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EDEL, NEWS CORP. IN LICENSING DEAL
Alliance Between Companies Could Lead To Further Ties, "When Labelmates Attack" Special On Fox
Continuing its quest to become a major player, German independent music company edel music has signed a licensing and digital-distribution deal with the music arm of media giant News Corp., and said that top News Corp. executive James Murdoch will join edel's supervisory board.

The alliance could lead to further ties between the two companies, edel Chairman Michael Haentjes told the Wall Street Journal.

"We'll find out how well we'll actually fit," he said. "We like each other very much. We're looking forward to finding other possible ventures."

James Murdoch is executive vice president of News Corp., which is controlled by his father, rupert murdoch',390,400);">rupert murdoch',390,400);">Rupert Murdoch.

Edel will make available preview music clips, music videos and secure music downloads from its library, and will also participate later this year in broadband streaming trials in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands.

The News Corp. alliance involves edel's Play It Again Sam and Edel Records units, and News Corp.'s Mushroom Records, Festival Records and Rawkus Records units, edel said.

Under the deal, News Corp. will license its repertoire to Edel companies outside of Asia and the countries where News Corp. has major operations: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The two companies will develop a joint-venture company for Australia and New Zealand, to market edel's repertoire in those territories when the current licenses run out.

In addition, edel said that the two companies would jointly develop their Internet strategies.

For Edel, the deal represents another step toward joining the major leagues of the music industry following a series of acquisitions over the past two years, including a stake in Danny Goldberg's Artemis Records (hitsdailydouble.com, 5/18).

Edel is already the largest independent record label based in Europe, after acquiring Belgian-based alternative-music label Play It Again Sam and striking a music publishing venture with Desmond Child.

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