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Tower Records Indie Music Via Podcasts

Washington Post -- Hoping to lure back some lost customers, Tower Records is looking to give away some music. A new service from the music retail chain, which will be unveiled at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, will allow users to download Internet radio programs, or podcasts, at a new web site TowerPod.com

The move might be the first time the retail chain has acknowledged the popularity of podcasts and music downloads, now that the popular iTunes online music store from Apple Computer has started to outsell its "brick-and-mortar" competitors. Tower hopes to generate revenue from the service by inserting commercials at the beginning and end of the free, downloadable half-hour programs.

Tower's deejays will assemble shows from a library of 6,000 songs from independent record labels. The tracks will be provided by San Francisco-based Independent Online Distribution Alliance, a digital music service that represents more than 1,500 independent music publishing labels. Kevin Arnold, founder of the service, said his organization is working with his client record labels to make more tracks available on the service.

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