EMI to launch digital music service in July

Album downloads priced to match CDs

Record label EMI will follow fellow 'Big Fivers' Sony and BMG to launch an digital music distribution service, the company said today. Kicking off on 1 July, EMI will offer some 100 albums and 40 singles taken from them for download via third-party music sites. Pricing will match CD prices - though which territory's prices they'll be pegged too remains to be seen. The tracks will be encoded in Windows Media Player format and presumably in Liquid Audio format, too, since LA has been instrumental in taking EMI's back catalogue into the e-world. LA will almost certainly be providing the rights management and copyright protection technology too. EMI is pretty bullish about the deal. "Digital delivery will eventually become part of our standard release pattern," said Ken Berry, EMI's CEO of EMI. "We are committed to making high quality music available to the consumer in a variety of media." ®

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