EMI Music Group is now licensing its DRM-free music catalog to Hip Digital, a digital media agency that develops promotional campaigns for advertisers.

Hip Digital has developed digital music programs for clients like Visa, Pepsi, Seagate, Dentyne, Samsung and others. These mostly consist of giving away free music as part of a consumer promotion or loyalty and incentive programs. The EMI deal vastly expands the content available to Hip Digital for these programs.

According to EMI, increased involvement in digital music promotions was a significant factor behind the decision to offer its catalog without DRM. Free digital music downloads that don't work with the iPod aren't much of an incentive.

"One reason EMI decided to make its entire digital catalog available DRM-free was that it gives us the flexibility to offer our music through so many different and new business models," said Lauren Berkowitz, senior VP of digital for EMI Music North America

EMI Canada, meanwhile, went a step further and licensed Hip Digital's P.A.C.E. content management system. The system is a web interface that connects advertisers with licensed music content for the purpose of setting up similar promotions.