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Internet site appeals to student DJs

By Christopher Jivan
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 29, 2000
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Live365.com, a Web site devoted to the creation and broadcasting of MP3 music files, has found its place within the music community, ushering in what some believe to be the future of internet music.

Currently the only Web site on the Internet that allows members to broadcast their own music, Live365.com has created year-round personal radio stations for listeners.

Already, the Web site has over a hundred such stations.

David McKie, media relations manager for Live365.com, said the company is part of a new direction of Internet music.

"(It) is dedicated to lowering the barriers for anyone to be a broadcaster, no matter what kind of music you like or where you live in the world," he said. "This is a great place for groups of music lovers to congregate to discuss and share the music that they love."

While the site offers all members a chance to upload and listen to music, McKie said it caters to college students who are tired of typical radio stations.

"I think we must be appealing to college students. Commercial radio, with its limited formats and commercial constraints, was incredibly unappealing when I was in college," he said. "I spent a lot of time making tapes of music that I wanted to hear and music that I wanted to turn my friends on to, Live365.com is the obvious evolution of the mixed tape."

The Web site has a vast archive of music to appeal to members, including hip hop, rock, jazz, and comedy - providing listeners a wide array of music to enjoy.

"Live365.com doesn't program the stations themselves, so we rely on the archives of music lovers around the globe," McKie said. "In my opinion, one of the things that makes our service so exciting is that we offer any kind of music that you can imagine, from Bulgarian folk music to death metal. The scope of choice is unprecedented."

Not only does the site offer greater listening range, it also provides the opportunity for young people to get an early jump in the DJ community.

Live365.com relies on human DJ's rather than digital counterparts which can be found on some competing Web sites.

"Show me a computer that can articulate to me why the Devil Dub Band is amazing and why Michael Bolton truly sucks and we might change our position," said McKie. "In the meantime, we take great pride in facilitating an environment where great music from every genre has the chance to be heard."

McKie said he believes this is an exciting time for Internet music and that the future of Internet music is heading in a new direction.

"All kinds of devices that are in our lives will be streaming audio in the not too distant future," he said. "The satellites are going up and the world will be full of happy people with 10,000 channels of audio to listen to on their cell phones."

Although he said the site will challenge music industry practices, McKie said that Live365.com and the Internet's MP3 boom will not force music stores to close their doors.

"Large corporations control the manufacturing and distribution of CDs and have hundreds of millions of dollars invested in CD production plants," he said. "You can be sure that we will all be buying CD for some time to come."

In an interesting advertising move indicative of the site's character, the directors of Live365.com recently launched an ambitious marketing campaign comparing the site to "Communism" and even going as far as calling the Web site a "conspiracy."

The negative ads, seen in popular publications such as "Request" and "Spin," also list the top three reasons why Live365.com is "anti-American."

McKie, who helped work on the advertising campaign, says despite mostly positive reactions to the campaign, some have misinterpreted it.

"Our 'anti-campaign' was launched as a tongue-in-cheek way to introduce people to a new paradigm in broadcast media," said McKie. "We thought this approach would appeal to people who would like to hear or broadcast music or opinions that are a little left of center."

With its progressive movement in the music industry, McKie said Live365.com gives music lovers an avenue to experience a DJ's lifestyle, while maintaining their own radio station.

"(It) offers an opportunity to become known as a DJ internationally and listen to the largest selection of Internet radio stations on the web," he said.

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