Google To Provide MP3 Search Service

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

It appears that Google has joined the bandwagon of providing mp3 search for Chinese users which puts them in direct competition with market leader Baidu. The service will be launched before the Beijing Olympics festivities, according to CRIEnglish.com.

The report said Google China has been testing MP3 searches recently, with the expectation of providing legal copies of musical works.

Insiders mention that the quality of results may be the big distinction between Google and Baidu MP3 search capabilities. High-quality MP3 search results will be available for users. In this way, users can avoid the hassle of choosing from a large number of search results and instead pick fewer results of better quality audio files.

China’s Baidu.com, which leads Google China by a wide margin in terms of user loyalty, has made MP3 searches one of its pillar services. Baidu’s MP3 searches currently generate around 30 percent of its total traffic, but the company has been plagued by intellectual property rights battles.

China Internet Network Information Center reported that China had 253 million Internet users at the end of June, the most in the world. Among these users, 84.5 percent, or 214 million people, enjoy music through the Internet.

According to China news sources, Google has been negotiating with record companies on property rights issues. A Google China spokesman said that the company will not launch the MP3 search service before finding a win-win business model with the record companies.