Chinese search engine Baidu has announced partnerships with seven record companies, including EMI Music, to launch a music-streaming channel.
The purpose of the venture is to combat illegal downloading.
The new channel is called New Song Debut and will kick off by offering albums from nine Chinese artists for streaming.
Almost exactly a year ago, Baidu was cleared by a Chinese court of copyright infringement. The company’s music search feature was said to have offered links to sites that allowed illegal music downloads.
Among the plaintiffs in the case were EMI and Warner Music. After being let off the hook, Baidu made a deal with EMI in January and another deal with Rock Records in July to stream the two labels’ content legally. More labels followed. The site will be supported with digital advertising.
Meanwhile, Universal Music Group announced that it will partner with the Chinese video site Youkou.com to host a nationwide online talent contest in China.