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BMG, Sony and Others Subscribe to the Internet
Duet & MusicNet, Universal & EMusic, Vitaminic & IUMA
By Heather Johnson
(more articles from this author)
2001-04-12
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Most major record labels are jumping into the pool of online subscription services headfirst, with the goal of making their music available to consumers at all times. An ongoing series of corporate mergers, partnerships and strategic alliances between Internet music companies and recording companies are giving them a stronger presence on the Internet, making a bigger impression on the minds of the consumer (and congress!).

Just 48 hours after April Fool's Day, it was announced that music distribution leader RealNetworks joined with AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann AG and EMI Group PLC to launch MusicNet, a new online subscription service to be launched later this year.

Universal decided to take their Internet presence one step further. Just a few days after the MusicNet announcement, the label signed a definitive merger agreement with EMusic.com Inc. Since its inception in 1998, EMusic has been a forerunner in how music is discovered, delivered and enjoyed by consumers. In addition to their downloadable music subscription service, which has struggled in recent months, EMusic operates a popular family of music-oriented web sites, including RollingStone.com and DownBeat.com. The site also holds licensing agreements with over 700 independent record labels, offering a collection of over 165,000 tracks.

Universal is also one of the driving forces in Duet, a new digital music subscription service created by Universal and Sony Music Entertainment. Duet's U.S. service will be presented on the Yahoo! network and Yahoo! Music this summer.

Using streaming music and downloads, the Duet subscription service will give consumers access to music from Sony and Universal artists, as well as other companies. Music fans will be able to compile personalized playlists and share them with other Duet members.

Representatives from both Sony and Universal are optimistic about the merger, which will allow the labels to provide consumers access to music all the time. "Yahoo!'s strong brand recognition and tremendous consumer reach will greatly enhance the success of Duet, and the Duet service will provide a rich resource for consumers interested in accessing music securely online," Howard Stringer, Sony Corporation of America's Chairman and CEO said. "Through Duet, we will guarantee both a premiere entertainment experience for consumers and continued support for content creators around the world."

Music released through Sony, Universal and BMG is also distributed through Vitaminic, the powerhouse for promotion and distribution of digital music. The company recently acquired the popular artist website IUMA (Internet Underground Music Archive), giving their extensive artist community an opportunity to reach a wider audience.

After a brief adjustment phase, from the loss of funding by EMusic, IUMA is back online and is set up to accept new artists through "Artist Uplink." Other original site features, including stats, charts, affiliate network, bulletin boards, radio IUMA, featured columns, industry tip sheets, label services and live artist support, are now in place.

While record companies learn to embrace online subscription services and further explore the advantages of online distribution, Internet-savvy consumers have an opportunity to enjoy considerable rewards.

Linkography

AOL Time Warner - www.aoltimewarner.com
Bertelsmann - www.bertelsmann.com
BMG - www.bmg.com
Down Beat - www.downbeat.com
EMusic - www.emusic.com
IUMA - www.iuma.com
MusicNet - www.musicnet.com
RealNetworks - www.realnetworks.com
Rolling Stone - www.rollingstone.com
Sony - www.sonymusic.com
Universal - www.universalmusic.com
Vitaminic - www.vitaminic.com
Yahoo Music - music.yahoo.com

Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» Are You Getting Enough Vitaminic? - Global Music Site Celebrates a String of Successes (2001-03-21)
» IUMA Suspends Operations - Is It Really All That Surprising? (2001-02-13)
» Corporate Restructuring & Layoffs at Emusic? Will it Work? - A look at the history of Emusic, 1998 forward... (2001-01-15)

Related News from Mi2N:
» Universal Music Group To Acquire EMusic.Com Inc.
» EMusic.Com Announces Letter Of Intent For Acquisition Of The Company
» Vitaminic Re-Launches Indie Artist Site Iuma
» Yahoo! And Duet Announce An Alliance To Present And Market The On-Demand
» AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann, Emi And Realnetworks Create New Platform For Online Music Subscription Services


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