Tower Can't Wait for no RIAA

Getting a jump on the RIAA's move to create a new music-download standard (see related article), Tower Records announced last week that it will feature a new song-download service, created by Atlanta-based, on the website.

Tower will launch a special section on its online store, where customers will have the option of previewing music and selecting individual songs for digital download using Liquid Audio software., which includes Philips Electronics among its investors, will provide the content and the back-end fulfillment service for the website. The service is expected to launch later this month, and will feature selected, "themed" specials for consumers to preview and purchase from. According to Tower, the specials will focus on branded artists and labels soon to be announced.

"This service provides our customers with an enhanced online shopping experience and a greater selection for their music-delivery mediums," says Jon Feidner, General Manager of Tower's Direct-to-Consumer Division. "We're excited about adding this new functionality, not only for the opportunities it presents to our customers, but also for the increased opportunities it provides for artists and labels to sell their music. is pursuing a reasonable course for digital distribution of music, and we're happy to be a part of it." Wayne Parker, president, concurs. "Tower is recognized worldwide for its outstanding selection of diverse music and for its excellent customer service. We think this special project will help further cement Tower Records as an e-commerce leader."