EMI Plans Digital Music Service

October 9, 2008 9:00 AM ET

EMI hopes to launch their own digital music service by year's end, the label revealed. Even though CD sales are consistently on the decline while digital sales rise, a source close to the new service says "This is not an effort to compete with iTunes or Amazon." Instead, it reflects an attempt to EMI to better connect with the internet age by providing consumers with a more modern, direct way of purchasing EMI music. The label hasn't counted out adding other labels to their enterprise, however. EMI's service will reportedly provide a blend of free and paid content, plus it will contain a "music discovery function" akin to last.fm and Pandora. The launch of their own music service might explain EMI's reluctance in the past to join similar sites like MySpace Music.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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