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EMI: Shawn Fanning, Dean Martin, 30 Seconds To Mars…
EMI Music, the No. 3 music company, was once one of the record company’s more reluctant to digital change. Home to the illustrious works of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and, er, Coldplay, EMI took a somewhat considered approach to the rapid changes and deal-making that was going on at other labels.
But on Friday it announced a deal with Shawn Fanning’s Snocap to sell digital music directly from some of its artists Websites, blogs and yes, social networking pages such as MySpace and Bebo. Fanning, of course is best known for starting the original file-sharing service Napster which later got shuttered by the courts after legal action by record labels.
The deal between EMI and Snocap will let fans buy music in the MP3 format, which doesn’t feature restrictive copy protection software, better known as DRM (Digital Rights Management). It will also be at a higher quality sound encoded at 320 kilobits per second, more than twice the audio quality of standard files.
EMI found digital religion earlier this year and has led the other majors on a push to sell music without restrictions having previously announced deals with Apple’s iTunes Music Store and Amazon.com’s upcoming digital music service later this year.
By the way, this deal with Snocap will include artists you’ve heard of like Dean Martin and Korn, and some you might not have like actor Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds To Mars, The Almost and Yellowcard. Also included are artists from classic jazz label Blue Note Records.