Bob Zheng, founder of People Squared Coworking, opens up about his upcoming project: a coworking space for musicians in China.
In May this year during the GCUC.ALL Conference in Los Angeles, co-founders of COCO Coworking Don Ball and Kyle Coolbroth discussed what it takes to open a successful flexible workspace. At the end of their presentation, an audience member asked about niche specific workspaces, and although COCO is an inclusive coworking space, Don Ball said the following:
“I can see how doing niche things will help you differentiate yourself from your competition.”
In Asia, the coworking market has evolved significantly in the last year. We first saw this with the amazing turnout that GCUC China had last December, and then again with the turnout the conference had this past September. We’ve also seen it in the fact that larger corporations in the region are adopting or moving into coworking models.
Bob Zheng is the founder of China’s largest coworking brand People Squared, which has 20 locations and over 10,000 members in Shanghai and Beijing. Regardless of his evident success, Zheng believes there’s still more to be done, which is why he decided to open a new coworking space in Beijing.
However, this new coworking space will be unlike any other he currently has.
“The space we currently have in Beijing focuses highly on the tech and startups industry. After some months of operation, we realized that there are a lot of music and art related studios in the surrounding area. Unfortunately, these artists didn’t have a strong community or network that provided them with the necessary tools to grow and succeed.”
Zheng saw a need. Zheng is filling that need.
To do so, People Squared has partnered with TaiHe Music Group–one of the largest music and movie distribution companies in China– to provide these artists with a space where they can collaborate, share resources, and find opportunities to thrive. The space has also partnered with recording studios, photo studios, and musical equipment shops so that, in Zheng’s words, “musicians have everything they need within the space.”
Opening this music-focused coworking space will not only bring added value to Beijing’s musical community, it will also help People Squared expand its market and attract new types of clients to the industry.
The space, set to open this December, is about 5,000 sq meters and was designed by the People Square team alongside musicians from TaiHe.
“Zhengjun, a famous Chinese rockstar, is the ‘Chief Architect’ of the workspace. He provided the entire team with unique insights on how a music space should look like and what it should have to enhance the musicians’ experience.”
The coworking space, which will be located underground, includes 2 recording studios, 3 practicing rooms, a performing stage, live-streaming equipment, an in-house coffee shop, a kitchen, a faux beach house, and sound-proof everything.
The space is truly a musician’s paradise.
As for the community, Zheng mentions that “music professionals and music lovers are all welcome” whether they’re interested in pop or rock, whether they’re in a band or they’re a solo artist, “it’s really hard to say which kind of music won’t be allowed in there.”
The main goal of the space is to attract young and talented musicians and help them reach their full potential. “With TaiHe involved in the project, we will be able to help musicians compose their lyrics and melodies, help them get the ropes on professional recording, and make sure they have their bases covered when it comes to copyrighting their music.”
Overall, the project has taken about 3 months to plan, and Zheng mentions they still have a couple months left for the actual building and finishing touches. The wait will be well worth it. Zheng mentions that even though the space hasn’t opened yet, they’re already seeing a lot of interest and they’re already over 30% booked.
Looks like Don Ball was right–niche workspace can definitely help you differentiate yourself in an evolving market and People Squared’s new space is proof of this.