EMI and Singapore-based Soundbuzz are in negotiations concerning possible distribution by the digital music services provider of DRM-free EMI tracks in Southeast Asia, executives from the two companies tell Billboard.biz.

"We've opened discussions with EMI (about DRM-free downloads) in multiple markets," says Soundbuzz CEO Sudhanshu Sarronwala. He says that for EMI's DRM-free initiative to succeed in Asia, mobile is critical.

"Ninety-five percent of digital music is consumed via mobile in the Asia-Pacific region, and the real effect of the EMI announcement is going to be felt when we can offer a DRM-free experience on mobile," says Sarronwala.

"Sudhanshu has approached EMI and expressed an interest and when we agree terms, we will progress the deal," says EMI Music South East Asia president/COO Paul Robinson. "Soundbuzz are not the only company to have approached us, and in Asia we expect this EMI initiative to generate significant activity."