Music Matters speaker says Asia points the way forward

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The marquee speaker at this month's Music Matters forum says he has looked at the way people listen to their tunes in Asia - and he believes it will soon be the way the whole world does.

Music Matters will this year run May 27-28 at Hong Kong's Grand Hyatt hotel ( and promotes itself as the largest music industry gathering in Asia.

This year will see seminars focusing on the Japanese music industry - the world's second largest behind the United States - and on advances in the digital world.
And the event's main speaker will be Daniel Ek, the man behind the Spotify music service which has amassed 320,000 paid subscribers in Europe and has plans this year for a global expansion.

Spotify ( offers more than eight million tracks via a download application, and Ek says his organization has kept close tabs on developments in Asia.

"Looking at China specifically, people are searching for music via social networks and that market is incredibly exciting,'' he told the Music Matters website. "It's also exciting to see Japan with all the amount of digital downloading there. We're very intrigued about what we are seeing in Asia and we will see the patterns taking place in Asia going back to the Western world as opposed to vice versa on the internet.''

Organizers of Music Matters agree, pointing to the region's billions of music lovers and the fact that the region boasts half the world's mobile and web connections.
Ek points to the diverse nature of the Asian market as topics he will discuss - and again as the way forward for the music industry.

"Take India for example. India has a massive ringtones business,'' he says. "But it's different because it's driven by resellers. In the US, it's driven by carriers. There are 3,000 resellers selling ringtones in a store and if you like it they can transfer the ringtone directly to you.

"In China, the number one thing they do on the internet is music. Imagine the possibilities of building a platform around that. I don't know what the best way to monetize that is but for some it will be live shows, advertising, subscription music and a la carte.''

Among the artists performing at this year's Music Matters is double Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, who will also be the focus of a one-hour Q&A session with the audience.