Hong Kong: Asian pop fans are taking Western music off their MP3 and CD players and are listening to local artists instead, a survey revealed on 23 May, underlining changes in worldwide music tastes.
According to Synovate, a market research company, Korean, Mandarin-language and Thai pop are among the genres that are beating once dominant Western pop, rock and rap in Asia.
In the first study of its kind, almost 4,000 people across major cities in Taiwan, China, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malysia, India, Thailand and Indonesia were probed on their music tastes and how they sourced their music.
It found that only two Western bands were named among Asian listeners’ favourite acts -- American rap act Black Eyed Peas and rap-rock band Linkin Park, both of whom had recently toured the region.
Way ahead across the region were Taiwan’s rapper Jay Chou, Singapore pop star J J Lin and Hong Kong veteran Andy Lau.
“The survey shows that Asians have more pride in their local artists,” said Ian Stewart, vice president of marketing and research at MTV Networks Asia at Music Matters, a two-day gathering of Asian music industry heads in Hong Kong.
This is partly being driven, especially in China, by the upcoming 2008 Olympics being held in Beijing. The survey also found that enthusiasm for music was greatest in India, with 71% respondents claiming to be passionate about it and lowest in Hong Kong, where just 27% shared the same enthusiasm.
Young Asians still mostly bought their music on CD, with 34% saying they purchased albums from record shops, while 14% said they downloaded it. Of those who admitted obtaining music illegally, 25% downloaded it from the Internet, 19% bought pirated disks from the street and 18% used file-sharing networks.
The survey also found that 61% respondents were listening to more music now.