EMI Launches Free Music Streaming in China

Music piracy is a big business in China, by some estimates accounting for 9 outof 10 tracks sold in the enormously populous nation. Now music label EMI has apparently decided that trying to sue the pirates out of existence isn’t a viable long-term strategy, so it’s trying something new: a partnership with China’s leading search engine, Baidu, to offer free ad-supported streaming of the Chinese catalog from EMI’s Typhoon Music.

“With Baidu’s close relationship with Chinese digital music lovers, EMI and Baidu’s co-operation is a major breakthrough in the history of online music in China. It provides an efficient digital distribution platform to reach Chinese consumers, allowing fans to listen to EMI’s latest quality music immediately on the Internet,” said Norman Cheng, Chairman of EMI Music Asia and Director of Typhoon Music.

Users will be able to stream EMI’s Chinese music catalog for free, and while doing so they will “be exposed to Internet advertising.” EMI and Baidu will share the ad revenue.

Baidu is China’s largest Internet portal, which means that many Chinese Internet users start their search for online music by a search on Baidu. (So many, in fact, that record labels sued Baidu and Yahoo China for indexing links to pirated music). The new partnership is clearly intended as a way to make legal music more appealing to consumers and expand EMI’s digital music business in China: it’s betting that Chinese music lovers will tune into free, legal ad-supported music and, thereby, generate some revenue for EMI in the form of advertising sales. It beats receiving no revenue at all from pirated music.

If the initiative succeeds, don’t be surprised if other major music distributors with Asian catalogs get into similar deals. Baidu and EMI have also agreed to look into developing ad-supported music download services.


Amazon slashes prices on Echo devices that play Alexa’s sweetest-sounding music

Amazon slashed prices on Alexa-controlled Echo devices with the best music sound quality. All Alexa smart speakers stream music, but some sound better than others. Save on Echo Plus and the Echo Sub bundled with Echo and Echo Plus speakers.

The best new music this week: Jenny Lewis, American Football, and much more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week, we have new music from Jenny Lewis, Andrew Bird, American Football, Avey Tare, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, and more.
Emerging Tech

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese.
Home Theater

Pandora now lets you mess with the secret sauce for its music playlists

Pandora introduced a new feature called Modes, allowing subscribers to pick between six different algorithms that determine what the popular music streaming service will decide to play.

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Drunk shoppers spend $48B per year while intoxicated, mostly on Amazon

Drunk shoppers spend more than $400 per year, according to the results of a survey carried out by The Hustle. The drunk shopping industry is apparently worth $48 billion, and Amazon is turning out to be the biggest beneficiary.

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. The best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.