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Web site performs like a video jukebox

November 4, 1997
Web posted at: 3:54 p.m. EST (2054 GMT)

By Jennifer Oldham

Heralding a new era in the convergence of video programming and the Internet, SonicNet announced Monday the debut of one of the first sites on the World Wide Web to feature an archive of full-length music videos.

SonicNet President Nicholas Butterworth will announce the launch of Streamland --, at the Musicom conference in Beverly Hills. Streamland, sponsored by Levi Strauss, will begin broadcasting November 15.

"This is just the beginning of an era in which video content is not just for TV anymore," Butterworth said.

Although many music sites offer audio and video clips for users to download, few offer videos like Streamland will -- in a format similar to an audio jukebox, where users can access a selection of videos instantly via RealNetworks new "streaming" video software.

Developed in conjunction with Miami-based digital music video TV channel The Box, the site will offer more than 100 alternative, hip-hop and punk videos. Music fans will also be able to generate a "Top 20" list based on videos accessed at the site during the last 24 hours.

New York-based SonicNet, known for its music news, online concerts and its focus on alternative bands, will add more than 10 videos each week to the archive.

Labels that have signed on to participate in Streamland include Interscope, Def Jam, Epitaph, Matador, Razor Sharp and Loud. The collection will feature work not available over mainstream music video venues like MTV and VH-1, Butterworth said.

"This will give people more exposure to both developing and established artists and will provide an outlet for the tons of videos that are created that don't get played," said David Saslow, a spokesman in Interscope's video promotion department.

Video clips played over the World Wide Web will still not attain the quality of cable TV. But Joanne Marino, editor in chief of WebNoise, an online magazine that tracks music sites, said new software had made a big difference.

"RealVideo 5.0 is pretty impressive," she said. "There's a ramping up that's going on here, and there's been marked improvements."

(c) 1997, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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