Universal Music Group - the world's largest music company - is announcing an alliance with America Online, USA Networks and MTV Networks to find and promote new talents through the Web. Sources said the label, to be housed at FarmClub.com, will let unsigned artists digitally submit recordings for fans. Anyone who uploads music can compete for a major record label, and Universal Music will market and distribute selected Farm Club releases using both the Internet and traditional channels. Artists who turn to FarmClub.com will be in the running to appear on a new weekly TV show on the USA Network. The program will be linked to the FarmClub.com Web site.
In exchange for a 3% stake, AOL will provide about $100 million in promotion for FarmClub on its welcome screen and main music sites.
The new Universal record label will be called Jimmy and Doug's Farm Club.
Many in the industry are worried because they think that the Internet will steal some business.