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BMG forms deals with tech pack to take music online

Retailers invited to participate

BMG Entertainment has inked agreements with an array of major high-tech firms that will facilitate the conglom’s plans to begin selling secure digital music downloads via online retailers this summer.

“We’re making our approach available to an open network of retailers,” BMG Entertainment senior veep of worldwide marketing and new technology Kevin Conroy told Daily Variety. “We’ve invited all our online retail partners to participate.

‘More comprehensive’

“As we begin to build a legitimate marketplace for consumer downloading of music, we wanted to have significant reach into that marketplace,” Conroy continued. “This new system is more comprehensive than anything previously announced.

“We also wanted to address questions asked by portable-device manufacturers, computer software companies and retailers, so that they’d know what they needed to do to participate along with us in making BMG artists’ music available to consumers.”

BMG noted its plan would be supported by IBM’s Electronic Media Management System (EMMS), InterTrust Technologies Corp.’s Digital Rights Management technology and Microsoft’s Windows Media Technology platforms.

Commercial considerations

In addition, BMG has penned digital rights management service pacts with Digital World Services and Reciprocal that will smooth commercial transactions between the conglom, retailers and consumers. These clearinghouse services include packaging, account and customer information management, financial clearing and systems integration.

BMG also has pacted with Liquid Audio to develop an open distribution infrastructure that will integrate various music delivery components from several companies into one interoperable system. Using Liquid Audio’s RIMS and RIFFS command and control applications will enable BMG to manage the flow of online content from the point of creation to retail delivery.

While BMG intends to begin offering secure downloadable versions of current hits and catalog product this summer, it also plans to significantly increase the number of titles available in time for the holiday season. Expect similar announcements from other major music manufacturers to follow suit.

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