Napster Signs Distribution Deal With the Association of Independent Music

Napster will have just acquired another 50,000 tracks for their summer launch in the UK in a new deal with the Association of Independent Music (AIM). AIM is a UK body of 800 independent music companies, and Napster have licensed tracks from 50 of them. US Napster users will have access to the music too, once it has been uploaded.

“Napster creates the ultimate community experience for music fans and the variety, quality and originality of music from the independent UK sector is a vital to delivering this experience,” said Napster president Brad Duea. “The Association of Independent Music has shown great foresight in joining forces with Napster at this time and has underlined its reputation as an influential player on the international music scene.”

“Napster is going to make a big difference to music fans in the UK. At last we have a legitimate service from the world’s leading online brand, which offers flexibility in streaming and downloading to music fans. It also takes our music to fans around the world, confirming the promise that the internet can deliver a global business to independent artists and record companies,” said AIM chairman and chief executive Alison Wenham.

Artists made available through the deal include darlings of Hoxtonites such as Coldcut and Kruder & Dorfmeister. Billy Bragg will also be available.

Wippit, a subscription-based music service previously reported here has also just licensed tracks from Sony Music for distribution in the UK and Ireland. Sony Music’s artists include Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce.

It looks like the battle for legal music downloads is hotting up with Napster and iTunes launching almost simultaneously in the next few weeks.

Napster UK – get five free tracks when it launches


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?