Backstage Free with the Price

Backstage Free with the Price of a CD: Even as the parent company remains in turmoil, Vivendi Universal Net USA (VUNet USA) has launched “Backstage VIP”. Here’s how it works: It is a service that gives CD buyers access to premium multimedia content from artists. To access this content, fans with a copy of a Backstage VIP-enabled CD, such as Nellyville (te new Universal Records release by rapper Nelly), insert their CD into a CD-ROM drive and visit or a direct URL link provided on the album. Using VUNet USA’s Beam-it recognition software that instantly identifies the CD, the album is verified and the owner is invited to register to become a “Backstage VIP”.

Expect such fan-focused services to become common in the future. Recently, Digital World Services, a digital distribution and rights management subsidiary of Bertelsmann, launched a “fan-focused” online subscription service, called BeFANattic. For more details, see this story (free registration required).

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