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Napster for the Unsigned, Unsung Heros?

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gfc_napsterlogo.gifJust spotted a Napster ad pushing their new free service on MySpace, while I was listening to a new demo from Cheeseburger, a fave Brooklyn band of mine.

The thing is, not only can I listen to the demo on their MySpace page as many times as I'd like, Napster doesn't have it. And unless these guys ever get picked up by a bigger label or one with broader distribution or a major, Napster never will. In fact, when I searched for Cheeseburger, knowing full well Napster wouldn't have 'em in their 2-million tune archive (Cheeseburger only has two EPs released on Kemado records), Napster search results listed Chasper Wanner, a jazz fusion guy.

As better known outlets for small acts become more influential, will we see Napster and its competitors develop relationships with smaller indie labels or distributors to offer or showcase the local bands that flood the Web (and MySpace almost exclusively if they have a Web presence)?

These are the bands that don't care about the rights issues; they just want free promotion. It seems to me that somebody could set up a Napster-style interface that's entirely free and ad-supported that showcases the countless bands with four-track homemade cds and not much else...the guys who would be glad to have people downloading their music and passing it around...for free.


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