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Questions remain about whether crowdfunding or fan-sharing is sustainable. Even Michael Lai, who crowdfunded his first album and won music awards afterwards, has concerns but he plans to start

another campaign for his second album later this year.

"Maybe people supported me the first time because of the freshness. But I believe those who support me the second time are those who truly believe in my music and its value," he said.

Music critic Wong Chi-chung stays positive but believes it might take longer for the new business models to have significant impact on the music industry. People have more voices and more choices in the digital age, and they like the idea of co-creation with their favorite musicians.

"It's not just money or simply a 'like'. It's about respect, the initiation of something important, and the sense of pride in being part of the community," he said.

But Anthony Fung Ying-him, director and professor of School of Journalism and Communication at CUHK, considers the crowdfunding or fan-sharing as a first choice for musicians new to the industry who want to make their first recordings. He believes the sites will work, as long as social platforms remain popular, until a new business model is created.

(HK Edition 03/03/2016 page11)

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