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Engadget Cofounder Launches Record Label 2.0

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[ Business]
Downtown Records and internet entrepreneur and Engadget cofounder Peter Rojas today launched RCRD LBL, as an online label offering free, sponsor-supported MP3s from established and emerging artists and labels across a variety of niches and genres.

Rcrdlbl_5PUMA, airline Virgin America and Nikon Inc. are among the major brands that have signed on as inaugural RCRD LBL sponsors.   

RCRD LBL is a blog-driven destination that attempts to combine an artists need to connect with young audiences who increasingly discover music on-line with sponsors looking new ways to communicate with this hard to reach demographic.

IS THIS RECORD LABEL 2.0 CHECK OUT RCRDLBL.COM AND TELL US WHAT YOU THINK?

RCRD LBL is a joint venture between Downtown Records, which has released hits from such acclaimed acts as Gnarls Barkley and Cold War Kids, and Rojas, who founded the popular online community Engadget also serves as the site’s editorial director.

“We are tremendously excited to be working together on a new model for music that combines Downtown’s talent for discovering and cultivating the hottest new artists with Peter’s experience in creating compelling web-based communities,” Deutsch and Rojas said in a joint statement. “We are convinced RCRD LBL will be a unique and innovative place on the internet to discover, enjoy and download free, legal music from an exciting roster of diverse artists and labels. RCRD LBL is proud to introduce and promote the experience of legally discovering and sharing music in a way that aligns the interests of bands, fans and brands alike.”

John Josephson, one of Downtown’s co-founders and a managing director at Allen & Company, added: “Unlike previous online music initiatives, which were created as an extension of traditional music businesses or by technology-focused entities with limited understanding of music content, Downtown’s resources and track record combined with Peter’s experience building online audiences and unparalleled relationships within the digital media industry give RCRD LBL a significant competitive advantage.”

The site will feature free exclusive tracks from both new and marquee acts, many of which have been recorded specifically for RCRD LBL. The site’s first-ever offering will be an exclusive, never before heard remix of Justice’s smash hit “D.A.N.C.E.” produced by Benny Blanco and featuring verses from Spank Rock and the legendary Mos Def. Other artists represented by exclusive songs on the site will include Junip featuring Jose Gonzalez, Switch, Eagles Of Death Metal, Spank Rock, Ra Ra Riot, Tokyo Police Club, Amanda Blank,Bad Veins, Dirty On Purpose, Meanest Man Contest, The Moths, White Denim, The Prayers, Sabrosa Purr, Kings And Queens, Skew, Jacques Renault, Professor Murder, Apes and Androids, Digitata, Sam Champion, Dax Riggs, Luxxury, Beat The Devil and others.

In addition to songs in the RCRD LBL catalog, the site will allow users to download exclusive, promotional and catalogue tracks from among the company’s extended family of labels, which include:

• Dim Mak Records (Bloc Party, Klaxons, Mystery Jets, Scanners)

• Downtown Records (Cold War Kids, Spank Rock, Eagles of Death Metal)

• Warp Records (Grizzly Bear, Squarepusher, Battles)

• Ghostly International (Mobius Band, Matthew Dear, Solvent)

• Modular Records (Wolfmother, New Young Pony Club, Cut Copy)

• Drowned In Sound (Kaiser Chiefs, Bat For Lashes, Martha Wainwright)

• Kompakt Records and Distribution (Michael Mayer, Superpitcher, The Field)

• Dirty Bird Records (Claude Von Stroke, Tanner Ross, Worthy)

• Turntable Lab (Diplo, Kid Sister, Piano Overlord)

RCRD LBL will continually make new music available, giving visitors a reason to return to the site on a daily basis.

In addition to developing sponsored widgets with PUMA, Virgin America and Nikon, RCRD LBL is also creating a custom-programmed audio channel for Virgin America’s Red™ Inflight Entertainment system (IFE). Available exclusively onboard Virgin America’s flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and San Diego, the channel will solicit listener feedback and allow passengers to chat and IM with each other as they hear new artists.

In addition to Deutsch and Rojas, key RCRD LBL executives include renowned music blogger, editor and marketer Elliot Aronow, who serves as both Creative Director and A&R person and Downtown Records A&R executive Michael Howe, who will now handle A&R responsibilities for RCRD LBL as well. 

About Peter Rojas

Peter Rojas is the founder and editorial director of Engadget, a daily blog covering gadgets and personal technology with a monthly readership of over 8 million. He is also the co-founder of Joystiq, Gizmodo, and Hackaday, editor-at-large of Switched.com, an on-air contributor to HGTV’s I Want That – Tech Toys, and in 2005 served as a guest host on G4′s Attack of the Show.

About Downtown Records

Downtown Records is an independent record label and music publishing company formed in 2006.  Downtown is distributed by Warner Music Group’s Alternative Distribution Alliance and also has a joint venture with Atlantic Records for North America. The company’s roster includes Grammy winners Gnarls Barkley, Cold War Kids, Spank Rock, Justice, Kevin Michael, Eagles of Death Metal, Art Brut and others.  Downtown Music Publishing owns or controls over 1,000 titles recorded by artists including Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Hannah Montana’s Miley Cyrus and the cast of High School Musical 2. The company also represents writer/artists signed to Downtown Records such as Cold War Kids, Carla Bruni and Kevin Michael.  Downtown is also a joint venture partner in RCRD LBL, an online, totally ad-supported digital music label which will offer free downloads in a blog format.

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