BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY NEWS: Sirius Satellite Radio Coming To Canada (Click on More to view all articles)

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada's national public broadcaster, and Sirius
will form a joint venture to bring satellite radio to Canada and will soon file an application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a license to provide satellite radio in Canada.

"CBC/Radio-Canada is excited about the opportunity to partner with Sirius to bring satellite radio to Canada," said Robert Rabinovitch, CBC/Radio- Canada's president and CEO. "By expanding the choices available to Canadians, this new service will enable the national public broadcaster to better fulfill its mandate by extending its reach and enhancing its services to Canadians."

This new, subscription-based, national service will give Canadians access to a wide range of programming and Canadian content. CBC/Radio-Canada was able to secure the distribution of two of its main channels, namely Radio One and La Premiere Chaine. As a result of CBC/Radio-Canada's involvement, the new venture will also provide significant opportunities for existing and emerging Canadian artists to showcase their talent and be heard not only across Canada, but throughout North America as well.

"Our agreement with CBC/Radio-Canada is an exceptional example of a time- honored brand joining with Sirius to bring an innovative national service to Canadians." said Joseph P. Clayton, President and CEO of Sirius. "60 of our 100 premier channels are commercial-free, and this makes Sirius an ideal match for Canada's public broadcaster and its unparalleled Canadian programming content. Also, we have exclusive agreements with DaimlerChrysler, Ford and BMW car manufacturers, who sell nearly 40% of all vehicles sold in Canada, which adds to our reach as well."

The CBC/Radio-Canada and SIRIUS venture will ensure that Canadians have the greatest possible access to a wide array of commercial-free music, information and entertainment services, as well as their national public broadcaster. When licensed by the CRTC, this new subscription-based service will be available to Canadians across the entire country, from urban centers to even the most remote regions.

"Fueled by the digital revolution, radio services are changing dramatically," added Rabinovitch. "We are forging ahead to ensure that CBC/Radio-Canada has an expanded reach and presence for the benefit of Canadians. We are also encouraged to know that the CRTC wants to deal with the matter of satellite radio expeditiously."

Sirius and CBC/Radio-Canada are holding talks with, and may add, other Canadian financial or broadcasting investors to the venture. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Bid to Build Grammy Museum Rejected

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The city's bid to create a museum honoring the Grammy Awards has been rejected by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

Developers envisioned an interactive museum that would draw visitors from around the world to learn about Grammy-winning musicians and musical genres.

The Recording Academy sent representatives in November to hear a proposal from a group of elected officials, business leaders and musicians. Developer Pres Kabacoff said he was informed Friday that the academy wasn't interested.

"After due deliberation, the Recording Academy has made a final determination to not proceed with a Grammy Exposition and Hall of Fame in New Orleans," wrote Neil Portnow, the Los Angeles group's president, in a faxed letter.

The state had committed $9.9 million to the project, and the city had pledged $7.5 million over 10 years. The rest of the money was to have come from the sale of $70 million in bonds.

Crisp Wireless Launches 'Hard Rock Live' Mobile Application

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Crisp Wireless has launched the Hard Rock Live mobile application, available on a promotional multimedia card for the Nokia 3300. The innovative application, which is the first Java application to allow preview and purchase of ring tones, gives music fans a unique medium to interact with diverse music content.

The application features artists from the "AT&T Wireless Presents Hard Rock Live" concert series, which is a showcase of 20 upcoming and established bands spanning musical styles from pop to hip hop to rock. The featured artists include Michelle Branch, Matchbox 20, Staind, Sean Paul, The Roots, Good Charlotte, Nickelback and many more.

The Hard Rock Live mobile application uses the content management and delivery components of Crisp Wireless' new mLogic Media version 3.0 to bring extensive music information to mobile phones and allow users to view and interact with the content through a highly aesthetic interface. The application allows users to preview and purchase ring tones, view exclusive photos from the show, learn more about Hard Rock Live artists, and play trivia games.

