updated 02:05 pm EDT, Wed October 8, 2008
EMI Launching Own Store
EMI is planning to launch an online music store of its own rather than just depend on outside stores, a claim from the Financial Times says [registration required]. The record label began developing the store earlier this year and will let users buy music and videos directly from EMI's site. Formats, pricing and a launch date are still unknown, though at least a small amount of content will be free. EMI was also one of the first major labels to accept unprotected formats.
There are no immediate plans to sign extra labels to the project, though EMI is said to consider the store a "learning lab" for audiences rather than a central destination for music sales.
EMI's experiment is the latest in a series of attempts by major labels to partly bypass some levels of traditional stores. While Sony has long since discarded its earlier PressPlay service, Universal recently set out plans to offer its own videos. Critics have charged that most services aren't successful as customers tend to gravitate towards multi-label outlets and don't often associate individual acts with their labels.