China gets free music from Google

According to Reuters, Internet-users in China will be able to download for free approximately 350,000 licensed songs--soon to be more than a million--through Google. Not only will the Chinese be able to search for songs by artist and song title, but they will also be able to find tunes based on beats per minute and musical style.

The music, by Chinese and foreign artists alike, comes from Sony, Warner, EMI, and Universal--all companies that have done deals with Google to open up portions of their catalogues for free distribution to anyone with an Internet connection in China.

China contains the highest number of Internet-users, and a great many of them routinely download music, films, and software illegally. Lee Kai-Fu, president of Google in China, states, "We are offering free, high quality and legal downloads." The hope here is that people in China will be lured away from sites offering access to illegal downloads and visit Google instead. Google will make money from ad revenues, as it does with its sites in any case, and some of this money will be passed on to the music companies.

According to Lachie Rutherford, President of Warner Music Asia Pacific, "This is the first serious attempt to start [monetizing] the online market in China. I can't overestimate how important this is."

Google also hopes this strategy will benefit them in another way: increasing their share of the search market in China. Although Google dominates in most of the world, the Chinese market has been difficult for the company to crack. The majority there use baidu.com, a Chinese web-search service, while fewer than a third at present turn to Google.

Google's agreements with four of the world's top media companies put the search company at an advantage over baidu.com--an advantage Google hopes will mean more and more Chinese turn to its search and other services.

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24 Comments

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They will still use illegal methods if their search results don't satisfy them. But at least the music industry will make some money for the searches.

why give them free music when they've already got pirated copies of ****ty music weeks before the it is available for purchase everywhere else in the world

I see this as a fail attempt on many grounds of their [US/Google] strategic actions. This has got to be one of the biggest joke. I don't see this as a gaining ground of any political agendas but the report seems like this is done strategically for political reasons.

Meanwhile Chinese party agents were quick to block this service from distributing anything other than the countries national anthem...

basix said,
Meanwhile Chinese party agents were quick to block this service from distributing anything other than the countries national anthem...

Exactly what I was thinking.

+1

basix said,
Meanwhile Chinese party agents were quick to block this service from distributing anything other than the countries national anthem...


While I understand the basis of this comment, it is also incredibly ignorant.

Kyang said,
While I understand the basis of this comment, it is also incredibly ignorant.

Excuse me but I can be as ignorant as I want toward an oppressive communist country.

daftperception said,
Excuse me but I can be as ignorant as I want toward an oppressive communist country.

If you're using sarcasm, use the [/sarcasm] to clarify because we, or at least I, can't read your vocal expressions.

If you're serious about being proud of ignorance, um, well, uh...Stop it. You're a discredit to the collective human intellect because you don't find it necessary to actually be informed of something before forming an opinion of it. The definition of ignorance, every time, is idiocy and laziness. And the end result of ignorance is more ignorance. Then once you have many many ignorants a strange thing starts to happen: people start to believe that this ignorance that you and other people have been talking about is the actual truth instead of just bull****. It may even turn out that after a long time you will even convince yourself that you are right, when in reality you are not.

This is dangerous. This results in completely unnecessary conflict. This is below what human nature was intended to be. Please inform yourself or move along.

hah this is a message towards the western nations...download more stuff illegally so the record labels will start offering free downloads to us too...

Ksquare,

Could you explain? I don't quite understand where you're coming from or what you're really even talking about.