Napster, Inc. has licensed the entire catalog from influential independent record label Matador Records for its upcoming membership-based file-sharing service. The deal, which also covers future Matador Records releases, contributes significantly to the quality music that will be available for sharing through the new Napster service. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Matador Records is currently home to premier indie artists including Belle & Sebastian, Stephen Malkmus, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, Mogwai and Cornelius. Napster will compensate these and all other artists, songwriters and rights holders whose music is made available through its new membership service, which is scheduled to launch early next year.
Napster’s ability to expose artists to passionate music fans was a key reason Matador Records licensed its full catalog to Napster. “Napster is synonymous with music online,” Matador Records general manager Patrick Amory said. “We’re impressed with their new file-sharing service and believe it will become a powerful promotional vehicle. It achieves a compelling balance between giving consumers the online experience they want and making sure our artists are compensated for their work.”
Added Stephen Malkmus, acclaimed solo recording artist and former front- man for Pavement, “With radio and MTV so tightly controlled, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for independent artists to get mass exposure for their music. The Internet helps me get my music in front of millions of people who might otherwise not hear it – and making my music available for Napster will enable me to be compensated for that.”
Napster’s CEO Konrad Hilbers said that Napster is continuing to pursue licensing agreements with all content owners to give consumers the online experience they have come to expect. “We’ve been listening to music fans for more than two years and we’re developing our new membership service to meet their needs as best as possible,” he said. “Matador Records is a trend-setter in the indie community. We’re pleased that they and all of our other label partners have recognized the value of using the Napster file-sharing service to reach passionate music consumers.”
Matador Records joins more than 5000 other cutting-edge independent record labels and label aggregators that will provide content for the new Napster service. Some of these include Absolutely Kosher Records, Ace Fu Records, Amazing Grease, Better Looking Records, edel Music, Future Farmer Records, GNP/Crescendo, The Orchard, Ritmoteca, Tiger Style Records, TVT Records and Vitaminic.