Sony BMG Cements Distribution Deal With China’s Global Music International
Sony BMG Music Entertainment has inked a distribution deal with Global Music International . The deal will distribute Sony BMG’s albums, singles, music videos, and ringtones to mobile subscribers in China.
Global Music will in turn partner with China Unicom for the actual delivery, allowing subscribers to buy and download songs, music videos and ringtones onto their handsets. Global Music International will be able to offer a wide range of music from Sony BMG, including content from Chinese and Western artists.
While this announcement is a positive step for Sony BMG, the reality is that about 85 percent of recordings in China are pirated. In January, 11 music companies, including Warner Music Group and Sony BMG, filed a lawsuit against Yahoo China for allegedly infringing copyrights by providing links to unlicensed music.
The Future: Even though the majors are fighting an uphill battle against bootleg CDs, illegal distribution, and P2P file sharing of their catalogs, they all see the huge potential in the market. If they can convert just 5-10% of illegal activity to actual sales, the profit potential could quite substantial. Sony BMG hopes that its new relationship with Global Music International will be help to create a major inroad to the Chinese market. The question remains if the Chinese populace can be trained to purchase music instead of stealing it. With P2P network activity at an all time high for the rest of the world, it seems unlikely that the Chinese, who have no respect for intellectual property in general, will play along in the near future.