IODA, R2G partner to bring music to China’s 253 million Internet users

Mumbai: IODA and R2G have inked an agreement to provide China’s Internet audience with access to a diverse selection of more than one million recordings of international music.

IODA’s catalogue will be available on R2G’s Wawawa Music Store, which as of its launch at www.wa3.cn is China’s largest digital music store. This partnership represents the first time foreign independents have had a robust legal conduit to the burgeoning Chinese market for full length downloads.

China’s Internet users, 85 per cent of whom listen to music online, have until now had to contend with the limited selection of pirated music available via online search engines like Baidu. A recent survey by Beijing-based research group Music 2.0 found that one-third of Chinese music consumers are willing to pay for music downloads. In the study, consumers cited their current inability to find non-mainstream music and their desire for better niche and foreign music discovery tools as chief among the reasons they are willing to pay for music online.

Accordingly, Wawawa, with the largest catalogue of legal music available in China, is keenly focused on music discovery, convenient access, and attractive pricing for the local market. Created exclusively for mainland Chinese consumers, Wawawa delivers all songs in DRM-free mp3 format via a monthly subscription plan; all downloads are permanently owned by the customer — even beyond their subscription period.
Additionally, the service allows current subscribers to stream their downloaded music from any location with an Internet connection. This feature provides convenient access for the 40 per cent of Chinese Internet users who access the Web from Internet cafes.

"Wawawa opens this huge new market to the independent sector for the first time with an offering that we believe is the right combination of convenience, price, and content selection for the increasingly adventurous Chinese music fan. With R2G and the Wawawa, we’ve found an ideal partner with the local industry knowledge, experience, and reputation needed for long term success," said IODA founder and CEO Kevin Arnold.

IODA’s catalogue will be available for Internet download in China exclusively through Wawawa, supported by R2G’s established anti-piracy infrastructure, a critical component in building the foundation for economic opportunity in the Chinese digital music market. In addition, R2G’s transparent accounting system will ensure that rights holders are fairly compensated for consumption of their recordings.

The IODA catalogue represents a diverse range of music of all styles from over 50 countries including rock, electronic, hip-hop, metal, punk, indie, world, Latin, jazz and classical. Artists represented in the Wawawa Music Store range from established classics to modern up-and-comers, such as Bob Marley & The Wailers, San Francisco Symphony, Thurston Moore, David Byrne, NOFX, Frank Black, Sly & Robbie, CAKE, Ali Farka Toure, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Dennis Ferrer, Suzanne Bacca, Kenny Dope & Louis Vega, Lyrics Born, Aventura, Blind Pilot, Woodhands and Shanghai Restoration Project.

"IODA not only has a great catalogue of quality music, but also shares our belief that offering a wide selection of music at fair prices is what music fans in China ultimately want, and that the market is ready for it. In the current environment, music knowledge is narrowly defined by what has made available through piracy. This leaves music discovery to chance, providing no guide for fans to connect with one another and share their passion for the artists they love. R2G’s partnership with IODA will change all that," said R2G CEO Wu Jun.

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