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EMI to launch digital music service via Supertracks

Deal comes alongside similar partnership with Liquid Audio

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UK music giant EMI will today announce a major push into the digital music market in partnership with online music specialist Supertracks. The deal will provide EMI with a fourth format -- digital download -- to offer alongside CDs, MiniDiscs and tapes. Music provided in the new format will, at least initially, be sold through online retailers. EMI will release singles first, in two months' time, followed by albums at a later date. "This is the beginning of making digital distribution a normal part of the business," Jeremy Silver, VP of EMI's new media division, told US newswires. "There will be a way for honest people to take part in this without turning themselves into pirates". Under the terms of the deal, full details of which have yet to be released, EMI will take a small stake in Supertracks in return for full access to its back catalogue, which includes works from some 1500 artists and bands. And this could easily be doubled if EMI's proposed merger with Time Warner's music operation goes ahead later this year. EMI also has a partnership with Liquid Audio, which has the right to offer all of EMI's recordings via digital download. ®

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