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Why does China’s only music Tv-show for promoting original music suffer? Recently, news about the stop of "Sing My Song" appeared incessantly.

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admin 2016-12-01 Collect Review (718)

Recently, news about the stop of “Sing My Song” appeared incessantly. After Huan Liu’s confirmation in his friend circle yesterday, sighs about it kept growing on Weibo, where many musicians who have participated in the program also expressed their profound pities.

The official Weibo account of “Sing My Song” said the news about the “stop” is inaccurate. They clarified that they would just extend the producing process for better development and upgrading revision, and CCTV would like to affirm and support original programs. However, their clarification didn’t mention the on air time of “Sing My Song” and the word “inaccurate” still left some imagination. Thus, it is only a kind of appeasement to the audience from the two producers.

On Weibo, many people are emphasizing that “Sing My Song” is a particularly rare program full of sincerity. Yes indeed, programs with the original music as the cores exist domestically and abroad. Furthermore, in 2014, “Sing My Song” model was also exported to oversea market and ordered by ITVSGE, a distribution department under the British Independent TV Group ITV. It was the first time that Chinese original program have ever stepped into Europe.

Most importantly, through this program more people are able to hear some influential and high-quality songs, such as “Roll bead curtain”, “Die in Your Hands”, “Wild Child”, “Hanggai”, “Wukong”… … As there are chaos of scattered channels but no official music list, “Sing My Song” has not only provided independent musicians the opportunities to join the mainstream, but also brought fresh and new music to the public.

So why did this program impossible to meet with the audience?

Promoting original music, charm becoming weakness?

Obviously different from other music programs, “Sing My Song” tried to promote a platform for original music. Why did its unique charm come into being a kind of weakness?


p.s.:1. The ones with blue highlights are on air through internet
2. 1.3 Billion Decibels, Heroes of Remix and Battle of Sounds are for covering and remaking music with big changes to the original.

According to incomplete music financial statistics from CMBN, in all music-related programs in 2016, “Sing My Song” is the only one to put original music as the starting point. Not surprising, but undoubtedly heart breaking. Though it is not appropriate to put all the tasks of promoting music to an entertainment-oriented program, it is pretty sad to see a program with that intention and attempting cannot continue.

Does the model, which puts original music promotion as the core, have problems?

In 2014, ITV Studios, a British institution which has many years of experience in TV programs production and distribution, has reached a cooperation agreement with Canxing Production. Its willingness to join into the production of “Song of UK” and global distribution shows at least that it has accepted of the inner core of “Sing My Song”. Currently the business model of “Sing My Song” has been bought by the United States and Vietnam as well.

At the same time, soon after ITV obtained the business model dealership in 2014, Universal Music immediately joined to share the “Sing My Song” global distribution. Mike Beale, the then director of global models at ITV Studios said, “Universal Music’s participation confirms ‘Sing My Song’ has the potential to be the next worldwide successful music TV program.” But unfortunately, these countries have not yet launched this program, with specific reasons known.

Actually the problem of original music program is quite simple: high risk. When making an original music program, the producers need to bear the risks of “unpopular music”, “instable ratings”, “insufficient sponsorships” and “unsustainable high quality content output”, etc. Comparably, working in a safe environment is the right choice.

Yet there appeared various particular attempts among this year’s music programs. For example, in this year, “1.3 billion decibels”, “Heroes of Heroes” and “Battle of Sounds”, which are based on covering popular songs, but have made great differences to the original music and presented their new looks. Without weaning themselves off the dependence on the old IPs, howbeit they still have made another try of exploration on music programs for the moment.

The above 3 programs had different performances as well. “1.3 billion decibels” with emphasis on dialect music welcomed an ending of in total 300 million hits. The first reason is that dialect is much closer to general public and the second is such a collision sounds more novel and interesting. Jialin Liao’s “Rolling in the Deep” became a big hit through the social network; “Heroes of Remix” performed not well with electronic music as the entry point; “Battle of Sounds” attracted the eyes by bizarre adapting, to catch up with “Masked Singer Guess Guess Guess” on ratings.

From the above contrast can we know what are the sensitive points of the general public to the content. If we do follow those, the success may indeed occur in a certain period of time. However, according to CMBN, the formerly popular “Sing! China” might jump into loss this year. Well, along with the more and more attention to the content, whether some fresh tricks, such as games, cross-borders, mix-ups and so on, can offset the audience aesthetic fatigue towards the old music will still stay unknown.

Is the fundamental reason to be unable to make ends meet?

Yesterday, after Huan Liu confirmation about the stop of the program, a Weibo account of 1005055556802249, certified as a senior program producer, posted, “It is CCTV’s initiative choice to give up because it cannot make money. Canxing originally wanted to put this model directly to Zhejiang TV with the name “I want good songs”, but decided not to continue soon.”

Although the above might not be definitely true, it really deserves us to think about the ways of “Sing My Song” to make money.

Before, China Music Business News has analyzed the business model of Canxing Production (a sub company of STAR Group Limited), who has produced “Sing My Song”, “Voice of China”, “Sing! China”, etc.. The major revenue of its programs comes from the naming right fees and advertising. Taking “Voice of China” as an example, its naming fees were 60 million, 200 million and 250 in its first 3 seasons, and reached 400 million in the 4th season.

As a program shown in the golden time on CCTV 1, although “Sing My Song” cannot compete with “Voice of China” on the naming fee, it is absolutely a big attraction to the business. In 2013 the exclusive naming right of “Xing Guang Da Dao” (Avenue of Stars) was sold at a price of 339 million, while “Clash of the Choirs” in CCTV as well got a naming fee of 169 million yuan. Moreover, “Sing My Song” has obtained quite good rating records comparably and of course, great capacity to get sponsors.

Data from May, 2016.

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