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"We are thrilled to partner with a company that is dedicated to serving the artists and fans of independent music."
——Greg Scholl, Digital Club Network CEO

EMUSIC SOLD BY VIVENDI UNIVERSAL

Digital Music Service Purchased by Private Investment Company
Vivendi Universal dumped another of their vaunted Internet acquisitions by selling EMusic to a private equity company.

Dimensional Associates LLC, the Rye, N.Y.-based arm of JDS Capital Management, bought the pioneering MP3 music subscription service from VU Net USA, the division originally run by ex-MP3.com boss Robin Richards. No terms were announced. VU also has MP3.com on the market for between $700-800k, a far cry from the $372 million it reportedly paid for the company in May 2001 (see hitsdailydouble.com story).

EMusic was founded in 1998 as the first service to sell songs and albums for download in the MP3 format, and the first one to launch a downloadable subscription service in 2000.

The service offers more than 275,000 songs in every genre from 900 of the world's best independent music labels. All tracks are in the industry standard MP3 format and subscribers are encouraged to make multiple copies for personal use, burn the music to CDs and transfer their music to portable MP3 players.

EMusic GM Steve Grady insisted: "We stand firm in our belief that the best way to encourage the growth of legitimate online music services is to respect customers by giving them what they want... the flexibility that only comes with the MP3 format."

Grady says EMusic will add service offerings as well as new labels and unique content.

Dimensional Associates will align EMusic with Digital Club Network, which it also recently purchased. DCN sells live recordings and webcasts concerts of shows recorded at venues with which it  has deals. Dimensional also picked up indie distributor The Orchard earlier this year.

EMusic Live will air webcasts from the existing DCN, which includes such venues as the 9:30 Club in DC; the Casbah in San Diego; the 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA; The Metro in Chicago; Toad’s Place in New Haven, and Arlene Grocery in NYC, among others.

"We are thrilled to partner with a company that is dedicated to serving the artists and fans of independent music," said Digital Club Network CEO Greg Scholl. "Working together with EMusic, we are going to change the way people think about live music. They'll never have to leave their homes again."

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