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"It is a priority for us to make our music available to fans in as many legal outlets as possible, and legitimate online services such as Rhapsody are very important in that effort."
—--Fred Ehrlich, Sony
RHAPSODY IN SONY
Major Label Group Signs on to Listen.com's Streaming Sub Service
Looks like the sun is rising for Listen.com.

Sony Music Entertainment has entered into a licensing agreement with the online music company to make its catalog available in the U.S. on Listen's Rhapsody streaming subscription service.

Terms of the nonexclusive deal were not disclosed. The pact follows recently announced agreements with BMG and EMI for the service (see story, 1/8).

Listen also struck a deal with the National Music Publishers Association in November and has licenses to stream the music of a number of independent record labels, including Alligator, Bloodshot, Matador and Razor & Tie.

"Sony Music Entertainment is pleased to be working with Listen.com to offer our artists' music to consumers. In fact, you could say we're rhapsodic. Hahahahaha. Hahahahahaha. Hahahahahahaaaa," said Sony President of New Technology and Business Development Fred Ehrlich. "It is a priority for us to make our music available to fans in as many legal outlets as possible, and legitimate online services such as Rhapsody are very important in that effort. Not as important as suing the hell out of everyone else, but important nonetheless."

"Sony Music Entertainment has one of the largest catalogs of music in the world, and we're excited to offer their artists' music through Rhapsody," said Listen.com President/CEO Sean Ryan, while mentally calculating yen-to-dollar exchange rates. "We want to offer subscribers the most comprehensive service possible, and being able to offer titles from SME's catalog is a major milestone towards reaching that goal. It also brings me that much closer to having Shakira sign the photos of her that I haven't already ruined."

In addition to venture capital, Listen.com has received financial backing from each of the five major music groups. The music groups, of course, thought they were investing in a relationship-skills pop psychology site, but given the big bucks online music has generated so far, they all decided to let it ride.

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