In the past 18 months, most record companies have been so pre-occupied with trying to stop illegal digital distribution that they have completely overlooked the opportunities the Internet can provide.
Warner Music Group has finally stepped up as the first major player to embrace digital distribution by entering into a non-exclusive license with Loudeye Technologies Inc. Under the agreement, Loudeye will have the rights to digitally store, encode and deliver WMG-controlled recordings and music videos to third parties that have already received licenses to present WMG’s recordings on the Internet.
Loudeye’s digital media applications and media format agnostic infrastructure allows WMG’s content to be transmitted to WMG-licensed sites in multiple formats and multiple bit rates.
“Loudeye’s ability to handle large amounts of content in a variety of formats and serve numerous sites makes them an ideal partner for our licensees that are looking to outsource certain digital media services,” says Paul Vidich, executive vice president, strategic planning and business development for Warner Music Group.
The real value of the agreement, however, is its potential to act as a catalyst for other record companies to take advantage of the Internet as a distribution center.
“This agreement with Warner Music Group is a significant endorsement of the quality digital media solutions Loudeye can provide the record industry for legitimate digital media distribution,” says Martin Tobias, minister of order and reason, founder and CEO, Loudeye Technologies, Inc. “The music business is a $40 billion industry. As one of the first major record labels to embrace the Internet as a critical digital music delivery vehicle, Warner stands poised to reap the rewards of an expanded market opportunity through a successful Internet strategy.”