Warner Chappell Music has promoted June Gao to the new role of China general manager, the company said Wednesday. She will continue to be based in Beijing, reporting to Monica Lee, president of Warner Chappell Music Asia Pacific.
Gao will oversee all of the firm’s China business and build up a larger team there. Warner Chappell is currently trying to grow its Greater China roster, looking to sign top Cantopop, Mandopop and hip-hop talents. It also is seeking to do more business bringing international writers’ music into China, particularly for the TV music space.
In June, the publisher expanded its China footprint by opening an office in Shanghai, its second outpost in the country. Earlier this year, it also signed a strategic partnership with streaming giant NetEase.
Gao said that in China we are at last “seeing the market truly appreciate and encourage the value of music.” Of her new role, she said: “We’re keen to act as strategic partners who can share our knowledge and experience to the benefit of both our writers and our clients.”
Lee called Gao “a terrific exec who combines an instinctive empathy with our songwriters and a deep understanding of the marketplace” who had previoulsy helped grow the company’s China presence, particularly with broadcast clients. “I know she’ll seize the opportunities this fast-expanding market offers our writers in the years ahead,” she said.
Gao first joined Warner Chappell Music China in 2013, after working at Beijing-based Jamewish Brand Consulting. She began as a licensing executive before rising to become general manager of licensing and sync in 2019. In those previous roles, she developed the publisher’s relationships with local ad agencies and the fast-growing movie sector. She also worked with top producers of popular TV music and variety shows like “I Am A Singer” and “The Voice Of China” to get the songs from publisher’s catalogue performed in their televised competitions.
China is one of the world’s fastest growing music markets, with large numbers of users subscribed to digital services like KuGou, KuWo, NetEase Cloud Music and QQ Music. Many platforms generate significant revenue from karaoke and live streaming services, which primarily use music publishing rights.
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