updated 02:35 pm EDT, Thu November 3, 2011
EMI, The Echo Nest make music deal for apps
The Echo Nest, which calls itself a music intelligence platform that supplies developers with music and data, has now teamed up with EMI Music. As part of the deal, Echo's 10,000 app developers will have access to all of EMI's artists. Revenues will be shared between developers and rights holders, with EMI handling all the required licensing, clearance requirements, and marketing of the resulting apps.
The deal falls under EMI Music's OpenEMI initiative, which aims to make music licensing for apps easier. Developers also have access to Echo Nest's tools that include dynamic playlist programming interfaces, open-source audio fingerprinting, audio analysis, and remix software.
OpenEMI's sandbox is available online, requiring devs to register for an API key. App concepts can then be submitted to EMI and The Echo Next. Apps for the web, iPhone, iPad and Android can then be developed, either free (ad-supported) or paid.
The EMI strategy is one of the first for a major music label and shows an attempt to get beyond licensing music for traditional media formats, such as movie soundtracks or TV ads. While the label is likely motivated by its comparatively difficult position in the market, its effort could see the quality of music in games and other titles increase. Most mobile app developers wanting to use professional music have had to either negotiate an individual license or else ask artists to create original work.