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KKBOX Endows Podcasters with Ability to Embed Music in Their Shows / Cross-Nation Featuring Is a Now-Thing / First Hip-Hop Talent Show Ever Is Available on YouTube

KKBOX Endows Podcasters with Ability to Embed Music in Their Shows / Cross-Nation Featuring Is a Now-Thing / First Hip-Hop Talent Show Ever Is Available on YouTube
By Taiwan Beats • Issue #3 • View online

Podcast with real music, KKBOX works its way out.
After 16 years, the leading music streaming service KKBOX still holds the largest domestic market share since its launch in 2004. Last August, it invested in Firstory, a local podcast hosting service, adding thousands of podcasts into their platform. 
The podcast business caught attention in Taiwan last year due to the pandemic alongside with various reasons. As the Audio Economy Survey 2021, conducted by the CommonWealth Magazine, points out, 20 percent of consumers listened to audio podcasts this May, up from 6.6 percent last August. 
Earlier this year in KKBOX’s music fest, there was also a stage dedicated to podcasters. As the music and tech company shows more interests on the podcast market, the strategy plays inevitably land on deeper integration: KKBOX now allows podcaster to add licensed tracks to their shows from its catalog of over 70 million songs.
Though both music and podcast are auditory experiences and distributed through streaming platforms, DIY and royalty free music is often used in the latter for intros and outros. Licensed music is almost absent due to the complicated copyright issues within.
Now with the help of KKBOX and Firstory, podcasters can easily embed music through the backstage. Most important of all, according to KKBOX, artists can still gain revenues based on the play counts within the podcasts.
Famous radio DJ and music writer Ma Shih-fang will be among the group of podcasters using this new function to produce music-related podcasts.
Cross-nation featuring is a now-thing in Taiwan.
In the now pandemic world, it’s difficult for artists to arrange live events, let alone planning oversea tours. Cross-nation featuring is now trending among Taiwanese artists to serve as a strategy to create possibilities, in order to prepare for facing the oversea markets in the near future.
Earlier this month, neo-soul songstress 9m88 collaborated with Japanese producer Mitsu the Beats, releasing new single “Tell Me”. The pair first worked together in “Nine Head Hinano”, a lo-fi track that gained 9m88’s early success over YouTube.
At the time of this writing, Japanese folk singer Natsuko Nisshoku just released a new EP Midsummer Dinosaur, including a song called “Ephemeral Miniature Garden”, produced by Taiwanese electronic musician Ruby Fatale.
Golden Melody Award-winning singer-songwriter Waa Wei just put out her latest album Have A Nice Day with more diverse music elements. “Aroma”, the mild breezy second track of the album, is a collaboration between her and the talented South Korean musician Sunwoojunga.
The list goes on and on and it all happened within a month: hip-hop/R&B artist ØZI also worked with Japanese rapper ¥ellow Bucks under an inter-Asia music project called “Future Shock”, releasing single “Go Ahead”. AD, an instrumental duo from Kyoto, Japan, worked with Taiwanese neo folk group Four Pens on their latest single “Spindrift”. With the artwork by Akiko Nakayama, who has done several cover arts for Yonezu Kenshi and RADWIMPS, you can feel the tide as the melody flows.
In the border-closing era, cross-nation featuring can be the touchstone for developing artists in searching potential oversea markets and, if it works well, may multiply both artists’ fanbases.
Taiwan's first hip-hop talent show The Rappers is here to take a stand for what local hip-hop is.
The hip-hop boom in Taiwan has been here for at least a decade and rapper Leo Wang’s winning Best Mandarin Male Singer for Golden Melody Awards 2019 added the cherry on top of the music scene.
This June, The Rappers brought along the first Taiwanese hip-hop TV show, with the jury consisting of well-known rappers Kumachan, Leo Wang, Dwagie, and producer RAZOR. The show is hosted by the award-winning R&B/Hip-Hop artist J.Sheon. While it might not have a mega-budget as similar shows do, such as Rhythm + Flow from the States or Show Me the Money from Korea, it tries to play down-to-earth locally and authentically as possible.
The first few episodes have already caused waves of discussion online: some say finally there’s a show for newly hip hop talents, while some are a bit depressed for they mute out the curse and swearing due to broadcasting regulations, making the show less “hip-hopish”.
The Rappers is available on YouTube, with new episodes uploaded every Tuesday night.
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