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EMI selects Liquid Audio for digital music system

Major label's online music plans begin to take shape

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Britain's biggest music label and one of the world's 'big five' recording companies, EMI, has chosen Liquid Audio's Liquid Tracks as its digital music format of choice. Details of the deal emerged from Liquid Audio's IPO filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to US newswires, but hints that EMI was keen on Liquid Tracks began to surface last week when the recording company announced it had taken a 50 per cent stake in online custom CD seller Musicmaker.com. In addition to providing customers with CDs, Musicmaker.com also offers digital music downloads, and its secure format of choice is -- surprise, surprise -- Liquid Tracks. EMI's deal with Musicmaker.com, which also provides the latter with access to the label's massive back catalogue of recordings for a five-year period, is essentially about giving EMI access to the expertise it needs to set up its own online music service. Meanwhile, Liquid Audio's IPO filing also revealed the company has won the support of Tower Records for its own online music retail programme. ®

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