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Live Nation To Sell DRM Free Mp3s

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation has pacted with three of the four major labels, Sony Music, Universal Music Group and EMI to offer DRM-free mp3 downloads of music to be available directly from an artists' web page with Live Nation subsidiary MusicToday serving as the backend.

Live Nation turned heads last year when they began to sign massive "360 deals" that include touring, merchandising and recording rights with major artists. They followed up this year when they lined up to take on Ticketmaster, the dominant force in the ticketing, with their own in-house ticket sales – is Apple next?

Live Nation's strategy is monetizing virtually every aspect of an artist, from venues and concert tickets to merch and even music. Unlike iTunes, artist web pages provide a more interactive experience for fans, offering news, blogs and forums, for talk with like minded enthusiasts and the addition of music seems like a natural extension.

"Looking ahead, our primary goal remains centered on maximizing our global concert pipe for our client – the artist," Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino told Wire Magazine, "expanding into direct ticketing/online distribution, completing the world's only concert-to-fan direct platform for artists." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers