Wednesday, August 12, 2015

China Now Fighting Online Music Piracy

Chinese Music image
China has always been a tantalizing music market for Western artists, songwriters, labels and publishers alike. On one hand you look at the huge population, some of which craves Western music. On the other you look at the fact that there's probably nowhere else where piracy is so rampant and overlooked.

That may all change soon as the Chinese government has finally taken steps to crack down on piracy and encourage licensed content.

China's National Copyright Administration ordered 2.2 million songs removed from online platforms last week in an effort to bolster China's legitimate music business.

That's because some of China's largest companies like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are all now in the music streaming business, and of course, want to make money at it.

There are more than 100 pirate music sites currently in China, but if the larger companies increase the number of legitimately licensed tracks that are offered via a free tier, many of pirates would most likely not be able to compete.

The long term game here is that only the largest companies with licensed content will be able to offer free music along with other services (Tencent offers mobile phone service, for instance).

We're not sure exactly what the appetite for Western music beyond the major hits is in China yet, but it looks like soon we're going to be able to measure it via real licensed content.

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