If I tell you that you can download mp3 for free using Baidu’s service, it would not surprise you. Baidu’s mp3 search engine, from my opinion is the key service which beat Google years ago till now. The copyright of the music? Baidu did not care about it as long as it can attract the users away from Google. Now Google is out and Baidu is no doubt dominating the search market in China, so the strategy starts changing. Baidu Ting is launched in private test, you can still download the music for free there, but the point is that Baidu will pay for it per download. Nice!
Have been playing with Baidu Ting just now, I actually like it. It seems offering you everything about online music service but pirate music,
- Music search/browse and streaming – You can search for and browse the music by song name, artist and album name; every song can be streamed, fast and in good quality;
- Music channel – it offers a few read-made music channel, such as Rock channel, Coldplay channel etc.
- Music chart – it comes with several charts by the popularity of the music;
- Personal Music channel – every user can build his/her own music channel, which can be shared with friends on Baidu Ting;
- Social Network – Baidu Ting actually reminds me of Apple’s Ping. They are different, but both focus on the same thing, a social network built around the music.
Baidu says the revenue will be mainly from online ads on Ting, which sounds very interesting. The amount of copyright fee paid by Baidu is unknown, but given the huge traffic on Baidu every day, how much Baidu is going to spend on the copyright? The mp3 search service is still there, so how Baidu is going to drive millions of users from mp3 search to Ting will be a big question? And, as a later comer, how is Baidu Ting going to play against its competitors such as big one like Google Music, or startups like Douban FM, Xiami etc needs a answer too.