May 28, 2008, 12:00 AM

Musicnotes in tune with publishers to offer free content on MXTabs.net

Musicnotes, a retailer of digital sheet music and tablature, will offer free guitar, bass and drum tablature from Sony/ATV and other publishers on the retailer’s community site MXTabs.net. Publishers and artists will share in the site’s ad revenue.

Musicnotes Inc., a retailer of digital sheet music and tablature, will offer free guitar, bass and drum tablature, or tabs, from Sony/ATV Music Publishing and other music publishers on the retailer’s community site MXTabs.net. Publishers and artists will share in the site’s ad revenue.

“We are thrilled that MXTabs.net has become a legitimate outlet for the distribution of guitar tabs and we’re excited about the new opportunities it will create for our songwriters,” says Peter Brodsky, executive vice president, business and legal affairs, Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Musicnotes, No. 487 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says the agreements with music publishers will increase the number of tabs, or notes for playing guitar, bass and drum music, to 50,000 from the 35,000 currently available on MXTabs.net. But while many of the existing tabs on the site are generated by site users, the new crop of tabs will be the original music for songs from artists including The Beatles, The Eagles, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Phish and other well-known performers.

Musicnotes acquired the assets of MXTabs.net after the community site shut down in 2006. The retailer relaunched the site early this year under a test phase and plans to officially relaunch it on July 1 with the additional content from its new partners, Musicnotes says. In addition to Sony/ATV, Musicnotes has reached content agreements with Alfred Publishing, EMI Christian Music Group, Horipro, Who Is She Music, Simpleville Music and Big Loud Bucks. These publishers join Famous Music (now a part of Sony/ATV), BMG/Zomba (a part of Universal Music Publishing), peermusic, BUG Music, and thousands of other publishers who have signed on to MXTabs through the Harry Fox Agency, Musicnotes says.

“EMI CMG Publishing has been very pleased with Musicnotes’ forward-thinking action plans and growth. They really understand this digital space,” says Casey McGinty, senior vice president at EMI CMG Publishing. “MXTabs.net is a brave endeavor on their part and a model whose time has come to be tested.”

Adds Alfred Publishing CEO Steven Manus, “Alfred is excited to partner with Musicnotes to help provide thousands of musicians with a legal way to obtain guitar, bass and drum tabs on the MXTabs.net site. We are always eager to embark on new partnerships which allow us to embrace new business models that better represent our large roster of artists and their copyrights. It is through these endeavors that we can empower a new generation of customers to learn, teach and play music.”

Tim Reiland, Musicnotes.com’s chairman and chief financial officer, is speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 9-12 in Chicago in a session titled Web technology: My problem and how I solved it.

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