OD2 France has inked a distribution deal with the French affiliate of Sony, paving the way for the digital wholesaler to offer content in that market from all five of the majors through its partner si

OD2 France has inked a distribution deal with the French affiliate of Sony, paving the way for the digital wholesaler to offer content in that market from all five of the majors through its partner sites. Some 18,000 Sony titles will now be available for download through the portals of Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Wanadoo and Tiscali, and through the MSN.fr Web site.

According to OD2 France & Belgium GM Stanislas Hintzy, Sony had not signed up with the distributor earlier because they had reservations on tethered, or timed-out, downloads. "We're currently abandoning tethered downloads, so that removed the last obstacle" for Sony, says Hintzy. Fnac.com, the Web site of France's biggest specialist retailer, is the only major OD2 client which has yet to stop providing such downloads, and as such will not offer Sony titles.

Despite this hitch, Hintzy remains optimistic: "Now we have the last major, we can finally start doing business properly," he says.

Sony Music France president Olivier Montfort commented in a statement: "Our catalog will considerably reinforce OD2's offer, allowing several online music services to meet consumers' needs in a legal and secure environment."

London-based OD2 originally sealed a content agreement for the U.K. with Sony Music in June 2003. While that deal would need to be negotiated on a territory-by-territory basis, it gave OD2 bragging rights as the first online music service in Europe to offer licensed content from all five majors.