes very clear, if you can remove the emotion from the equation, that, OK. The delivery system is broken. And the relationship between fans and artists and record labels is also broken. I thought I was smart enough to get that right. What I learned is it consumed… The following years coming up to the present, have been spent trying to experiment with different business models.

First and foremost, spending time paying attention to what consumers want. You know, it all sounds like market research and boring marketing-type crap, and it is, but it also became clear: nobody else has figured it out. And managers aren’t gonna tell us what to do, and record labels, it’s clear they don’t know what to do. And the internet at large, their proposition that everything should just be free? That’s great if you’re a kid at home, it’s not so great if you’re a content provider that’s thinking “OK, how am I supposed to keep doing this if everything is just free?” That’s not right, in my opinion.

…rethinking how one makes money. If I’m gonna go on tour, and here’s a concert ticket, I’m hoping you come see, you know what? I’’’ throw the record in with that, it’ll all come into the same pot. Rethinking different ways to get your message out to people, and also trying to be consumer friendly. What do people want? They want stuff that’s not copy protected. OK. They want to be able to share it with their friends? OK. They’d like higher quality digital files? OK. They’d like to feel like they’re getting some sort of value for their money? I understand that. OK.”

Read the full source of this quote here.

Chinese social networking happening on a massive scale

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter may not work, but that doesn’t mean that social networking isn’t huge in China!

According to Sam Flemming of See i See, China’s first social media blog, “Everything that happens in the West is happening on steroids in China.” Chinese social networking statistics show:

  • 384 million Internet users in China, 75% of whom are under 34
  • 221 million bloggers,
  • 222 million creators of online video,
  • 272 million instant messaging users,
  • 265 million online gamers
  • 321 million users who download music

These numbers ring true and gave us a sense of the magnitude of social networking in China, clear proofs of Sam Flemming’s statement that “Everything that happens in the West is happening on steroids in China.”

The key is how to use these amazing new markets effectively for music? You can bet Pro Soul is researching this and will report our findings.

In our Part 2 post about social networking and the music business in China, we’ll look at some specific sites, and what it’s like doing business in China with music.

The Straight Facts About Your Music Career

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

“You can’t make it in the old system anymore.

This ain’t about theft, this ain’t about copyright infringement, this is about opportunity.
For a new golden era. Where the artist sits at the top of the pyramid.

Are you ready to climb up and take control?

Then make great music.
Respect your audience.
Give people the tools to spread the word, never rip them off.
Know that growth will be slow. But that the edifice you’re building is solid, that it will pay dividends like the old record company pension plan, but now the beneficiary will be YOU, not the fat cats.

Believe in yourself. But don’t be delusional.

Is your record… lightning in a bottle?

If not, keep your day job.

Forever. ”
- Bob Lefsetz, 2008

Happy New Year! Our top blogs of 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Our first year has been great so far despite the economic times we live in, we’ve been working with a total of 9 fantastic artists!

Here are some of our top blog posts of 2009 in order posted:

Tips from a successful DIY indie musician…

Music and the Mobile Phone

Automatically posting your blog feeds to Facebook etc.

How many ‘active’ fans do you have?

The new music business model – Connect With Fans!

Is Music for free really a good idea?

The 10 Commandments of Music 2.0

A brave new era of music self release…

How to get people to come to shows

DIY takes more time than many think

Thank you to all the artists we work with, you have made this a great year, helping us take the music business into the future!
In return, we hope expanding your career to new heights has made this a great year for you as well.

We’ve got some fantastic new things planned for our artists in 2010, and were looking forward to a great year!
Happy new year to all of you, all the best for the year ahead.

Director Jarome Matthew, and the Pro Soul Alliance Team