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Nashville gets digital music download

Executives from several big online music services, along with the EMI Group, gave Nashville songwriters, publishers, musicians and label executives a crash course in digital music last week. Organized by the local Leadership Music organization along with EMI, the brief conference was aimed at bringing the city's historically strong music scene up to date on digital happenings.

The country music business is often viewed as somewhat behind other genres in adopting online tools. In a post-conference interview, EMI executive Ted Cohen said this is more perception than reality, however – particularly since the launch of Walmart's music store, where a large proportion of country music is sold.

Nashville, with its strong music-focused economic base, may be uniquely tied to the rhythms of music sales. No less a personage than the city's mayor opened up the conference, showing that the offline establishment is indeed watching closely what happens inside digital jukeboxes.