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HITHIVE, EMI INK DISTRIBUTION DEAL

Companies To Distribute Music Through Cell Phones, Palm Pilots, Electric Razors
In an attempt to solidify its place in the future distribution of music, EMI has pacted with wireless media company HitHive to digitally distribute music through cell phones and other portable devices.

HitHive plans to launch the wireless distribution service this summer in Europe and in the fall in Asia.

Through its deal with the British major, HitHive will offer about 40% of the EMI catalog at launch, increasing to 80% within the next year.

The new HitHive technology allows users to both store songs on their wireless devices, and share tunes with other participants over wireless networks, the company said.

The service will offer only secured music files, the companies stressed. To that end, once users listen to a shared track, they are given the option to buy it. If purchased, it is automatically loaded to a virtual locker. For copyright protection reasons, if the user of the file does not pay a set fee, the file will disintegrate after a pre-determined set period of time.

HitHive, who said it is in talks with other major labels regarding the possible licensing of their content, has a previous deal with Sprint, under which consumers can store two hours of music on Sprint's Samsung Uproar model.

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