Thailand’s music industry and the use of Spotify

In my research of the alternative music genre located in Thailand, this week I have decided to go in a different direction and delve into the actual music industry of this nation, and research concepts such as the primary music producers; influence of content; and distribution of funds.

This will be an interesting comparison to make with the Australian music industry, and to investigate any similarities or differences. I thought that this would be quite a relevant topic to explore due to the personal experiences I have had with the music industry here in Australia – for instance, my mum has worked for Sony Music Australia for my entire life, and I have also worked there on a few occasions.

This personal insight into one music company here is a great advantage when researching something as broad as music production in a particular nation, as it allows me to have a perception on some aspects, that I may not have had otherwise.

In Thailand, there is one music conglomerate company, called GMM Grammy that controls the majority of music production and distribution coming from artists in that nation.

This is split into a few smaller companies, such as Genie Records, Grammy Gold and UP^G Records. The Grammy group principally controls the Thai music industry, with intellectual property regulations, manufacturing, distribution and business models all falling under the Grammy umbrella.

As it has in many other countries, piracy has been of great detriment to Thailand’s music industry. According to GMM Grammy, the sales of the conglomerate’s products have decreased drastically, although the live music scene has actually boosted in recent times. This is thought to be because of the increase in use of digital and social media technology for music access – artists’ names are being thrown out there more often across platforms which leads to a higher level of recognition.

This is interesting to note in terms of comparison to the state of the music industry in Australia. For instance, the piracy epidemic is actually decreasing here. Music streaming apps such as Spotify are allowing users to have instant access to any music they like, which was the previous lure of illegal downloading – although the app comes at a price, which users don’t seem to have a problem with.

Being a regular Spotify user myself, I can definitely identify with the attraction that the app exhibits. I love having access to any artists or songs that I like, at any time and across devices (for instance, I have Spotify installed on my iPhone, iPad and Macbook).

This is definitely a difference between music in Thailand in Australia. I am yet to find an app or program that is equal to Spotify in Thailand – i.e., that provides its users’ with music instantly, legally, and for a small fee. It would be interesting to investigate this further to discover whether there have been any attempts for one to be launched, that have either failed or not become popular.

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3 comments

  1. This is an interesting area of study. I can see you have a good understanding and interest of the field, have you thought much about how you will present your findings as an autoethnographic digital artefact?
    You also mention there not being a Spotify equivalent in Thailand and I was just wondering in what capacity the service is lacking? For example is there no Thai music already on Spotify? Or is there no access to Spotify for Thai citizens?
    As a self-reflexive question do you think there are many regional and/or language barriers you are coming up against that prevent you from accessing information about the industry generally or about Spotify equivalents specifically?
    I’m not doubting that you are right but these are questions you could ask yourself for the sake of being autoethnographically thorough. I look forward to seeing where you take your study from here.

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  2. It’s really interesting to think about how downloading music truly effects an artist and the companies representing them, no matter the region. I would like to think that because of Thailand’s music piracy increase and drastic drop in physical sales, that people are still just as appreciative of the music and the product they are receiving and this has lead to the increase in people attending live gigs and wanting to support the band in other ways in which they feel they can get more actively involved (like attending gigs, buying merch etc…) Looking forward to reading more!

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  3. I always find it so interesting learning about different countries and their pircacy problems. In Australia, most of our piracy problems stem from TV shows because we don’t have a large population using Foxtel, not to mention our lack of access to platforms like Netflix. Hearing that in countries like Thailand they don’t even have Spotify (?!) it really blows my mind. Obviously there’s a lot of work to do between companies and governments to allow access to such platforms, which would result in less illegal downloads.

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