Stockholm, 16th May 2007 — EMI Music Scandinavia announced today that it will make new digital rights management (DRM)-free higher sound quality downloads available for retail across the region, having reached agreements with Telenor, Musicbrigade, Inprodicon Basepoint Media , Aspiro and Paragallo in Scandinavia,. The agreements mean that consumers will be soon be able to buy DRM-free music by EMI artists at more than 20 online and mobile music stores, including, as previously announced, the iTunes store in Sweden, Denmark & Norway. The move follows EMI Music’s announcement earlier this month of the global launch of its new digital product offering (for more details, go to http://www.emigroup.com/Press/2007/press18.htm).
The new higher quality DRM-free music complements EMI’s existing range of standard DRM-protected downloads, with retailers now able to offer downloads of tracks, albums and videos in the DRM-free audio format of their choice in a variety of bit rates up to CD quality. EMI launched the premium downloads in response to consumer demand for high fidelity digital music for use on home music systems, mobile phones and digital music players. EMI’s new DRM-free products will enable full interoperability of digital music across all devices and platforms.
Consumers will soon be able to visit participating digital download stores in Sweden, Denmark and Norway to purchase DRM-free superior sound quality tracks and albums from EMI Music artists including Per Gessle, MIMS, Norah Jones, Grand Avenue, Corinne Bailey Rae, Robbie Williams, Roxette, Salem Al Fakir, Kim Larsen, Beastie Boys, Lily Allen, Eldkvarn, Sondre Lerche, Rolling Stones, Joss Stone and Bryan Ferry.
The agreements with Scandinavian retailers encompass EMI Music’s entire digital repertoire. Retailers will update their service gradually over the coming months, making more and more of EMI’s tracks, albums and videos available in this new premium format.
Stefan Blom, COO of EMI Music Scandinavia, said, “We are very happy to announce that our key partners in Scandinavia have reached agreement to offer consumers our new DRM-free superior sound quality product range. The new premium product will provide music fans in our markets with the best possible digital music experience, and enable them to listen to music on the device of their choosing regardless of where the tracks, albums or videos were purchased. We believe that providing consumers with increased quality and interoperability will lead to accelerated growth in digital download sales, as well as providing a further boost to our digital music video sales.”
Jon Erik Haug, Director for Consumer Mobile at Telenor said, “For Telenor and djuice it is fabulous that we can work in cooperation with EMI to offer music files without digital rights management. This allows the user full freedom to, for instance, transfer songs from a PC to a mobile phone, or vice versa. This will undoubtedly boost the sales of digital music, and this is good news for everybody who wants to buy music on their mobile. Telenor and djuice firmly believe that in the future most people will download and listen to music on their mobile.
“EMI has a very extensive music catalogue, and in the near future both djuice and Telenor will launch marketing campaigns of selected Norwegian artists from this catalogue.”
Patrik Westerberg, Managing Director of Aspiro Sweden said “We see the market for selling music in a digital form rapidly expanding. Therefore we welcome and support EMI´s initiative that will enhance the digital music experience, and provide customers with a much more convenient way of purchasing and enjoying music.”
“We are proud to be able to offer Musicbrigade’s fast growing community the possibility to buy EMI’s vast catalogue of music as MP3′s across our 17 European markets,” said Johan Englund, CEO of Musicbrigade. “With eight years in the digital music industry and as a long standing partner of EMI, we have now arrived at the point when the many music lovers which make up Musicbrigade’s community base will be able to buy their music in the format they like best. ”
“Everything that gives the consumer higher quality and ease of use is beneficial for the development of digital distribution. EMI’s bold move will really open up interoperability between all devices, and this will definitely have a big impact on the growth potential for music sales,” commented Inge Severin, SVP, Founder & Partner of InProdicon AB.
EMI Music will continue to employ DRM as appropriate to enable innovative digital models such as subscription services (where users pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to music), super-distribution (allowing fans to share music with their friends) and time-limited downloads (such as those offered by ad-supported services).