"The 'Hard Rock Live' Java application is a great way to introduce music lovers to the dynamic experience of mobile media," said Donna Regenbaum, director, Forum Nokia Americas — Nokia's global mobile developer program. "Crisp Wireless has utilized the power of mobile Java and the exciting multimedia features of the Nokia 3300 to bring an innovative mobile application to one of the fastest growing segments of mobile software — media and entertainment."

"The specialized features of the Nokia 3300 handset allowed us to explore uncharted areas for Java applications, such as ring tone preview and purchase," said Tim Meyer, CEO of Crisp Wireless. "The Hard Rock Live application is a great display of how we can use the multimedia aspects of our mLogic platform to drive mobile commerce." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Clear Channel To Distribute Ringtones And Wallpaper

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — ClearSky Mobile Media, Inc., a wireless entertainment aggregator for the latest-generation cellular handsets, has launched a partnership with Clear Channel Communications to distribute ringtones and wallpaper through Clear Channel radio stations and their Web sites. The new offerings are being widely promoted with radio spots and live DJ interaction. Each genre of radio station has a ringtone and wallpaper selection specific to the playlist and audience of that particular station. The result is a first for the wireless industry — a direct tie-in between radio and wireless mobile ringtones.

Central Florida is the first Clear Channel Radio market to launch. Seven radio stations are involved, covering radio audiences ranging from urban to rock to sports talk. Each Clear Channel radio station Web site has a mobile phone download area dedicated to the discovery and purchase of the new ringtone and screen saver collection. And, as a special promotion for the holidays, the ringtone menu for all stations includes a set of popular Christmas music. A citywide promotion by stations in the Orlando market will allow first-time users to download a free "Jingle Bells" ringtone.

"Over a million-and-a-half Central Floridians listen to Clear Channel radio stations every week," stated Linda Byrd, regional vice president, Clear Channel Radio Central/North Florida. "Connecting our listeners with their favorite ringtones and screen savers is the logical next step for Clear Channel. Through radio, we have an unprecedented way to educate consumers and drive purchases. Clear Channel intends to become the market leader in offering ringtones from all genres and formats."

"This partnership with Clear Channel is indicative of where the wireless market is headed," said Dean Fresonke, CEO of ClearSky. "Tie-ins and promotions of wireless content are often better handled by companies outside of the traditional cellular industry. Clear Channel has the vision to see that ringtones and screensavers are brand extensions that can be effectively promoted with their tremendous marketing reach. Ringtones are the first of many innovative programs we are planning with Clear Channel." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Loudeye Introduces Two New Products

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Loudeye Corp. a leader in managing, promoting and distributing digital media, has introduced two customer-branded product offerings based on Microsoft Windows Media 9 Series and the Loudeye Media Framework. The Loudeye Digital Music Store is a complete, outsourced digital music store that can be integrated with customers' existing technology, branding and infrastructure to give them instant access to a digital music business. The Loudeye iRadio Service offers 100 channels of pre-programmed music, which can be delivered to any Internet connected device supporting Windows Media 9 Series and Windows Media Digital Rights Management.

Companies using the branded products on the Windows Media platform include AT&T Wireless and Gibson Audio, a new consumer electronics division of Gibson Guitar Corp.

Microsoft is also joining forces with Loudeye to enable the rapid deployment of branded digital music services and stores using the combination of Loudeye's new products and Windows Media 9 Series.

"Loudeye's digital music solutions are important for helping customers go to market with high-quality music offerings built using Windows Media 9 Series," said Dave Fester, general manager, Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Loudeye's industry leadership and technical expertise enable companies using Loudeye's solutions, to rapidly build and launch a world-class branded music store or radio services using the Windows Media platform."

The Loudeye Digital Music Store and Loudeye iRadio Service provide a means for any company to rapidly and cost effectively launch a digital music store and/or Internet radio service under their own brand – rather than spending millions of dollars to develop their own service utilizing a third party player and giving up control over their customer relationships.

