Baidu, the leading Chinese language Internet search provider, announced today that it has signed a landmark agreement for the distribution of digital music with One-Stop China (OSC), a joint venture whose shareholders are three of the leading global record companies: Universal Music, Warner Music, and Sony Music. OSC shareholders will license to Baidu their catalogues and upcoming new releases, including Chinese songs (in Mandarin and Cantonese) and international tracks, which can be streamed or downloaded from Baidu’s servers. The new partnership with OSC was accompanied by a conciliation agreement, endorsed by the Beijing High People’s Court, that ended outstanding litigation between the three record companies and Baidu. This just goes to show that not even Chinese companies stand a chance against the wrath of the music labels.
Under the terms of the deal, Baidu will remunerate music content owners on a per-play and per-download basis for all tracks delivered through the Baidu MP3 Search service, as well as Baidu’s newly launched social music platform, ting!. The new product offers users the ability to discover and share music and music-related content. Users will be able to sign up for membership free of charge through the advertising-supported ting! website, ting.baidu.com.