The team at QTrax continue to delight with what can only be a prankster's approach to business. The world has been watching for a couple of years as they send out releases announcing something or other, only for a clarification to follow in a few days that reveals that, actually, the deals with the major labels they said they had weren't in place, or it's taking a little longer to get the music on the system than they expected, or it's simply not possible to download the actual Tina Turner to dance round your living room.
This week, they proudly revealed they'd done a brilliant deal with Baidu:
Qtrax (www.qtrax.com) announced today that Baidu, China's leading Internet search engine, has agreed to direct music related search inquiries from its Entertainment Portal, and Qian Qian Music Online sites to Qtrax's independent, free and legal download service, wherever Qtrax has the queried artist or song in its catalogue.
Allan Klepfisz, President and CEO of Qtrax, commented: "We are very pleased with Baidu's decision. As the dominant search engine in China, Baidu will provide us with substantial traffic from its music and entertainment portals. We, in turn, will provide the visitors they send to our independent free and legal site, a superior music discovery and download experience. In the coming weeks, we will progressively launch in each of nine Asia-Pacific countries and begin to divert and monetize traffic - for the benefit of artists and copyright holders - that previously found its way to non-licensed sites. We believe our offering, including information about the artists, is vastly superior to these unauthorized sites."
Wow. That's quite something.
Trouble is, Baidu - oh, yes - have said there isn't actually any such deal:
But comments from a Baidu representative on Wednesday did not seem to confirm that it would direct any users to Qtrax. "The partnership with Qtrax regards text-based information, such as singer backgrounds; it has nothing to do with the music itself," the Baidu representative said via e-mail.
No links to Qtrax appear to be showing up yet in Baidu's music search section or on its entertainment portal.
In other news, the villagers decided that next time QTrax yells that there's a wolf in the field, they might just not bother going to investigate.
[Story via Hypebot]