Franklin, Tenn. — January 28, 2008 — EMI Christian Music Group (CMG), the world’s largest Christian music organization, and media distribution developer PassAlong Networks™ today announced the launch of ChristianDigitalStore.com, a white label digital music service provider and store powered by PassAlong Networks that features content from major and independent labels including EMI CMG, Warner Music Group’s Word Entertainment and independent labels. ChristianDigitalStore.com provides retailers, brands, radio stations and organizations a turnkey way to offer consumers an easy-to-use digital music discovery and buying experience without having to invest in creating their own infrastructure and fulfillment system.
The first retailer to sign on to ChristianDigitalStore is Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Family Christian Stores®, America's leading specialty retailer with over 300 locations and over 5,000 employees in 37 states dedicated solely to the $4.3 billion Christian retailing market. The retailer sells Christian products and church supplies through its chain of stores and via the Internet. Merchandising categories include Bibles, Books, Music, Children’s, Gifts, Apparel, Software, Cards, Church Supplies and DVD's.
“ChristianDigitalStore.com is a strategic partnership between EMI – a leader in Christian music – and PassAlong, with our proven digital music retail platform. Together, we are taking a significant step forward in providing digital music for the Christian market,” said PassAlong Networks’ co-founder and CEO Dave Jaworski. “EMI CMG is already well established in the Christian market and together we can offer retailers, radio stations and other associations a powerful, easy and effective way to offer a good value proposition for consumers.”
Under the arrangement, EMI CMG will serve to liaison between PassAlong and US-based retailers, radio stations, brands and other companies and organizations, and PassAlong will power the digital retail experience. The end result offers established Christian companies who are part of what the Christian Booksellers Association estimates is a $4.3 billion retail category an easy way to offer a digital music discovery and buying experience to fans of Christian music.
“EMI CMG is delighted to offer the Christian retail market PassAlong’s proven, scalable platform – one that is already working well for many retail powerhouses,” said EMI CMG President and CEO Bill Hearn. “We worked with PassAlong to create ChristianDigitalStore.com to offer the Christian market an easy way to give consumers a great digital music buying experience without having to invest in creating their own infrastructure and fulfillment system.”
"Family Christian Stores is excited about the opportunity to enter the digital download business through our partnership with EMI. We are pleased with EMI and PassAlong's efforts to launch this venture, “said Brenda Lugannani, Vice President Merchandising for Family Christian Stores.
EMI CMG will create custom versions of ChistianDigitalStore.com for each company’s unique Web environment, and will also offer promotions like physical music download cards that retailers, radio stations and other companies can give to consumers in physical stores or as part of marketing programs.
Participating retailers can sign up for ChristianDigitalStore.com in minutes. EMI CMG and PassAlong will work with retailer partners to integrate the digital music retail technology into their existing websites.
About EMI Music
EMI Music is the recorded music division of EMI Group Limited, one of the world's largest independent music companies. 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, 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.
EMI Christian Music Group, established in 1994, is the world's largest Christian music organization and includes EMI CMG Distribution and EMI CMG Publishing in addition to EMI CMG Label Group and EMI Gospel. Led by President and CEO Bill Hearn and a strong executive team of long-time Christian and Gospel music veterans, EMI CMG is characterized by a commitment to artists and songwriters, its customers and to community service. For further information, please visit www.emicmg.com.
About PassAlong Networks
PassAlong Networks works to empower artists and fans by enhancing the Connected Consumer™ ecosystem. PassAlong’s suite of services includes StoreBlocks™, OnTour®, freedomMP3™ and subsidiary Speakerheart™; current initiatives include advertising premium incentive programs, ad-supported revenue models, variable-pricing programs, in-car music downloads, mobile devices, media place-shifting and device-shifting, digital video libraries and social networks. Founded in 2002, PassAlong Networks is privately held and based in Franklin, Tennessee. 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.
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