INXS front man resurrected online

Australia to release Hutchence tracks -- including an exclusive Net deal.

INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence may be have met an untimely demise two years ago, but his musical career is being resurrected, courtesy of the Internet.

V2 Records, which is set to posthumously release Hutchence's solo album, has been using the Internet to distribute copies of the album's first single to radio stations around Australia and will soon release an exclusive track for online listeners only.

Instead of mailing promotional CDs of the new track to radio Australian radio stations, V2, in association with online music retailer, ChaosMusic.com, made the new track available via digital download. The track was encoded using Liquid Audio, allowing stations to directly program the track into their digital delivery systems, without the need to encode the track or play from CD.

The model could be used to deliver music to radio stations, negating the need to mail promotional CDs according to Andrew Jackson, Marketing Coordinator at V2 Records Australia. "The initial reason for us to do it was as a back-up to a service, to make sure all the stations got the single on a fair basis," he said. "The response has been good, and we will now look to doing the same for releases in the future."

Jackson said the music was delivered in Liquid Audio format over a limited timeframe, so that release of the new song could be controlled. "Our main ambition was to allow access to the track by all authorised radio personnel at the same time, without giving preference to any one network. In the security Liquid Audio provided, we ensured that the track was available to only those we granted access to, and even then only upon a certain time could the file be opened and subsequently burnt."

While Jackson said many radio stations have made use of the digital download service, he noted that more stations will need to embrace the technology before it becomes the primary mechanism for delivering promotional tracks.

Fans of Michael Hutchence can now get a taste of the new album on the V2 records site, at www.v2music.com/michaelhutchence, and will soon be able to download a previously unreleased track from Hutchence. "There will be an exclusive track that is not on the album which is yet to be confirmed, but will be confirmed in the next few days," Jackson said.

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