Universal Music and Sony Music, two world leading record companies, will distribute hit songs to Vietnamese music lovers through NCT Corporation's website nhaccuatui.com, thanks to an agreement signed August 30 in Ho Chi Minh City.
Music fans in Vietnam can now listen first hand to all audio and video owned by Universal Music and Sony, and uploaded by NCT on the website, for free.
However, the most popular, top hit songs of world-famous artists, including Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Avril and Shakira, have to be bought from Premium Content, a page in nhaccuatui.com that will open at the end of this year.
According to Nhan The Luan, general director of NCT Corporation, founded in 2007, the cost of the songs will be very cheap.
Before cooperating with Universal and Sony Music, NCT has worked with the Recording Industry Association of Vietnam, the Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyrights, and several local recording companies.
According to Luan, it took NCT two years to sign the two foreign partners who were charging high prices in the local market, unaware that locals are not used to paying for digital music.
Though most music websites in Vietnam allow netizens to download and listen to music free of charge, Luan said he believes in the future of the digital music market in Vietnam.
"Copyrighted songs always have the best quality," said Nhan. "To genuine music lovers, copyrighted songs not only enhance their listening pleasure, but also the satisfaction that artists and music producers are paid adequately."
"We don't expect high sales in the near future, but we would like to get locals used to paying for copyrighted works," he said.
Ron Kamnuanthip, general director of Universal Music in Southeast Asia, and Angela Wong, business director of Sony Music Hong Kong, said Vietnam is a potential market for digital, online music thanks to its population and a high ratio of people using Internet and mobile phones.
At the signing ceremony with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment on August 30, an NCT Corporation representative said that the contract is a landmark in encouraging local awareness of the need to respect the music copyrights.
Ron Kamnuanthip told the press after the signing ceremony that the contract is another part of the company's online music marketing in different markets.
Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment have also closed a deal with the Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC), an organization which focuses on protecting the legal rights of music composers and manages the operation of local publishing companies, in managing the rights of using their original recordings.
Representatives from the two world label corporations also said that they are preparing to take legal proceedings against some local websites which have refused to stop using their recordings, after several warnings via emails and letters.