EMI Inks Content Deal With Pressplay

EMI Recorded Music, home to such artists as Radiohead, Paul McCartney, and David Bowie, has agreed to license its repertoire to Pressplay, the online music subscription service being developed by Univ

EMI Recorded Music, home to such artists as Radiohead, Paul McCartney, and David Bowie, has agreed to license its repertoire to Pressplay, the online music subscription service being developed by Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music, Billboard Bulletin reports. Terms of the non-exclusive pact were not disclosed.

Pressplay chief executive Andy Schuon calls the deal "an important step" in the evolution of the service in terms of its content selection. Pressplay can now feature the catalogs of UMG, Sony, and EMI. This means the service, due to launch later this fall, is now in a better position to compete with rival MusicNet, which features music from EMI, Warner Music Group, BMG Entertainment, and Zomba.

The deal is being seen by some as the first step in wider cross licensing efforts between the labels. Pressplay's Schuon says talks continue with Warner and BMG, as well as independent labels. "We'll continue to have our discussions with [the labels] and I'm hopeful we'll bring more [prior to launch]," he says.

However, EMI, which also has deals with Streamwaves, Hit Hive, and FullAudio, has been the only major label actively licensing content to services outside its own."I can only hope that everybody makes available all the music consumers are expecting to be there or theseservices will not succeed," says EMI senior vp of new media Jay Samit.

He says EMI is cutting multiple licensing agreements because there will be a number of services in the market. "Hopefully competition spurs all the subscription services to offer consumers the best service they can."

Both Pressplay and MusicNet are being held from launching primarily by the music publishers, who have yet to ink deals with either entity.
THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.