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Live Connection targets unsigned acts

Live Connection targets unsigned acts

Under the initiative, which is known as Live Connection, artists will be charged £775 plus VAT in return for a session at a closed O2 Academy venue, where they will record a three-song audio set and video. These performances will then be mixed and synced before being uploaded to Live Nation's servers.

Crucially, the content will be actively promoted to executives in the music industry and a network of 16 million music fans.

The service is the brainchild of sound engineer Pete Webber, who has worked with Live Nation chief operating officer Paul Latham for the past year to iron out details of the scheme.

"I've often spoken with unsigned artists who had spent a lot of money recording, mixing, mastering and, in many cases, pressing up CDs, only to be left with a box of CDs," said Webber. "Having spent the money the artists were no better off for audience and still had no more meaningful a relationship with the industry.

The programme has partnered with the streaming service We7 (which has three million users per month), Live Nation UK and Ticketmaster UK content channels and social media platforms, as well as taking the project into the student market through Sub.TV, accessing some 1.76 million students across students' union venues nationwide.

Additionally, Connection has established a steering committee of music industry experts and decision-makers who will receive regular news and updates about participating acts via the Live-connection.co.uk portal.

"The exposure Live Connection can give to new artists is outstanding," said Latham. "We're not only showcasing their talent to the right industry contacts, we're building communities, sharing their recorded music and video through our mailing lists, websites and social networks."

Webber believed one key industry benefit was data feedback about what was most popular, giving an idea of what was safer to invest in at the time.

Connection will provide a digital-only release commitment under a one-year single song assignment for the recordings made, with 60% of gross royalties in favour of the artist. Releases will be distributed by IODA, backed by e-commerce through the Connection site and We7, so that artists can start earning money from their music.

A similar scheme is in place for publishing via a deal with Sony/ATV on a three-year agreement that will pay 70% income straight to the artist.

"Reaction from the industry so far has been fantastic and we already have many of the most important decision-makers from the core of the UK music, TV and games industry on board," added Webber, who intends to run the project monthly using venues in London, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow to ensure a nationwide reach.

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