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LABEL NEWS: Nielsen BDS And BMI Enter Into Long-Term Data Agreement

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems (Nielsen BDS) and BMI have entered into a long-term data and information services agreement. Effective January 1, 2004, Nielsen BDS data has accrued into BMI's radio performance analysis system to enhance the scope and granularity of BMI's radio royalty distributions. Nielsen BDS digital technology radio airplay census data will serve as a key source of BMI's standards for efficiency, timeliness, scope and transparency in copyright administration.

The BMI Digital Initiatives rely on innovations in business systems developed within BMI as well as in collaboration with a wide spectrum of partners in the U.S. and abroad including Nielsen BDS. The first royalty payments using Nielsen BDS data in BMI's radio survey will be processed to BMI affiliates within the year.

The new census data from Nielsen BDS will augment the national radio sample, providing BMI with more detailed airplay information for a greater and more in-depth analysis of radio airplay trends. The census data will enable BMI to monitor with greater detail and precision where and when airplay occurs and, in most cases, is not expected to affect BMI's existing information concerning overall radio performances for a song. In addition, the new census data will enrich currently utilized information.

"We believe that our partnership with Nielsen BDS, together with our existing music data, offers a scope, consistency and accuracy in airplay measurement that BMI will combine with our time-tested radio sample to deliver the most comprehensive picture of radio airplay in America," said John Cody, BMI's chief operating officer. "Nielsen BDS is a leader in its own technique for performance measurement and is a highly trusted source for timely accurate radio airplay data that is imperative to our business. Together with our system, Nielsen BDS data will offer an unrivaled depth and breadth of information, benefiting BMI's songwriters, composers and publishers through an expansion in radio airplay measurement and a significant refinement in airplay analysis."

"We're pleased that BMI has selected Nielsen BDS to provide radio airplay census data as a partner in its BMI Digital Initiatives project", said Rob Sisco, President of Nielsen Music, COO Nielsen Entertainment East Coast Operations. "Our powerful digital technology will provide effective and efficient radio data information to BMI's highly respected royalty distribution system." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Sony, MGM Keep Talking About Possible Sale

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony Corp. is seeking a two-week extension of its exclusive negotiating period to acquire venerable film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., a source familiar with the talks said.

The request came Thursday, the same day a 15-day exclusive period MGM had previously granted to Sony expired, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Sony had sought the exclusivity to prevent a bidding war for MGM, which holds an extensive and valuable library of more than 4,000 films.

Sony confirmed last week that it was seriously considering purchasing MGM. The two companies are negotiating a roughly $5 billion deal that would include $3 billion paid in cash and the assumption of debt, according to sources familiar with the talks.

Other entertainment companies have expressed an interest in MGM in past years, including Time Warner and NBC Universal.

Analysts have estimated MGM's library will generate $440 million in cash flow in 2004. Only 1,500, or about 36 percent, of its titles are on the newer DVD format.

MGM's library includes the "Pink Panther" and "Rocky" franchises, plus such Academy Award winners as "West Side Story," "Midnight Cowboy" and "Annie Hall."

The company also produces films featuring the British spy James Bond.

Artemis Records And JSM Music Create New Venture

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Artemis Records and JSM Music, Inc., one of the largest commercial music producers in the US, have joined forces to create Artemis JSM, a joint venture for music production and distribution that redefines the relationship between a record label and the advertising industry.

Based in New York, the new venture will integrate broadcast advertising as a component of artist development and will release records in physical and electronic media under the Artemis JSM and other labels. It will also develop new and existing material for advertising and broadcast use.

Artemis JSM will use JSM's deep relationships with global advertising agencies and broadcasters to extend the traditional A&R function into commercial and feature programming, and leverage the marketing and distribution strengths of Artemis for new projects created by Artemis JSM.

"The music development landscape has changed dramatically in the last ten years, and broadcast advertising has emerged as an important channel for sourcing and promoting new music and established acts," said Danny Goldberg, chairman and CEO of Artemis Records. "Artemis JSM will build on this trend to help us define what it means to be a record label in the 21st century."

"We were seriously considering building a new independent record label to take our in-house projects to the next level," said Joel Simon, JSM's president and executive producer, "but the Artemis JSM partnership gives us the benefit of a world-class development, marketing and distribution capability while allowing JSM to remain focused on constantly elevating the levels of our internal creative capability and our core advertising business."

Artemis JSM's strategic direction will be guided by Goldberg and Simon, assisted by record industry veteran and attorney David Fritz. Fritz is currently working with Pilar Montenegro, Evan & Jaron, and regional Mexican artist Grupo Montez de Durango. Previously, he developed the "Mob Hits" compilation series and the "Rhythm" and "Groove" compilations for McDonalds.

Lou Mazzucchelli, an experienced technology and media entrepreneur, will direct daily operations. "Lou showed how this venture made sense for Artemis and JSM", said Simon, "and he's got the experience needed to scale it into something meaningful." –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner