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Kirsty MacColl's Brother Launches New Breed of Interactive Record Label

Renowned musician Calum MacColl and e-commerce pioneer Frank Joshi have launched MVine, an exciting new hybrid of traditional label and Internet music venture.

(PRWEB) October 21, 2005 -- Renowned musician Calum MacColl and e-commerce pioneer Frank Joshi have launched MVine, an exciting new hybrid of traditional label and Internet music venture.

MVine is a genre-free record label with a new business model, which brings together technological innovation and a passionate belief in new and original music. MVines combination of label, venue, community and technology moves away from the traditional ways of running a record company and puts music lovers firmly in the driving seat. MVine is a growing community with the power to shape the future of music.

The Music
MVines free service to unsigned or own-label artists enables them to showcase three full songs on the MVine website for community members to hear, comment on and buy as downloads. Audience comments are fed back directly to the artist. MVine provides a central platform on which artists can display biographies, tour dates and live links to their sites; they can use their own website to direct fans to MVine to listen and buy full tracks; and they have full control of their content on MVine at all times. MVine provides these free, non-exclusive services to any original artist or band.

The Innovation
Compare to sites such as MySpace, CD Baby or Magnatunes, MVine adds depth and breadth to the interactive experience. Based on audience feedback, MVine is pioneering a three-tier system that enables artists to progress from being one of many, through a featured artist section (where their current CDs are sold in the on-line shop with profits split 50/50) to possibly becoming a fully signed MVine artist. Signed artists receive all the support and financial backing offered by a traditional independent label, including marketing, promotion and both digital and bricks and mortar distribution. Unlike traditional labels however, MVine splits profits after recoup on a 50/50 basis with the artist. MVine also uses the data gathered from the on-line audience to identify and access potential new markets for artists.

The Artists
MVine signed their first two acts this summer. Christie Hennessys album Stories for Sale was released in September, Boo Hewerdines album Harmonograph will be out in January. MVine signs a third artist this month with an album due out in Spring 06.

The Listener
At www.mvine.com audience members can listen free of charge to high sound quality full tracks from either an artist of their choice, or to a random selection of new music. Through rating & commenting, the audience is encouraged to connect with an artist and can buy individual songs as downloads for 79p each. Of this, half the profit goes to the artist, unlike the 80/20 splits offered by most major labels and many Internet sites.

The Website
MVine has already attracted over 100 artists to the websites virtual venue. As at any live venue, the participatory element is key: the audience interacts initially by using the sexy voting slider (imagine a very clever clap-o meter), there are places for people to talk, to compare notes, to get more information on favorite bands, discover new acts and buy new music. A loyalty scheme (MPoints) rewards members for their involvement.

The Technology
Uniquely, MVine delivers music in Ogg Vorbis, which streams higher quality files at lower bandwidth than MP3. Essentially this means that users can still listen and download songs even if they dont have broadband. All downloads are free of DRM (digital rights management), enabling buyers to listen to the music on any player they want. MVine uses a combination of commodity hardware and Free and Open Source software. Operating in Linux mode means that MVine is platform-free, the website operates with all major browsers, and it is powered by Info Now, a dedicated system that provides flexible and detailed reporting.

The People
Calum MacColl, MVines Artistic Director explains, At the heart of MVine is our passionate belief in creativity and increasing the opportunities for original artists to make a living from their music. As a musician myself, I believe that opening up the channels of communication between artists and their fan base will result in a healthier music scene. And by listening to our audience, we can help musicians discover new markets for their music. We are facilitators.

Managing Director Frank Joshi says, Were utilizing powerful web technologies and exploiting the reach that the Internet provides, to bring artists and music lovers together. We have been refining our business model for nearly two years and are confident that we can provide a revolutionary new service for artists and music lovers. Artists get an opportunity to promote their music to a worldwide audience, music fans have access to a greater diversity of music than ever before.

Further information on personnel
Calum MacColl, Artistic Director son of folk legends Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger, and brother of the late, lamented Kirsty MacColl. A songwriter, producer and musician, Calum has worked with many different artists: Ronan Keating, The Backstreet Boys, Natalie Imbruglia, The Corrs, Brian Kennedy, Black, Cathy Dennis and Boyzone.
Frank Joshi, Managing Director joint founder of Martex Communicators plc, one of the first to recognise the potential of the Internet for business in the mid 1990s. He pioneered the development of business to business (B2B) portals and oversaw the successful acquisition and development of Martex by the Tarsus Group.
The full MVine team comprises three men and three women with years of experience in music, media and entertainment, and a further panel of special advisers drawn from a wide variety of related disciplines.


Kerry Harvey-piper

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