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Music websites plan for paid downloads

(China Daily)

08:55, October 31, 2012

Chinese music websites including Baidu Player are reportedly planning to begin charging for music by early next year. Lu Jianshe / for China Daily

Several major music websites in China including Kugoo, Koowo, Baidu player and QQ music are planning to begin charging for music downloads by early next year.

A staff member at the record company Universal Music Group (China), who declined to disclose his name, said the move has not been confirmed, but "the change is highly possible".

"It has been discussed for many years in the industry," he said. "The lack of outstanding music in recent years is partly due to free downloads from the Internet, which cause huge losses to the recording industry.

"Many music producers hesitate to invest in new music projects because their interests cannot be protected. The government sector, music providers and operators are all seeking a better development mode for the industry."

The news triggered a wave of vehement discussion on the Internet.

Most online comments were negative, with many saying they believe free content and sharing are part of the Internet's development.

Some said such a decision would help music websites and companies gain a monopoly.

Yet some voiced support if the price is reasonable.

"It is not a bad thing. A song contains efforts of invention and creation, so it is acceptable to pay a reasonable price for listening," said one mico-blogger. "It would also help increase public awareness of copyright protection."

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