Major cooperation music industry for ‘napster-like’ service…

Major news in the music industry business. A press release from RealNetworks:

AOL Time Warner Inc., Bertelsmann AG, EMI Group plc, and RealNetworks, Inc. today announced a venture which will create a breakthrough platform for online music subscription services. This platform ‘”MusicNet’” will combine an extensive collection of downloadable and streaming music with advanced technology. The end result will greatly accelerate the roll-out of online music subscription services for consumers across multiple distribution networks, including RealNetworks and the America Online family of interactive brands later this year.

Under the agreement, RealNetworks, EMI, Bertelsmann, and AOL Time Warner will each own a minority stake in MusicNet. The latter three companies’ music subsidiaries’”EMI Recorded Music, BMG Entertainment, and Warner Music Group’”will each separately license their music to MusicNet on a non-exclusive basis. RealNetworks will contribute its industry-leading Internet media delivery technology.

This creates a huge music database containting oa.:

Christina Aguilera, Bjork, Brandy, The Corrs, Eric Clapton, Dandy Warhols, D’Angelo, Everclear, Ben Harper, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Madonna, matchbox twenty, Dave Matthews, Brad Paisley, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Carlos Santana, Vitamin C, and Robbie Williams, in addition to leading classical, jazz, opera and world-music releases.

But they will also seek to license music from other record companies. This is the first major cooperation with record companies & online content-providing companies.

What I don’t like is that they are using Real technology. So what about mp3? Also the place of Napster is not clear. Bertelsmann is one of the big investers in Napster, and is now also part of this new ‘Musicnet’ Online Music Subscription Service. We will see.. More details follow!

Source: Realnetworks Press Release