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Country music giant buys Songs.com

Gaylord Entertainment Company, the owner of the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Television International, acquires online music seller Songs.com, bringing together legendary and nascent platforms for introducing new artists.

Gaylord Entertainment Company, the owner of the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Television International, acquired online music seller Songs.com today, bringing together legendary and nascent platforms for introducing new artists.

Like many Net music sites, Songs.com primarily offers CDs by independent artists across genres and lets consumers download free tracks in the most popular digital format, MP3. The company will be incorporated into Gaylord's GETdigitalmedia division, which was formed this summer. Both companies are located in Nashville.

The acquisition of Songs.com is a building block in Gaylord's strategy to expand online. The company's focus has been hotels and music venues. Just yesterday, however, Gaylord announced that it was reorganizing into three units: hospitality and attractions, interactive media and creative content.

As it tries to compete with the drove of sites offering digital music, such as EMusic.com, RioPort.com and MP3.com, as well as with CD retailers such as Amazon.com, the deal could help Songs.com build its catalog with more country and Christian music from Gaylord's sites, which include Musicforce.com, Indieforce.com and Lightsource.com.

"The Gaylord Entertainment name is synonymous with Nashville and world-class music, and Songs.com will benefit from that legacy," Randy McCabe, senior vice president and general manager of GETdigitalmedia, said in a statement.

Gaylord's Net income was $81.2 million for the nine months ending in September compared with $16.5 million for the same period of 1998. The company's revenues rose 2 percent to $377.2 million.

Financial terms of the Songs.com acquisition were not disclosed.