Archives for October 1996

Digital Courier Sets New Rates for Large Radio Groups

Vancouver, Canada. Digital Courier International has announced a new reduced rate structure for large radio station groups using their network audio and data delivery service.

The new rate structure will be available only to groups whose entire chain of stations is on the DCI network. DCI positions its inter-group communication services as a faster, cheaper way for station groups to exchange programming elements and voice talent, compared to traditional dub and ship methods.

“Radio group services are one of the primary focuses of DCI,” says President Al Kozak of the new offering. “We plan to extend our group services to include centralized sales and accounting features, and information systems for station groups.”

DCI claims 3500 stations already subscribing, which means that most station groups already have some outlets on the network. With approximately 400 stations coming on board each month, the company expects to reach the 4,500 mark before year-end.

The new pricing varies according to chosen speed of delivery:

First 2 Minutes Each Additional Minute
Service Local Regional National Local Regional National
One Hour $15 $25 $25 $5 $8 $8
Same Day $9 $10 $10 $3 $4 $4
Overnight $6 $9 $9 $1 $3 $3

New J-Bird Label Will Distribute Artists Exclusively Via the Web

Wilton, CT. With prominent artists like David Bowie and Madonna releasing major recordings on the web, and all the talk of the Internet revolutionizing music distribution, how long could it be before an Internet-only “record” label appeared?

Half seriously calling itself “the next big thing in music,” J-Bird Records is set to open its web outlet officially on November 1. J-Bird was founded by Jay Barbieri, a former executive of EMI Records. The label plans to sign all-comers to non-exclusive deals, and market them entirely through the Internet.

“Over the past two months we have been inundated with materials from bands looking for record deals,” says Barbieri. “Unlike a conventional record label, our vision is to sign any artist and to make them available to a global audience. I guess you could say we are the people’s choice label.”

When J-Bird goes online Nov.1, it will offer 45 newly-signed artists. Each will be featured with an individual web page that will include both RealAudio and Shockwave listening stations, artist biographies, lyrics, tour schedules and chat rooms. J-Bird’s intention is to expose bands to major labels by developing their fanbase and giving them increased bargaining power with the majors.

“We can’t wait to put a banner across the page that says one of J-Bird’s artists has been signed to a major label,” says Barbieri.

The initial artist roster includes Jumani, a hip hop/R&B artist from New Jersey; Bonnie Lee Sanders, an adult contemporary artist; The Living Daylights, a New York power pop band; The Reputations, a rock blues band; and The Water Street Blues Band, who have performed with the likes of Buckwheat Zydeco, Umbrella Heaven and Featherheads. J-Bird will handle the sale of product, as well as manufacturing and distribution of its artists, in house.

J-Bird has a current staff of 18, including A&R representatives in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and London. They intend to seek out young talent from all over the world, aiming to market their music to consumers in the 15-24 year old bracket.

“We want to grow up with college students, the ones who currently have the greatest access to the Internet,” explains Barbieri. “Keep in mind that as the retail industry shrinks, record stores close, and as managing time becomes more of a priority for record buyers, the web will become the easiest means of purchasing a product.”

To create its web site, J-Bird is working with San Francisco-based Global Interactive (GI). GI is a multimedia and website developer with a strong base in commercial radio station projects, including work with KISS-FM and KNX in Los Angeles, and KSAN and KITS in the San Francisco Bay area. J-Bird also plans the launch of J-Bird Radio, a 24-hr radio station that will be exclusive to its artists with live RealAudio and Shockwave performances, chats, and interviews.

Editor’s Note: Until the official opening on Nov.1, the J-Bird Store online is giving away free CD’s to visitors (while the supply lasts).

QSound Appoints New Executive V-P with Marketing Responsibility

Calgary, Canada. QSound Labs has appointed Joan Vogelesang as Executive V-P, with a mandate to expand QSound’s penetration in the rapidly growing 3D audio marketplace. She will work from the company’s San Jose sales office.

