Music Industry News Network [03-13-2000]

ListenSmart.com Provides Dramatic New Way For Independent Artists To Build Their Careers Online And Off

MI2N www.mi2n.com
Developed by Artists for Artists

Artists share in 50% of Site Revenue
Only Site Committed to Full-blown Promotion of Artists
Artists Partner with ListenSmart.com, the first online music publisher


Columbia, MD, March 3, 2000óA dramatic new way for independent artists to
build their careers goes online today with the launch of ListenSmart.com, the
first and only independent music Web site dedicated completely to developing
independent artists by maximizing the earning potential of their music.
ListenSmart.com (www.listensmart.com) differs from the any other MP3 site now
operating on the Internet in that it guarantees that its "revenue sharing"
artists will receive 50% of all advertising revenue that the site generates.

"This is the first site of its kind that actually enters into a true business
relationship with its independent artists," says Sean P. Fenlon, President and
CEO of ListenSmart.com, and an independent musician whose holds a D.M.A
(Doctorate of Musical Arts) from the Peabody School of Music in Baltimore, MD.
"Most sites are interested in using the artistsí content to drive traffic to
their site, but prefer to keep the artist at arms length. Our focus is not so
much on traffic to our site, but on the inherent entertainment value of the
artistsí music. Thus, we enter into a music publishing relationship with our
artists and help them to maximize the earning potential of their songs through
all available means... CD sales, recording contracts, synchronization
licenses, radio airplay, etc."

In fact, through ListenSmart.com, artists can benefit from a number of
never-before-offered online initiatives including:

* SyncSmart.com. SyncSmart.com, a B2B sister site to ListenSmart.com, is the
first in a new generation of Web initiatives designed to help movie and TV
producers, as well as advertising agencies and other entities that license
original music, quickly find new music to match their specific criteria and
budget, and then negotiate rights of usage via the Internet. SyncSmart.com,
which will begin operation in Q2 2000, will be populated with the content from
the "revenue sharing" artists of ListenSmart.com.

* SmartAandR.com. Another B2B sister of ListenSmart.com is SmartAandR.com, an
industry insider Web site designed to help record labels, A&R representatives
and record producers looking for new material or to sign new talent. Using
advanced search criteria and customizable algorithms, the site will allow
recording executives to quickly find new artists, review their business
standing, including their legal and management representation, overall
popularity on ListenSmart.com, touring experience, availability and other
factors that could hasten their signing.

* Omnipost Online Music Service. Omnipost Online Music Service is an
optional free service for ListenSmart.comís "revenue sharing" artists that
will automatically post their content to any or every other MP3 or independent
music site of the artists choosing. Omnipost is designed to provide artists
with immediate, broad-based online exposure through a single, convenient entry
into the online world of music.

"In essence, we have reinvented the independent music space, by taking the
best of whatís currently available and then adding our own online properties
and services in order to do everything possible to enhance the careers of
independent artists," says Fenlon. "We have spent nearly a year studying
every major MP3 site, participating on independent music bulletin boards and
dissecting the industry so that we could offer the ultimate online music
resource artists can use to build their careers."

Perhaps, most compelling is the ListenSmart.com business model, which at its
core, is firmly grounded on music publishing, an upside which provides the
incentive for both artist and ListenSmart.com to work together to advance an
artistís career.

"Right now, the most overlooked factor in the MP3 phenomenon is the artists
themselves," says Marc Contract, Vice President of Marketing, who along with
Fenlon, co-founded ListenSmart.com. "Under every other business model, free
online music translates into little financial incentive for sites to support
and advance the artists.

ListenSmart.com has found that incentive. When artists agree to take part in
our revenue sharing program, they also establish ListenSmart.com as their
music publisher for the songs they upload to the site. A music publishing
relationship is essentially a friction free agreement for independent artists
because they still remain in control of their music and also because
independent artists typically will never receive revenue from the "music
publisherís share" of royalties unless they become profitable enough to
justify forming their own music publishing company. The "music publisherís
share" of the royalties, however, provide ListenSmart.com the incentive to do
everything in our power to advance the career of the artists."

That drive is whatís behind ListenSmartís establishment of SyncSmart.com and
SmartAandR.com as well as the companyís willingness to return 50% of the
advertising revenue to the artists who, for all purposes, are responsible for
making a music site popular in the first place. "We see the ListenSmart
model as a major win/win for artists, consumers looking for great music, as
well as the industry itself, and their need to find and sign a constant flow
of new talent and material," says Fenlon. "As an artist myself, this is the
site I had always hoped would be there for me. When I realized no site made
all of this available, I went to work creating it . . . just in time to
redefine the world of online music."

For more information about ListenSmart.com, SyncSmart.com, SmartAandR.com or
Omnipost Online Music Service, contact Greg Matusky at (610) 642-8253.

Source: http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=6533

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