Slowly but surely.
The Hollywood Reporter has the dish on a new partnership between EMI Music and Chinese search engine Baidu that will allow Baidu users to stream music from Chinese artists. The music will be made available via a music-themed search channel, and will be ad-supported with the revenue being split. The two are also considering an option that would involve free music downloads.
I've already blogged about how CBS is using YouTube to stream content, and I also talked about the network's deal with Slingbox to allow users to upload CBS content, on the latest episode of Mind the Gap. As music labels see how networks are enjoying increased viewership from seeding content on YouTube, they will hopefully begin to realize that there are other profitable distribution channels available besides the compact disc and digital download.
I think in 2007, especially in the first half of this year, we'll see plenty of networks following CBS's lead and begin making more content available for free on the net. Music labels will likely stand on the sidelines until it becomes painfully obvious that this idea of making music available for free CAN result in increased sales.
Hells bells I am having to convince music labels to ALLOW me to promote their artists' music via Mind The Gap.
*sigh* Ah well, kicking and screaming...
VR pic via leonneal.com
The Viral Garden, Marketing, Music Marketing