INXS front man resurrected online

V2 Records set to release singer's posthumous solo album over the Internet via Liquid Audio.

SYDNEY, Australia -- INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence may have met an untimely demise nearly two years ago, but his musical career is about to be resurrected -- courtesy of the Internet.

V2 Records, which is set to posthumous 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 out promotional CD copies of the new track to radio stations around Australia, 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 in the future to digitally deliver music to radio stations without the need for promotional CDs to be sent in the mail, 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 noted. "The response has been good, and we will now look to doing for releases in the future."

Liquid Audio format
Jackson said that the music was delivered in Liquid Audio format over a limited timeframe, so that release of the new song could be strictly controlled.

"Our main ambition was to allow access to the track by all authorized 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," he said.

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

"A lot of my requests were from a lot of the regional that didn't know they were going to get the release. The future delivery of promotional tracks this way depends on the radio stations to embracing this technology."

Fans of the singer can now get a taste of the new album on the V2 records Web site 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, and that is yet to be confirmed, but will be confirmed in the next few days," Jackson said. "There will be details of the track on the V2 site when it is ready."

Gordon Finlayson is a ZDNet Australia editor and managing editor of Gamespot Australia.