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Music Marketing with QuickTime

On Friday, Apple and Epic Records held an online "listening party" for the premiere of Sade's new album at QuickTime TV (www.apple.com/quicktime) and SadeUSA.com. The album will be streamed using (what else) QuickTime's technology, and won't be downloadable. The album will appear five days later in stores on November 14.

Glenn Bulycz, QuickTime TV's senior manager, says artists are asking to use QuickTime because of its high quality. But using QuickTime as a music-only distribution method is somewhat new, since QuickTime is mostly known as a video platform.

At the end of October, RealNetworks teamed with Virgin Records to release an enhanced version of the new Spice Girls CD. Not only does the CD include two music videos, but it also has a copy of RealPlayer.

"We at Virgin Records are always experimenting with new ways for fans to experience the music they love," said Ty Braswell, vice president of new media, Virgin Records. "By incorporating RealVideo 8 onto a traditional audio CD, we can whet the appetite of our fans for even more broadband content."

QuickTime has been used in other promotions recently. Madonna's site MadonnaMusic.com (www.madonnamusic.com) uses QuickTime for music and video. Bulycz also said that QuickTime has been used to create "enhanced" CDs from artists like Britney Spears, and Limp Bizkit. They include music videos using QuickTime, and have sold many millions of copies each, Bulycz points out.

Since it's using streaming, Epic doesn't have to worry about people trading Sade's music online. When asked if Apple had a position on the Napster controversy, Bulcyz deftly dodged the question. "No, not at all, we don't have a position on it," he said. "We're so busy with QuickTime."

A preview of QuckTime 5 released in October, showed various new functionalities, including stream protection. Apple is working with SealedMedia (www.sealedmedia.com) to protect QuickTime content. QuickTime 5 is expected to be released in the beginning of the year.

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