Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Music Label EMI Launches Personalized Music Discovery Site For Direct-To-Fan Retail

Nevermind iTunes, EMI Music is going direct to fans with the surprise launch of a new site featuring playlists, recommendations and, soon, the ability to purchase tracks from the label’s artists. The new - currently in “beta”, just like EMI itself nowadays - is first and foremost a music discovery platform, full of artist bios, galleries, music and videos. But this new site goes further than regular label repertoire sites, borrowing from social platforms like by offering user-led charts, by allowing users to search for artists that sound like other artists (even those not on EMI’s books) and by asking visitors to create a profile that will let them add playable tracks to manageable playlists. Coming soon, - built by Shamsa Rana with Perform - will offer embeddable widgets and a retail option that, we understand, may be powered by DRM-free specialist 7digital. There will also be interviews, concerts and back-stage footage. Digital special projects VP Alex Haar, in the release, calls a “learning lab” and “the beginning of a longer term experiment”. EMI told us it’s not designed to compete with services like iTunes Store, YouTube or - indeed, most music fans consume tunes from multiple labels. But EMI just volunteered to become another fully-fledged music destination site among many, in one of its first significant digital initiatives since the Terra Firma buy-out.

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