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The Bet is on DRM. So says Audiosoft in Partnering with two Major German Webcasters
By Margee Fagelson
(more articles from this author)
2000-12-05
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Oh, goody! Another digital rights management comedy! This time it's Audiosoft, a company based out of San Francisco and Geneva, who has partnered with Sonix, a German Internet radio site, and BeSonic, a 'music delivery service' also based in Germany but with a worldwide presence. Most of us in the digital music arena are loath to believe protection can be a reality. CMJ Music Marathon 2000 actually featured the legendary 'Great Debate' where the team speaking 'in support' of DRM actually handed data to the team saying that it was not a viable application. Some of the bigger names out there - at least from the ethnocentric US perspective - are Intertrust and Reciprocal. Audiosoft has partnered with them and others, and then they deliver the marketing data.

The AudioSoft Tracking Master™ Service is a sophisticated music usage monitoring system for the Internet. The system captures, organizes and delivers information on streaming broadcasts and refines it into usable databases and reports, for music industry professionals. Tracking both audience metrics and airplay information essential to copyright management, it provides Internet broadcasters and copyright holders with detailed and customizable reports on music consumption by geographic location.

The Listeners decide for themselves what they want to hear on BeSonic.com. Each Thursday the weekly charts are compiled from the downloads, a daily list of previous days top downloads is also available. Anyone that registers as a Scout can influence the tops and the flops. People bring out the best in music, not machines.

Any music fan can register on BeSonic and, just like a band, get their own homepage with photos, text, their own play list, mailing lists and forums. The "Network radar" automatically match people (i.e. that have the same music taste) and bring them together. The newest hottest news and rumours are discussed on the mailing lists and in the forums, parties, concerts and events are on the public event calendars.

The gist of it is: in radio, it's nearly impossible - but highly desirable - to get the kind of demographic information. A company like Audiosoft can bring this valuable data (who, what and when) to all sorts of companies, says David Touve, a consultant in the industry. This, Dave says, will also prove relevant when it comes time to pay. A system like Audiosoft can identify whose (what country) reporting agency needs to know what.

Brian Zisk, formerly of iCast, currently with the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) was a participant in the 'Great Debate' and had this to say,

"While I applaud the attempt to better track playlists for compensation purposes, we have to be very careful to ensure that use of any specific technology is voluntary, as opposed to mandatory. I do not believe that Audiosoft can track MP3s streamed from an Icecast server, or Vorbis streams, for instance, so any mandated usage of Audiosoft would automatically preclude the usage of certain new technologies with specific advantages for the webcasters, and force everyone into using closed, proprietary, often expensive and inferior models. This must not be allowed to happen."

This may be just the angle that Vedalabs is getting at. Vedalabs was quoted in an earlier article. Their agenda is to provide DRM and protection but avoid the expensive, mandatory, customizable systems.

Audiosoft has been around for some time and may have finally found a good business model. Sonix and BeSonic may be jumping on the DRM fact-or-fiction bandwagon. However, as music providers and Internet radio, they can't beat being able to acquire the sort of demographic information that this partnership may provide. Their statements to the press explain that they both feel the Audiosoft technology will help them safely broaden their audiences. Isn't that what everyone wants?

Linkography

Audiosoft - www.audiosoft.com
BeSonic - www.besonic.com
CMJ - www.cmj.com/marathon/
FMC - www.futureofmusic.com
iCast - www.icecast.org
Intertrust - www.intertrust.com
Reciprocal - www.reciprocal.com
Sonix - www.sonix.de
Vedalabs - www.vedalabs.com
Vorbis - www.vorbis.com

Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» AudioSoft & ASCAP Partner in the 'Virtual Copyright Goldrush'? (2000-10-31)
» Tackling the Issues: Peer-to-Peer & Security - A Look at Flycode, Preview Systems & Vedalabs (2000-11-14)
» New Asian Music Portal PlanetMG.com Selects Reciprocal for DRM Services (2000-09-17)
» Meet a Pioneer in Digital Copyright Management-FX Nuttal of Audiosoft (2000-06-14)
» InterTrust: The OS Of The Digital Rights Market - Interview w/ Talal Shamoon, Senior VP of Media in RealAudio (2000-04-26)

Related News from Mi2N:
» Audiosoft Signs Agreements With Two Major German Webcasters
» Sonix Chooses AudioSoft As Its Information And Reporting System
» AUDIOSOFT AND ASCAP FORMALIZE AND EXPAND ALLIANCE AFTER SUCESSFUL TEST


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