BMI, Pressplay Announce Licensing Agreement

Posted in News on January 27, 2002

BMI today announced that is has completed a long-term music licensing agreement with pressplay, the online music company.

Pressplay, which launched service in the United States on December 19, 2001, offers subscribers access to a broad catalog of music through streaming, downloading and CD-burning. The service gives fans access to a vast online library including music from the world’s three largest record companies - Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Recorded Music - and numerous independent labels.

The agreement grants pressplay the rights to publicly perform the approximately 4.5 million compositions in the BMI repertoire. Once payment and performance data is received, fees collected from the public performances on the site will be distributed as royalties to the songwriters, composers and music publishers of the works BMI represents.

“Pressplay is a leader in the digital music subscription space and we are happy that we were able to create an equitable licensing agreement for the use of BMI music on the service,” said Richard Conlon, Vice President of BMI’s New Media Licensing group. “We share pressplay’s conviction that digital, subscription-based music services present an exciting new platform for the performance of music as well as a potential new revenue stream for songwriters."

“This agreement with BMI will enable pressplay members to have access to millions of songs from popular BMI songwriters,” said pressplay President and CEO Andy Schuon. “This agreement once again demonstrates pressplay’s commitment to ensuring that artists and songwriters are fairly compensated for the public performance of their music.”

Founded in 1940, BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers from around the world and in all genres of music. Through its music performance and reciprocal agreements, it grants businesses and media access to its repertoire of approximately 4.5 million musical works. It was one of the first established music companies to embrace the Internet to proactively develop new revenue streams for songwriters.

About pressplay
Launched in December 2001, pressplay is an equally held joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group (a unit of Vivendi Universal), and has offices in Los Angeles and New York City. Music companies, including EMI Recorded Music, Madacy, Matador, Navarre, OWIE, Razor & Tie, Roadrunner, Rounder, Sanctuary, Sony Music Entertainment, TVT Records and Universal Music Group separately provide their content to pressplay on a non-exclusive basis. Pressplay is marketed to consumers through relationships with MSN,, Roxio and Yahoo! Music. An independent executive team with deep music, programming, technology and business experience leads the company.