Gao Xiaosong, one of the most well-known musicians in China, said at a music event today that the Chinese music industry would see the end of online music piracy online as soon as July(report in Chinese). “After the revision of IPR regulation in last year and with musicians’ efforts, we’ll see enormous changes after July 1st. It will be even more disruptive than the impact of  legitimizing video content on online video sector.”

He added that “record labels, online platforms and authorities are finalizing the deal.” It echos the news circulating last year that the music industry, including the music company Mr. Gao and his friends run, reached an agreement with major digital music services that the latter would start charging users from this year. Actually, a handful online music providers, including Xiami, Douban FM, and Baidu Music, rolled out subscription-based premium services in the past January.  Very recently Duomi joined them.

According to Mr. Gao, major labels has agreed to make compromises on pricing in order to encourage online music platforms to offer legitimate content and launch paid services.

2013 is dearly expected to be the year that could save the traditional music industry. The ideal picture is every user can access legitimate online music for free, and music services and music companies can share revenues from premium offerings such as higher-quality music downloads or ad-free streaming. Everyone must hope so.

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Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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