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Web Events (more headlines) 03-01-2014

OpenAura Redefines The Visual Experience Of Music

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Artists cultivate their image almost as carefully as they craft their songs, yet their digital identity is often reduced to just a bio and a photo. This limited content set is served to fans across music services yet it comes nowhere near to satisfying the appetite of today's fans - and artists have no control over what content their fans ultimately see. OpenAura, the only platform where artists control and make money from their digital identity, aims instead to bring music to life through linking photos, artwork, information, and more to the music services, apps, and websites fans love, resulting in a deeper, dynamic experience for all.

"Finally, there's a digital music solution that includes artists, allowing them to both control their image and receive compensation for their efforts"

OpenAura, now available worldwide, allows artists to curate their Digital Aura - the images, information, artwork, and social media feeds that best define their online identity - which music partners can leverage to offer authentic, up-to-date, artist-curated experiences. This creates new opportunities for music services to create next-generation music experiences for their users, as well as a new income stream for artists who share in the resulting revenue from the licensing of their Auras.

OpenAura has already created hundreds of thousands of Auras, which artists can search for and claim to start participating today, joining the artists of leading management companies, including Arts & Crafts (Broken Social Scene, The Darcys); Crush Music (Fall Out Boy, Train, Sia); Red Light Management (Kool & The Gang, OAR, Switchfoot); TMWRK (Diplo, Dillon Francis); and Zeitgeist Artist Management (Postal Service, The Head and The Heart), who are early partners of the platform.

"In today's world where fans engage directly with artists in many ways across many networks and platforms, the 80s-bio-and-photo-press-kit version of identity isn't good enough," said OpenAura founder and CEO Kevin Arnold. "With connected screens everywhere and fans consuming and creating content at breakneck pace, the industry needs a better visual content offering to move music user experiences forward. OpenAura exists to give artists a direct hand in creating these experiences as well as a new stream of revenue to compensate them."

Artists can now sign up for free to claim and begin curating their digital identity. Music services, app developers, and websites will soon be able to incorporate these Auras via API. Licensing revenue collected by OpenAura will be shared with the artists and content partners who participate in the platform. For more information, please visit www.openaura.com.

"Finally, there's a digital music solution that includes artists, allowing them to both control their image and receive compensation for their efforts," said Dan Kruchkow, CMO of Crush Music. "Not only can artists like Fall Out Boy more fully express the vision behind their music and connect directly with fans, but they can benefit financially from the experience as well. This is not only a new way to experience digital music, but also sets a standard for how the tech and music communities can work together."

"The digital identity of an artist is critical to telling the story of who they are and where they are going. It is exciting to have access to a platform that empowers managers with a way to better engage fans with a curated experience," said Red Light Management General Manager Jonathan Azu.

The San Francisco-based OpenAura was conceived by Kevin Arnold while at Sony Music Entertainment, which incubated the initial idea and subsequently provided seed funding for the company. Kevin is also the founder of both the Noise Pop Festival and the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA). He guided IODA from its launch in 2003 to become a leader in digital distribution, supporting thousands of labels and generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the independent label community. After the acquisition of IODA by Sony Music Entertainment in 2009, Kevin served as a senior advisor to SME's Global Digital Business group until April 2013, when he turned his focus to building OpenAura.

"We are pleased to be supporting the creation and launch of OpenAura," said Dennis Kooker, President, Global Digital Business and U.S. Sales, Sony Music Entertainment. "Digital music is increasingly becoming an audiovisual experience which is being driven by smart phones, tablets and connected TVs that require strong visual programming elements. We look forward to working with OpenAura as it focuses on enriching the music experience and driving even greater consumer engagement in a way that benefits artists, rights holders, and digital services."

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