Skype has signed a deal with EMI that could open up a whole new channel for music downloads. According to Times Online:
EMI Music Publishing, the song rights company, yesterday announced a deal with Skype, the internet telephony business, to sell music on Skype’s new retail website.
Under the deal, Skype will be licensed to use song copyrights from EMI’s catalogue to sell music as downloads and ring tones. It is the first time that music copyrights have been licensed worldwide in such a way. Normally licences have to be applied for by the seller on a country-by-country basis, making it more difficult for songwriters to collect payments for their work.
What makes this deal so exciting is that rather than having to wait for a store to open in each country (we are still waiting for the iTunes Music Store to open in South Africa … assuming it ever will), everyone ought to be able to buy music from this new store when it goes live, presumably irrespective of where you live.
The point is that people are prepared to pay for music downloads and it really helps to make the service available to enable that.