Music label EMI teamed up with Baidu, the most popular Chinese search engine, to provide free streaming of its Typhoon Music joint venture:
Baidu is the largest search engine in China, which makes it a go-to destination for music searches. In fact, it was so successful that it got sued by the major music labels last year (along with Yahoo! China). They argued that Baidu was liable for providing links to copyrighted material, while the search engine claimed that it could not be held responsible for determining the legality of every link in its index.
Baidu has been doing well in court, which may have led EMI to craft a deal rather than risk continued litigation. The new service will stream the complete Typhoon Music catalog for free to Baidu users, who will "be exposed to Internet advertising," according to a statement. If the service works well, the two companies have future plans to develop advertising-supported downloads as well.
It's not really a model the music labels like, but some money is better than no money in a country where piracy accounts for about 90 percent of the music market.