Google Rolls Out Free Music Service In ChinaBy: Mike Sachoff - August 6, 2008
Google has introduced a new music service in China that will give users access to free downloads of licensed songs.
Google said the new service would be supported by advertising revenue that would be shared with the music industry and Chinese music download Web site Top100.cn. The service will allow users to search thousands of Chinese songs by artists or song title on the Google China Web site and download them from Top100.cn.
Google hopes the new music service will help it gain a stronger foothold in China against dominant Chinese search engine Baidu.com which has 63 percent of the search market in China compared to Google’s 26 percent.
"We believe this partnership will help foster a thriving and legitimate music business in China by providing music labels and publishers with a new channel to distribute, promote and monetize their valuable music content," Google said.
The Google Music Onebox service will only be available in China and the company does not have plans to expand the service in other markets.
The service could help reduce the amount of pirated music, which has hurt the growth of the legitimate digital music industry in China, the country with the world’s largest Internet population.
"The Internet industry should by no means stand in the opposite camp against the music industry," Google China President Kai-fu Lee said in a statement.
"Google always believes profoundly that mutual interest, rather than monopoly, is the key to sustainable growth."