Quantcast
"Our focus has been, let's get these deals done and not get in the way. The horse is clearly out of the barn on this stuff, so it's up to people who have rights to start marketing them."
—— Richard Conlon, BMI
PRESSPLAY'S PLAYS PRESS ON
Online Music Service Cuts Deals with TVT, BMI and Recommendation Service MediaUnbound
Pressplay, the UMG/Sony joint venture offering music online to subscribers, has gone into deal-cutting overdrive.

In the last 24 hours, the service announced pacts with indie-label heavyweight TVT, performance-rights organization BMI and MediaUnbound, which provides tech for music recommendations.

The upshot? You could use the recommendation service to learn about some good, heavy rock, be directed to a track by Sevendust and be sure that when you downloaded it, the songwriters made some dough. That's the idea, anyway.

Among the TVT acts now added to Pressplay's holdings (which, apart from UMG and Sony, include EMI and several other indie labels) are Nine Inch Nails, XTC, Default, Underworld, Naughty By Nature and C.M.C. featuring Ja Rule.

"TVT is proud of its early belief in and continued commitment to the potential of the digital component of the music industry," declared TVT chieftain Steve Gottlieb, who pacted with Napster to feature TVT acts while much of the industry was suing the netco, but brought litigation of his own against MP3.com. "Our new relationship with Pressplay is an important step forward in this evolution. I hope to be featured prominently in their television spots."

"Pressplay continues to place the highest priority on building an online music library that includes as much of the world's popular music as possible," trumpeted Pressplay ruler Andy Schuon. "Adding TVT is another important step towards fulfilling that goal. OK, who's my next quote about?"

Well, Andy, you'll want to say nice things about BMI, since your pact with the venerable organization gives Pressplay performance rights to some 4.5 million compositions. Fees collected from the service (based on performance data) will then be distributed to BMI writers and publishers.

"This agreement once again demonstrates Pressplay's commitment to ensuring that artists and songwriters are fairly compensated for the public performance of their music," extolled Schuon.

"It's exciting to see we're finally at the launching pad of some new consumer-driven businesses, and we're finally going to be able to answer questions about consumer interest in membership services," BMI VP of Marketing and Business Development Richard Conlon told HITS. "When it was free, it was easy to sign up a big base, but we're excited to see a legitimate service being made available.

"If you look at Jupiter Media Metrix projections about the online sub space," Conlon added, "in three to five years these services should be generating some significant royalty revenues for our writers and publishers. Our focus has been, let's get these deals done and not get in the way. The horse is clearly out of the barn on this stuff, so it's up to people who have rights to start marketing them."

The last stop in our tour of online deals is MediaUnbound, a two-year-old outfit founded by two Harvard students, one of whom, Michael Papish, is now its chairman. Like several other competing companies, MediaUnbound makes technology that makes recommendations of music to users based on their tastes. The software will be embedded in Pressplay's client, according to the company.

Whew! That's a whole lotta business.

After a soft launch in December, Pressplay publicized wider availability last week by adding MP3.com to its affiliates, and is benefiting from some positive buzz in industry circles. The popularity of underground, free file-swapping services has fueled skepticism about the prospects for paid, copyright-friendly services like Pressplay and rival MusicNet (as well as the soon-to-be-launched, reformed Napster), but it's still way too early to lay odds.

A HOLLY, JOLLY
HITS LIST
A December to remember (12/6a)
REVENUE CHART:
MALONE IS MONEY
Yet another post about Post (12/6a)
TAYLOR LIGHTS HER "CHRISTMAS TREE"
With lots of shiny tinsel (12/6a)
THE HAPPY WARRIOR OF THE RECORD BUSINESS
What a great guy (12/6a)
GRAMMY CHEW: WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, ANYWAY?
Those who fail to learn from the past are destined to repeat it. (12/6a)
EGGNOG!
Ours is mostly bourbon.
MISTLETOE!
Delicious in salads.
CHESTNUTS!
Ours are roasting, but it could be these slim-fit jeans.
WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want for Christmas.
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)