Vancouver Sun: "Download technology speeds music delivery"

Developed in Vancouver, system takes new releases straight to air

Vancouver Sun
Vancouver, April 26, 2007 ---A technology developed by Vancouver company Destiny Media Technologies that distributes pre-release music to radio stations has been embraced by classic rockers Loverboy, whose record company released the band's new single on Tuesday using the technology.

Loverboy and label RockSTAR Music sent the single The One That Got Away to radio stations digitally using Play MPE, developed by Destiny Media. The technology has been the industry standard in the U.S. for two years, but was only made available in Canada last week.

RockSTAR is among a handful of Canadian labels using the technology -- which delivers music, graphics and song information to authorized computers that have been registered with the system. The labels allows content to be exported to CD, in which case a forensic watermark identifies the original source through the analog duplication and compression process.

Play MPE is used in the U.S. by major labels Universal, EMI, Warner and Sony BMG. In Canada, two as-yet-unidentified major labels are testing the system.

Destiny Media Technologies CEO Steve Vestergaard said the system allows radio stations to "preview, download and export secure high-definition tracks directly into the software packages they use to go to air," and allows record companies to save money in postage and courier costs, ensures that the proper recipient gets it, and safeguards the product against piracy.

"There will be a big saving to labels if they can transition everything over," said Vestergaard, who was slower to bring the technology to his home country because of competition from Musicrypt, an Ontario firm.

Destiny Media Technologies, which has 25 employees, charges record companies to use its MPE software. The system is automated, so labels use encoder software and manage their own recipient lists. Some recipients can only use their personal computers to download songs, while others are given the capability to export it to a CD or iPod.

Unlike the mail and courier system, which varies in delivery times, Play MPE ensures all radio stations and other recipients receive the music on the same date. It also eliminates office theft of the products. The record labels can monitor who has the music and who has exported the song to CD.

Vestergaard said his company has partnered with Clear Channel in the U.S., whose subsidiary company, Mediabase, reports which radio stations play which songs, and when they play them.

Play MPE, which was launched in 2004, is currently used by 800 labels in the U.S. and Canada, who have launched 42,000 songs through the system. Vestergaard said 90 per cent of radio stations in the U.S. are receiving songs via Play MPE.

The system is also being tested in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.

The Vancouver company has developed a similar system for music videos, but the videos aren't yet protected.

Keith Loh