Liquid Audio has inked a deal to develop a "full ownership" subscription service for EMI, Billboard Bulletin reports. The service, to be announced today (Nov. 14), will offer material from EMIChristia

Liquid Audio has inked a deal to develop a "full ownership" subscription service for EMI, Billboard Bulletin reports. The service, to be announced today (Nov. 14), will offer material from EMIChristian labels Sparrow, ForeFront, Worship Together, EMI Gospel, BEC, and Uprok.

The service, expected to launch in first-quarter 2002, will be the first by a major to offer permanent downloads, which can be burned to CDs or transferred to portable devices. Other planned subscription offerings, such as Musicnet and Pressplay, will offer streams or timed-out, "tethered" downloads. Liquid Audio senior VP of content development and label relations Dick Wingate says EMI has not decided how many times consumers will be able to burn the downloads to CDs, but it's likely to be one or two. Pricing has yet to be determined.

Wingate says the deal should lead to other genre- and artist-specific subscription services for Liquid; these will differ from Musicnet and Pressplay, in which consumers will expect to find "everything they want." "Our universe of content is more finite, but the expectations are more realistic to the end-user."