MTV Networks Online and Rioport, a subsidiary of Diamond Multimedia, have agreed to sell and deliver digital music downloads through MTV’s sites.
In return MTV is to take an unspecified equity stake in Rioport and also take an undisclosed percentage of the revnue from music sales.
The digital delivery system will comply with standards being set by the Secure Digital Music Initiative, the companies confirmed. The system is expected to go live this autumn.
MTV said it will provide content and promotional support for digital downloads across MTV's sites, including MTV.com, VH1.com, Nick.com and Sonicnet. All the sites will feature distinct online audio players.
MTV will have access to RioPort's catalog of SDMI compliant licensed music. Rioport will be responsibe for the music management software and also the licensing.
"Our audience has been asking about the digital download space," said MTV Networks Online president Fred Seibert. "With the passage of SDMI, and Rioport being the first to adopt SDMI, we felt the time was right to become the first mover in this area. The controversies seem to be over and everyone seems to be happy."
Rioport executives said the teaming was a “match made in heaven”.
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