Google launched free downloads of licensed songs in China today, while sharing advertising revenues earned with major music labels.
baidu.com leads google as a search market by holding more than 60 percent of the market, in part because Google lagged in the mainland search market was because it did not offer music downloads. The new service offers downloads of approximately 300,000 chinese and foreign artists.
Music from artists signed by Warner Music, Sony Music, and Universal Music will be available on the service. Users will be able to search by artist, song name and even musical measurements. IFPI said last year the country’s legitimate music market accounts for less than 1 percent of global recorded music sales. The music and service offered through google will be of a higher quality than any pirated version around, and this will attract users away from illegal download sites. Google has no current plans to expand this service beyond China.