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BMG Changes Its Tune On Digital Music

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Following its parent company Bertlesmann's new digital direction, BMG Australia has signed a deal with digital audio player manufacturer SONICblue to make promotional tracks from the label's artists available for free timed-limited download in Windows Media format.

The 14 tracks, including music from John Farnham, Bachelor Girl, You Am I and Guven, will be available for worldwide download from www.riohome.com, the Web site for SONICblue's Rio product. The site, which is yet to be populated with content, is to offer the tracks from November 7, 2000 (U.S. time). The promotional tracks are available free of charge, but will expire after a 30-day listening period, a strategy BMG hopes will protect record sales.

"We view this partnership with SONICblue as providing a great promotional vehicle for our artists on a global level and further supporting our commitment to making secure digital music available," said Tessa Morris, director, online business development, BMG Australia.

SONICblue's has previously joined hands with record labels DreamWorks Records, Hollywood Records and TVT Records to promote tracks on the Rio players. Music from these labels was pre-loaded on Rio's digital audio players.

"As the market for these players broadens, content will become a crucial differentiator," said SONICblue's regional marketing manager, Victoria Tsang.