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April 8, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:52pm

JAMTV GOES LIVE AND AIMS TO ROCK THE NET

By CBR Staff Writer

JAMTV, a new Web music network went live on March 31, kicking off a three-month rollout of services and broadcasts. Developed on Intel Corp technology, JAMTV claims to be the first independent, Web-based music network that can harness the power of new generation Internet technology with a virtually infinite amount of contemporary rock and alternative music. The site can be accessed from a Connected PC – either a Pentium configured with a CD ROM and version 3.0 upwards of Microsoft Explorer or Netscape Navigator. Chief executive Howard Tullman, and JAMTV partners – Jerry Mickelson, of Jam Productions Ltd and Wendy Hafner, Intel Corp Music Industry Marketing Director – introduced the network on the Consumer Online Services TV show. Haffbner says: JAMTV brings together artists and fans, and the interactive nature of the Connected PC offers new opportunities for the music industry. Interacting daily with the music industry at all levels, Jam Productions Ltd, the JAMTV partner co-founded by Mickelson 25 years ago, says it will produce more than 1,500 live music concerts across 20 states during 1997. JAMTV resembles a TV or radio network linking artists, concerts and affiliated radio stations in an Internet environment. The network combines high quality audio and video content associated with the interactivity of the Web.

By Janice McGinn

Tullman explains the concept: When you have the visual quality of modern television, up-to-the-moment currency of modern radio, and the Internet’s ability to serve multiple individual tastes simultaneously, you have a new standard for the enjoyment of music. He continues: JAMTV network is the new standard. We want to combine the best music industry experience on an independent network – the artists, major labels, concerts, editorial community, merchandising, and distribution – with the very best technology… to make for the most enriching experience possible on the Connected PC. The plan is for JamTV to provide daily concerts featuring contemporary and alternative rock, with a range of country and jazz in the offing. The Virtual Venue includes images, discographies, audio and concert material from the work of contemporary musicians. Links with 350 US radio stations, including the first JAMTV-linked station, Chicago’s Q101, which, Jam says, has a major influence on alternative programming across most US music markets. Distributed by JAMTV at concerts and other venues, the CDs will give the audience access to new music industry material at the precise times of release. The CDs include audio and video clips, connecting audiences to www.jamtv.com, and designed to unlock additional information on the CD. For instance, the CDs could include interviews, concert footage and unreleased songs, all of which are available by linking to the music network. JAMTV’s Connected CDs demonstrate the benefits of hybrid applications, combining real-time updates from the Internet with media-rich content stored on a personal computer, said Hafner. Looking to the future, development plans anticipate the widespread use of MMX for streaming video, audio multimedia content and rich graphics. It will use JAMCam, out now, a mouse-navigable, personal camera that lets audience members roam live and recorded concerts, establishing vantage points at close range. Future plans for the Connected CDs, based on Intel’s Hybrid Solution, will see JAMTV augment its live concert performances with Connected CDs that provide special backstage views, and previously unreleased material from selected artists. The JAMTV network arose from the three-way partnership, with each party claiming specific expertise in information and entertainment. Howard Tullman, chief executive, founded and managed several companies during the 1980s, and he headed CCC Information Services Inc, cited by Inc magazine as one of the US’ fastest-growing companies. Described as the quintessential entrepreneur, Tullman’s expertise in CD-ROM comes from a raft of companies specialising in CD-ROM game development, including the Blown Away cinematic game based on a film of the same name. More recently he was behind the launch of Eraser/Turnabout, which is one of the first games developed for full exploitation of the Intel MMX technology. Jerry Mickelson, the chairman of JAMTV, co- founded Jam Productions Ltd in 1971.

Unknown bands

By nurturing the promise of relatively unknown bands, the company achieved marked business and financial success. In 1996 alone, Jam produced nearly 1,500 events in North America, attended by 3.5 million people, and it achieved revenues of $85m. During 1997, it is producing a similar number of events across 20 states. Patrick Blake, president of JAMTV, is a cofounder and managing partner of Blake Carrsonn Companies, which holds controlling interests in several entertainment-related businesses, including one of Chicago’s premier recording studios, a large concert venue, and a new company that produces music- related network broadcast television and home video products. Tullman comments: JAMTVnetwork is the first industrial strength transference of familiar television or radio music to the Internet… the network retains the vast audience size and content depth of television and radio, while providing the audience with the ability to ‘individualise the music experience’. We think the opportunity is vast for JAMTV. Apart from its strong relationship with Intel, JAMTV has strategic alliances with several media and information technology companies, including BackWeb Inc, Compaq Corp, ICAT Corp, Macromedia Inc, and Progressive Networks Inc.

This article first appeared in our sister publication Multimedia Futures.

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