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EMI embraces Windows Media format

Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on May 11, 2000 to .

EMI, Roxette’s record label, announced Wednesday its intention to sell downloads using only the Windows Media format.

EMI Recorded Music will offer up 100 albums and 40 singles through digital retail outlets starting in July. While EMI does have the option to sell music in other formats, the company will initially use Microsoft’s format exclusively.

EMI’s decision to use the Windows Media format stems from a deal the company inked with Liquid Audio, a digital music software security provider, to encode its entire catalogue.

“Unlike some of the other labels, EMI is trying to make buying and playing digital music as easy as possible for consumers and choosing one format will do that,” said Kim Strop, spokesperson for Liquid Audio.

The change in the music industry’s attitude has come slowly, said Geordie Wilson, product manager in Microsoft’s Digital Media.

But the major labels are still dragging their feet when it comes to selling music over the Internet.

“It’s still a toe in the water until they put everything up on the Web,” said John Parres, an Internet specialist with Los Angeles-based Artists Management Group. “What EMI is going to find out is that nobody wants to pay for music that has digital rights management. CDs are easy. The radio in your car is easy. Window’s Media isn’t easy.”

By choosing one single format, EMI is also bucking the recent trend in the recording industry’s emerging business sales strategy. Parres said that Sony tried a similar strategy with its VAIO Music Clip music player and was largely unsuccessful.

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