Google China-Top100.cn arrival on the Chinese web is set to mark a new precedent in the age of downloadable music. It’s likely it will also drive the pirates to new waters.
Partnering with Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music, and EMI Group and 140 independent labels, Google will offer 1.1 million legal songs at no charge. Advertisements will foot the bill and could approach $14.6 million within a few years.
It was long rumored that music labels would be forced to capitulate in the face of rampant piracy. A media analyst with Forrester Research said “The labels are making essentially no money from their music in China because people downloaded illegally with impunity.”