Pressplay To License Billboard Music Charts

Posted on November 30, 2001

Pressplay, an online music company, announced a licensing agreement with Billboard, which will feature Billboard's weekly music chart data dating back to 1955 on the online music subscription service. The agreement marks the first time Billboard has licensed its archival chart data for use online.

Pressplay President and CEO Andy Schuon, says in the announcement, "Bringing Billboard's preeminent chart data to the pressplay service greatly enhances the music experience of our subscribers by giving them unprecedented access to historical music information from the last five decades. By connecting pressplay's vast catalog of music with Billboard's charts, pressplay subscribers will be able to instantly match the most meaningful moments of their lives with the most popular music of the time."

Announced in May 2000, pressplay is an equally held joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group (a unit of Vivendi Universal), and is based in New York City and Los Angeles. Music companies including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music, EMI Recorded Music Group, Madacy, Navarre, OWIE, Razor & Tie, Roadrunner and Rounder, will separately provide their music to pressplay on a non-exclusive basis. Scheduled for a fall 2001 launch, pressplay will be available to consumers through affiliate relationships with MP3.com, MSN.com and Yahoo! An independent executive team with deep music, programming, and technology and business experience leads the company. In addition to the Billboard music charts, pressplay's service will also feature artist and album information, including discographies and artist biographies from All Music Guide (AMG).

``Billboard's charts of sales and radio airplay have been the definitive measure of musical popularity since the launch of the Hot 100 singles chart in 1955,'' says Ken Schlager, Vice President of Business Development for Billboard Music Group. ``Now that there are legitimate services for digital distribution of major-label repertoire, we are pleased to be able to offer consumers the use of this unparalleled resource as a roadmap to the musical past.''

Billboard magazine is the flagship property for the Billboard Music Group, which also consists of Airplay Monitor, Amusement Business, Billboard Bulletin, Billboard.com, Billboard Licensing and Music & Media. VNU eMedia, Inc. manages the websites, electronic products and digital assets of VNU Business Media. VNU Business Media also includes: VNU Business Publications USA, Inc., an international media company with over 80 business publications (including Billboard, Adweek, The Hollywood Reporter, Editor & Publisher, Sales & Marketing Management, Training, Progressive Grocer, Display & Design Ideas, Convenience Store News and Beverage World); and VNU Expositions, Inc. which produces more than 100 trade shows, conferences, and special events.