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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Merlin, WMG and Universal have all finalized deals with PlayAnywhere, the new service that puts personal music and video collections onto the “cloud” and enables subscribers access and play across multiple devices including mobile, PC and in-car regardless of DRM and formats. The "cloud" means online storage so it doesn't live on your computer.

What's interesting is that PlayAnywhere is a subscription based service, but they don't sell directly to consumers. They "supply their service to device manufacturers, telecoms companies and ISPs who can then offer it to their user base either as part of their package or as an extra".

But according to a spokesperson:
" It will keep a log of what you play, whether you are on or offline and then when it can it will send that information back to catch who use it to determine how to divvy up the money received in the form of subscription fees and distribute that to the rights holders."
The labels like this because it's another income stream, but especially because they believe that the future of music distribution is via subscription. While subscription might be sales nirvana to the labels, artists get paid less as do the publishers, so unless a way is discovered to divvy up the pie differently, subscription might take a while before it's adopted.

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