EMI to launch new music service

Direct-to-consumer business billed as experimental

EMI is preparing to launch a music service by the end of the year, representing the latest direct-to-consumer business being planned by a major label.

"This is not an effort to compete with iTunes or Amazon," said a source familiar with the situation.

The service may live on EMI.com, which is dedicated to a mix of corporate and artist news. The music service will feature a mixture of paid and free content and also might include non-EMI artists as well.

EMI is positioning the effort, which was first reported Wednesday in the Financial Times, as an experimental "consumer lab." One option being considered is a music discovery function where fans of one act could be shown music that matches up with their tastes, similar to how such sites as lastfm.com and Pandora.com operate.
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