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BMG Starts Offering Digital Downloads

BMG started its long-awaited commercial digital download program this week offering more than 100 singles and albums. Pricing will be between $1.98 and $3.49 for downloaded singles and $9.98 and $14.98 for full CD's.

Artists in this first round of releases include Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Sarah McLachlan, Santana and others.

The first online seller will be Lycos at its Lycos Music site (music.lycos.com). Other retailers will include ARTISTdirect, Best Buy, GetMusic, RollingStone.com and Tower Records.

BMG is working with partners IBM (for its Electronic Media Management System), InterTrust (for digital rights), Digital World Services and Reciprocal (for digital rights services), Digital Island (for hosting and content delivery) and Liquid Audio (for technical infrastructure).

"Our alliance with BMG allows Lycos Music to offer its users the broadest and deepest music experience on the Internet," said Ron Sege, executive vice president of Lycos. "Whether it is digital downloads, artist information, webcasts, fan clubs or streaming audio, Lycos Music is the place to go for music fans worldwide."

On Thursday, BMG said it chose MusicMatch (www.musicmatch.com) as its preferred jukebox software.

BMG says it will increase the number of titles in the coming months and hopes to have 2,500 albums and singles available for the holiday season.

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