Rolling Stone Launches New Online Music Service

Rolling Stone is going head-to-head with MTV. Last week, Wenner Media, Inc, announced a partnership with JamTV to create a music site on the Web. Wenner is the parent company of Rolling Stone magazine. JamTV is an eight-month-old Internet start-up that broadcasts live concerts.

The idea is to combine JamTV's technical prowess with Rolling Stone's cachet. The new service, to be called Rolling Stone Network, will compete against MTV and several other companies for the attention and dollars of online music fans.

Technology is rapidly improving for the distribution of audio and video over the World Wide Web. On November 29, Realnetworks, Inc., developer of "streaming" audio and video software, saw the price of its stock jump almost 50% on the day of its Initial Public Offering.

Jupiter Communications, which follows media trends, estimates that $12 million in advertising will be spent this year with online music sites, and that this could grow to $650 million within five years. However, neither their large public presence nor their tremendous advertising power guarantees Rolling Stone and MTV success in the online market. "The Web is very fragmented, and we don't see any one music powerhouse emerging anytime soon," analyst Mark Mooradian told Amy Harmon of The New York Times.