(Xinhua via NewsEdge) China's Sina.com will team up with five leading international record companies to provide copyrighted music online, Sina announced.
The music library will generate revenues from advertising and providing wireless value-added services such as musical ringtones.
Profits will be shared by Sina and the record companies that include EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner Music, the company said.
Analysts believe all parties involved will benefit from the move as the Web site will consolidate its revenues while the record companies will be able to arrest, to some extent, the decline in profits caused by widespread pirating.
Yang Huiying, president of Sony MBMG China, said digital music had gained tremendous popularity in China, which provides great opportunities for record companies.
'The Web site will launch a pay-per-download service in the future if everything goes well,' said Cao Guowei, CEO of Sina.com
Sina's online advertising revenues rose by a huge 41% from last year, hitting $120.1 million.
Its non-advertising revenue in the fourth quarter, however, dropped 23%, as wireless value-added service sales such as SMS, ringtones, wallpapers and other mobile phone add-ons, fell by 11.5%.
Analysts predict the market share of digital music in China's music industry will jump five-fold from last year to reach $14.9 billion by 2010, accounting for 40 % of the overall industry.
Â© 2007 Xinhua NewsAgency
Â© 2007 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved