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UMG INKS LICENSING DEAL
WITH EMUSIC

About 1,000 Titles Offered for
Subscription Download

Universal Music Group on Tuesday said it would work with the company's digital music operation to offer subscription music downloads.

UMG said it would offer the content of about 1,000 of its albums, primarily from its back catalog, through EMusic.com, a unit of Vivendi Universal Net USA.

EMusic will feature tracks from a cross-section of UMG’s back catalog. Among the artists included in the new licensing program were B.B. King, Jimmy Buffett, the Four Tops, Joe Cocker, Ringo Starr and Stevie Wonder.

The titles from UMG would be integrated into EMusic's service, which offers unlimited access to over 200,000 songs in the standard MP3 format for anywhere from $9.99 to $14.99 per month. The non-exclusive digital distribution agreement with UMG strengthens EMusic’s extensive collection of more than 225,000 tracks from more than 900 independent labels

UMG eLabs President Larry Kenswil said: "UMG is committed to expanding the ways we distribute our artists’ music through legitimate online services. We hope our experiment with EMusic will help us generate new interest in these titles, while offering a great opportunity for us to give consumers some flexibility. There is clearly huge demand for music delivered digitally and we want to support as many innovative online music services as possible. In order to continue to assess the market, we hope to enter into similar agreements for this segment of our catalog with other subscription services."

Robin Richards, CEO of EMusic’s parent company, VUNet USA added, "Vivendi Universal is committed to being a worldwide pioneer in distributing all types of content to consumers over the Internet and other next-generation platforms. This digital delivery agreement between UMG and EMusic is a milestone for the industry and a clear example of that leadership."

"EMusic’s service is designed for avid music fans who value the ability to explore a wide variety of music across many genres," said Steve Grady, General Manager for EMusic. "The addition of these UMG titles expands the depth of our offering and further enhances the outstanding value we offer consumers."

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