Baidu is the search engine from China that let's you find music downloads for free on thousands of websites. In my last article on the subject, it took me no longer than one (1) minute to locate and discover the capability of downloading the entire Beatles catalog in MP3 format. A result that we did not capitalize on for fear of big brother RIAA. Only a few weeks ago, major recording companies were targetting Baidu and China at large for allowing this type of rampant music piracy to occur.
The position was untenable and Google has announced partnerships with major labels to combat Baidu directly on Chinese soil. Said a Google spokesman, "We are launching Music Onebox to give users an easy and legal way to find the music they're looking for, and to give music labels and publishers a new channel to distribute, promote and make money off of their valuable music content."
Google will provide free music, similar to how users find music through Baidu and share advertising revenue with the music companies from the traffic generated via search.
It is now clear that record companies are taking a forward-thinking look at their business model. They have succumbed to the $0 return on rampant piracy and file-posting in China; they are now amenable to advertising based revenue streams. US consumers appear to have been gven a clear message: post and share your music libraries en masse and the music industry will give up their old ways and accept the inevitable.
As an American I am ashamed to see this business model launch in repressive China rather than the progressive US. However, I am happy to see this take form on a large scale. In fact, InternetDJ had started the ad-based music compensation model for underground artists within our Artist Community many years ago. Several artists are now earning money through advertising revenue share right on this site.