Digital distributor IODA has partnered with R2G, a leading digital distributor in China to launch the Wawawa Music Store at www.wa3.cn. The partnership offers non-Chinese independent labels and artists a rare legal conduit to this growing market for full length downloads.
(UPDATE: A spokesperson tells us that other indies and majors will be able to sell via Wawawa in the future, but IODA is the exclusive partner at launch.)
A recent survey by Beijing-based research group Music 2.0 found that 1/3 of Chinese music consumers are willing to pay for downloads. In the study, consumers cited their current inability to find non-mainstream music and desire for better niche and foreign music discovery tools as chief among the reasons they’re willing to pay. Previously most foreign music...
was grabbed through unauthorized services like Baidu.
Created exclusively for mainland Chinese consumers, Wawawa delivers only DRM-free mp3's via a monthly subscription plan, and downloads are permanently owned by the customer even beyond their subscription period. The service also allows subscribers to stream their downloads from any location providing access for the 40% of Chinese users who access the web from internet cafes.
IODA’s catalog will be available in China exclusively through Wawawa, supported by R2G’s anti-piracy infrastructure, a critical component in the Chinese digital music market. “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.
The IODA catalog represents a diverse range of styles from over 50 countries. 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.