BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: Entertainment: New Media
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 3 October, 2001, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
EMI gives music to web rival
MusicNet is backed by EMI, Sony and BMG
EMI Recorded Music is to license its artists' catalogue to future online file-sharing website Pressplay, despite a huge investment in its own service, MusicNet.

The deal sees the first of the big five record companies giving permission for both services to distribute its music.

Both services are expected to launch before the end of the year as rivals to Napster, which has been out of action since July due to legal wranglings.

MusicNet is the joint venture between BMG, EMI and Warner.

There is clearly huge demand for music delivered digitally

Jay Samit, EMI
Pressplay is backed by Sony and Universal, who have so far promised their catalogues to it exclusively.

Artists in the EMI stable include David Bowie, Radiohead and Kylie Minogue. EMI has also agreed licences with online music firms Full Audio, HitHive and Streamwaves.

Huge demand

MusicNet and Pressplay are the industry's attempt to attract people away from the unofficial music download services that have sprung up since Napster's decision to develop a paid-for service.

"There is clearly huge demand for music delivered digitally and we want to support as many innovative and competing music services as possible," said Jay Samit, senior vice president of new media for EMI Recorded Music.

EMI was always likely to be the first company to offer licences to both services because its core business is music production, according to Jupiter Media Metrix.

Analyst Aram Sinnreich said: "They don't want to own distribution. They're just a record company."

It is now thought other companies will follow suit and license catalogues to both services. Both MusicNet and Pressplay have vowed to launch before the end of the year.

Napster revamp

Napster has also promised its users it will be up and running with a subscription-based website by the New Year.

Mr Sinnreich added that it would take time for the sites to become established with a consumer-friendly model.

"I think that both services will continually have to be revamped and re-conceived for the next few years before the right features and the right price point is decided upon," he said.

EMI recently issued a warning that profits for the year could be down as much as 20%, blaming difficult trading conditions for the music industry.

See also:

10 Sep 01 | New Media
Online music-swapping rocks
06 Aug 01 | New Media
Online music bill 'meets disapproval'
31 Jul 01 | New Media
Negotiators join web royalty row
24 Jul 01 | New Media
AOL launches online music services
24 Jul 01 | New Media
New boss for Napster
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more New Media stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more New Media stories