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SoundStage! Update

Where the Internet, Music and Philanthropy Meet

November 21, 2006

SoundStage! has been existence for almost 11 full years, and during that time I have corresponded with countless PR people. For the most part, we have gone about our business, knowing little or nothing about each other -- a shame from my perspective, given that some of them are interesting people with side careers in music, film and other arts.

I recently discovered that one of my PR contacts is a singer-songwriter who created an Internet-based community for musicians wanting to give a portion of their royalties to philanthropic causes. Elizabeth Pendleton has been donating some of her proceeds to the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education for over three years. Through her creation, The Royalties Group on myspace.com, musicians select a recipient, and one of their songs is included on the site’s Stream of Light playlist. Fans are able to listen to that song, hear an interview with the artist, and chat with like-minded members. If they like the music and want to purchase it, links direct them to sites such as iTunes, Mperia and Amazon, and a percentage of the purchase is donated to the artist's chosen cause.

"Over 2000 people have joined the group during the past month," Elizabeth told me. "Presently the venture is featuring L.A.-based Orris, who are donating to the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Jeff Griffith Youth Center, which helps street kids here in Hollywood. Our first artist, Peas, donates to the National MS Society."

How much money are we talking about? "Jupiter Research estimates that by 2009 download revenues will reach $806 million," says Elizabeth. "If musicians gave one dime every time one of their songs is downloaded, that figure means that more than $80 million dollars could be raised annually for worthy causes, locally and globally."

As a group, musicians are an idealistic bunch. Here's hoping that The Royalties Group becomes a home for all of them....Marc Mickelson, editor@soundstage.com

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