Loudeye Signs up Sony Music

Loudeye Technologies (www.loudeye.com), a digital media services company, announced a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Sony Music Entertainment which authorizes Loudeye to offer streaming samples from Sony Music releases, as well as thumbnail images of front-cover album artwork. Loudeye will then distribute these assets through third party online retail Web sites.

Loudeye essentially helps companies encode audio and video. Currently it has over 350 customers including large media companies like BMG Entertainment, Disney, 3Com and Microsoft.

This announcement comes only a few weeks after the company announced substantial layoffs and a consolidation of its offices.

The agreement encompasses samples from Sony Music's entire active U.S. catalog, including releases from Columbia Records Group, Epic Records Group, Legacy and Sony Classical.

"We see streaming music samples as an important means of maximizing exposure for our artists and titles, particularly when coupled with a prominent 'buy now' opportunity at Internet retail sites,'' commented Jim McDermott, senior vice president, new technology, Sony Music Entertainment.

Loudeye now has non-exclusive agreements with four of the five major music companies including: Sony Music, BMG Entertainment, AOL Time Warner and Universal Music Group.

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