Sony Music Entertainment Restructures, Bolsters Asian and Middle Eastern Operations

Streaming Pushes Sony Music's Revenue Over $4 Billion

Sony Music Entertainment CEO Rob Stringer

Sony Music Entertainment (SME) is restructuring and expanding its operations in Oceania, Asia, and the Middle East.

In a formal announcement, the company indicated that Asia-Pacific exec Denis Handlin will shift his focus exclusively to Australia and New Zealand, having previously handled markets in those countries and in Asia. It was also reported that Handlin has been part of SME’s team for an ultra- impressive 49 years, with his half-century anniversary set to arrive this May.

Meanwhile, Shridhar Subramaniam will adopt the newly created title of President, Strategy and Market Development, Asia and Middle East, while continuing “to oversee Sony Music Entertainment India and the Middle East.” Based out of SME’s New York City headquarters, Subramaniam’s role will involve formulating growth-minded long-term strategies for “hubs throughout Asia and the Middle East.”

Additionally, Andrew Chan will lead SME China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong; Ariel Fung will become the Executive Vice President of SME Southeast Asia, and Joseph Chang will continue as Managing Director of SME Korea.

Sony Music Entertainment isn’t the only major record label that’s betting big on rapidly developing music industries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Last year, Universal Music Group (UMG) appointed Calvin Wong to a newly created executive role in Singapore, where UMG’s Southeast Asia headquarters are located, before launching a new label alongside AirAsia. In 2018, the company signed a licensing agreement with Boomplay, Africa’s most popular music-streaming service.

An ever-increasing number of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern artists are demonstrating their marketability, both domestically and internationally. In 2019, BTS, a South Korean K-pop group, became the first Asian artist to garner five billion plays on Spotify.

Similarly, Nas’s Mass Appeal is currently scouting and marketing hip-hop artists in India.

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