London-based online music-licensing firm Ricall has clinched a major deal with Sony BMG Music Entertainment which it says will add more than 1 million tracks from the major’s catalog to its music library.

The agreement will see recordings by Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Groove Armada and Justin Timberland, among other Sony BMG acts, made available for commercial use internationally by broadcasters, advertising agencies, computer-game developers and multi-media content companies.

Ricall’s libary comprises works from some 150 independent and specialist labels from around the world. The Sony BMG deal will boost the total number of tracks in that library to more than 4 million. Ricall customers search online at www.Ricall.com to select appropriate tracks, using Ricall's proprietary music search engine for specific needs.

Sony BMG will have a stand-alone dedicated section on the Ricall.com Web site to promote its catalog to Ricall's registered users. An internal Intranet will allow the label to manage and keep track of requests for and the use of its music.

"There is a kind of mindset change going on; record companies have started thinking like publishing companies," states Ricall founder/CEO Richard Corbett. "Also, the volume of music licensing is going through the roof. More people need music to use in their productions, but the majors are under-resourced. They can't do this with their own people at a profitable rate."

"We're already at the contract stage with some of the other majors and we expect deals in the next few months," he adds.

Corbett says Ricall does not charge its customers any commission, which has been the traditional practice of music-licensing agencies, but receives fees from copyright owners. In addition, for a fee, the company will make its technology available to other licensing agencies to customize for their own needs.

Other future plans, says Corbett, include enhancing Ricall's library with local repertoire back-catalog works from copyright owners in various international markets.