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A platform platter

Digital formats, discs drive Sony-EMI deal

NEW YORK — Sony BMG and EMI Music Publishing will ring in the new year as digital dance partners, inking a deal to introduce a new wave of services and products that will include a disc that’s a CD on one side and a DVD on the other.

Broad-based agreement is intended to foster the proliferation of music across the Internet and emerging digital platforms, such as mobile phones, as the music biz begins to recover from the havoc of piracy.

Deal between the giant recording conglom and the world’s largest music publisher was announced Friday.

By working together, EMI Publishing and Sony BMG can move more quickly in embracing new distribution technologies. Otherwise, they would have to negotiate with each other on an ad-hoc basis when wishing to retool a particular recording for, say, a release as a mobile ringtone or on a dual disc.

“An agreement that facilitates more consumer friendly and piracy-deterrent formats is a big step for our industry and a huge win for artists and music fans,” EMI Music Publishing chair-CEO Martin Bandier said.

Recording companies and music publishers are eyeing the dual CD/DVD disc, introduced to the market this year, as a new revenue stream.

Other formats, services and products laid out in the Sony BMG-EMI Music agreement include:

  • Mobile phone products such as ringtones and ringbacks

  • Digital distribution of musicvideos on TV video-on-demand services and as video downloads

  • The inclusion of copy protection controls on multi-session audio discs that will stop consumers from “unlocking” content unless they purchase the tracks or albums online.

“This agreement will enable us to rapidly expand into new markets as we distribute music and entertainment content over a broad variety of platforms, including innovative products for the traditional retail market, music services in the mobile space, and video-on-demand,” Sony BMG chief exec Andrew Lack said.

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