U.K.-based live-venue operator and concerts promoter Mean Fiddler Music Group (MFMG) is entering the digital-download market.

U.K.-based live-venue operator and concerts promoter Mean Fiddler Music Group (MFMG) is entering the digital-download market.

In response to "current market demands" for competitively priced legitimate downloads, the London-based group has formed a new subsidiary, Mean Fiddler Media (MFM), to provide audio download services through the Internet and mobile phones. MFM is a joint venture between MFMG and telecommunications group Media Internet Telecom Ltd.

The download initiative will go live in the United Kingdom in April, with plans to launch later in the year in Europe, the United States and Asia.

To date, Warner Music International, BMG and V2 have agreed to supply content to the service. Acts covered by those deals include Dido, Stereophonics, the Darkness and Muse. MFMG says it expects the three remaining majors to come on board by launch, and the company will also develop content from live-music venues and events.

MFMG says it will market the service by leveraging its existing customer base. "I am confident that our position as the U.K.'s market leader in live music will put us in an ideal position to sell digital music and mobile-phone content to our customers," says MFMG chairman Vince Power.

One of the key players in the British live-music business, MFMG owns such top music venues as the Astoria, the Forum and Jazz Cafe. MFMG either owns or promotes such major festivals as the Reading and Leeds Carling Weekend and the Glastonbury Festival.