Singapore as an ideal hub for the music industry’s activities and operations
Speech by Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister Of State, Ministry Of Culture, Community And Youth & Ministry Of Trade And Industry, At Opening Of The IFPI Southeast Asia Regional Office on 29 Nov 2022
30 November 2022
Good evening. Thank you for inviting me to the opening of IFPI’s Southeast Asia Regional Office.
We are really delighted to welcome IFPI, the voice of the recording industry worldwide to Singapore. A very warm welcome! With your regional office here, you will be able to closely support your members and affiliates in this region, Southeast Asia, and fuel the growth of the music industry in this region.
Numbers speak a thousand words. The music industry has been seeing spectacular growth in this part of the world. According to IFPI’s Global Music Report, the Singapore market for digital and physical sales grew 16% from USD26 million in 2019, which was during the pre-COVID period, to USD31 million in 2021. For most industries, they took a hit during the pandemic. But music nourishes the soul, as we turn to music for comfort and hope. In the same period, the Southeast Asian market expanded by a phenomenal 63% - from USD176 million to USD287 million. In the economic angle as well, this remarkable growth bodes well for the development of the music industry regionally and globally.
Record companies are the key drivers of this growth. They play a key role in seeking and nurturing talent and introducing them not just to the Singapore market, but also to the region and then to the rest of the world. Singapore’s central location, in the heart of Asia, as well as our world-class business infrastructure provide an ideal hub for the music industry’s activities and operations.
Several global music companies have established their presence in Singapore, our global city. In 2019, Universal Music Group set up its Southeast Asia regional headquarters in Singapore, and established two flagship label divisions, Def Jam SEA and Astralwerks Asia. We are so grateful that they did so here because it is a wonderful way to discover more talents and create good jobs here. Earlier this year, Sony Music Group opened its flagship headquarters for Southeast Asia here too, as it deepened its investment in the Asia region. The new office is home to Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Music Publishing, Sony Interactive Entertainment, the creators of PlayStation, as well as independent music company - The Orchard.
These developments have contributed to increased opportunities for our local artists as well as other artists in Southeast Asia. A big thank you to the record companies as well as the other artistes.
Sezairi Sezali became our first Singaporean artist to hit 100 million streams for his single “It’s You” on Spotify in March 2022. The song has now reached 147 million streams globally.
Meanwhile, Warner Music Singapore is continuing to expand its domestic Mandarin roster and taking its music to new fans from all around Asia. At the same time, it is also gearing up to welcome back international acts and helping them to build their profile in the region, as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Multi-talented Singaporean JJ Lin is another example of a home-grown talent who has become a superstar in the Mando-pop scene in Asia. He has just performed to sold-out concerts at the National Stadium earlier this month. This was part of his “JJ20” world tour to mark his 20-year music career. We hope to work closely with the record companies to discover more talents like Sezairi and JJ Lin.
Other Asian talents are also enjoying increased popularity. In the Philippines, household name Zack Tabudlo’s song - ‘Pano’ was number one on the Spotify Philippines Chart for more than 4 months – since its release in December 2021 up to April 2022.
Underpinning this growth is a strong copyright system which protects the creative works generated and enables artists and other professionals like engineers etc in the music industry to make a living and benefit from this infrastructure.
In 2021, Singapore passed a new Copyright Act to better serve all stakeholders in the copyright ecosystem – from the creators of new works and the intermediaries who help bring these works to the world and to the users and follow-on innovators who benefit from them. These copyright laws also protect the rights of sound recording companies for the broadcast and public performance of sound recordings.
With the opening of IFPI’s Southeast Asia office in Singapore, IFPI joins the many international organisations, and businesses which will benefit from using Singapore as a hub for their regional IP activities. IFPI’s presence here is important to us, and attests to the strong and attractive IP and business infrastructure Singapore offers.
We warmly welcome the IFPI’s expansion into Singapore and Southeast Asia. The global organisation is instrumental in highlighting and supporting the economic value of recorded music and the role it plays in creating growth, jobs as well as facilitating investment. Music also brings immeasurable cultural value to society and people’s lives. IFPI ensures the rights of its members, who create, produce and invest in music, and ensure that their rights are enforced.
MCCY works closely with our stakeholders and partners. We will work together with you to develop a globally relevant and resilient arts ecosystem in Singapore to nurture a creative and future-ready creative economy that continues to create good jobs, and good music.
We are very committed to supporting our local artists through a range of schemes and incentives, which include the Arts and Culture Digital Roadmap launched earlier this year.
We look forward to seeing the growth of IFPI’s activities and operations here as well as IFPI’s impact on the music industry in Singapore and the rest of ASEAN.