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HitHive Sets Wheels in Motion with EMI Deal

Following recent post-Napster agreements between Internet companies and a number of the big players in the recording industry, Seattle-based HitHive is hitching deals for their own subscription service.

Unlike the broad initiatives set forth recently by REAL and Yahoo, HitHive is currently focusing on providing, infrastructure for music delivery to wireless devices.

HitHive yesterday announced an agreement with EMI Recorded Music for use and distribution of a vast amount of recordings from EMI's music catalog in digital format.

Through HitHive's business partners, which currently includes Sprint, consumers will have worldwide access to EMI's artists' music via all types of portable devices including wireless phones and PDAs.

"Bringing EMI's music to the wireless world will allow music fans to enjoy their favorite artists anytime, anywhere," said Jay Samit, senior vice president, EMI Recorded Music, "HitHive's technology will allow consumers to bring the music that is the soundtrack to their lives wherever they go."

The infrastructure also allows for controlled sharing of the digital media files, which HitHive execs expect to create a natural viral marketing mechanism.

On a reasonable and limited basis, consumers will be able to easily share songs using HitHive's patent-pending Loan and Borrow feature. HitHive's system allows users to to let friends listen to their music, which stays active only for a limited number of plays. After using all of the specified plays, they are given the option to buy the song or album and have it automatically loaded into their own collection.

"HitHive is harnessing the excitement of sharing digital music with friends while incorporating the controls needed to protect copyright owners and open an untapped revenue stream. The result is a system that appeals to the music industry and consumers alike," said Mark Tucker, chairman and CEO, HitHive. "Partnering with EMI expands what we can offer our business partners."



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