The North American music industry is to kick-start a new strategy to embrace online music stores. In a bid to claw back revenue lost from falling CD sales, record labels are hoping to nurture smaller online music stores which will erode the current marketplace dominance of Apple's iTunes store.

An iTunes backlash?

Reuters reports that the record labels, which include EMI and Universal, hope to give music-buyers viable alternatives to iTunes to weaken Apple's negotiating power when new licensing contracts are due for renewal.

"Any viable music discovery option is one we want to see out there," a major music company executive told the news agency.

"If done the right way, this leads to new revenues as some of them have pretty good built-in mechanisms to lead to direct purchases," he said.

Get the full lowdown over at Reuters