Chinese Internet portal Sina.com (SINA) has reached a strategic agreement with five international music companies to jointly launch a new music platform called Sina Music Storeroom.
Sina's five music partners are BMG Universal, Sony, Warner, EMI and Rock Records. Their new music platform offers free online music as well as wireless music services such as mobile ringtones, color ringtones and IVR services for Internet users. Sina says it will share the income from the online advertisements and wireless value-added services of this platform with the five partners and they might also try a paid download service at a later time.
Currently, Internet service providers in China are seeing a shrinking wireless service sector as big guns like China Mobile and China Unicom rule the sector over smaller mobile value-added service companies. Sina too has seen diminishing returns over the years from MVAS offerings, and it might be trying to change the situation through this cooperation with the five music companies. These companies can not only guarantee a music content supply, but also provide Sina with legal copyright music.
With the development of broadband and mobile phone networks in China, digital music has become a big sector for both music companies and Internet service providers. Statistics show that the digital music market will reach US$14.9 billion by 2010, while the scale for traditional music market will decline to US$19.6 billion by then compared with the US$27.3 billion in 2005.