Feeds

EMI picks partners for Euro digital music trial

Takes a cautious approach to Net music market

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

British 'big five' music company EMI is to bring its digital music distribution trial to Europe, signing two further partners to offer its content.

EMI's latest signing emerged over the weekend. DX3 (which is short for Digital Distribution Domain, apparently) and On Demand Distribution will separately take EMI's digital content and sell it to online retailers.

The deals follow a similar one with the Tornado Group, and alliances with the likes of Liquid Audio in the US.

Essentially, it's an old economy model: the manufacturer (EMI) ships to resellers (e-tailers) via distributors (Tornado, DX3 and On Demand). Since Net-based commerce is largely about cutting out middlemen, we wonder why EMI is so keen on bringing them into the equation. Clearly, old habits die hard with old economy companies.

That's not how EMI's fellow 'big fivers' are tackling the business. BMG's deal with Napster is the most obvious example of a music label getting to the heart of digital distribution, but the others all appear to be targeting e-tailers directly.

EMI's approach does bring with it some important benefits. For a start, it should ensure that its content is made available in as wide a range of formats as possible. After all, no one wants to be forced to use software they don't much care for simply because that's the only way they can hear their favourite band's latest single.

It also ensures EMI takes relatively little risk. It has stakes in both DX3 and On Demand, so it can share in their success, but it doesn't lose as much if one of them goes titsup.com. And if they do phenomenally well, it's in a better position to snap one or more of them up as its digital distribution division.

Still, it's a very cautious, tippy-toe approach to Net-based sales that contrasts markedly with Bertelsmann's 'dive straight in' strategy, and makes us wonder if EMI really understands this Internet thing.

Meanwhile, over in the US, EMI has signed up Streamwaves to stream its music content to subscribers. Streamwaves will offer EMI's music early next year. Punters will pay a monthly fee - in return, they get to listen to as many tracks as they like, when they like and as often as they like.

It's not quite Napster, but it's as close as it gets, and a model for emerging online music rental services loosely modelled on the video rental sector. Why buy a CD when you can listen to it via the Net for a fraction of the cost? Sony favours a similar approach, but one based on pay-per-listen rather than monthly subscriptions, which favours hardcore music buffs, not casual listeners, who are more likely to be interested in a rental service. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.