Live Nation has announced that it is bringing its artist-discovery platform, Ones to Watch, to fans and creators in mainland China.
The Beverly Hills-based concert promoter recently detailed its expansion plans for Ones to Watch (called Xīng Xiān Kàn in Mandarin). Live Nation launched the platform in the United States in 2017, and the service “played a part in the kick starting of careers for some major household names, such as Halsey, Dua Lipa,” and more, according to the announcement message.
Xīng Xiān Kàn will share “the original brand mission, to focus on artist discovery.” On this front, Qingdao-based rock band Orange Ocean, which releases English-language music, will be the first artist featured on Ones to Watch in China. And “as Live Nation China is committed to developing local emerging artists,” additional acts are set to receive featured spots on the service moving forward.
Worth mentioning in this regard is that Ones to Watch, which encompasses “exclusive interviews, playlists, live performances, and more music content,” arrived in New Zealand in October of 2020. Since then, Live Nation has selected 12 up-and-coming Kiwi creators to join the platform.
Addressing Ones to Watch’s buildout, Edward Liu, managing director of Live Nation China, said: “Through the expansion of ONES TO WATCH to China, Live Nation is committed to developing local emerging artists, not only by exposing them to new audiences but also providing platforms for their professional development within the music industry.”
Live Nation, which currently boasts a higher per-share stock price than it did before the pandemic started, ahead of an expected summer of 2021 concert comeback, has quietly made several noteworthy plays to broaden its offerings beyond the crowd-based entertainment space. Perhaps the most significant of these moves, however, was the acquisition of Veeps, a ticketed livestreaming platform created by Good Charlotte co-founders Joel and Benji Madden.
Separately, evidence continues to suggest that China’s music market is quickly heating up. Tencent Music reported record earnings in Q4 of 2020, and Gibson in mid-February of this year unveiled a massive brand partnership with Universal Music Publishing Group in the nation of about 1.4 billion residents.
Tencent Music and Warner Music Group last month inked a multi-year licensing deal and established a jointly owned record label in China. Also worth reiterating ahead of Universal Music’s much-anticipated IPO is that Tencent owns 20 percent of the Big Three label, and Tencent Music itself possesses a piece of UMG as well.