Bill Gates company starts music service for pros

Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and CEO, speaks during the Corbis annual meeting in New York.

From Newsday:

Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates’ privately held Corbis, which provides photos and film video for advertisers, is expanding further into entertainment by launching an online music service with songs from the four largest publishers.

The GreenLight Music service went live on Wednesday, with more than 1 million tracks from catalogs controlled by Warner Music, EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music and Sony ATV.

Corbis , which the Microsoft chairman started in 1989 by securing the digital rights to such art masterpieces as the “Mona Lisa” and “Whistler’s Mother”, created GreenLight in 2008 and used it to jumpstart efforts to transform itself .

Its new music service will let customers license a range of songs for online websites, advertising and other professional uses. Users bid on the tracks, with the labels negotiating the final price.

Under Corbis CEO Gary Shenk, the company has been steadily buying and starting entertainment services. In January, it acquired Norm Marshall & Associates, which brokers deals to place clients’ products in movies and on TV shows.

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