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Omusic Launches Chinese-Language Online Music Store

Omusic and Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) announced a new online service that offers legal Chinese-language digital music downloads.

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Unedited press release follows:

Omusic launches online music store to revitalise Taiwan’s music industry
Omusic to spearhead legitimate Chinese-language digital music business

TAIPEI, February 23, 2011 – Omusic, in cooperation with Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (FET), one of Taiwan’s top three telecom operators, yesterday launched the official Omusic online music store, pioneering a new era for legitimate Chinese-language digital music.

To kick off the launch, 25 of Taiwan’s top artists – including Universal Music’s Fish Leong and Da Mouth – attended a press conference on 21 February. They joined industry heavyweights from AVEX, B’in Music, Enjoy Music, Forward Music, Gold Typhoon, HIM, JVR Music, Linfair Records, Rock Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music, Warner Music, as well as the Recording Industry Foundation in Taiwan (RIT), Music Copyright Society of Chinese Taipei (MÜST) and Music Publishers Association Of Chinese Taipei (MPA).

The Omusic Chinese-language online store will initially host 200,000 tracks and will offer a quality, diversified, up-to-date legal music download experience for music fans in Taiwan. Features include: one-stop service for a wide range of digital music options, including song listening, track downloads, ringtone and ring-back tone settings; digital single-consumption options from online listening of the entire library to DRM-free downloads; easy, quick, immediate usage without software installation; and compatibility with a wide range of playing devices.

Said Sunny Chang, Omusic Chairman and Managing Director of Universal Music Greater China: “Omusic sets the precedent for the cooperation of music labels in Taiwan, as we work together to hopefully revamp the country’s digital music ecosystem and to further influence the market in Mainland China. With full support from the artists, record labels, music copyright industry, music industry groups and telecom operators, Omusic’s comprehensive digital-music platform hopes to help take Taiwanese pop to the forefront of the licensed online music market across Greater China.”

Added Robin Lee, RIT CEO: “With the establishment of Omusic and the official launch of its online music store, Taiwan customers will now have a better understanding of music protection. The big step we took yesterday will inject more positive power to the entire music and cultural industry plus the telecom industry.”

“Omusic – a 50/50 joint venture between FET and a conglomerate of seven record companies and Otiga Technologies Ltd., a provider of telecom operational solutions – was established in September 2010 aimed at offering comprehensive digital music services in a bid to revitalise the country’s music industry. Omusic hopes to become a new distribution channel for a wide range of legitimate and quality digital music services via the Internet and mobile phones, at affordable prices for consumers while ensuring reasonable returns for music creators and record companies.

Omusic’s uniqueness is its ability to develop more choices of music services for users by capitalising on the technologies, resources and contents owned by its allied shareholders. The company plans to attract 100,000 online subscribers by mid-2012 and increase its annual service sales by at least 10 percent each year afterward.

FET President Yvonne Li said: “In future, FET will invest heavy resources to promote related Omusic services and extend the brand new digital content service to major Chinese-language markets across the world. With the new Omusic online music store, FET’s revenue weighting of digital music content in value-added services is expected to exceed 30%.”

Citing statistics from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Chang previously noted that, despite Taiwan’s top-notch domestic talents and thriving music scene, total music revenue dropped sharply from NT$13 billion [US$442.3 million] in 1997 to NT$1.5 billion [US$51 million] in 2008 – with piracy and illegal downloads mostly to blame.