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Tech News (more headlines) 05-19-2004

File Sharing Works For Berklee College Of Music

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Berklee College of Music, the world's premier music college, announced today that its file-sharing initiative, Berkleeshares.com, providing free online music lessons, is helping the college increase awareness of its programs and its faculty. Both the Berkleemusic.com online school and Berklee Press, Berklee's publishing division, have experienced a 40 percent increase in visitors as a result of the launch of Berklee Shares and increased revenues of 32 percent. Berkleeshares.com was launched on November 10, 2003.

Commenting on the announcement, Dave Kusek, Vice President of Berklee Media said, "The success of Berkleeshares.com is a testament to the need for music education on a global level. It is also proof that file sharing can be embraced by musicians as a meaningful way to share information and knowledge with each other. Berkleeshares.com was launched to initiate a dialogue about the benefits of file sharing in the music community. We have succeeded and we intend to keep the dialog going."

The Berklee Shares online lessons are comprised of a growing catalog of music lessons covering instrument performance, music production and technology, songwriting and arranging, music business and careers, music education and improvisation. The lessons are derived from curriculum developed at Berklee by its world-renowned faculty and are available in the form of MP3s, QuickTime movies and PDF files.

File sharing as a promotional tool has proved to be effective for Berklee. Since its launch, Berkleeshares.com has received more than 250,000 visitors who have downloaded more than 350,000 lessons. The site has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from within the music industry and others who have made use of the available files.

Respected artist manager and record label owner Ken Levitan, commented: "The music community has changed dramatically in the past several years with the advent of file sharing and related technology and we all have to keep up the pace. Berklee Shares demonstrates how we can all take advantage of these innovations. Education can be brought to students on their own time, in their own homes, reaching that many more people and that much more effectively." Levitan's Vector Management and Vector Recordings clients include Steve Winwood, Patty Griffin, Peter Cincotti, Lyle Lovett, Queen Latifah, Damien Rice and Chris Robinson.

Bruce Kirkland, President of Tsunami Entertainment said: "Berklee College of Music has demonstrated the words 'file sharing' to have a very positive connotation, and indeed be used to further the interests of musicians and their art form. Our artists have always regarded technology as their friend, helping to establish important one-to-one relationships with their fans. Berklee is yet again helping us to be brave in the new world." Tsunami Entertainment clients include Bon Jovi, Sarah Brightman, The Dandy Warhols, GusGus, Goldfrapp, Ozomatli and DJ Dan Mancini.

Berklee is committed to providing music education that is widely available to the global music community. The Berklee Shares program is designed to create an open exchange of ideas for musicians everywhere and as a means to gain unprecedented access to quality education through the Internet. Berklee believes that digital distribution networks will have a significant impact on the future of music and music education.

Berklee continues to explore, through innovative programs such as Berklee Shares, positive ways to take advantage of digital distribution networks and to better understand the future direction of the music industry. Berklee stands alongside other leading organizations that are committed to educating the industry and the general public about important music and technology issues, such as file sharing.


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