HITS Daily Double


More Proof That Unsigned Bands Are This Country’s Greatest Natural Resource
With any luck you'll be reading about the following in tomorrow's industry bible, the Billboard Bulletin, but if you can't wait, keep reading:

loudENERGY.com CEO Ruben R. Lozano II today announced that the company has acquired the assets of Riffage Inc., an online music company that allowed unsigned artists to post their music. Gee, what a novel idea. The assests include 20,000 bands and 30,000 songs, as well as more than a million registered users.

The acquisition comes five months after Riffage closed down operations, after it ran out of funds during a search for a merger partner. Riffage had investments from America Online, Bertelsmann Ventures, the Mayfield Fund, BMG Entertainment and TransCosmos USA. loudENERGY will be announcing a group of new artist development services on its own site in the coming weeks, and will be contacting registered Riffage members to invite them to the combined music community. Said one music industry weasel, "Now twice as many bands that nobody cares about will be in one place!"

loudENERGY has not decided whether to re-launch Riffage.com, re-branded under loudENERGY’s name, or to incorporate the Riffage community into the loudENERGY’s website. However, Riffage artists are currently being invited to log onto loudENERGY.com to have their music reviewed by the company’s A&R staff and record producers. In December, loudENERGY announced that it helped one of the band’s on the website, Transmatic, sign a deal with Immortal/Virgin. Transmatic's first album is due in late August.

During its 17-month existence, Riffage also attempted to diversify its business offline by purchasing the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, as well as 1500 Records, neither of which were part of this deal. "What good would a concert venue or a record label be to an unsigned band community?" asked Lozano.