Three times I’ve linked to the 2005 column If pirating grows, it may not be the end of music world about the music industry in China.

1: Witness massive production of art where expected profit from sales of copies and licensing is nil, both outside the content industry and where restrictions on copying are not enforced.

2: There is some very imperfect evidence from China that without copyright mass culture will still be star-driven and repulsive.

3: But we can also look to markets that started from a very different place, e.g., China.

A new BBC story, ‘Chaos’ of China’s music industry also says that pop stars earn through sponsorship:

The singer made about $2000 (£1,000) a month from music royalties and live shows with her band Mika Bomb when she lived in London.

But in China, her band Long Kuan Jiu Duan can almost double that by singing just one song at a commercial gig.

At these gigs, artists get paid a set amount by companies or promoters regardless of how many tickets they sell.

I assume a “commercial gig” is some kind of promotional event, but I’d like to read a more in depth look at the economics of pop music in China. (I have little doubt that the economics of music worth listening to is little different than in the U.S. — made for love at a financial loss or sometimes subsidized by grants or academic employment.)

This post is also an excuse to link to Let’s Do Like Them, which expresses one of my top peeves.

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