China’s Baidu Music joins with a label in wake of growing domestic streaming competition

Baidu Music canvasChinese streaming platform Baidu Music announced a deal with record label Taihe Entertainment Group. This partnership will see Taihe’s intellectual property and A&R capabilities, covering more than 700,000 recordings, joining with Baidu’s streaming and distribution resources. Baidu has about 150 million active monthly users, but it has not revealed how many of them are paying customers. The service offers a free tier as well as a paid one that costs between $1-2 a month.

Baidu will be facing heavy outside competition with the entry of Apple, which came in at a competitive price point specifically for this market. VentureBeat hypothesized that although Baidu does have a larger audience base, it doesn’t have the same brand prestige as Apple, thus might face an uphill battle converting local listeners to paying customers.

Apple isn’t the only threat to Baidu. China’s major conglomerates – Alibaba and Tencent – have both been making inroads into entertainment, particularly streaming. Alibaba recently purchased China’s equivalent of YouTube and has been developing its internal music leadership. Tencent also inked a deal with distributor Believe Digital earlier this week. The presence of these major businesses could make it increasingly daunting for other international streaming sites to make inroads into China.

Anna Washenko