Google, in partnership with some of the world’s major music labels, has launched a new free music download service in China.


The advertising-supported service is designed to lure Chinese music lovers away from the pirate music download culture that currently rules that market.

The deal makes available almost the entire catalogues of both western and Chinese music Warner music Group, EMI Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music and 14 independent labels — a total of over 1.1 million tracks.

The site is set up to sniff a visitor’s home Internet protocol (IP) address allowing access only to visitors from mainland china.

Chinese pirate download sites have reportedly dominated the market for Chinese language music in spite of ongoing attempts to shut them down, ranging from lawsuits to government crackdowns.

Some prominent Chinese recording artists say they’ve given up recording because not enough people actually buy their songs anymore.

Oh, and remember when we said almost all of the music in the partner labels’ catalogues will be available to Chinese downloaders? The exception will be those tunes the Chinese government has already banned for political, social or cultural reasons.

One Response to Google brings free, legal tunes to China

  1. Evolving Squid
    Apr 03, 2009

    >>Some prominent Chinese recording artists say they’ve given
    >>up recording because not enough people actually buy their
    >>songs anymore.

    That’s the most interesting bit.

    It seems apparent that music has little value in modern Chinese culture. Obviously, they have their traditional music, and what they can leech from the rest of the world.

    With the RIAA and copyright issues going on in North America, I wonder if there’s a message for “artists”.

    I put the word in quotes because so much of North American music is formulaic and created based on its marketing value. Music now isn’t what it was 25, 50, 100 years ago. The prevalence of piracy is sending a message that seems to be lost on artists and is definitely lost on industry:


    Perhaps the Chinese industry is getting it.

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