Baidu (BIDU), China’s number one search engine has today announced an agreement for the distribution of digital music with One-Stop China (OSC), which is a joint venture formed by three of the leading global record companies, namely Universal Music, Warner Music, and Sony Music.
Baidu will be providing its users with the opportunity to download or stream both Chinese songs, in both Mandarin and Cantonese alongside international releases, directly from Baidu’s servers.
The company is describing this as a “Landmark deal” and it helps Baidu to respond to the critics who accuse Baidu of encouraging users to download illegal music from other sites. This inlcudes the companies who form part of One-Stop China who have agreed to drop any actions against Baidu in return for the deal. Baidu, however, has always claimed that it did not allow illegal downloads from its own site and it is significant that Baidu’s servers will be used for this project.
Music content owners will be paid by Baidu on a per-play and per-download basis for all tracks delivered through the Baidu MP3 Search service, as well as Baidu’s newly launched social music platform, ting!. The new product offers users the ability to discover and share music and music-related content. Baidu has also recently launched a new music site ting! where users can sign up for membership free of charge with Baidu making its money through advertising on the site.
“Baidu has always striven to provide the best possible experience to our users,” said Jennifer Li, Chief Financial Officer of Baidu. “Our partnership with One-Stop China marks an exciting new beginning. I’m confident that Baidu, the Chinese music fans, recording artists, and the record companies alike will all benefit from this win-win partnership,” said Ms. Li.
Lachie Rutherford, President Warner Music Asia Pacific, Max Hole, COO Universal Music Group International, and Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business, US Sales and Corporate Strategy, Sony Music Entertainment, said: “This deal connects One-Stop’s world-class repertoire of licensed music to a massive audience, creating crucial new opportunities for artists. All parties, especially music fans, will benefit from the growth of this type of compelling music service.”
The three music giants created One-Stop China to facilitate the licensing and availability of digital music in China. It aims to provide progressive digital music services with the widest possible range of repertoire to serve the needs of consumers, while solving the problem of ensuring that the music industry including the artists is able to generate revenues from their efforts.