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StarGig.com seeks to dominate Net music

Takes lead from MP3.com -- IPO to follow shortly

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Terry Ellis -- manager of Jethro Tull, co-founder of Chrysalis Records and erstwhile Bob Dylan interviewer* -- is attempting to break into the Internet music business with his own version of MP3.com, the US company that successfully helmed a $300 million IPO last month. StarGig.com will provide a forum for unsigned bands to release sample tracks on an unsuspecting public. Thrilled punters can then join each group's 'fan club' for $10, which will allow them to download or receive on CD the full album. StarGig.com and the band split the proceeds 50:50. That's not so far from the approach taken by MP3.com, which uses the Net to promote its roster of artists and to sell their albums on CD. And -- surprise, surprise -- Ellis wants to take the similarity a step further with a Nasdaq stock flotation at some point in the future. To give the site a starting push, Ellis also said the company had taken a 50 per cent stake in The Band Register (no relation), an online database of the world's unsigned acts. So far, it has 255,000 artists on its list. ® *He's the bespectacled guy from the student paper His Bobness gets supremely irritated with in DA Pennebaker's 1967 Dylan, if you will, rock-umentary Don't Look Back.

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