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EMI Music’s launch of higher quality DRM-free downloads opens door for global brand deals

Burger King is first brand to pilot

London: July 24th, 2007 – EMI Music today announced a significant strategic partnership with Chicago-based digital agency VerveLife, under which EMI will open up its extensive digital music catalogue for VerveLife’s global brand promotions and loyalty experiences. The partnership gives VerveLife’s brand partners access to a significant portion of EMI Music’s catalogue in order to offer their consumers higher quality, DRM-free downloads via global promotional campaigns. EMI Music’s recent decision to offer DRM-free downloads has paved the way for brands to engage with and utilise digital music in their campaigns.

The opening up of new business models, such as the one offered by VerveLife, is the latest in a long line of positive effects already witnessed by EMI’s decision to offer DRM-free downloads to consumers. As well as creating a level playing field with online retailers, the move has also stimulated growth within the existing retail sector, while, crucially, the DRM-free element ensures full interoperability of digital music across all devices and platforms, including mobile phones.

Global brand Burger King is the first of VerveLife’s brand partners to take advantage of this opportunity, through a custom premium experience being tested by Burger King in the UK. Under the campaign, consumers will be able to search for, sample, and download a pre-paid EMI Music track from a specially created microsite after inputting a unique code. Codes are being distributed to Burger King consumers upon purchase, and there will be links from the microsite to an online retailer, allowing consumers to purchase further tracks by EMI artists featured on the microsite. EMI is the exclusive major music company offering content for this first-of-its-kind programme and will be featured as the exclusive provider of digital music in experiences being developed by VerveLife for several other global brands.

Barney Wragg, Global Head of Digital, EMI Music, comments “EMI’s recent decision to drop DRM has had a hugely positive impact on our potential to collaborate with brands in order to offer consumers downloads that they can play across all digital music players. We are very excited about this deal with VerveLife which provides the perfect platform for us to partner with a wide spectrum of high profile brand names such as Burger King.”

Justin Jarvinen, founder and CEO of VerveLife, comments, “This agreement significantly alters the landscape of the $500 billion per year promotion industry. Consumers are increasingly asking for digital rewards such as music, movies and games. With this partnership, VerveLife can now reward tens of millions of consumers worldwide with instant access to some of the hottest music on the planet, in MP3 format. We’re proud to be partnered with EMI and look forward to bringing the most innovative and successful digital promotions to market with them.”

Giles Harris, EMI Music UK’s Head of Business Development believes that “This programme illustrates perfectly how EMI continues to break the mould, by working with new partners in new ways to tap into fresh revenue streams and promotional opportunities for our artists.”

Barry O’Connell, VerveLife’s Director of Media Licensing, continues, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share EMI’s amazing catalogue of music with millions of consumers through the trusted brands that are part of their everyday lives.”

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