In Landmark Deal, IODA and China’s Largest Music Store to Offer Broad Selection of Independent Music from Around the World to Vibrant Market for the First Time
San Francisco and Beijing — August 1st, 2008 — IODA, the global leader in digital distribution, marketing, and technology solutions for the independent music and film industry, and R2G, the leading digital music distribution
company in China, today announced an agreement to provide China’s growing Internet audience with access to a diverse selection of more than one million recordings of international music. IODA’s catalog will be available on R2G’s Wawawa Music Store, which as of its launch today 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% 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 (http://blogs.music20.org/music20/ ) 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’re willing to pay for music online.
Accordingly, Wawawa, with the largest catalog 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% of Chinese Internet users who access the Web from Internet cafes.
“Despite the undeniable potential of the Chinese market, it remains to be seen how the music industry can successfully capture the opportunity. 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,” commented Kevin Arnold, founder and CEO of IODA. “With R2G and the Wawawa, we’ve found an ideal partner with the local industry knowledge, experience, and reputation needed for long term success.”
IODA’s catalog 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 catalog represents a diverse range of music of all styles from over 50 countries including rock, electronica, 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 catalog 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,” said CEO of R2G, Wu Jun. “In the current environment, music knowledge is narrowly defined by what’s 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.”
Expanding music tastes in and beyond Beijing and Shanghai have created an enthusiastic audience in recent years for music festivals like Beijing Pop, Midi Music, Modern Sky & the Yue Festival. International artists have more opportunities than ever to connect with Chinese fans, and fans for the first time have access to a wide variety of international music downloads at compelling prices through Wawawa.
“Our label, Paper Bag Records, arranged for us to play two shows in Beijing in May, which were both electric. Hundreds of kids danced and screamed while we played, the crowd answering my screams with one hungry, unified screaming voice back at me, unlike anything I had ever experienced before,” recalls Dan Werb of the band Woodhands from Toronto, Canada. “It was incredibly moving, and you got the sense that the local music community was totally energized. There's definitely something important developing here, and it's rooted in a growing appetite for new ideas and music.”
About R2G About IODA
R2G provides the leading centralized music distribution platform in China with a transparent licensing and monitoring system. Its unprecedented approach in the distribution of digital music in China has provided Content Providers with more efficient and reliable delivery of music content to the China marketplace with proper and transparent revenue accounting mechanisms in place while protecting the interests of copyright owners. With licensing deals across more than 200 Service Providers combined with rights from more than 50 Content Providers, and as the strategic partner to the Music Copyright Society of China (MCSC) and China AudioVideo Copyright Association (CAVCA), R2G covers almost 70% of publishing rights in the market.
IODA, the Independent Online Distribution Alliance, is the industry-leading digital distribution company for the global independent music community. IODA provides comprehensive services to record labels, physical distributors, and artists, including license negotiations; media encoding and metadata management; and royalty payment administration and reporting. The company also offers promotional support through a dedicated marketing division and through the IODA Promonet (www.iodapromonet.com), a promotional distribution network that provides qualified podcasts, blogs, and other promotional sites with access to pre-cleared, legal music and other promotional assets from IODA’s labels. Founded in 2003, IODA represents a rapidly expanding roster of over a million tracks from thousands of independent labels around the globe. IODA also distributes independent film and video content for over 2000 titles. IODA was named one of FORTUNE magazine’s 25 Breakout Companies for 2005. The company’s website is www.iodalliance.com.