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AOL UK Agrees Music Service License

Posted: 25th May, 2004 By: MarkJ
ISP AOL UK has agreed a licence with the MCPS-PRS Alliance that paves the way for them to introduce a more comprehensive online music content service:

MCPS-PRS Alliance and AOL UK agree groundbreaking licence for the provision of online music services

AOL UK has agreed a groundbreaking licence with the MCPS-PRS Alliance to cover the provision of a comprehensive online music content service. MCPS and PRS are the licensing organisations that ensure the legal provision of online music services in the UK on behalf of composers, songwriters and music publishers.

The agreement, developed under MCPS-PRS’ Joint Online Licence (JOL), grants AOL access to around 10 million musical works and clears composer and publisher rights, which are a pre-requisite for the use of music online. The JOL was introduced in 2002 with the aim of simplifying the licensing process for online providers and supporting the growth of a broad range of business models for online music.

The agreement covers the whole of 2004, and underpins AOL’s online music offering in the UK. In addition to the MCPS-PRS Alliance, AOL also has extensive relationships with record companies and other rights owners in order to offer its exclusive music service.

Blair Schooff, Executive Director of AOL Music for UK and Europe, said: “This is a first for a service of its kind in the UK, and is only the beginning of what we hope is a fruitful, long-term relationship with the MCPS-PRS. This licence is a pre-requisite to offering a legitimate and comprehensive online music service. With this in place, we can concentrate on ensuring we have the broadest and most exclusive music content service in the UK.

“The way that people view and consume music is undergoing huge changes, due in part to the impact of broadband, with Internet users demanding dynamic and innovative content from the online medium. We want to continue to encourage new talent, and bring fresh music to consumers, as their tastes change and evolve.
”

Prior to signing this agreement, AOL had been operating with an interim licence from the MCPS-PRS while the full licence was negotiated.

AOL UK has already proved to be a pioneer in online music content, offering unique features to its members, such as Sessions@AOL, exclusive one-off performances by some of the world’s best artists, recorded at intimate venues, which are then streamed exclusively on the AOL service.

AOL’s Music Channel also offers members the opportunity to listen to and watch exclusive music tracks, find information about favourite artists, preview CDs before they are in the shops and listen to CD-quality radio online with Radio@AOL Broadband. It is also planning to launch a digital download service before the end of the year.
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