Airplay Music Service Launches

Jango hopes to profit from 'pay for play'
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Jango, an Internet streaming music site, has started a "pay-for-play" service called Airplay, aimed at "emerging artists."

The nonsubscription (read: free) site claims 6 million monthly listeners.

The company says it offers independent and unsigned artists a guaranteed number of "plays" for a set fee. For example, $30 promises 1,000 plays. Listeners could be people seeking any new music or those receiving the play because it resembles other music they have listened to. Like Amazon.com and other "social" Web sites, Jango uses algorithms to make educated guesses on what site users might like based on music selections.

Listeners can comment and rate songs. Artists are given access to play results and can communicate with interested listeners. Jango also provides info on the artists, including concert lists.

Jango CEO Dan Kaufman said: "Emerging artists can spend a lot of time, effort and money on promotion, but never really know if anyone is truly listening. With Jango Airplay, it's virtually effortless for any emerging artist to get heard by our community of six million listeners who are passionate about discovering, sharing and interacting with new music and artists."

The company notes the "payola" comparison and Kaufman addresses that in the announcement: "It's exactly like payola in that this is pay-for-play, and any artist can pay to get played in radio stations of people who like their kind of music. But it's the exact opposite of the old terrestrial payola in that it's legal and helps rather than hurts emerging, independent artists who were boxed out of radio by the big labels."

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