PNoy tells PH music industry to embrace digital age

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Pres. Benigno ?Noynoy? Aquino III urged various stakeholders in the Philippine music industry on Wednesday, March 20, to keep on finding ways to adapt with the digital age in the hope that this will bring back the glory days of OPM (original Pilipino music).

Pinoy at music summit

Speaking at the first Pinoy Music Summit at the Landbank Plaza in Manila, Aquino said he recognizes the challenges posed by the rapidly evolving technology landscape, but this should not discourage songwriters and other artists from sharing their music, especially with younger audiences.

Citing an essay that was shared to him by Air Asia president Tony Fernandez, Aquino said there are many ways in which technology can become a friend to Pinoy musicians rather than a foe.

Fernandez, who paid a courtesy call on Aquino during his visit to Malaysia last month, used to be the regional vice-president of Warner Music Group for Southeast Asia, but decided to leave the company when it initially refused to embrace digital media.

?Mr. Fernandez said ? and I quote ? it went something like this: ?When they failed to embrace the new digital technology, I felt the company was going to a dead end.? Ang punto po nito: Dahil sa teknolohiya at takbo ng mundo, maging ang mga ibang bansa, nakakaranas din ng pagbaba sa sales ng kanilang music industry,? Aquino said.

?Hindi lamang tayo ang may hinaharap na hamon sa pagpapaunlad ng industriyang mahal nating lahat. Kaya nga po, talagang napapanahon ang kauna-unahang Pinoy Music Summit na ito. Ngayon, may espasyo ang lahat sa entablado; may boses ang sinumang handang makiambag sa pagpapanatili at pagpapaunlad ng musikang Pilipino.?

Aquino cited the current situation of the recording industry in the United States, where some companies have decided to make music more accessible to a larger market using technology, helping boost the sales of many artists to the point that even the production of vinyl has been revived.

?Imagine, especially the young nowadays can purchase single tracks and enjoy the music that they want. Some kids will say, ?Why do I have to buy the entire album when there is only one song that I want to listen to?'” he said.

?So sa madaling salita, ang mga nag-e-experience ng growth ngayon ay ?yung mga nakinig kung ano ba ang hinahanap ng merkado nila; hindi pinahirapan, hindi pinagdamot ang produkto nila na gustong ibenta naman? At ang nadidiskubre po nila sa Amerika, among other areas ? isa sa pinakamalaking merkado siyempre ay ang Amerika?tumataas ang pagbebenta ng plaka. ?Yung lumang catalogues nire-revive,? the president said.

Digital technology was among the reasons blamed by most Filipino musicians for the decline of record sales over the past 10 years. The 2010 Nielsen Southeast Asia Digital Consumer Report estimated that 37 percent of Filipinos download or upload music files online.

The Philippine Association of Recording Industry (PARI) said that 95 percent of listeners download songs illegally, thus making it difficult for music producers to thrive despite the estimated 400-percent increase in digital music revenues from 2005 to 2010.

Independent artists and record labels have been able to adapt, however, with a few of them experimenting with different ways of marketing their music online, relying on alternative platforms like YouTube and social media networks to reach a wider audience.

Aquino even said that he himself was aided by technology at some point, particularly the mobile application ?Soundhound,’ in searching for song titles that radio jocks failed to mention on air. He said he also finds the idea of remixing songs enjoyable.

?Nandiyan po ?yung kagustuhan ng sambayanan na ipagpatuloy na tulungan ang industriyang ito. Kailangan lang po natin siguro ng diyalogo: Paano nga ba natin mapapadaling ibenta sa kanila ang gusto naman nilang bilhin? Ano ba ang gusto nilang mabili at maibigay natin ito sa kanila? At doon po matutulungan at mapapanatili itong aspeto ng ating kultura na talaga naman pong malaki ang inambag sa kasaysayan ng ating bansa at pati na rin sa pag-aasam sa hinaharap,? he said. –– PNA

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