May 26, 2008

Ed Peto on New Music Models in China (leapfrogging into Music2.0) - Music2.0 is Asian. Ed Peto has a good post here. The article was originally written for MusicAlly Here are some high lights and comments: "China never fully adopted the “traditional” tools of music discovery and consumption: TV, radio and the print press are all heavily monitored by the government and relatively anodyne as a result; CDs never really gained any meaningful traction; live music events are circuses of permits and arbitrary cancellations.The bleak circumstances of China’s music business have resulted in the Chinese consumer inadvertently leapfrogging into the next generation of music consumption, even before their western counterparts." Comment: Music2.0 is Asian. And maybe European. Definitely not American. "The internet has not only afforded a freedom of expression and identity previously unavailable to the Chinese, it has also almost totally usurped the roll of all offline music media: portals, webzines, bulletin boards (BBS), video sites, music blogs, music streaming. In fact, so important has it become as a medium that a full 86.6% of all netizens use the web to listen to music – the highest of any usage including search and email...." "Full track downloadable MP3s have been (illegally) free to user from the outset, partly because 86% of internet users earn less than $430 per month and partly because China’s poorly enforced copyright law is only just becoming a topic of public debate ie. too late...." Comment: and it looks very much the same in India, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia - how else can music make money here if it's not BUNDLED into other services i.e. flat-rated, feels like free. Copyright won't help - all-you-can-eat usage rights (licenses) will. "Leaked reports earlier this year suggest that Google China ( are planning on partnering with legal music site to offer free-to-user major label catalogue found through Google MP3 search. This arrangement, due...

Gerd Leonhard

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