Want Free Ad-Supported Music from Google? Check out China.

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Google has launched a new music download service featuring tunes from major music labels—and all the tracks are available for free. The catch? The service is only available in China.

Initially announced in August 2008, the new service is designed to help Google compete with Chinese market leader Baidu.com by offering music downloads. Unlike most of the rest of the world—where Google can command upwards of 80 percent of the search market in some countries—in China Google is well behind Baidu, which has long offered free music downloads. Google’s service had debuted with about 350,000 tracks from both Chinese and foreign artists (including artists from EMI, Sony Music, and Universal) and hopes to expand to over a million tracks over the next several months. The service is ad-supported, with Google sharing revenue from advertising on music pages with the music labels themselves, although terms of the split were not revealed. Google is linking to licensed tracks from Top100.cn, a Chinese music Web site co-founded by U.S. basketball star Yao Ming.

Google says it has no plans to expand the service beyond China. Nonetheless, Google’s move is intriguing because it marks the company’s first serious attempt to earn money from media distribution in a country known for its high levels of piracy—last year, the IFPI estimated nearly all (99 percent) of music files circulating in China were pirated. If Google can earn money by giving away music on its search service, other Internet businesses will likely be more willing to take a chance offering media services to the Chinese market.

Western businesses have struggled to find paths into the Chinese Internet market. In terms of population, China has more Internet users than any country in the world, making it a tempting market. However, those same businesses have been put off by China’s mammoth censorship and filtering operations (dubbed by some as “The Great Firewall of China”—just last week China blocked YouTube) and inclination to jail Internet users who disagree with the government or discuss topics like democracy, Tibet, or the Falun-Gong movement. The Chinese government has used information from Yahoo to jail bloggers and others speaking out against the government, and Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and others have been criticized as supporting China’s authoritarian regime by doing business there.

Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.

The best new music this week: Robert Ellis, Golden Daze, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: Brand-new music from Robert Ellis, Broken Social Scene, and Golden Daze.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

Use one of these password managers to help protect yourself online

The internet can be a scary place, especially if you don't have a proper password manager. This guide will show you the best password managers you can get right now, including both premium and free options.

Is the 5G spectrum harmful to our health? Experts say, 'Don't freak out'

There's plenty of consumer anxiety about radiofrequency (RF) radiation, specifically around millimeter waves (mmWave) used on 5G networks, but is it based in reality? We asked the FDA to give us its official view on the subject.

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 

Russia will ‘unplug’ from the internet as part of a cyber-defense test

Authorities across Russia are planning on unplugging the country from the global internet as part of a test of its cyber defenses. The disconnection will briefly keep all internet traffic inside the country.

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.

Gmail adds lots of new functionality to its right-click menu

Right-click on an email in Gmail and the list of actions is pretty limited. That's about to change, though, as Google has just announced it's expanding the list of options to make its email client that little bit more useful.

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.

File Transfer Protocol explained: What FTP is and what it does

FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol," and it's used to transfer files online. Most internet users don't need it, but web developers use it constantly. Here's what FTP is, how it works, and how you can get started using it.

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.