Major label invests in Riffage

BMG Entertainment invests in downloadable music company, continuing online music's move toward legitimacy

The second of the Big Five record labels has made a major investment in an online music property, as online formats continue to move towards legitimacy.

BMG Entertainment was one of five companies that invested a total of $21m (£13m) in second-round financing for downloadable music company Riffage.

This follows the announcement last month of Universal Music Group's first foray into digital music. It plans to launch an online record label for new bands called Jimmy & Doug's Farm Club.com. BMG's investment in Riffage, which also provides downloads of tracks from new bands, could set it up as a direct competitor to Universal's effort.

Confirming its commitment to the digital distribution of music, Kevin Conroy, senior vice president of new technology at BMG, said in a statement: "BMG is committed to using the Internet to provide greater exposure for our artists and their fans."

Riffage said that it would use the investment to invest in new technologies and in building consumer awareness through marketing and branding.

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