Tangos Chan


It has been said in the market for quite a long time that Google China invested in, a legit online music download service, and will release a mp3 search service soon. Today the news is official. Google China’s mp3 search service is online already.


Google mp3 search now allows users to search mp3, listening online streaming, download lyrics and mp3, and use the music as mobile phone’s ringtones. Since it is a service partnered with, therefore, it can only provide musics from the labels cooperated with, and based on different rights licensed from music labels, not all mp3 in the search results are downloadable.


 Google China MP3 search


The service will be free of charge, Google China plans to share advertising revenue with music labels. Previously, charged users RMB 1-3 yuan per download, and it provides wma file with DRM protection. Since August has suspended the charged music download, and will switch to free of charge and DRM-free mp3 download service.


MP3 search is an important weapon of Baidu to beat Google in China, according to Alexa, music related search services, Baidu mp3 and Baidu Zhangmenren, account for about 9% of all Baidu’s traffic. Will it be affected by Google China’s music search? I don’t think so, at least in short term.


Google China’s music search is not a traditional search service, in fact, it is a dedicated digital music free download service. Currently, the music library is still quite limited if compared with Baidu mp3 search. So in terms of music database, Baidu has clear advantage, though it might need to face lawsuits on copyright from time to time.


Secondly, Baidu mp3 search has its brands in the market already. When looking for a music, almost all users will rely on Baidu mp3 search. Since Google China’s mp3 search doesn’t provide better features than Baidu, why should they bother to change to use Google?


On the other hand, Baidu also start to cooperates with music labels on advertising revenue sharing, such as EMI. Considering the potential traffic difference between Baidu mp3 service and Google China’s mp3 search, if Baidu seriously changes to ad revenue sharing model, it is obviously who can make more money on advertising. Baidu has yet been serious on this, but it is not so much time left for Google.