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EMI, BBC Worldwide in deal to unlock music archive

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MUMBAI: EMI Music and UK pubcaster the BBC's commercial arm BBC Worldwide have struck a deal that will see thousands of hours of pop and rock music content, locked away for years, released to the public for the very first time.

The arrangement allows the British-owned music company and its artists to release material from the corporation's extensive archive of TV and radio recordings across multiple platforms including digital.

In return BBC Worldwide has the opportunity to use EMI artists' performances to create new programming which can be sold to international broadcasters and consumers.

BBC Worldwide has also acquired the rights to distribute the content direct to consumers via any of their own future digital services.

EMI and BBC Worldwide are identifying programme material relating to artists in the EMI family which can be used to create a wide range of products for global release across multiple platforms.

The EMI family includes artists such as Kylie Minogue, The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Lily Allen and Pink Floyd. Under the deal EMI will have the opportunity to include BBC recordings from their artists as part of DVDs, CDs and digital downloads whilst BBC Worldwide has the opportunity to drive revenue through international radio and TV programme sales, as well as on-demand streaming from those very same artists.

Both companies will also receive reciprocal royalties for each other's sales.

This unlocking of the BBC archive will make vast quantities of content available in all formats for consumers to enjoy both in the UK and internationally.

The deal is part of BBC Worldwide Music's strategy to derive greater value from the wealth of music-related material in the corporation's archive. The BBC archive covers the entire history of rock and pop.

The deal will look to build upon the release of BBC content previously licensed to EMI by artists such as Coldplay, David Bowie, Queen, Roxy Music and Depeche Mode. Some of the EMI archive gems include live radio performances from Pink Floyd, including a session from 1967 featuring tracks from their first album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn; Coldplay on Inside Tracks performing a stripped down version of their first hit "Shiver"; and an Omnibus special titled Cracked Actor from 1975 devoted to David Bowie.

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