Time to Pay: Free Music Downloads to Stop in 3 Months

well, by the looks of it, the music industry has gone to the gym over the past few months, bulked up and got in the ring to wrestle some interesting compromises out of the online music portals: No more free music downloads in 3 months time.


This comes at the heels of Google shutting down their Chinese music site and Baidu legalising their download site. Heck Sohu just settled with representatives of record labels recently.
Now, let’s rationalise this a bit: The rest of the world is having problems monetizing music and China had an opportunity to come up with new business models. Somewhere along that path of innovation, things broke down and we’re going back to where we came from: piracy.
I wish i could be more optimistic but i’m not…. to be fair, even with baidu/google music, I found myself more often than not streaming the songs as opposed to downloading them so more of a radio service kind of.

The way this whole thing is proposed and worded, I’m not sure anyone knows what the fuck they’re doing.

It’s not all bad though: one of the amendments to the January laws removes some of the more controversial provisions, including one allowing music to be used without permission from producers three months after a product is released… ( see original post here)
I guess not all hope is lost but that’s a lot of changes happening before any new measure has had any chance to prove it could work.

I’m more than willing to pay for downloads but they gotta make it convenient for me but then again, i’m a minority. If i can get any song i want for RMB1.99, i’m a happy camper, just bill my phone per song because you ain’t getting my card number.

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3 Responses

  1. Actually, online music sales are one of the bright spots of the music industry throughout the rest of the world. Global online music sales, including sales via mobile devices reached almost US$10 billion in 2012. This is up more than 18% from 2011. Online music sales now account for 39% of global recorded music spending. China is late to the game. The fact they are now playing, is a welcome sign for the music industry.

  2. Beijing Daze says:

    thanks for the feedback… I guess when you consider iTunes ripple effect, it does indeed make some sense.. but to whom?

  3. I would argue that Youku/Tudou are the biggest “music” sites in China. You can find anything and everything on there. Globally, Youtube is where most 18-30 year-olds “listen” to music.

    Long term, I see personal ownership of music disappearing and streaming dominating the market-place. People will continue to buy things they love, just like people buy DVDs sts of TV series, but it will be more about collecting and expressing fandom. Peter is right that downloads are making up a much larger portion of the pie, but the pie has shrunk a whole lot. It’s more like a cookie now.