The Loudeye Digital Music Store is a customer-branded, turnkey solution designed for any online business to extend their brand, increase sales, retain customers and differentiate themselves in the marketplace by capitalizing on the popularity of digital music. Itrepresents the integration of all the components necessary to create, promote and operate a digital music store online from a single company. The Loudeye Digital Music Store can quickly help businesses promote, sell music and leverage cross merchandising opportunities.

The Loudeye Digital Music Store offers:

*Digital music download delivery

*Branded players to provide both live and on-demand audio and video content to end users
*Digital rights management using Windows Media Digital Rights Management

*Usage reporting and analytics

*Digital music royalty settlement

*Streaming music samples and cover art

*Music metadata

*Rich media ringtones

–Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Music Choice And Napster To Provide Downloads On Music Choice Broadband

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Music Choice and Napster, have formed a partnership to provide an integrated offer allowing consumers the ability to immediately download or buy tracks playing on the new Music Choice Broadband music service, scheduled for launch in early 2004. Music Choice Broadband will offer 40 broadband music "channels" to cable operators, who will provide the service to their cable modem customers at no additional cost. The music will be delivered via satellite in multicast format, as opposed to the Internet, for a higher quality listening experience.

When one of the over 500,000 songs available in Napster's library plays on any of the 40 Music Choice Broadband channels, a 'download now' button will be displayed on the Music Choice streaming music player. Listeners can choose to either buy the track or the album on which the track appears or subscribe to Napster and enjoy unlimited listening to Napster's growing catalog of over 500,000 songs. Listeners of the new Music Choice Broadband service will have direct access to Napster, where they can search the largest online catalog available, listen to 30-second music clips, watch music videos, access Billboard chart information and community features and send music to friends at no charge.

"Napster's on demand service for streaming and downloading is a natural fit with Music Choice's new broadband streaming service," said Mike Bebel, president and COO of Napster. "This partnership gives consumers a quick and easy way to take Music Choice's premier service to the next level and obtain the music they want in the most desirable way."

"This partnership makes it incredibly easy for broadband consumers to listen to high-quality music from a leading broadcast music service, and, when they hear something they like, immediately download or buy it from a leading digital music service," stated David J. Del Beccaro, President and CEO of Music Choice. "Unlike competing Internet music services, Music Choice brings together the unique combination of 40 channels of non-stop music with the option of buying or discovering music through Napster." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Napster Offers Holiday Specials


(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Napster has a series of special holiday offers allowing music fans to give and get the gift of music:

— Consumers who log on to Napster.com in December will get a free three-day trial of Napster's popular premium subscription service. The free trial gives music lovers three days of unlimited listening to the largest music catalog available online, access to 40 on-demand radio stations and all the community and music discovery features Napster has to offer — at no cost. As an added holiday bonus, consumers who subscribe to the premium service after their free trial ends will receive an added gift of 5 free tracks that can be burned to CD or transferred to the Samsung-Napster Player, or more than 40 other portable music devices;

— Holiday shoppers can add RadioShack, one of the nation's top consumer electronics retailers, with stores in nearly every neighborhood in America, to the list of retailers featuring the pre-paid Napster Music Card, which already includes RiteAid, Best Buy, CompUSA, Kroger,
Safeway, ExxonMobil, Duane Reade, Diamond Shamrock and Speedway/SuperAmerica. The Napster Card, developed in partnership with InComm, offers 15 downloads for $14.85, allowing music fans — for the first time — to easily stuff stockings with Napster's digital music, without the need for a credit card. Retailer commitments will total nearly 20,000 locations by year's end; and

— Rounding out the company's holiday offerings is the retail availability of the easy-to-use Napster Burnpak, an affordable digital music product which couples the best-selling burning software, Roxio's Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 Starter Kit, with Napster, the most popular name in online music, in one convenient box. The Burnpak allows music fans to produce their own CDs, complete with custom labels, and add music to their photos and videos. Consumers who purchase the Napster Burnpak, priced at $29.99, also get to choose five free tracks from Napster that they can download, burn to CD or DVD and share with loved ones. The Napster Burnpak is available at leading retailers including Best Buy, CompUSA and Fry's Electronics.

