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Music by Groove Armada, distribution by Bacardi

Sound & Music

Feeling there were limitations of working with a conventional label, British beat duo Groove Armada left Sony BMG and teamed up with Bacardi in April of last year to offer fans music in a new way. Rather than restrict song sharing in order to sell more tracks, the band offers incentives to those who spread their music the furthest. Six weeks before Groove Armada will be releasing their new EP through traditional download stores, the first track appeared Bacardi B-Live, where registered users can download it for free. They can access the second track as soon once they’ve shared the first with 20 friends. The third MP3 can be heard when the first has been shared 200 times, and the fourth when 2,000 ‘friends’ have hear the first track. Sharing is made easy by supplying users with widgets for their websites and Facebook profiles. The sharing application was launched last week and will be available until 2 March 2009. Bacardi also funded the creation of Groove Armada’s latest release, scoring the rights to use the music in advertising and other promotions. B-Live also hosts and streams live music events around the world. Groove Armada claims to be pleased with the arrangement because it lets them give away their work and build a dialogue with fans. “It encourages people to interact with the music in a slightly deeper way than just nicking and downloading it,” says Tom Findlay, one half of the duo, in a BBC interview. It’s not just distribution that’s been upended by the internet: band funding, management and festivals are also evolving. There’s still a huge potential to rethink business models in this industry. Time to get creative! Spotted by: Susanna Haynie

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Website: www.bliveshare.com

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