EMI Recorded Music, a division of U.K.-based EMI Group PLC, has agreed to launch an online streaming music service with Internet-based subscription music provider, Streamwaves Inc., the companies announced Monday.

The monthly subscription-based service, to be run through the Streamwaves site, should launch in the first quarter of 2001, EMI and Streamwaves said in a statement.

EMI and Dallas-based Streamwaves did not disclose any financial details of the nonexclusive, multi-year license agreement, nor did the companies set out pricing for the online streaming music service.

Paid subscription services for digital music streaming are being launched by the major recording labels as a way to combat the popularity of free music downloads offered by companies like Napster Inc.

Universal Music Group, a fully owned subsidiary of Seagram Company Ltd. and Sony Music Entertainment Inc. have both announced plans for streaming music subscription music services to launch by the end of the year.

Last June, BMG Entertainment Inc. announced its licensing agreement with start-up music site Musicbank Inc. to digitally stream music from its library. The service has not yet launched, though the Web site promises a “Fall 2000” release.

EMI’s recording labels include Capitol Records Inc., Virgin Records Ltd. and the seminal jazz recording label, Blue Note Music Inc.

EMI Group, in London, can be reached at http://www.emigroup.com/. Streamwaves, in Dallas, can be contacted at http://www.streamwaves.com/.