Wippit

P2P service makes beautiful music with EMI and others

UK online music service Wippit has added a second music major to its roster, hot on the heels of becoming the first P2P system to attract the attention of the industry’s big boys.

The company this week signed its second major contract having already shaken hands with EMI. It says it has two more deals at contract stage.

Wippit has survived the last few years on indie music only, signing 200 of the less well-known independent record labels and only now having the credibility to open negotiations with the big guys.

[…] Myers has a different model and charges £30 ($54) a year (not per month) to each of his 180,000 registered users. He splits revenue – including any advertising revenue he gets – 50/50 with all of his partner labels, and they each get an pro-rata amount related to the number of downloads that happen on the network.

His system is to gradually place content on the site; not deliver it all in one go. He treats it like any other publishing process. “BskyB doesn’t put all of its good films on all in one go,” he said, “and it’s a bit like that. You have to keep new stuff coming in all the time.”

Because so many of his record labels are independents, many of them cannot get air play on the radio, and so they opt for unprotected MP3 files to be placed on his site and give permission for file-sharing rights between all of the Wippit customers. Others need the security of Windows Media DRM wrapped around them and file sharing is not allowed.