“We are excited that Joan has chosen to lead QSound Labs’ sales team,” said David Gallagher, president and CEO of QSound Labs. “Her proven track record in introducing new products to the marketplace, and her outstanding ability to build relationships with potential customers, are strengths we welcome at QSound Labs.”

Since 1993, Ms. Vogelesang has been VP, Toronto Business Operations, for Hitachi Data Systems. She worked previously at IBM, Hewlett Packard and Philips Electronics, where she became VP, Worldwide OEM sales. At Philips, she was responsible for reducing the development cycle for computer products from 18 to six months, and she also moved the operation aggressively into OEM sales in North America and Europe.

“I believe QSound has the best suite of 3D audio solutions available,” said Ms. Vogelesang of her appointment. “I’m excited to be on the front lines with such an innovative, rapidly growing company. Thanks to QSound Labs extensive technology base, our sales team will continue to lead the way in introducing new products to the marketplace.”

Don Was and Lakeshore Entertainment Buy Seattle’s Will Records

Los Angeles, CA. Record producer Don Was and independent movie producer Lakeshore Entertainment have joined forces to buy Will Records, the Seattle-based independent record label.

Was and Lakeshore plan to use Will Records to supply cutting edge soundtracks for Lakeshore’s film and television projects. At the same time, they plan to build the label’s roster of artists, which currently includes “grandaddy,” whose debut album is due in early ’97; Katies Dimples, a new act already involved with Was as producer; Lucky Me; Hitting Birth; and Sage.

Will Records was founded in 1993 by Skip Williamson. It began as a basement operation, in support of Williamson’s brother’s band, Sage. From there, Williamson branched out and began to sign and record new acts. Will Records became the first non-partner affiliate label distributed by Alternative Distribution Alliance.

Don Was is one of the most successful record producers in the music industry, winner of the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year in 1995. He has worked with the Rolling Stones (“Voodoo Lounge”), Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Elton John. He recently signed a multi-year directing and producing deal with Lakeshore Entertainment.

Don Was on the deal: “Skip Williamson has put together an incredible roster of new talent that’s going to accomplish great things. I find it genuinely exciting to be involved in this venture, because I know it’s just a matter of time before Will Records reaches a new plateau. It’s a good feeling to know that I’ll be there when it does.”

Poland’s Media & Music Radio Conference Opens in Warsaw

Warsaw, Poland. The Polish radio industry’s major annual gathering opens its doors tomorrow in Warsaw. The event is organized by the European radio industry magazine Media & Music (based in The Netherlands).

This year’s Media & Music Radio Conference runs for two days, Oct.22-23. It’s expected to attract more than 350 audio and radio industry professionals from across Poland, representing the nation’s 130 public and private radio stations, as well as exhibitors and presenters from France, the U.K., and U.S.A. They will be treated to an extensive program of technical and radio management presentations, as well as an active exhibit floor.

Highlights on opening day, Tuesday, include technical sessions on Digital Audio Broadcast in Poland, ISDN codecs (presented by Polish pro audio distributor ZEP), Radio and the Internet (Richard Ducey of the National Association of Broadcasters U.S.), and a presentation on wireless mics for reporters (AKG). AKG will also host the presentation of the AKG Golden Microphone Award (co-sponsored with Polish pro audio distributor Audiofan) to one of Poland’s top radio personalities.

On Wednesday, the show offers technical sessions on radio station automation (RCS Europe), MPEG audio compression (Telos), the Sky Radio satellite delivery network, and a presentation by Sony Broadcast & Professional on “Present and Future Technologies in Radio Broadcasting.”

The show will wrap up on Wednesday evening with more awards. Sony Broadcast & Professional presents the Sound of the Station Award, an interesting competition in which all Polish radio stations are invited to create a 90-second spot containing the essence of the station. Spots from eight finalists will be played during lunch on Wednesday, and all in attendance are entitled to vote. Last year, Radio Plus of Gdansk won the aware.

The Best Product Award is also a participation event. The exhibitor winning the most votes from attendees receives the award, sponsored by Polskie Radio Program 3, NAB and Dragan Produkties. And one lucky voter will win a draw prize of a trip to the NAB Seminar in Rome in November.