Leading Chinese search engine Baidu has signed an digital music distribution agreement with Universal Music, Warner Music, and Sony Music. The deal ends years of rights disputes.
Music will be licensed to Baidu and either streamed or downloaded from the company’s servers.
Baidu will compensate the rights-holders on what is being described as a “per-play and per-download basis” .
Users will be able to sign up for membership free of charge through the advertising-supported ting! website, ting.baidu.com.
“Baidu has always striven to provide the best possible experience to our users,” said Jennifer Li, Chief Financial Officer of Baidu. “I’m confident that Baidu, the Chinese music fans, recording artists, and the record companies alike will all benefit from this win-win partnership.”
For years Baidu offered an MP3 search feature which allowed users to find music tracks online, a feature that led to users accessing unlicensed music, a situation which angered the labels.
The landmark agreement, endorsed by the Beijing High People’s Court, ended outstanding litigation between Universal, Warner, Sony and Baidu.