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PressPlay in License Deals with 6 Record Labels

PressPlay, an online music venture between Universal Music and Sony Music, said on Thursday it signed licensing deals with six independent record labels that offer music by a wide variety of acts, from rappers 2 Live Crew to country singer Kenny Rogers to jazz legends Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday.

PressPlay, set to launch its service to subscribers this fall, noted that its latest deals with Madacy, Navarre, OWIE, Razor & Tie, Roadrunner and Rounder will add music from hundreds of artists to its already large catalog of music for streaming and downloading.

The company said the six labels were home to a wide range of artists including: Marshall Crenshaw, Alison Krauss, Graham Parker, Jonathan Richman, the Damned, Dead Kennedys, George Thorogood, Herman’s Hermits, Mannheim Steamroller, The Misfits, Nickelback, Sepultura, Skee-lo, Slipknot, The Waterboys, Buckwheat Zydeco and 101 Strings.

The new artists will be added to a library of music from acts affiliated with Sony Corp.’s Sony Music, Vivendi Universal’s Universal and EMI, a unit of EMI Group Plc.

The deals will help the PressPlay service “provide music fans what they demand – an online experience with no boundaries in terms of labels, artists or musical genres,” said PressPlay President and CEO Andy Schuon. “We will continue to work with a wide variety of labels to develop a comprehensive online music service that satisfies consumers’ varied musical interests.”

PressPlay will offer subscribers on-demand access to digital music through affiliates including MP3.com, MSN and Yahoo. The company promises a secure delivery system designed to provide copyright holders the royalties they were denied by the free song-swap service Napster, which has been hamstrung by lawsuits and court orders.

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