Today, most musical artists rely on major international social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to directly engage and build lasting relationships with fans around the world. Yet government censorship in China, the world’s largest social media market according to Statista, block these platforms to reach the country’s strong multimedia community.
Andrew Spalter, founder of Los Angeles-based social media, branding and DSP/playlist management agency East Goes Global, bridges the social divide between Eastern and Western cultures by establishing a presence for musical artists across the China and other Asian markets. It grows and localizes audiences by building the brands of American, European and British artists like Will Smith, DJ Snake, Nicky Jam, Omar Apollo, Yungblud and Jessie J on major Chinese platforms including Weibo, Douyin, Xiaohongshu, NetEase Music
“If you’re a popular performer on Chinese channels, you can tour and pursue branding opportunities and corporate sponsorships…everything you can imagine here is happening there,” Spalter says. “I wanted to completely remove the barrier to entry into this market, and removing that barrier allows our business to grow.”
Spalter started East Goes Global in 2018 after living in China where he worked in music management and entertainment. He’s gotten nearly 30 million followers so far for some of the biggest names in music. In collaboration with Universal Music Group, his agency is now launching new social initiatives, including a recent QQ Music live performance by singer-songwriter Yungblud which generated more than 223,000 viewers despite never touring. in China.
“The Chinese market is one of a kind, and the love and support my fans have shown and continue to show me there is undeniable,” says Jessie J, English Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter (“Bang Bang” with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, 2015), who is one of Spalter’s clients. “East Goes Global captures that energy that I can see and feel, and in turn supports me and helps me find ways to show them how much love and respect I have for them.”
Chinese music streaming services are much more popular than those in the United States. A “East Goes Global (Andrew Spalter)” Inside Podcast Music posted on SoundCloud late last year compared Spotify’s over 111 million paid monthly users (about 250 million including free monthly users) to QQ Music in China with over 800 million users at the time.
“(China) is a market unknown to many people and even more untapped,” says Spalter. “As the country has come out of piracy and artists are starting to get paid for streams, artists are selling digital records and albums there – it’s becoming a very profitable market in the music industry.”
Statista reports that more than 48% of the Chinese population uses social media, and China’s social media base is expected to reach 800 million users by 2023. Jessie J. explains that working with East Goes Global enables her to maintain a real connection with her. fans in China, especially now during the pandemic where travel and in-person performances are on pause.
Yet even before the Covid-19 pandemic steered the music industry down the path to a deeper digital existence, artists and music fans had already embraced TikTok, the international version of the short-lived app. Chinese hit video Douyin. The successful adoption of this open platform suggests that the entertainment industry may be heading towards a more unified future.
“In today’s digitally connected world, discovery trends and consumer momentum can start from anywhere and spread across different platforms to the home market seemingly overnight,” says Michael Pukownik, senior vice president and head of artist marketing at AWAL Music Recording Company (artists Lauv and Little Simz), who works with Spalter. “From the moment Andrew told me he was launching East Goes Global, I knew he was on to something big that would become a treasured pillar in many artists’ global development stories.”