Microsoft, Universal in Zune Deal
Microsoft (MSFT) will give Universal Music Group and its artists a cut of the sales of its new Zune music player.
That's in addition to the regular payments Microsoft will make to Universal for selling its music in its online store. Microsoft said Thursday it would offer similar deals to other labels and artists.
"This move demonstrates there can be a win-win situation where consumers have a great experience while labels and artists are also fairly compensated," Doug Morris, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group said in a statement. Universal is a unit of French conglomerate Vivendi.
The deal between the two companies marks a departure from the strategy of digital music king Apple Computer (AAPL), which pays studios per song sold, but doesn't give them a cut of the hardware revenue.The Zune, and its accompanying online music store, hits store shelves on Tuesday. Microsoft shares added 23 cents to $29.21 in recent trading.
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