(CelebrityAccess News Service) – The Rolling Stones' catalog of historic recordings for EMI Music's Virgin Records will be available in legitimate digital format for the first time ever, marking a major step forward for the online music market. RealNetworks, Inc., Best Buy Co., Inc., and EMI Music. The Rolling Stones' works on EMI's Virgin Records — such as Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, and Some Girls — will be available to consumers through the RHAPSODY digital music service for an exclusive time this summer, offered through a free trial at all U.S. Best Buy stores. This marks the first time that The Rolling Stones' albums have ever been available through a legal online music service.
RHAPSODY subscriptions now are available at Best Buy store locations nationwide. Best Buy is the exclusive brick and mortar retailer offering subscriptions to RHAPSODY during The Rolling Stones exclusive period. Best Buy is bringing RHAPSODY to customers through interactive kiosks in more than 560 retail stores. Consumers now have the convenience of signing up for a 14-day free RHAPSODY trial within a Best Buy store, as well as through the Company's Web site, www.bestbuy.com
The Rolling Stones' EMI Music/Virgin Records recordings are available for streaming and for purchase as individual tracks exclusively through RHAPSODY through the end of August, after which time they will remain a key element of the RHAPSODY permanent repertoire. Music being made available initially includes 18 classic albums — ranging from Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street to Bridges to Babylon and Steel Wheels — and hundreds of individual tracks released by the band since 1971, including 200 timeless Rolling Stones songs from the EMI/Virgin catalog, including "Start Me Up," "Beast of Burden," "Angie" and "Brown Sugar," with the flexibility to stream or to burn copies for personal use.
After the exclusive period ends in early September, The Rolling Stones' EMI/Virgin catalog will be made available to other legal online music sites through EMI's Digital Distribution programs.
"We're thrilled that RHAPSODY is the first stop for these timeless rock recordings. Now, Rolling Stones fans can finally get what they want — and today they can get it only through RHAPSODY," said Rob Glaser, chief executive officer, RealNetworks, Inc. "We're also excited about today's announcement of RealNetworks' relationship with Best Buy, which will place RHAPSODY with the country's #1 consumer electronics retailer as a perfect back-to-school gift for students, and well in time for the holiday shopping season."
"This is a tremendous step forward in EMI's very aggressive push to expand and improve legitimate digital music services," said David Munns, chairman and CEO of EMI Music North America. "We're pleased that music fans will be able to listen to and buy The Rolling Stones' EMI catalog through RHAPSODY and also delighted in Best Buy's participation nationwide, as it reinforces the growing popularity of digital as a format consumers want to buy."
"Best Buy has always been a leader in finding innovative ways to meet customers' entertainment needs, and RHAPSODY is an exciting example of how we do it," said Gary Arnold, senior vice president of entertainment for Best Buy. "Being able to offer RHAPSODY and digital access to The Rolling Stones catalog in all of our U.S. stores and on our Web site is an incredible way for us to demonstrate to our customers all the great possibilities that digital music holds."
As part of this launch, Best Buy is also promoting The Rolling Stones' CDs by offering a 10 percent discount on The Rolling Stones' entire EMI catalog of titles. This promotion will run from August 24-31 for in-store purchases only.–by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen