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Message, Keeling on UMG-EMI

OK COMPUTER: Brian Message, co-manager of Radiohead and chairman of the Music Managers Forum, told the FT Digital Media Conference last week he was “pretty relaxed” about the UMG-EMI deal but wanted to avoid any one large label group having a “blocking right” by withholding its catalog from new services and stifling the digital market. But Francis Keeling, global head of digital business for Universal, said at the same event it would continue to license new digital services, to create demand to counter the “unlimited supply” of pirated versions of its music. “We know that licensing what would be perceived a few years ago as extremely high-risk model is the only way to convert millions of consumers to experience these new services and say, yes…I’m willing to move to a paid-for environment,” he said. (3/16a)

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