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Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 16:34 GMT
Pressplay signs up indie label
Underworld are signed to TVT
Music download service Pressplay is widening its service by signing an agreement with independent record label TVT.

The label represents artists such as Ja Rule, Nine Inch Nails, Underworld and Naughty by Nature.

The subscription service is jointly run by Universal, Sony and EMI and launched in December into the download sector previously dominated by Napster.

Industry giants Warner, EMI and Bertelsmann have also launched a similar service under the banner MusicNet.

Since both initiatives were announced the rush has been on to sign up individual record label catalogues in order to give users a wide choice of material to listen to.

Napster has just launched a new, legal test version
Napster has just launched a legal test version
Pressplay has also signed a deal with MediaUnbound, a company set up by Harvard University students.

MediaUnbound will provide the software to enable subscribers to be given personal recommendations, based on musical tastes.

A long-term deal has also been agreed with the US performing rights organisation BMI.

Legal wranglings

The agreement gives access to 4.5 million compositions in the BMI repertoire, with royalties being distributed to the artists, composers and music publishers.

Napster was closed down in July 2001 as music publishers sued for copyright infringement.

It was expected to bounce back quickly but legal wranglings and software problems have meant other services have been able to catch up during its absence.

It has recently undergone a mini-relaunch offering only a test version to a selected group of 20,000 users.

Testers were chosen at random from millions of users who offered their services.

The test version includes more than 100,000 music files - but it does not include any major record label content.

Napster has said the full version will probably not be launched until March, by which time it expects to have some content from major labels to offer.

See also:

10 Jan 02 | New Media
Napster tests legal song-swap service
19 Dec 01 | New Media
Getting the best out of net music
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