EMI Provides Catalog to Digital On-Demand

The age of digital music downloads has begun in earnest. On July 20, EMI Recorded Music announced that it has signed a deal with Digital On-Demand and its subsidiary, RedDotNet Inc., to make the EMI catalog available for downloading to kiosks in music stores. The kiosks will be equipped with CD "burners" where customers can copy EMI recordings not in stock in the stores. They will also be able to print out the original cover art and liner notes. Discs can be copied at high speed in 5 to 15 minutes using RedDotNet's technology, the announcement noted.

"We are happy that EMI shares our vision for bringing the future of digital entertainment into retail stores. Our company is looking forward to broadening the distribution of EMI's rich catalog in this innovative way," said Tom Szabo, chairman of Digital On-Demand.

EMI is taking an equity position in Digital On-Demand, as well as receiving a licensing fee for the arrangement. "We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with Digital On-Demand," said Eric Nicoli, Chairman of EMI. He called the move "another important step in EMI's plans to make use of new technologies to provide a better service for our customers and to maximize our revenues."

EMI recently signed a deal with Musicmaker.com to make its catalog available for custom compilations. The company also has a partnership deal with digital music encryption specialist Liquid Audio.

Major record labels are all moving into digital downloading. EMI followed by only a few weeks similar moves by Sony Music Entertainment and Virgin Records.