BUSINESS NEWS (Click on More to view all articles): EMI Licenses Music Catalog

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — EMI Recorded Music announced Wednesday it has expanded its online music distribution program to offer more CD burning options and "permanent" song downloads that can be transported to some portable devices.

In the past, EMI's online music selection — sold through distributors such as MusicNet, pressplay and Listen.com's Rhapsody service — was somewhat restricted in that the music only could be listened to as long as the service subscription was active or as streamed audio content tethered to the desktop.

EMI's new deal means, beginning Dec. 1, that online music buyers will be able to burn songs from EMI's catalog up to three times to blank CDs or transfer them to a limited number of portable digital music players that can play the files — though they contain digital rights management, a copy protection scheme designed to cut down on unauthorized duplications.

EMI has agreements with Alliance Entertainment Corp., Ecast, FullAudio Corp., Liquid Audio, Listen.com's Rhapsody, MusicNet, pressplay, Roxio and Streamwaves for music distribution online.

It's still unclear how many paying customers have signed up for the services of online music sellers, as the leading companies have been unwilling to divulge the number of users.

Pressplay Expands Music Offering With Warner Music Group Content

Pressplay, a leading music service, and Warner Music Group have entered into non-exclusive agreements making WMG the fifth major music company to provide content to the pressplay service.

Within several weeks, pressplay will add tens of thousands of songs by artists from WMG's world-renowned record labels Atlantic, Elektra, Warner Bros., Lava, Word and Rhino to its online library. Under two separate non-exclusive agreements, pressplay members will have access to WMG's content through the service and, in addition, have the ability to purchase tracks that can be downloaded to a PC, transferred to a secure portable device, and burned to a CD.

"By adding Warner Music Group's great artists to the pressplay service we have now rounded out our offering to include music from all five major labels," said Michael Bebel, president and chief executive officer of pressplay. "Through this agreement with WMG, our members will have access to even more great songs that they can burn, download, stream, transfer to portable devices and enjoy offline."

"With these latest agreements, we can continue to pursue our strategy of making our artists' music available to a variety of services in a way that addresses the consumer's desire to experience music securely and with maximum flexibility," said Paul Vidich, executive vice president, strategic planning and business development for Warner Music Group. "We're delighted to work with pressplay and we're confident that its innovative service and broad content offering will provide consumers with an attractive online music experience."

CMJ Breaks Box Office Records Again

CMJ Music Marathon had a record-breaking 10,000 registrants to its 22nd annual music conference held in New York City from October 30-November 2. In addition, over 60,000 consumers attended the Marathon's nightly showcases, which offered hundreds of performances at over 65 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

For over two decades the music festival/seminar/trade show has showcased performances by artists drawn from a wide variety of genres. The 2002 line-up featured some of the industry's brightest up and comers as well as several of the music world's most distinguished and renowned acts including Foo Fighters, Sigur Ros, Jurassic 5, Box Car Racer, Bright Eyes, Thursday, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and David Cross. Additional highlights from the nighttime potion of the Marathon included the Opening Night Kick-Off Party with performances by Robert Randolph & The Family Band,
The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Radio 4, and Northern State as well as the exclusive Closing Night Party, which featured the Chemical Brothers.

Live music, however, was only part of the story at this year's Music Marathon. During the day, attendees found an extensive exhibition area, offering music and multi-media-related products and services including presentations from Philips, AOL Music, Much Music, Verve Records and Virgin
Megastore. More than 50 panels discussed the hotly contested issues facing artists and the music business including Webcasting and CARP, Less Than Zero – The Value of Content in a Digital World, Content Protection in the Digital Era and The Seven Year Itch – An examination of artist labor issues now in consideration before state legislatures.

The 2002 daytime programming line-up also included Q&A sessions with recording artists Tori Amos and Johnny Marr, a meet and greet with Jurassic 5 and a live performance stage, which featured performances from artists such as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Polyphonic Spree and Ugly Casanova.

Also, new to CMJ's daytime schedule was the addition of the Policy Track panel series, which examined the industry's current technology issues and legislative policies and their effect on today's business and marketplace. On hand for the debates were a diverse group of executives from all corners of the industry including, Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry
Association of America, Amy Harmon, technology reporter for the New York Times, Evan Harrison, AOL Music's executive director Music Industry Relations, David Goldberg, VP and general manager of Yahoo!, Danny Goldberg, chairman and CEO, Artemis Records, L. Londell McMillan, general counsel of Artist Empowerment Coalition/Entertainment Lawyer, Fred Cannon, vice president, Government Relations, BMI and Bill Thomas, chief of staff for ASCAP.

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