SOURCE: PassAlong Networks

June 13, 2007 06:00 ET

PassAlong Networks to Feature EMI Music's DRM-Free, Higher-Quality Catalog in MP3 Format

All StoreBlocks-Powered Stores, Including f.y.e, to Feature EMI's Digital Catalog

FRANKLIN, TN--(Marketwire - June 13, 2007) - PassAlong Networks™, developer of digital media innovations and services, today announced that the network of online music stores powered by its StoreBlocks technology will feature EMI Music's entire digital catalog in EMI's premium download offering that is free of digital rights management (DRM) technology and available in a higher-quality bit rate. Music purchased from StoreBlocks stores, including Trans World Entertainment's (NASDAQ: TWMC) f.y.e. -- for your entertainment -- online music store will play on all digital music players, including iPods, mobile phones and home stereo systems.

Recently, EMI Music became the first major label to offer its entire catalog for sale to its retail partners in the DRM-free audio format of their choice in a variety of bit rates up to CD quality. PassAlong Networks will sell EMI's premium downloads in the MP3 format at 320 kilobits per second, compared with the 128-192 kilobits per second offered in most standard download offerings.

"We applaud EMI Music's bold decision to test the DRM-free waters," said PassAlong Networks' co-founder and CEO Dave Jaworski. "Music consumers have demanded interoperability and ease of use and we hope that by offering EMI Music's DRM-free music files, we will simplify and improve their digital music experience."

StoreBlocks includes one of the industry's largest music catalogs of nearly 3 million songs, innovative viral marketing tools and extensive store-building options. Included in its music catalog are 2 million independent songs in MP3 format. EMI Music's premium download offering will add more than 100,000 MP3 tracks to this catalog.

"PassAlong Networks is yet another example of a forward-thinking company that puts consumers first," said Eric Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group. "We believe offering PassAlong's large customer base the opportunity to buy recordings from EMI Music's prestigious roster of artists, in higher quality and in a format that will allow them to play their purchases on the device or platform of their choice will boost sales of digital music overall."

StoreBlocks' premium services currently power more than 100 online music stores, including BreakthruRadio, TransWorld's f.y.e. online music store and Procter & Gamble's Julie's Jukebox, a digital music store on HomeMadeSimple.com.

"We are excited to offer EMI Music's catalog to our customers as higher quality, DRM-free MP3s," said Jim Litwak, President and COO of Trans World Entertainment. "We constantly strive to give our customers the best digital experience out there, and the addition of this catalog is a strong step in the right direction for us."

About EMI Music

EMI Music is the recorded music division of EMI Group, the world's largest independent music company. Its EMI Music division represents artists spanning all musical tastes and genres. Its record labels include Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Nashville, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Records, EMI Televisa Music, Manhattan, Mute, Parlophone and Virgin. Artists on EMI labels include Lily Allen, The Beatles, Coldplay, Corinne Bailey Rae, The Good The Bad & The Queen, Gorillaz, Norah Jones, The Kooks, Korn, Kylie Minogue, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Joss Stone, 30 Seconds To Mars, KT Tunstall, Keith Urban and Robbie Williams, as well as international artists such as Amaral (Spain), Diam's (France), Utada Hikaru (Japan), LaFee (Germany), Radja (Indonesia), RBD (Mexico) and Vasco Rossi (Italy).

EMI has been at the cutting edge of the rapidly growing digital music marketplace since it released David Bowie's 'Hours' as the world's first ever album to be offered as a digital download in 1999. EMI has signed agreements with hundreds of digital partners to distribute its music across the globe, including most recently its premium DRM-free, higher-quality offering sold through partners including Apple iTunes, Amazon.com and more. It continues to facilitate the development of a growing range of new digital business models to enable fans to experience and purchase its artists' output through a number of different platforms including making its videos available for access via YouTube, advertising-supported online music streaming in China through Baidu, legal peer-to-peer agreements with QTrax, Mashboxx and GNAB, and a deal to offer advertising-supported videos on mobile phones in the US through Rhythm NewMedia.

For further information on EMI, please visit: www.emigroup.com.

About PassAlong Networks

PassAlong Networks is a developer of digital media innovations and services designed to enhance the Connected Consumer™ ecosystem. PassAlong's B2B2C technology engine provides four key services for the digital media marketplace: StoreBlocks™ offers a variety of store-building tools to enable clients to provide their end-consumers with a library of nearly 3 million licensed songs and the powerful music referral system, Passing-and-Points™; freedomMP3™ provides interoperability for digital media files, including raw MP3 files, across multiple platforms and devices while promoting a balance of artist rights and media empowerment for both content creators and consumers; OnTour™ connects fans to detailed, accurate and relevant concert notifications; and Speakerheart™ enables artists to seamlessly upload, promote and sell their digital music. Founded in 2002, PassAlong Networks is privately held and based in Franklin, Tenn. For more information, visit http://www.passalongnetworks.com.

OnTour, StoreBlocks, freedomMP3, PassAlong, Connected Consumer, Passing-and-Points and Speakerheart are trademarks of PassAlong Networks.

All other brands are trademarks of their respective owners.

Contact Information

  • PR Contacts:
    Lindsay Cleveland
    B: 615.425.5864

    Skip Franklin
    PassAlong Networks
    B: 615.425.5999

    Jeff Fox
    The Blueshirt Group, for PassAlong Networks
    B: 415.828.8298
    Email Contact

    Jeanne Meyer
    EMI
    B: 212.786.8850

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