EMI Music, the world's largest independent music company, has agreed to make its entire catalog of digital recordings available to Mashboxx, a legal peer-to-peer (P2P) service currently in development.
The Mashboxx P2P software or "client," will allow consumers to preview and purchase copyrighted music content from EMI artists from within existing P2P networks, giving music fans the ability to take advantage of the community and music discovery aspects of P2P services while also ensuring that artists and copyright owners are compensated. EMI will make its entire digital catalog in the US available for the service. EMI also plans to make additional repertoire from its international digital catalog available when Mashboxx rolls out its service in additional markets in the future.
The Mashboxx client accesses existing P2P networks, and allows users to perform searches for artists, albums and tracks. Using filtering technology, Mashboxx can identify tracks that labels like EMI have authorized for trade, monetization or blocking, and returns search results accordingly. These results are then presented to the user, who can choose to sample tracks for free, or purchase them as downloads. In order to make its music available through legitimate P2P services including Mashboxx, EMI is having its digital catalog fingerprinted by SNOCAP
Offers Free, Try-Before-You-Buy Download Option
For the free, sampler option, users will be able to play full length tracks up to five times. These sampler tracks will expire after they have been played five times. After five plays, users will only be able to play a 30-second clip of the track, unless they decide to purchase it. This try-before-you-buy feature was exclusively designed by Mashboxx for usage within P2P platforms.
According to the most recent NPD Digital Music Study, nearly 75 percent of P2P users found sampling to be important before deciding whether to purchase music.
A La Carte Paid Download Option
For the a la carte download option, permanent, full-fidelity tracks downloaded via Mashboxx can be burned onto CD up to seven times, played on five PCs, and transferred to Windows Media-compatible portable players an unlimited number of times.
"Legal peer-to-peer services which offer consumers a great user experience and which compensate creators appropriately are good for music fans, good for artists, and good for the digital music market as a whole," said David Munns, Chairman and CEO of EMI Music North America and Vice Chairman of EMI Music worldwide. "When it rolls out, Mashboxx will be a no-obligation way for fans to really immerse themselves in discovering music, turning their friends on to what they like and getting excited about artists and music they've not yet heard. It has the potential to be a very good revenue stream for those who make their living from creating and investing in music."
EMI's complete digital catalog of recorded music in the US will be available through Mashboxx when it launches. The Mashboxx application will soon be available to beta testers, and additional details about the beta service are available at the Mashboxx web site, www.mashboxx.com.
"Alain Levy, David Munns and their EMI team have certainly proven that they are a forward thinking group in the digital space. They have further reinforced that by partnering with Mashboxx and our unique offering. On a personal note, I am grateful for the terrific amount of support that David has given us all along the way. We all look forward to working with EMI to deliver millions of authorized tracks from great EMI artists like Coldplay, Dem Franchize Boyz, Gorillaz, The Rolling Stones, Joss Stone, KT Tunstall, Keith Urban and Robbie Williams among many others, to our future customers."