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EMI gives music away to newspaper readers

Music company teams up with New York Daily News to offer readers three free songs.

The music industry is preoccupied with giveaways these days.

The latest example will come on Sunday, when New York Daily News subscribers will find an access code in their paper that they can use to retrieve three free songs from EMI Music.

Subscribers punch the code into the newspaper's Web site, and the music is theirs. They have over 120,000 tracks to choose from.

Among the songs available is an unreleased track, "It's Love" by Ringo Starr. The promotion will also run on the following Sunday, the day of the Grammy awards.

Combining music with newspapers (two industries being pummeled by the Internet) was a powerful mixture for rocker Prince last year. The rocker made news last July by giving away copies of one of his CDs to readers of a London tabloid.

Lenny Kravitz is launching a similar giveaway in Great Britain on Feb 3.

Radiohead redefined music giveaways with its "pay-what-you-want" offer in October.

There's plenty of people in the music industry that fret that giveaways devalue music.

While it must be noted that the Daily News is compensating EMI for the songs, it's still important to point out that to the public, these days the word "music" trails the word "free" like a caboose.