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Media Asia Diversifies with Music, Talent Pacts

While Media Asia started life primarily with a focus on the production of Hong Kong films, the company has expanded as the landscape of the entertainment industry across Asia has expanded.

The diversification of the Media Asia Group over the past 20 years has seen the company extend its services from production and distribution of cinema into staging and promoting concerts, as well as acting as a talent agency for a growing selection of Asia’s top artists.

The company splits its contracts between those artists it signs on a full management basis — it now has more than 50 of these on its books — and the 30 it has signed to singing- and performance-based contacts. Among the most well-known faces to greet visitors on the walls at the group’s base in Hong Kong’s Cheung Sha Wan area are acclaimed artists Miriam Yeung Chin-wah, Daniel Wu Yin-cho, Donnie Yen Ji-dan and Shu Qi.

Gary Chan, executive director of the Media Asia Group, says the company’s concert business alone accounted for revenue of more than $30 million in 2013, fueled by the rising regional fanbase for Korean artists and the growing market in China.

The southern enclave of Macau, in particular, has established itself as an entertainment hub, driven by the city’s massive casino revenues.

“The concert business has been expanding across Asia mainly because of the China and Macau markets opening up over the past five to 10 years,” Chan says. “We also have the rise of Korean K-pop artists over this period, which drives teenagers crazy in most countries in Asia and is led by bands such as Super Junior, Girls’ Generations and Big Bang.”

Chan says Media Asia Group is still exploring the potential of this side of its operations but that growth figures continue to impress.

“We have only 10 years of history in these two businesses (artist management and concerts) but, for the company, revenues have increased more than five times over that decade,” he says, adding that the company signs some artists to 360 deals, which combines recorded music, artist management and the live performance business.

Looking forward, Chan says China will remain the primary focus.

“Our revenue generated from the mainland has increased across every platform,” Chan says. “The amount is close to 40%, and we would expect more as we shift our attention more to the mainland. We are targeting artists from different countries that have the potential to develop in China. For example, we represent Korean band Super Junior in China, Macau and Hong Kong. These days it is better for us if we can work with the artists across a number of platforms too, so it is better if the artists have talent in different areas, like acting and singing.”

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