Chinese Internet search engine Baidu.com (BIDU) and EMI Music announced plans to launch an advertising-supported online music streaming service in China.
Robin Li, chairman and CEO of Baidu said: "We believe this partnership with EMI will drive value for Baidu users, content providers
and advertisers. It also sets the stage for future co-operation between the internet and music industries."
The agreement will see Chinese repertoire from EMI's Typhoon Music being made available for streaming, at no charge, to all users of Baidu, the leading search engine in China.
Baidu will set up a special 'EMI Music Zone' in its music search channel which will legally stream all of EMI Music's Chinese repertoire, including recordings from artists such as Jolin Tsai, Stephanie Sun, David Tao, Sandy Lam and Richie Ren. While consumers listen to the music for free they will be exposed to Internet advertising, and EMI and Baidu will share the revenue generated by the advertising, a lackluster approach to monetizing and promoting digital music in China.
According to the 2006 report from the official China Internet Network Information Center, Baidu has a market share in overall search of 62.1%, while the latest report from iResearch calculates that the company has an 84% share of music searches.