Variety is reporting on what I think is the first and perhaps the only smart move by record companies when it comes to their internet strategies.
bq. Warner Music U.K. is scrapping promotional CDs of pre-release music in favor of Internet distribution. The company is using the secure Share! system developed by telco Interoute, which claims to be the first not to require recipients to install special equipment. All one needs is an Internet connection, user name and password to access his account.
This is how it supposedly works. Interoute gives Share! clients software to those supposed to get the music. An email is sent, and once that is received, the user can then stream high-quality content and download it if he has the appropriate permission.
bq. Once the user has logged on and started to download, the system inserts an antipiracy “watermark” — a unique identity tag that identifies the track, the user and the date on which the material was downloaded. Other record labels are set to sign up for the service. BMG has already used it to release Avril Lavigne’s “Don’t Tell Me” to U.K. radio stations.