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Can KaZaa & Ice-T Pioneer Paid Music?
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2003-04-17
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It was often said that the combination of big-name artists and direct link to fans via the web would spell the doom of the traditional music industry (ie., major labels). And while many tried, from Atomic Pop to MP3.com, all the ingredients just weren't there. So Al Teller's venture went by the wayside while MP3.com was added to Messiers' laundry list of acquisitions.

Are times different today? Perhaps enough to help KaZaa & Ice-T prove the theorem true. The first important change is the consumer, who can take over manufacturing through broadband-powered CD-R equipped PCs, a point reinforced by the industry's claim that there are as many CD-Rs being burned as CDs legitimately being bought.

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As for marketing, no major label, even with their parent companies, actually controls a critical mass of media channels required to break an act. While AOL/TW, one of the more 'converged' conglomerates, may have significant stakes in the Net, TV & cable, they still need Clear Channel and Viacom for radio & music video airplay, not to mention Walmart to actually sell the CD. And the way they get that access is through the perceived value of the only brand that means anything in this industry: the artists themselves.

If anyone understands self-marketing, it's Ice-T. This professional gangbanger has established himself in nearly every media, from music & movies onto prime time TV. Ice-T needs no help marketing, what he needs is a distributor/retailer. Enter KaZaa, with over 200 million downloads of one of the most used music application around and combined with Altnet's embedded TopSearch technology.

All the ingredients are there: distribution, manufacturing, marketing, retailing, But what should really have the industry worried is the offer: Ice-T's new album "Repossession," complete with 19 tracks as well as two promotional downloads, is selling for just $4.99!

Good news for Ice-T fans, bad news for MusicNet & pressplay.

Related News from Mi2N:
» Altnet Signs Distribution Deal With Multi-Platinum Recording Artist Ice T


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