Rounder Records Signs Net Deal with Liquid Audio

The Rounder Records Group, one of the largest independent record labels in the US, has signed on with Liquid Audio for digital music distribution on the Internet. As of April 28, Rounder will offer a substantial portion of its catalog for sale by digital download.

More than 10,000 songs by hundreds of folk, blues, bluegrass, reggae, and zydeco artists will be made available for promotion and sale to music lovers via the Internet. The Rounder catalog is also available to retailers and music sites to resell to consumers through Liquid Audio's distribution services---including and 240 other music sites in the Liquid Music Network, where fans can download the Liquid Music player.

Widely respected as a premier independent music company, the Rounder Records Group includes numerous specialty labels, including Philo, Bullseye Blues & Jazz, Zoe and Heartbeat Records, as well as Rounder Records itself. Founded in 1970, Rounder has preserved traditional and contemporary music from all over the world, ranging from Appalachian to African, from a cappella to new acoustic instrumental, from bluegrass to rock'n'roll.

"We are pleased to welcome The Rounder Records Group and their rich cultural music catalog to the Liquid family," said Liquid Audio's vice president of label relations, Dick Wingate. "Liquid Audio's goal is to help artists and record labels leverage the Internet as a powerful new medium to reach their fans and sell music online."

Music labels can no longer afford to ignore the marketing opportunities offered by the Internet, according to Rounder's president, John Virant. "The Rounder Records Group has chosen to work with Liquid Audio because we believe it is important to make our music available for more people to enjoy." Virant believes that the Net will boost in-store music sales rather than detract from them. "We are convinced that the more people hear our music on the Internet, the more they will visit retail stores. We decided to offer our music through Liquid Audio because it offers a secure, copyrighted, and controlled solution that is also available to music retailers."

According to a recent Liquid Audio press release, more than 15,000 artists are currently using Liquid Audio to distribute more than 300,000 digital tracks and previews. Supported formats include Dolby Digital AC-3 and AAC, with MP3 support due soon. Supported players include Liquid Player software, and, soon, RealNetworks RealPlayer G2 and the large installed base of MP3 players, including Diamond Multimedia's Rio.