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Monday 8 December, 2003        Home >News >NEPA News >State News
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Are you Matching?

  State News
Pennsylvania band credits their success to now defunct Web site
The Associated Press December 07, 2003
Music lovers have one less place to download a tune.

MP3.com vanished from 40 million subscribers' "Favorites" list across the world when the Web site's new owner, C-Net, a company based in San Francisco, closed down the popular site on Dec. 2.

The move will not only have an impact on music lovers but will hit many independent artists as well.

The Front Porch Country Band, a country band based in the Central Susquehanna Valley, was one of MP3.com's biggest success stories.

The group is made up of: Johnny Jolin of Hughesville; Kim Reichley, from Lewisburg; Alison and Richard Rupert of Hughesville and Joseph P. Hauserman of Elimsport.

The Web site has been instrumental in the their success as a group. "I thank MP3.com from the bottom of my heart," said lead singer Jolin.

The band racked up a million plays on the MP3.com site. According to Web site's statistics, it was the most listened to country band in the world over the last 15 months.

Those numbers have landed the band in contract talks in Nashville. In fact, Jolin said he hopes to announce a record deal early next year.

Snagging a coveted recording contract would have been much harder without MP3.com. The Web site allows musicians to speak directly to their audience.

"It was just a great tool for us to get in contact with listeners," said Jolin.

That accessibility allows independent musicians to avoid the traditional struggle to get noticed by the big record labels or radio stations and speak directly to music lovers.

"Otherwise you get discovered the hard way," he said. "While cleaning toilets or waiting on tables. This way it was a lot easier."

And once discovered on MP3.com, The Front Porch Country Band took off.

"It allowed us to compete with huge, huge, country legends."

MP3.com statistics ranked the band's songs higher than country music heavyweights, such as Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson.

The reason is simple, said Jolin.

"I think it's just the music, you put all the hype aside and the music speaks for itself."

It's an option other struggling artists won't have with the demise of MP3.com.

"Hopefully something else comes along," said Jolin, noting there are other similar sites, but none as large as MP3.com had been.

"I'd like to see another web site like MP3.com or I'd like to see it continue. It's been a great opportunity for us."

MP3.com was launched in 1997. By 2000 it had 40 million subscribers and featured a mix of major and independent artists. The site boasted 1.6 million songs and over 250,000 artists.

In 2001, the company was sold to Vivendi Universal, which in turn sold it to C-Net on Nov. 14.

___

On the Net:

The Front Porch Country Band: http://www.frontporchcountryband.com

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