Quiz: Which Consumers Spend More on Music: Americans or Chinese?

Can’t be the Chinese, right? They’re all about piracy and copyright infringement and have a reputation of never paying for music. But hang on. Let’s take a look at this article from Forbes:

Chinese Consumers Spend Much More On Music Per Year Than Americans
Forbes, January 28, 2016
Hugh McIntyre

While the Chinese market has been incredibly important to many industries for a long time, the music world has been slow to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities afforded by the world’s most populated nation. Many Chinese companies have been proactive, but there is still plenty of room for international growth within the country.

China currently has over 650 million people connected to the internet-about twice the total population of the United States-and their economy is growing every day. The younger generations in China care deeply about music, and they have the time and the money to invest in the industry. In fact, spending in China is predicted to top $55 trillion in the next decade, and the percentage that goes to music is increasing.

A new study focused on the Chinese market from Nielsen found that an average of $86 is spent per person on music-related activities. That figure grows to $132 per person when looking specifically at those deemed “affluent” in the country, a population that is growing rapidly. To put that figure into perspective, the average American spends around $50 per year on music, so even the middle class Chinese consumers are willing to open their wallets wider than here in the United States. On the other hand, consider that most top tier artists touring could easily sell a ticket for somewhere in the $80 range, and many of the more popular streaming services cost $10 per month (although there are plenty of subscription platforms that have lower costs in China), so is $86 really a lot?

Oddly, if you search for this article now on Forbes you get a big 404. Has it been redacted for some reason?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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