Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun revealed details of Taiwan's new policy for promoting pop music on April 24 at a press event announcing the lineup for the 2018 Golden Melody Awards & Festival (GMA).
Minister Cheng noted that the Golden Melody Awards is an index for Mandarin-language pop music and a platform for showcasing Taiwan's pop music culture. This year, new elements will be added to the awards ceremony and GMA-related events to present the interdisciplinary applications of music.
Minister Cheng then outlined five policy aspects, noting that the Ministry of Culture's priority at present is to complete the industrial ecology for cultural content.
These five aspects ― cultural financing, cultural technology, upgrade of cultural equipment, cultural education, and international branding ― will help Taiwan music become a driving force behind the development of cultural content.
The industrial ecology will be supervised by the Cultural Content Institute, which will be established next year. One of its core tasks will be to form a consulting committee to guide and assist the development of pop music.
Regarding cultural financing, the Ministry has obtained a budget of NT$10 billion from the National Development Fund to support the Cultural Content Investment Project, which will encourage private funds to invest in the music industry through business matchmaking.
For cultural technology, the Ministry will support the application of blockchain technology and mobile payments for music while funding the production of pop music programs on new media outlets. A Sound & Image Lab (音像實驗室) will also be established at the TAF Innovation Base to promote application of other technologies to music.
With the budget offered by the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, equipment in local performance venues across Taiwan will be upgraded to provide better facilities for professional and aspiring musicians. The construction of the Taipei Music Center (北部流行音樂中心) and the South Popular Music Station (南部流行音樂中心) are both near completion as well.
Concerning cultural education, the Ministry has launched a music history reconstruction project as well as the "Supplementary Textbook on Popular Music" program to enhance the pop music knowledge of students ranging from elementary to high school.
As for international branding, the upcoming Golden Indie Music Awards will partner with South Korea's Mnet Asian Music Awards for the first time to hold joint events in both northern and southern Taiwan. The concerted effort hopes to bring together more creative power, develop the event into an iconic music festival in Asia, and make Taiwanese pop music part of the nation's cultural identity.
This year, GMA will continue to holding business-to-business events including international conferences, business-matching centers, and concert showcases to prompt business opportunities. Moreover, six teams from Taiwan and other countries will be invited to showcase their achievements in the interdisciplinary applications of music and technology.
GMA, which has forged strategic ties with music alliances based in Japan, South Korea, and Thailand in recent years, will partner with Sweden's Live at Heart for the first time this year.
Furthermore, the "GMA Talk" program this year will feature Golden Melody Award-winning singer-songwriter Khalil Fong (方大同) to share his experiences in creating music with students from related creative fields.
"Academic-Industrial Exchange," a workshop inviting heavyweights from the music industry to direct and guide students in composing music and lyrics, has also opened earlier this month to ready the stage for GMA.
The Golden Melody Festival will take place from June 20 through 23 in three Taipei-based venues while the Golden Melody Awards ceremony will be held at the Taipei Arena on June 23.