"Digital music will undoubtedly be at the top of many consumers' wish lists this holiday season," said Roxio CEO, Chris Gorog. These new offerings make Napster easily available both online and at retail, where the Roxio brand is extremely strong, and they're a great way to make online music available to a broader audience." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

iTunes Music Store Downloads Top 25 Million Songs

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 25 million songs from Apple's iTunes Music Store since it launched in April 2003. The 25 millionth song, purchased on December 12, was "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" by Frank Sinatra. Also over $1 million of iTunes online gift certificates and allowances have been purchased since the features were added to the iTunes Music Store on October 16, 2003.

"With over 25 million songs purchased and downloaded to date, the iTunes Music Store is hands-down the most successful online music store," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Music fans are buying and downloading almost 1.5 million songs per week from the iTunes Music Store, which is a rate of 75 million songs per year." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

MusicNow And SBC Partner For Special Promotion

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – MusicNow Inc., formerly known as FullAudio, developer of a legal online music store and service, has a special promotion through the MusicNow Digital Music Store for new SBC Yahoo! DSL Members. New customers subscribing to SBC Yahoo! DSL before March 31, 2004 are eligible to receive ten free digital music downloads, giving music fans digital music in the high-quality Windows Media Player 9 format. Only high-speed Internet access provides a continuous stream of multimedia, letting consumers get the most of their digital music. Consumers can learn more and sign up at http://sbc.yahoo.com.

"Digital music is an integral component of the broadband experience and we are pleased to be able to offer this special promotion as an added benefit to new SBC Yahoo! DSL Members," said Tyler Wallis, executive director, SBC Consumer Marketing.

The MusicNow Download Store enables users to sample more than 400,000 tracks at no obligation and purchase music à la carte for $0.99 per track or $9.95 for full albums, giving them the freedom to buy the music they want without a subscription. Music fans also have the ability to download their purchased content to a number of portable digital media players from manufacturers including Creative, Rio, Digitalway and Samsung, as well as burn their purchased content to CD's.

"With the speed and convenience of SBC Yahoo! DSL, members can begin to enjoy the compelling world of digital music-thousands of songs by their favorite artists from every genre of music, right at their desktops, " said Scott Kauffman, CEO of MusicNow. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Rhapsody Users Download Over 33 Million Songs In November

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Users of Rhapsody played more than one million songs per day on average in November, culminating in more than 33 million songs played during the month, a jump of more than 17% from October. This figure excludes the songs played by consumers participating in the "You Can Have it All" promotion that RealNetworks and Comcast announced on November 10. Rhapsody usage has increased nearly 200% over the past six months.

The Rhapsody Top 10 artists for the month include many acts currently at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart, including November's number 1 artist Sarah McLachlan. In November, subscribers flipped over McLachlan's Afterglow, garnering the Canadian chanteuse enough plays to make her the most popular artist for the month of November. McLachlan is set to release an album featuring remixed versions of some of her most popular songs, and Rhapsody is treating listeners to a sneak peek with a two-week exclusive remix of "Silence," through December 15. McLachlan bumped Outkast from October's top spot, down to No. 2, but the duo's singles "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move" continue to ride near the top of Rhapsody's Most Popular Singles chart as well as the Billboard Hot 100. Britney Spears' new album, In the Zone, helped her speed to the No. 3 spot on the Rhapsody Top 10 in November.

"Rhapsody users played an average of more than a million songs per day and never worried about how much they were spending per song," said Sean Ryan, vice president of music services, RealNetworks. "The all-you-can-listen Rhapsody model has music fans enjoying and exploring more music every day."

The complete Rhapsody Top 10 Artist Chart in November 2003 is a blend of artists releasing new material and those making classic material available through Rhapsody for the first time:

1. Sarah McLachlan
2. Outkast
3. Britney Spears
4. Coldplay
5. Eminem
6. Pearl Jam
7. R.E.M.
8. blink-182
9. The Eagles
10. Pink Floyd

–Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Zombie And Niles Create Creep Entertainment International

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Horror masterminds Rob Zombie and Steve Niles have created Creep Entertainment International, a horror inspired production company that will be based in Los Angeles, CA. Through this new venture, Zombie and Niles will co-create and develop horror based projects ranging from comic books, motion pictures, video games, books and music.

