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BMG to Stream Music Videos

BMG Entertainment (www.bmg.com), announced partnerships with Akamai Technologies ( www.akamai.com) and Virage (www.virage.com), to enable distribution of its music videos on the Web. Akamai will provide a centralized hosting and delivery service, while Virage will provide content management software to control the syndication process.

Currently BMG plans on encoding approximately 1,000 music videos for both Windows Media and Real formats, and expects to have the videos available for streaming on the Web by the end of the year. According to Karl Slatoff, vice president, New Media, BMG Entertainment, the initial distribution will be limited to BMG's family of Web sites. Once the system is up and running, Slatoff indicated they would be exploring the options of syndicating the content to strategic partners.

"We want to build something that will be entirely scalable," says Slatoff, referring to the infinite possibilities of digital distribution compared with mailing beta tapes off to syndication partners.

Although the initial benefits of this initiative will be promotional, BMG is hoping that through digital syndication it will be able to make money off its extensive library of music videos. Slatoff also stated that BMG was interested in finding opportunities to expand the syndication initiative to exploit a whole range of video properties including live concert footage.

Distributing music videos across the Web is not an entirely unique idea. Universal Music Group announced an experiment distributing broadband videos on www.musicuwant.com in August, and major labels including EMI and Warner, have granted a license to Launch.com to play music videos on their site.

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