Who can carry a tune?

Updated: 2015-07-15 15:15

By Chen Nan, Yang Yang(China Daily)

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Who can carry a tune?

Taylor Swift, American pop star. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Finding balance

When Taylor Swift released her latest album 1989 in October last year, many Chinese fans tried to find it online. One had to be quick, because the links for free download on Xiami.com failed very quickly.

Now one has to pay to listen to her on Music.163.com or Y.qq.com, an online music platform under Tencent. For example, on Music.163.com, 8 yuan ($1.25) can authorize one to listen to all of Swift's songs for one month, 45 yuan for six months and 88 yuan for a whole year.

It is a result of the negotiations between Universal Music China and the major online platforms. Most of the songs online in China are available for free listening, but the new regulation seems to try to balance the scale for music creators and providers.

Janis Chang, chief product officer of Taihe Entertainment Group, has been working in China's music industry for more than 20 years.

"In the past two decades, I've seen too many musicians quit the industry because of piracy or infringement of copyrights in various other forms," she says.

"I am so happy to see the government has attached so much importance to intellectual property rights. It is absolutely good news that will boost the morale," she says. "I know many musicians have been looking forward to the advent of such a day."

Before, the intermediate link on the closed loop of music delivery-creator to distribution channel to consumer-has been unregulated, which has severely affected the healthy development of the music industry, she says.

"We hope all kinds of online music delivery platforms will abide by the regulation," she says.

However, Wang Ju, administrative vice-president and secretary general of China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association, says that although the new regulation is a good move for the music industry, there is still a long way to go if China wants to boost the industry.