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Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 09:43 GMT 10:43 UK
AOL launches online music services
MusicNet collaborators
MusicNet is set for an autumn launch
AOL has announced several new online music services prior to the launch of their MusicNet subscription service.

The two new channels are the Artist Discovery Network and Radio@AOL, a new online broadcasting channel.

All of this is being done to create a more comprehensive online music experience for AOL Music, which will set the stage nicely for MusicNet

Kevin Conroy
Head of AOL Music
The services are intended to tempt more fans to subscribe to AOL Music in advance of the launch of the MusicNet service.

Kevin Conroy, head of AOL Music, said the services were intended to persuade users to adopt broadband, by linking to sites that take particular advantage of high speed connections.

New features

The Artist Discovery Network features interviews, profiles and media clips from up-and-coming new artists. Users can enter their postcode to get information on local performances.

Radio@AOL, making its debut alongside AOL's new internet access software in the autumn, takes the channels from AOL's current Spinner and adds new and exclusive channels.

Radio@AOL will be subscription only through a toolbar button on version 7.0 of AOL's internet browser.

MusicNet is a joint venture between AOL TimeWarner, Bertelsmann and EMI, in conjunction with RealNetworks, the maker of RealPlayer, an internet-based music and video player.

Each company will own a minority stake in MusicNet and their record labels - EMI Recorded Music, BMG Entertainment and Warner Music Group - will license their music catalogues via the company.

The service, available this autumn, will be combined with AOL's other music channels, but will be optional to AOL members, according to Conroy.

"All of this is being done to create a more comprehensive online music experience for AOL Music, which will set the stage nicely for MusicNet," said Conroy.

"MusicNet will be one of the choices that our users get to make.

Madonna: Tour promoted through AOL sites
"The way we really want to serve our market is to serve it broadly and allow people to pick what they want from a range of offerings," Conroy added.

MusicNet are believed to be in negotiation with Napster to distribute its own online content.

Analysts say it was the only way Napster could ensure its survival since it was ordered to block the exchange of copyrighted music between its users earlier this year.

AOL's music channel had 23 million unique users in the last month, according to internet surveyors MediaMetrix.

AOL recently offered subscribers advance tickets to Madonna concerts.

But AOL Time Warner's music division, which owns labels such as Atlantic and Sire, and boasts an artist portfolio including Madonna and The Corrs, saw underlying earnings fall by one third to $87m (61m).

See also:

23 Jul 01 | Business
Online music sales set to soar
20 Jul 01 | Business
Napster use slumps 65%
06 Jun 01 | Business
Victory for music giants?
12 Jun 01 | Business
EU opens online music probe
11 Jun 01 | Business
AOL forges online deal in China
18 Apr 01 | Business
AOL Time Warner profits rise
16 Apr 01 | Business
AOL surfs past 29m subscribers
02 Apr 01 | Business
Music giants form Napster rival
26 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Napster blamed for CD singles slump
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