AP Article
April 27, 1999

Added April 28, 1999

An Associated Press Article found on the CNN Web Site, the ABC News.com site, the Tampa Bay Online web site and many others revealed information about the Tori and Alanis Morissette "5 1/2 Weeks Tour" and a deal with MP3.com on April 27, 1999. The article is below. Thanks to Ann Ribe & Richard Handal for sending it to me.

The text of this article seems to vary depending on where you read it. Compare what is below to the verson on the CNN Web Site.

Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos in deal with digital distributor MP3.Com

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Alanis Morissette and Tori Amos are embracing cyberspace in a deal that will put some of their songs on the Internet and make MP3.Com, the Web's best-known distributor of free music, a sponsor of their joint summer concert tour.

The agreement announced Tuesday signaled a growing acceptance by mainstream artists, record companies and the retail industry of Internet audio technologies as a tool for selling music and concert tickets - and not just a piracy threat.

"The potential here is enormous. We've got to seize the opportunity," said Michael Robertson, chairman, chief executive and founder of MP3.Com, which takes its name from the technology that allows Web surfers to download CD-quality music into their computers.

The recording industry has blamed the MP3 technology for the distribution of pirated songs because it allows for music to be easily transferred from CDs into a computer and then over the Internet. But increasingly, the industry has been looking for ways to incorporate the Internet into its regular businesses.

The pact marks a breakthrough for MP3.Com, a San Diego-based company that made a name for itself by allowing unknown artists to market music directly to consumers through its popular Web site.

Tuesday's deal won't allow fans to download songs by Morrissette and Amos. It will use a different technology that allows for listening only.

Fans will be able to buy concert tickets through the site and will be able to see pictures and post-concert interviews with the artists and their fans. The site will be linked to a site operated by Best Buy, a retailer and co-sponsor, where fans can buy CDs by mail.

The tour will begin Aug. 8 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and conclude in Irvine, Ca., on Sept. 25.

Cross-promotions may also include live concert broadcasts into Best Buy stores, said Gary Arnold, senior vice president of merchandising for Best Buy.

The deal has the blessing of Time Warner, a partner in Miss Morissette's Maverick record label, and Atlantic Records, Miss Amos' distributor, although neither company is ready to move into online distribution or marketing on a large scale, officials said.

"They felt this was an opportunity to embrace the Internet," said Scott Welch, a partner in Atlas/Third Rail Management, which manages Miss Morissette. "All of us are in uncharted territory. I think we all are trying to find a way to increase the relationships the artists have with their fans."

Miss Amos' manager, Arthur Spivak of Spivak Entertainment said Miss Amos has been pressing him to make use of the Internet.

"For the last eight years or so I've had my artist calling up talking about getting involved in the Internet. What comes back to me is Internet, Internet, Internet. ... This is how her fans communicate. This is how they talk to people."

Neither singer appeared at the news conference.

The recording industry has been struggling to come to terms with the Internet and companies such as MP3.Com, which enable both artists and consumers to bypass traditional recording companies and retailers with direct-to-consumer marketing.

MP3.Com did not develop the MP3 technology that allows high-quality downloads of recordings. The company, however, has used it to legally distribute thousands of recordings on its Web site of the same name. The company uses the site to market the songs of any artist on the condition that one song be made available for free download. Artists set the price for the rest and split the revenue with MP3.Com.

The music exists in digital files in MP3.Com's servers linked to CD-cutting equipment. When a customer orders music, the sound automatically is transferred from the digital file to a CD and shipped to the buyer.

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