EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner Join IC Tomorrow To Support UK Digital Entrepreneurs

TSBAll the big four major record labels have today pledged support for IC tomorrow and the Digital Innovation Contest, a £200,000 programme aimed at helping entrepreneurs bring innovative UK digital applications to market. EMI Music, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music have all agreed to participate in helping to evaluate the applications, with the aim of supporting the winners in subsequent consumer trials alongside other music companies including Beggars Group, The Orchard and PRS For Music.

The new Digital Innovation Contest will invest in up to 20consumer trials across creative market sectors including Music, TV/Film, and Publishing. Panels of leading digital content industry figures will help decide which applicants to support.

Each successful entrant will receive up to £10,000 to help work towards a six month consumer trial on the IC tomorrow digital test bed programme.

The Technology Strategy Board’s IC tomorrow digital test bed enables content owners and application developers – any business with a new service, new business model or new way of deploying hardware or software technology – to trial their ideas with UK consumers.

Leanne Sharman, VP, Commercial Development, Warner Music Europe, commented: “Warner Music is committed to enabling digital partners which offer fans innovative, easy to use and exciting music experiences that properly compensate artists and content owners. This is a brilliant opportunity to discuss a wide range of new approaches and models, and investigate how we might work with these entrepreneurs in the future."
Paul Smernicki, Director of Digital, Universal Music UK, added: "Innovation is fundamental to the continued growth of the digital music market. And it is engrained in Universal Music’s vision for the future to encourage new services and models, that give music fans what they want, whilst collaborating with the rights owners. The Digital Innovation Contest is a great initiative to give support to ideas and business plans in their earliest phase."

Samantha Sawyer, VP Digital Business, Sony Music Entertainment UK, said: “We are delighted to be part of this scheme and look forward to supporting the applicants in their new business ventures."

Cosmo Lush, VP Digital Business Development, EMI Music commented: "EMI Music is very pleased to support the IC tomorrow programme and the new Digital Innovation Contest. With the rapid pace of change in music products, services and applications, IC tomorrow will play a valuable role in bringing together the key thought leaders in this dynamic area."
Other digital content providers participating in the contest include British Library, Crytek UK, Endemol, Faber & Faber, Fremantle Media, Getty Images, Haymarket Media Group and Lionsgate.

Dr Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at the Technology Strategy Board, said: “The titans of the music industry have shown they clearly understand the need to support entrepreneurs to develop innovative ways to commercialise creative content. IC tomorrow entrants now have just over a fortnight to submit their applications to take up this opportunity.”

The application deadline for the submission of a video and simple business case will close on the 11th March 2011. Approximately 40 applications will be chosen to go through to the final face to face panel session phase at the end of March.

To register interest & sign up to the contest, users should visit the IC tomorrow site here

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