UNIVERSAL MUSIC INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN DIGITAL MUSIC DEAL WITH OD2
LONDON, 4 NOVEMBER 2002 — Universal Music International (UMI) today announced a licensing agreement with OD2 (On Demand Distribution), Europe’s leading supplier of digital music distribution services.
UMI and OD2 have agreed terms for the license of Universal’s repertoire to OD2’s widely used subscription platform, WebAudioNet. From mid November, music from Universal artists will be made available in an official digital format to European consumers.
The deal with UMI consolidates OD2’s position as Europe’s largest supplier of legal digital music. OD2 has already signed similar deals with other major labels including BMG, EMI and Warner as well as having access to the independent sector following a tie-up with the Association of Independent Music (AIM). With UMI on board, customers of OD2’s service will now be able to access over 150,000 tracks.
Under this latest agreement, music from Universal will become available to music fans via an extensive network of European retailers using OD2’s WebAudioNet platform, including HMV.co.uk, MSN.co.uk and Freeserve.co.uk.
For a fixed monthly fee music fans visiting these sites can stream, download, and burn tracks from the Internet onto a variety of DRM-compatible devices and media. Each subscriber is given 500 credits a month – which he or she will spend on creating a personal playlist.
Streamed tracks can be listened to once, downloaded tracks are stored on the PC for as long as the subscription remains active, and ‘burned’ tracks are permanent tracks that can be transferred to portable media players or burned to CD. Subscribers can also buy additional music on a track-by-track basis.
Ian Moss, VP of E-Commerce for Universal Music’s e-Labs division, said: “The music industry needs to develop or support new legitimate models for the distribution of music, including digital music subscription services.
“OD2 is a leader in this field and has developed a legal, consumer friendly model for how this can be done. Their technology and attitude makes them a great partner for Universal to do business with.”
Charles Grimsdale, CEO of OD2, said: “Universal is a great feather in our cap. When it comes to digital distribution services, OD2 is the supplier of choice for the big names in the industry.
“Universal has an incredibly diverse roster of artists and back catalogue and this deal will benefit consumers and artists alike.”
Universal Music International
Universal Music International is a division of Universal Music Group; the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Strategic Marketing & Commercial Affairs (outside the US).
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.
On Demand Distribution provides a secure distribution service for music over the Internet. The company was co-founded in November 1999 by Peter Gabriel (musician, writer and video maker) and Charles Grimsdale (IT executive). The management team has extensive experience of the music industry, music retail, and the development and delivery of complex IT systems and services.
OD2 has the largest catalogue of legal digital music in Europe, and is the only subscription service in Europe that offers consumers the opportunity to burn as well as stream and download tracks, as part of a fixed price subscription service.