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Digital Music Delivery Internet Technology Cuts Costs, taps new markets for Record Companies, Production Companies and Music Publishers

Midem 98 Cannes, France- Well known for introducing breaking technologies as well as recording artists, Midem revs up for another conference on the French Riviera. One hot topic this year is the delivery of music over the internet. This has been in discussion for several years, however speed, quality and security have been major enemies of safe, convenient delivery. However, commercially viable music delivery has finally come to fruition. Now records labels can cut manufacturing and promotional costs by streaming the music via a web site that functions like a record store. This could not only service the buying public, but also the radio programmer, press and record pools, saving shipping as well as manufacturing costs. Publishers and production companies can offer up their song catalogs by description for audition by artists, film music supervisors, and advertising agencies. Custom music houses are able to audition compositions in progress to their clients without compromising the sound quality. And of course, there is an endless number of applications in the corporate world waiting to be discovered.

Of the few companies that are offering this technology, Liquid Audio®, the pioneering developer of secure Internet music delivery systems, is by far the best. "The companies program addresses a critical issue for independent record labels and lesser-known artists," said Scott Burnett, vice president of marketing for Liquid Audio. "It is often difficult for Indies to compete with major labels for visibility. The Internet provides a much more even playing field. Our technology allows even the smallest label or garage band to sell and distribute music on a worldwide basis, and the company extends this opportunity at an affordable price." Once the program package is installed, music fans will be able to visit the provider's Web site to sample, purchase and download single tracks or entire albums using Liquid Audio's free Liquid MusicPlayer, available on Liquid Audio's Web site at www.liquidaudio.com. The Liquid MusicPlayer allows users to view art, lyrics and credits as well as production, agency and copyright information while listening to high-fidelity music streamed over the Internet. In addition, people can use the Liquid MusicPlayer to purchase and download music directly from the Internet, which can then be published to a recordable CD or cassette and played back on any standard home or car stereo.

Recently, Microsoft Corp. and Liquid Audio announced a strategic relationship to collaborate on technology, marketing and industry standards initiatives for online music commerce. The alliance, announced at MusicCom, will lead to improved distribution of music on the World Wide Web for preview and purchase by enabling a site to stream media previews of music titles more easily and efficiently. In addition, it offers consumers the ability to preview music titles in the highest-quality stereo available for a given bandwidth connection, then to buy the titles of their choice easily and securely.

"The Internet presents a convenient and compelling new way for consumers to experience, evaluate and purchase music," said Brad Chase, vice president of marketing, Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft. "The combination of Liquid Audio's expertise in music commerce and Microsoft's strength in Internet platform and media-streaming technology will bring Web-based music distribution and enjoyment to a new level."

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Texas Music Magazine   Vol. 10  No. 1  January 2001





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