The first three projects from the duo are entitled The Nail (Dark Horse Comics), a tale of survival set in the world of Satanic bikers and 70's wrestling; Bigfoot (IDW Comics) which follows a man's quest to avenge his family and annihilate the creature who destroyed them; and The Lords of Salem a comic/music cross over project. All series will be co-written by Zombie and Niles. The books will be illustrated by some of the top talents working in comics today.

“Both Steve and I are life long horror fanatics," says Zombie. "This helps give us a unique perceptive on the genre. We are intent on branching out into every aspect of the field including comic books, toys, music, television and movies. We are approaching this joint venture with an enthusiasm that only true horror fans can bring to the table."

“I think this is a perfect opportunity." added Niles. "Zombie and I are very like-minded and we've spent our lives digesting horror, and we both have our own take on the genre at the same time. I think combining our unique imaginations will result in some enjoyably twisted material."

In October, Zombie’s released his first comic book venture entitled Spookshow International. Spookshow’s first issue quickly sold out its initial run and is now in its second printing. 2003 was a banner year for Steve Niles. The rights to Niles’s 1# selling vampire epic 30 Days of Night was recently acquired by Columbia Pictures for release as a motion picture. Sam (Spiderman) Rami is set to produce, and Niles has already written the screenplay.

In addition Niles’s film noir/horror character Cal McDonald (featured in the hit books The Criminal Macabre, The Savage Membrane and Gun, Drugs and Monsters, and Dial M for Monster ) has been scooped up by MGM, also be turned in a major motion picture later this year which Niles is slated to script. Dimension Films has just most recently acquired the rights to Niles’s Wake the Dead, a modern Frankenstein tale. X-Men 2 scribe Mike Dougherty is set to write the script.

Rob Zombie is represented by Andy Gould for The Firm and Steve Niles is represented by Jon Levin at CAA. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Pearl Jam Joins Amazon.com's Advantage Program To Directly Sell Music To Fans

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Pearl Jam has enrolled in Amazon.com's Advantage for Music program. The arrangement enables Pearl Jam to sell their new CD single, "Man of the Hour," directly to Amazon.com's millions of customers worldwide.

Amazon.com's Advantage for Music provides worldwide distribution and order fulfillment to independent musicians and labels of all sizes by enabling them to sell their CDs on Amazon.com's Web site alongside major label releases. Since the pioneering program launched in 1995, tens of thousands of independent artists have enrolled, gaining access to millions of music buyers worldwide.

"Pearl Jam is exploring a number of different ways to get music directly to its fans, following the recent fulfillment of its contract with Epic Records, with whom the band has not yet decided to resign," said Kelly Curtis, Pearl Jam's manager. "We have the opportunity right now to test the waters with a variety of progressive companies that are working to expand options for music fans and artists alike. It's a fun and interesting process, and we look forward to evaluating programs like Amazon.com's Advantage for Music to see how they work for a band like Pearl Jam. We will ultimately use this information to help us determine the band's next steps."

"We are truly excited that a band of Pearl Jam's caliber and talent has enrolled in our Advantage program and selected Amazon.com to be the exclusive retailer of their CD single," said Jeff Peterson, director of Amazon.com's Advantage program. "As the industry evolves, artists are increasingly eager to explore innovative ways to sell their music directly to fans. By joining Amazon.com's Advantage program, Pearl Jam will help raise awareness of this impactful program among independent musicians everywhere."

"Man of the Hour" is Pearl Jam's first self-released material. The song was written and recorded for Tim Burton's upcoming film "Big Fish." The CD single is available for $5.00 at Amazon.com. To purchase "Man of the Hour," visit www.amazon.com/music
and search for "Pearl Jam Man of the Hour." –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

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