07 March 2007

Claymation daoban (盗版) - pirate CD vendor.

Chinese rock legend and blogger Kaiser Kuo posted “What have you always wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about the Chinese music industry?” and I peppered him with questions. The first one I asked was “Are there any podcasts or blogs that are genre themed or programmed? Does that have any big potential?” I then realized that, hey, I have the internetz, I can type some Chinese, and I feel like avoiding my responsibilities - why don’t I try and answer that?

Lo and behold, I find Lifepop, a Chinese website for user-generated podcasts. While one of the top shows is apparently a 61 year old guy in Xi’an telling jokes, there are music podcasts as well. One that caught my eye was Punkcity by a guy calling himself Jackass. He’s got a band called Flipside, and they’ve even got a MySpace page. Like other Chinese rock bands, they sing in English. But unlike many others, they are making their own stop-motion music video, which I’ll attempt to paste here but otherwise you can see it at Jackass’s page or the MySpace link or see it at fullscreen here. There’s some pics of the props he’s hand making on the site as well. The video is only about half done, as the animation only last for about a minute and a half and then the rest of the song is subtitles over a black screen. But check it out - its been continuously made and reposted. But I warn you in advance: Flipside listens to emo. Proceed with caution.

Also on Lifepop is what appears to be a podcast by Nu Metal band Twisted Machine, who also have a MySpace page.

As for podcasting in China overall, I found this article from the Wharton School of Business last year. Lifepop founder Wang Xiaobo has these comments:

“China now has between 20 and 30 podcasting sites, with three or four leading the way. And there are about 1 million of users of podcasting.” (Lifepop, last March, had 200,000 of those)

Where are these other sites?

“Currently, the few large blogging sites are competing to burn the money they got from venture capitalists and to define their areas. Even if there are only one or two sites that manage to break even now, that is a miracle. There are few podcasting sites that are big enough, and everybody is in no hurry to turn a profit due to marketing needs and other reasons. So the majority of podcasting sites are not profitable.” But he predicts that “in the next few years, coupled with the development of the 3G technology, there will be an explosive growth in the number of podcasting users. Meanwhile, podcasting will become more integrated with other multi-media applications.”

Hmmm… whither the telecoms?

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