The Evening Post reported, free music download in China is to be ended on Dec 31. Most online music platforms like Baidu Music, QQ Music, Duomi, Kugou are going to charge for music download services. However, this is a special thing for high-quality copyrighted music download while the online streaming is still free.
Is it an agreement in the industry?
Shi Jianping, president of Duomi Music, admitted that Baidu, QQ Music, Duomi, Kugou and Kuwo had reached an agreement to charge at download services. These 5 platforms occupied more than 95% market share in China. Other websites are likely to join this charge army in the near future. And more and more record companies are negotiating relative charging issues.
As for the timing, it is not compulsory since each platform could adjust it according to the situation. Due to the unfinished contracts, Baidu music will charge download next April.
How can online music be charged?
Top three record companies, Warner, Sony and Global, provided a list of guiding prices, including minimum monthly fees for downloads. But most music websites prefer to differentiate their prices, of course based on some specific principles. At present, seldom websites will reveal their charge policies. Basically, the price will be 1 yuan for each song or 10 yuan to 20 yuan for a month.
Also, charges are only for high-quality copyrighted music download while the online auditioning is still free. That is to say, only when users downloaded music whose formats are APE, FLAC or something else, will they be charged. QQ Music has established a policy called “VIP Download”. Users will be only charged 10 yuan per month to enjoy high-quality music.
Based on the principle of guarantee and division, all profit will be divided between music platforms and record companies
What are the comments at all sides?
Certainly, record companies feel thrilled with this change. They used to losing hope for online channels and they could not see any respect for their copyright before. But this trend of charging may emerge new look for the record industry. In the eyes of website owners, charging used to be extremely hard under the big picture of pirate copies and free music services. However, action should be taken.