The direct sale of music over the Internet -- until now mainly the province of garage bands and independent record labels -- will be hitting the mainstream under separate deals involving Capitol Records Inc. and America Online Inc.
Beginning today, fans of Duran Duran will be able to buy and download onto their home computers two versions of the band's new single a month before the Capitol album reaches stores.
Also this week, America Online is expected to announce plans to sell downloadable music through the Hub, its popular music and entertainment site, according to a person involved in the deal.
The Duran Duran song, "Electric Barbarella," will be available tomorrow at http: //hollywoodandvine.- com, in a basic version for 99 cents and in a longer, Internet-only remix for $1.99, said Robin Bechtel, Capitol's senior director for new media. The album, "Medazzaland," is set for release Oct. 14.
It is believed to be the first time a major record label will sell music directly via computer, as opposed to taking on-line orders for CDs to be shipped by mail. Capitol plans on-line sales of five other new singles this year, Bechtel said.
Both Capitol and America Online are teaming up with Liquid Audio Inc., a California software company whose technology enables music to be digitally "watermarked" for copyright protection.
And by Christmas, several electronics companies are expected to be selling CD recorder machines -- CD-Rs -- for around $300. These enable PC users to download music onto blank CDs.
Pub Date: 9/08/97