EMI, Bertlesmann Join for Music Service

EMI said Friday that had agreed to provide over 300,000 tracks to Bertlesmann's GNAB legal European P2P service, currently being developed by the company Arvato division. The deal marks the second with a major label; Sony BMG has agreed to provide content as well.

EMI's artists include artists such as Coldplay, Daft Punk, Janet Jackson, Norah Jones and the Rolling Stones, in addition to rock legends The Beach Boys, The Beatles as well as the members' solo acts, and Pink Floyd.

The music rights would also include access to regional stars such as Spain's Bebe, Italy's Tiziano Ferro, Germany's Wir Sind Helden and France's Raphael.

"Authorized peer-to-peer platforms and subscription services such as those offered by Gnab enable consumers to discover great content and share it with friends, whilst ensuring that creators are properly compensated for their work," EMI Europe vice president Doug Lucas said.

"This agreement with Gnab is a huge step forward for authorised P2P offerings, and for the development of the next generation of subscription services in Europe."

Bertlesmann hopes that consumers will find the P2P-like feel of the service familiar. File sharing is hugely popular worldwide, however the legality of services like Kazaa and Limewire have drawn the ire of record labels worldwide.

At first, the record industry resisted offering music digitally due to the problems with digital rights management. But with the success of iTunes, music companies are signing more deals with services and offering a wider range of music than ever before.

"Fully authorized P2P will enable consumers to access more music, allow retailers to offer interesting music products, provide new revenue streams for EMI Music, and strengthen Arvato Mobile’s position as one of Europe’s leading digital service providers," said Arvato Mobile CEO Bernhard Ribbrock.

"GNAB is an innovative milestone on the way to a new digital download era”.

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