RealTime IT News

Bertelsmann Inks Digital Download Deals

Lycos Inc. and several other firms Tuesday agreed to offer BMG Entertainment's digital music downloads on their sites.

The Bertelsmann AG unit said it chose Lycos as the first destination to offer more than 100 singles and albums from its catalog, and hopes to make as many as 2500 albums and singles available from its catalogue for the holiday season.

The deal offers consumers the ability to download the music of such artists as gold and platinum artists Santana, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Sara McLachlan and Vertical Horizon.

Lycos has fully integrated BMG's download service with the Lycos Music destination, combining BMG's digital downloads with Lycos' artist information including biographies, discographies, videos and links to additional artist information.

The releases will be available to consumers through a growing network of traditional and online retail affiliates beginning with Lycos and comprising Alliance Entertainment's TheStore24, ARTISTdirect, Best Buy, GetMusic, Musicland Group, RollingStone.com (an Emusic Web site), Trans World Entertainment/TWEC.com, Tower Records, and Wherehouse Music/Checkout.com.

Pricing for digital downloads will be between $1.98 and $3.49 for singles, between $9.98 and $14.98 for single CD's and between $11.98 and $20.98 for double CDs.

Most important is its deal with Lycos, which gives BMG Entertainment premium placement on one of the Internet's top hubs for entertainment resources. Lycos spokesperson Stacy Finkel told InternetNews.com Tuesday the deal between her firm and BMG begins today, with the other traditional and online deals to follow throughout the holiday season. Finkel said that for Lycos, the deal is a follow up to a similar digital music deal inked with Universal Group's bluematter last month.

For Lycos, the firm is the proud new landlord of BMG's extensive catalog. Since its launch in November 1999, Lycos Music has inked several editorial and marketing deals, including providing RollingStone.com content and signing up Toni Braxton for an exclusive promotion last month with BMG. Lycos competes with giants America Online Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. in delivering music over the Internet.

Music superpower BMG Entertainment, which owns more than 200 record labels in 54 countries, is worth $4.7 billion. Seeking to extend its tentacles online, it launched GetMusic, an online content and commerce joint venture.

BMG's online presence includes more than 30 wholly owned music & lifestyle Web sites around the world, and marketing agreements with and investments in ARTISTdirect, Riffage.com, Egreetings Network and Listen.com.