Key Insights

  • Focus on distribution. Creating enriching content is only the first step to reaching Chinese audiences. As “French Waves” demonstrates, working with an effective local distribution partner, Tencent, delivers your product to a wider audience.
  • Create demand. “French Waves” videos are freely available for the first seven days. This is smart as it incentivizes viewers to watch sooner rather than later.

The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, as its name suggests, is an organization that owes its birth and transmission to the advent of a transformative piece of technology. Since its first afternoon broadcast from a Parisian studio in 1937, it’s appeared live at concert halls across Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Its most recent broadcast of Debussy and Stravinsky masterpieces, however, involved leveraging a Chinese technological platform and reaching audiences via Tencent Art.  

The performance compensated a cancelled China tour and while streaming concerts on a mobile device may lack the intimacy of an in person experience, the French orchestra can take solace in the sheer reach of the digital debut — 250,000 tuned in to a program of Beethoven, Berlioz, and performances from pianist Elizabeth Leonskaya.

The program, curated to celebrate the orchestra’s 80th anniversary in 2017, was performed as part of “French Waves”, an online initiative curated by Faguowenhua, a cultural centre connected to the French embassy in Beijing, and platformed by the art and culture arm of Chinese tech behemoth Tencent. Through mid-July, Chinese audiences can tune into an array of French arts and culture events from the stylings of Paris Fashion Week to the pirouettes of Marseilles ballet collective (LA) Horde to standout performances from Montpellier’s annual The Printemps des Comédiens drama festival.

In China, French culture, and Europe’s arts more broadly, may be seen as somewhat elitist and rarefied and working with Tencent is an effective means of eroding such perceptions. Tencent Art strives to make arts more accessible with cultural uploads and discussion boards that host vibrant discussions.

“French Waves” performances will remain freely available online for a limited period, working to create demand and awareness for attending performances once in person attendance is once again feasible. 

Watch the trailer below to learn more about “French Waves” and the programing for the summer.

Edited by Richard Whiddington


Jing Culture & Commerce