Google has launched a free music downloading service in China which lets users download licensed songs, which will be supplied by music companies in exchange for advertising revenue.
How much cooler can you get than Google and free music downloads? Enter NBA star and Chinese National Yao Ming, who cofounded the site Top100.cn, where the downloads will originate from. Google will let its users search the thousands of licensed Chinese songs by singer or song title via Google China and then download them from Top100.cn.
“The Internet industry should by no means stand in the opposite camp against the music industry,” Google China President Kai-fu Lee told Reuters. “Google always believes profoundly that mutual interest, rather than monopoly, is the key to sustainable growth.”
Will this free music downloading plan expand outside of China? Google is treading on thin ice here as the thought of free downloading could really hurt Apple iTunes, a strong Google partner with its iPhone project. If Google could bring in more than $1 per song via advertising, they may be able to challenge Apple in the US market, although the logical direction may be to team with Apple in the same way they are working with Top100.cn.