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"Our idea is to test the market, to learn what people want. We're preparing the terrain for Pressplay."
——Universal Music France CEO Pascal Negre

FRENCH GET SUB SERVICE PROTOTYPE

Universal Music France to Launch a Coquettish, Cigarette-Smoking, Jerry Lewis-Loving
Version of Pressplay
While all us suckers who live on this side of the Atlantic will have to wait who knows how long for the exciting debut of the major label online music distribution services, those lucky French only have to wait until Friday.

According to Variety, Vivendi’s Universal Music France is launching a prototype of the online music service in France on Nov. 2.

The American version of Universal, all joint ventured up with Sony, is prepping Pressplay for a "before the end of the year" kind of launch.

Named e-Compil—not Le Pressplay or Menage a Pressplay or anything sexy like that—the subscription site appears to be a simple "toe in the water" sort of test for Vivendi.

"Our idea is to test the market, to learn what people want. We're preparing the terrain for Pressplay," said Pascal Negre, CEO of Universal Music France.

E-Compil will look basically like its American counterpart, only with fewer hang-ups about sex. On the positive side, however, the American version will bathe more often and shave its underarms.

At launch, the service will offer only 600 titles total. After its debut, e-Compil will add 50 more titles—from rock to classical—each subsequent week.

The service will target the 25- to 40-year-old demo, Variety reports, and not the 15-25 category that was the backbone of Napster and similar ventures. In a further attempt to cater to the older crowd, e-Compil will also offer biographies of the artists and links to their websites.

Shortly after its Nov. 2 debut, e-Compil is expected to surrender to whatever sub service the Germans are putting together.

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