BMG counters Net threat with online music sales venture

BMG Entertainment, the Bertelsmann-owned record label giant, is to fight back against free music on the Internet by launching online sales of its current hits and some of its back catalogue this summer.

BMG has formed an alliance with digital clearing services company Reciprocal, which will provide it with digital clearing services for downloads, packaging, account and customer information management, financial clearing services and sales tracking.

BMG – which owns 200 record labels in 53 countries, including Arista Records, RCA Records and Ariola – intends to begin selling its current hits and catalogue music as downloadable files through as yet unnamed Internet retailers this summer.

BMG senior vice-president worldwide marketing and new technology Kevin Conroy says: “We are confident that our relationship [with Reciprocal] will enable us to provide consumers with the best possible experience while protecting our artists’ rights.”

Sony recently made a similar announcement about moving online. Neither company intends to offer music in the MP3 format.

The move indicates the mainstream music industry’s response to the Internet. Free digital music downloads accessed through MP3 technology have damaged labels’ ability to control and track sales, and maintain prices. In April 1999, BMG and Universal combined their online marketing and sales operation in a single Web outlet, GetMusic.com.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here