Deals up artist quotient as co. preps version 2.5 release

NEW YORK — Online music service Pressplay soon will be able to beef up its digital library with tracks from such artists as Nirvana, Frank Zappa and Mudhoney, thanks to new music-licensing deals with a clutch of indie record labels.

The nonexclusive pacts with indies Sub Pop, DreamWorks Records, Rykodisc/Ryko Label Group, Ubiquity and Palm allow Pressplay to offer the new songs for download, streaming, CD burning and transfer to portable players.

Among the other artists now on tap through the service are Zero 7, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Sugar, Bruce Cockburn, Saint Etienne, Sebadoh and the James Taylor Quartet.

Separately, Pressplay said it will unveil its version 2.5 release on Friday. The update will add a customizable Internet-radio service to the existing offering, as well as Billboard chart performance data going back nearly 50 years.

Pressplay, which is co-owned by Vivendi Universal and Sony, now boasts roughly 250,000 tracks in its digital library. Along with fellow label-backed service MusicNet, Pressplay obtained content licenses from all five major label groups late last year.

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