EMI Recorded Music Announces Large Release of Digital Music
In a move highlighting the Internet as a legitimate distribution platform for recorded music, EMI Recorded Music (http://www.emigroup.com)and Microsoft today announced the availability of over 100 full-length albums and singles from EMI's catalog in the Microsoft Windows Media Format. The release by EMI coincides with the launch of the new Windows Media Player 7, available for download beginning midnight tonight.
The release by EMI marks a significant step by a music company to bring mainstream music over the Internet. EMI will be distributing albums and singles from many well know artists such as Janet Jackson, Pink Floyd and the Spice Girls.
"Digital Delivery offers a tremendous opportunity for artists, music fans and retailers, and EMI is committed to being a leader in making high quality, secure digital downloads available to consumers," said Jay Samit, senior vice president, New Media, EMI Recorded Music.
The downloads will be sold online through major retailers at suggested prices comparable to those of traditional retail sales. VirginJamcast.com (http://www.virginjamcast.com) was the first retailer to announce that as of tomorrow they will have the albums available for download.
In order to securely deliver the content, Virgin JamCast will be using the Supertracks Music System. Supertracks (http://www.supertracks.com)provides the digital musicinfrastructure services necessary to enable Virgin JamCast to sell these digital music downloads. Supertracks is a third-party clearinghouse for DDM which tracks sales and protects rights so artists and labels are paid for all music and content sold.
"Virgin JamCast 'going live' with major-label digital music is a significant milestone for the industry," said Charles Jennings, CEO andco-founder of Supertracks. "All of the pieces for building a legitimate retail channel for digital downloaded music are now coming together: record labels, retailers and technology."
The release is prone to receive attention given the recent press granted to Metallica's battle against Napster and the spotlight currently on Digital Rights Management. However, according to Kelly Stremel, PR Manager of Suptertracks, "The release has been scheduled for July for some time now. The timing is purely coincidental."
EMI's decision to release its music for digital download is undoubtedly related to its acquisition by Time Warner. When the merger between EMI and Time Warner was originally announced in January of this year both companies mentioned the increasing importance of promoting their artists on the internet. Now that there is an impending merger between AOL and Time Warner, one can assume that the push toward digital distribution will continue.
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