Sunday, October 23, 2005

Breaking News: Baidu's First iTunes

Oct. 23, Baidu and HURRAY, a wireless value-added service provider jointly announced the web release of Hao Chen's solo "I'm on this side of the world". Internet and mobile are the only channels for the song. It will be first song ever solely released through the internet in China.
Hao Chen is a movie super star in China

After acquiring the releasing right of the solo from Hao Chen, HURRAY is working with Baidu to place a link for trial listening and download through Baidu's search engine.

It is the first attempt for Baidu to transform it's MP3 music search service after suffered a legal defeat.

Previously, in a law suit filed by
EMI's subsidiary, Shanghai Push, Baidu was convicted for violation of IPR for providing illegal download of MP3 music. Baidu has denied the charges in stating that Baidu neither providing storage nor providing download services of MP3 music. Instead, Baidu's MP3 search only provides search functions.

In the news conference today, Baidu's CFO Shawn Wang also revealed that, Baidu has been in discussions with many top music distributors on the topic of MP3 music on the web.

Before this, HURRAY had tried releasing new songs through mobile network services. In May, HURRAY release Long Pang's "Two Butterflies". It brought 2 million yuan($245,000 dollars) revenue to HURRAY for that single song. They indicated that through both the web and the mobile network, new songs can be spreaded faster and to wider audiences. Through mobile and web paid services, it will also help digital music improve it's industry chain structure.

(Lei Jin from

more on the news -

Today, Hao Chen appeared at Baidu as a singer. Spokesman from Chen's manager, Chentian Music indicated that, China's music industry is undergoing media revolution. By reducing middle steps, Digital music can cut cost for sales and distribution. The Combination of Baidu's web search and HURRAY's mobile channel is the most efficient carrier of digital music.

Baidu's vice-president Dong Liang said at the news conferrence that, the collaboration between Baidu and HURRAY will establish a new model for legally downloading digital music. It also indicates our strong support for stopping music piracy. Baidu also wants the whole industry to know that, the fast and convenient way of music distribution that Baidu and HURRAY created will surpass the traditional distribution model and becoming the future landmark for music industry.

According to International Music Industrial Association, the first half of 2005 saw a tripling of sales of digital music. It reached $790 million dollars and a 6% share of all music sales. The reason is the increase of 3G mobile phones, broadband internet access and mobile music players. All these factors have led the dramatic increase of digital music sales.

With such attractive market prospect, HURRAY's vice-president Feng Wu indicated that the web and mobile have become the most efficient distribution channels for digital music. It is an irrversible trend. The innovative combination between Baidu's web search and HURRAY's mobile service will not only effectively limits the music piracy, but also will start a major revolution in digital music.

Industry analysts indicate that, as the crisis of music piracy precipitate in China, this new collaboration will establish an good example for joint effort of all sides of music industry including music companies, internet, operators and service providers. It will not only create a new model connecting production, distribution, and sales of digital music value chain, but also change the ways of music creation, IP management, and market distribution. It will help the market development of China's digital music industry.

(Ge Yu from Chinabyte)

On Baidu's MP3 web page, there is a new center button labeled "Baidu's Grand Music Alliance Formally Started". Following the link, it appears a description page on the singer Hao Chen and all her titles. However, no news announcement from Baidu on this alliance yet.

Separately, facing the huge legal pressure from music industry, Baidu has followed the court instructions by inserting an interphase between search links of MP3 files and download service providers with an warning on IPR.

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