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New Mexican (Newspaper) - October 2, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico ENTERTAINMENT Artists audience reach out to each other ByJohnBoudreau San Jose Mercury News SAN FRANCISCO You might not have heard Geoff Byrd singing on the radio But on the Internet hes a star As a fledgling pop artist its difficult for him radio airplay especially at a time when urban music and hip hop are what top the charts In order to get a contract you have to have been shot 10 times or have a thug Byrd said So Byrd posted his music on Garage a San Franciscobased Web site that serves as an online catalog of free music and allows independent art ists to distribute their music Internet music sites like GarageBand com are becoming a small force in the entertainment world as digital music becomes increasingly popular Byrd has had four No 1 hits on the listenerrated music site helping him develop a fan base He has been hired for several gigs and received queries from scouts for major record labels and film directors and he signed a contract with an independent label You are forced to learn how to mar ket on the said the former highschool teacher started in 1999 as a dotcorn that was supposed to be a record label but went bust in early 2002 Ali Partovi whose previous start up LinkExchange was acquired in 1998 by Microsoft for million bought the Web sites assets Though he wont divulge revenues or investment details Partovi said he has invested less than million on reviving the operation so far The company has four fulltime employees and six parttimers It has been profitable for about year has more than a halfmillion registered users and a cata log of well over songs Apple Computer pays GarageBand com for the rights to use the Garage Band name for its software that is used tc record and mix music added podcast tech nology this spring allowing artists new ways to reach listeners Musicians can podcast messages to their fans Listen ers can have music from favorite bands automatically downloaded or podcast to their digital music players And ama teur disc jockeys can assemble podcast radio shows Since the podcast launch Garage monthly traffic has nearly doubled to about 2 million unique visi tors a month Partovi said Earlier this month announced an agreement with radio conglomerate Clear Channel to have 50 Kareb Jose Mercury News Jerry Harrison left and Aii Partovi chairman and of stand beside Partovis car in San Fran cisco The San Franciscobased Web site provides an online catalog of free music and allows independent artists to distrib ute their music for free of its artists featured on Clear Channels online radio stations every quarter A lot of the trends are in place for a revolution in music and especially how music is discovered and said Partovi 32 who once dreamed of being in a rock under 25 is not buying CDs They are downloading them from the Internet and listening to them on an The San Francisco music site has star backing Jerry Harrison the Harvard educated former guitarist for the Talk ing Heads is the companys chairman The Internet writes some new rules for the music industry Harrison said George Martin who signed the Beatles to their first record contract because he liked their impish humor is chairman of the companys advisory board Its becoming more common to use the Internet as a marketer for musi cians was among the first to distribute independent music online Services like The Orchard and the Inde pendent Online Distribution Alliance give smaller independent music labels the ability to sell songs through iTunes Napster and eMusic And Warner Music Group is launching an elabel this falL These kinds of tools will be even more common in the digital said Tim Bajarih president of Creative Strat egies In the digital age its all about personalization and The sites that succeed will be those offering fresh quality music that is wellorganized and easily accessible observed Susan Kevorkian digitalmusic analyst for tech research firm IDC The music industry historically has provided a very valuable filtering func tion in terms of recruiting new she said Online sites can provide a simi lar service she added Any company getting into this space needs to devote resources to categorize the artists they are said Kevorkian organizes its music by genre and ratings from ambient to punk pop and world fusion Artists who agree to review other bands can post their music for free Others can skip the reviews for a fee Using podcasts bands can create bonds with fans through voice messages created simply by phoning into Garage New York pop singersong writer Anne Heaton likes to communi cate with them while on the road Sorhetirhes I call and Im a little and we are on tour in she said It has that nice informal feeling It helps a great deal in keeping us in touch with our fans and keeping them excited about coming to a large show and bring ing their College and Internet radio stations pull music from as do Internet radio stations In an agreement with Microsoft the top GarageBand artists are featured and sold on MSN Music GarageBand has also placed some of its popular artists on Apples iTunes digital music Web site GarageBandcoms podcasts in which independent DJs create a following through their creative playlists is what radio used to said Tamara Conniff executive editor of Billboard magazine Youd listen to a DJ you related to and he would play cool new music Radio is not like that 24 SUNDAY Oct 28 2005 The New Mexican magazine ;