“Today, users’ needs are met in terms of the division of labour in music service. There is a problem. I think digital music will not have any revolutionary change with three to five year, so I decide on live music.”
Last August, an online paid live concert cooperated by Wang Feng and LeTV made a good start. There were more than 75,000 times purchases and the total sales reached to more than 2 million Yuan. Additionally, live concert also got popular. This is the benefit of “fans economy”: fans are willing to follow their idols online, which gives live concert outlets and new business model. This year, LeTV streamed the Strawberry Music Festival, Zhangbei Grassland Festival, Li Zhi’s tour and G.E.M’s
concert and so on. The number of live show reached to 300 a year.
In September, LeTV will broadcast Chirs Lee’s concert in Chengdu. According to the company, the online live record by TF boys was broke by Lee with 1.5 million people booking within 4 hours. On August 15th, the audience number of TF boys live on Tencent Video reached 3.17 million.
The following are collected from what Yin Liang, CEO of LeTV Music, shared in a saloon:
The reason that I can firmly make music live is that internet music service always follows specialized division service in music industry rather than users’ needs. Take recording copyrights for example, traditional music business relies on selling copyrights to build business mode. Today, users’ needs are met in terms of the division of labour in music service. There is a problem. I think digital music will not have any revolutionary change with three to five year, so I decide on live music.
When I entered LeTV in 2011, I’ve thought about the problem. I work for a video platform. If we only provide music and MV contents from labels, the value is less than that of MP3. Because no matter in number and coverage, it’s definitely less than that of digital music. Based on the new user experience of video technology, I decided on live and to bring music live with better user experience to the market through latest technology.
Therefore since 2012, we’ve been doing music live in a large scale and set up a brand named “Live Life”. At that time there was no commercial concert for us to broadcast, so we were forced to invite artists, plan the show, booking venue, organize stage and light, as well as audio programs step by step. I also watched foreign live videos. In 2014, I thought we were at a very high level.
At first, live music only had a single camera, a PC notebook and a cable. In 2013 and 2014, we could make high quality picture and the sound was much better than before.
I have a question: how to change from industry revolution to user experience revolution. These two aspects are the same problem. Real user experience revolution requires industry revolution. Currently, the superficial view is that we are broadcasting many shows: more than 300 in a year. But our final goal is not the show itself but bringing new service to users with novel experience. It has to return upstream, which means how to change traditional performance.
The transformation of the industrial chain is what I have deployed. It is not an easy task. Show business is similar to music industry: they are cured for many years and there is a stable profit chain
relationship in each link. From the market perspective, performance runs counter to the Internet economy. Artist agency is at the top of performance business, followed by first producer, second producer and third producer. They are the middle of the chain and have to take all the risks. Ticketing and venue are behind them.
There is almost no risk for upstream companies. However, because of excessive price increasing, the end-price is too high. The result is that the upstream links collect more money and the threshold of live show for customers becomes higher, which is totally incompatible with Internet economy.
Only a truly integrated upstream can smooth online and offline experience. Now, we just bring offline content online and make primary O2O. It’s just a beginning. Online and offline should be a perfect fusion and we must reform the industry chain.
Many platforms are doing live video, one of the incentives is that LeTV launched Wang Feng’s concert
live on August 2ndlast year. It shocked the industry; especially rich companies like Tencent are following. In the view of vertical development, music industry and Internet is like two unmatched gears. In digital music era, when all internet platforms need large user-base and attract customers with music, there’s no thinking about vertical value in music industry.
Take Baidu MP3 as an example, when Baidu came into the market, it was very clear that their user scale reached 30%. Digital music contributed to the Internet and brought benefits to it. However, these two industries are not moved by the same momentum for the Internet does not consider the development of music industry.
Today’s Internet has largely changed from user scale era to user quality era. Most digital music
companies have enormous user base but not much user value We have to give users something back that is worth the money they paid. We even have to give back to the upstream of music industry. The only requirement is valuable service. From Wang Feng to G.E.M.’s live, we started member service. We do not agree on making every concert into paid mode for it harms user experience.
What we can do is to find problems in experience and consider our service from customer’s view. Contents and value are only part of the whole. We are working on keeping customer value and entering the service with lower threshold. Tencent does not stand on vertical perspective but is based on PR. It’s hard to work further without making values in vertical music industry.
“Live life” is a differentiated product. The Live life museum will open in Beijing before October. It is a large space of more than 3,000 square meters. The first floor is related with lifestyle, quality and technology and the second floor is living space. We’ve already enabled a great deal of different contents. Currently, it’s in the preparation stage. It’s different from all the live life by commercial concerts and music festivals. Content business is still a creative business that needs people who understand it to give innovative ideas. This links closely with live life museum.
LeTV Music is based on “music + Internet + technology”, which transforms music from two levels. One is vertical integration of industry chain, and the other is user experience and service value innovation. From these two levels, music live platform is only a way to enter the business. Our vision is to create the most valuable music company in the world.
The revolution of global music industry will not start in the western world for their specialization pattern is cured and business is very independent. So vertical integration will only take place in China. LeTV has globalized strategy and radiation. If China can give birth to a company that changes global music industry chain from the Internet perspective, it’s very honorable. China’s industry always follows that of American. It’s time for us to change.
In the future, LeTV headquarter may be located overseas. We have LeTV Sports to explore. It’s the most valuable sports company. Plus, LeTV is also doing car, TV, cell phone, movie, sports and so on. The next will be music.
For one thing, the revolution comes from LeTV’s synergy and chemical reaction; for another, it is recognized and assisted by social resources. As big dreams are accomplished by human, we welcome anyone to join us as long as you are determined on it. Not each one in each era could change an industry; most of the ears are making one screw for it.
The music industry and the Internet are changing. It’s a huge opportunity. It does not belong to
anyone; it belongs to the whole generation.
(Translator: Ellie; Editor: Chuqian Li)
Copyright © 2015 China Music Business News