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Headline: returns to long-deprived lounge fans
With the spirit and community kept alive over eighteen months by way of Yahoo! Groups and e-mail lists, webcaster LuxuriaMusic hasLink: LuxuriaMusic reemerged. The streamer of hip jazz, lounge, standards, and exotic music now has new financial backing and new management, as well as new ideas on how the company can make this time around permanent.

"Our audience has been strong from day one and is building on a daily basis," Cliff Chase, who is the primary financial backer for the new LuxuriaMusic, LLC, told RAIN. "All this without marketing outside the core community." (See the screen shot at the send of this story.)

The Internet station is a completely new entity owned by LuxuriaMusic, LLC. The company also owns the LuxuriaMusic brand and is involved in music consulting for commercials, movies, and television, and has several LuxuriaMusic Records projects in the works.

Chase told RAIN today the company plans to soon expand the music programming service into satellite delivery.

In November of 2000, broadcast giant Clear Channel spent a reported $20 million to pick up Enigma Digital, an Internet radio network with properties that included LuxuriaMusic, and other webcasters like hard-rocker, electronic-formatted GrooveRadio, and underground hip-hop (see RAIN coverage here).

By June of 2001, the layoffs had begun at Clear Channel Interactive. Luxuria by that time had already been quietly shuttered, and properties like, GrooveRadio, and CC's Interactive division itself soon followed.

(KNAC stayed alive in a significantly scaled-down form, and while GrooveRadio was slated to return in DecemberLink: Adsertion (see RAIN here), it apparently hasn't yet done so.)

Chase told RAIN, "Our management team has spent the last 15 months working on bringing back the service." That included time "determining how to make the service self-sustaining with advertising over the long haul and dealing with all of the CARP royalty uncertainty." And though management considered following a "subscription" model for its business, in November they partnered with Adsertion (formerly CLBN) asImage: LuxuriaMusic playlist an ad delivery affiliate.

"We see the advertising market strengthening in the next 9-to-12 months," Chase said.

The new LuxuriaMusic service picks up where the original left off, according to Chase. The programming concept was created by Chuck Kelley and Michael Cudahy. Kelley, a music consultant for many years (whose work includes the film "Pulp Fiction") and Eric Bonerz are Program Directors and lead the music consulting practice.

Chase calls the Luxuria programming "a blend of jazz, lounge, Latin, exotica, electronica, go-go, psychedelia, soundtracks, standards, and surf music," and says "90-95%" of the music comes from vinyl recordings!

He told RAIN that the team is busy expanding and refining the programming and website content, and that a marketing push to build more audience will begin soon.

This is a testimonial from the "Community" section of the LuxuriaMusic web site.


Headline: Label to use video game, not radio, to introduce new songs
From The New York Times: "In a first for the music industry, a major record label will introduce new songs on a new videoImage: Vendetta video game game, not the radio. The goal is to lure young, male consumers into buying entire CD's when they are released to stores up to four months later.

"The company, Island Def Jam, a unit of Universal Music Group, has joined forces with Electronic Arts, the world's largest game maker, and will create video games to capitalize on two hugely popular forms of entertainment among boys and young men ages 11 to 25: hip-hop and video games. Universal Music Group is owned by Vivendi Universal...

"The games will allow players to take on the role of their favorite artists in wrestling matches, which will take place against the backdrop of upbeat new singles by each of the artists, said Lyor Cohen, chairman and chief executive of the Island Def Jam music group...

"Joining forces with a game company is a bold departure from the usual business model that music industry executives are using increasingly to try to improve revenue. Most industry executives have focused on selling online music.Link to article But it may take years to map a profitable plan...

"Usually record companies release singles to radio stations three to six weeks before an album is available in stores. Mr. Cohen said that his goal was for the cool kid in the playground to become attached to a new song on a video game and generate a street buzz among friends."

Read this entire article from The New York Times here.

The idea that a major record label is seeking exposure for new music outside of the traditional channels is great news for a nontraditional medium like Internet radio.

The video game industry is hot, and growing enormously. And it's a great way to target the young, male, record-buying consumer.

The next step of course is to convince labels that Net radio also offers a great conduit to a growing population of savvy, upscale music-buyers, most who are just a click away from purchasing the very music they're hearing. -- PM

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    Kurt and Paul, this is deep background -- don't quote me!


Headline: McDonald's says 300 stores will offer Wi-Fi by year's end
From an AP story in Yahoo! News: Would you like super-sized Internet access with that burger and fries? In a further signLink: McDonald's of the spread of wireless Internet technology, McDonald's restaurants in three U.S. cities will offer one hour of free high-speed access to anyone who buys a combination meal. Ten McDonald's in Manhattan will begin offering wireless WiFi, or 802.11b, Internet access on Wednesday, McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa Howard said.

"By year's end, McDonald's will extend the access to 300 McDonald restaurants in New York City, Chicago andLink: Borders a yet-unannounced California town, Howard said...

"Besides McDonald's, Internet surfers will also be able to tote their laptops to 400 US Borders book stores, hundreds of hotels and a pair of US airports where WiFi access will be available by summer, companies announced Monday.

"And computer maker Toshiba and chipmaker Intel say they'll set up wireless 'hot spots' in coffee shops, hotels and convenience stores across the United States...

"McDonalds' announcement coincides with several related WiFi developments timed to coincideLink to original story with the Wednesday release of Intel Corp.'s Centrino microprocessor."

See yesterday's RAIN here for more on the Centrino. Read this entire AP story in Yahoo! News here.
Reader Feedback Here's feedback on yesterday's two stories about Santa Monica noncommercial broadcasters KCRW (here)...
RAIN Reader Feedback

"Should be handled by the distributor..."

So THIS is where the car companies are finding their music?

No disrespect to public contribution-funded stations (I support WFMU in New Jersey when I can), but I don't know that these stations should be taking over a function that by rights should be handled by the recording's distributor, small obscure businesses may they be...

  Bob in Jersey

RAIN Reader Feedback

"All of this could end in 2004..."

While there is a lot to applaud about KCRW's Internet efforts (including its 3 streaming channels), it should notedLink: KCRW that were it not for CPB's (the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) deal with the RIAA in late 2001, almost everything listed that is liked about the web site would not exist.

The station participated in last year's May Day protest against CARP by having people on both sides of the issue prepare commentaries that were aired that day (and were later made available online). Station general manager Ruth Seymour has made it no secret that she is concerned about the direction in which Internet radio is heading, and all of this could end at the end of 2004 if CPB and RIAA are unable to reach another agreement for CPB stations.

  Ted Chittenden
Link: Hanson Consulting
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March 13 17th Annual Bayliss Radio Roast: New York, NY
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