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Reciprocal racing

Digital music distrib bows with 2 ex-rival exex at top

Reciprocal, a leading player involved in the digital distribution of music over the Internet, has bowed Reciprocal Music and tapped execs from rival AT&T’s a2b Music to lead the new arm.

The move accelerates the race among tech firms endeavoring to get the music industry to adopt a technology to protect digitally delivered music through a digital rights management system — an area in which Reciprocal is a leader.

The loss of two key execs will likely stymie AT&T’s efforts in the arena: Reciprocal says the new division, to be led by a2b co-founders Larry Miller and Howie Singer, will tap the existing relationships of its execs, who have a unique understanding of music industry needs.

Reciprocal is already aligned with Microsoft’s digital delivery technology, and its upcoming alliance with InterTrust will further advance its role in the marketplace.

Miller will serve as prexy, and Singer will be senior veep of business development for Reciprocal Music.

Dizzying growth

“The digital music distribution market is developing at a dizzying rate,” said Paul Bandrowski, prexy and CEO of Reciprocal. “Thus far, the market has been characterized by many offerings that address only discrete pieces of the entire problem, making it virtually impossible for music businesses and consumers to know where to turn for the technology that best suits their needs.”

Miller and Singer are highly regarded by the music industry as pioneers and innovators in digital music distribution, and their shift to Reciprocal signals a stepping up of the company’s efforts to get its technology widely adopted by the industry.

“By combining Reciprocal’s established capabilities with the a2b music team’s extensive expertise and relationships within the music industry, Reciprocal Music will hit the ground running,” said Bandrowski.

End-to-end solutions

Reciprocal, whose rights management technology is included with Microsoft’s Windows Media Technologies 4.0, is the first firm of its kind “to deliver end-to-end solutions that allow everyone in the value chain — music companies, artists, retailers, publishers and royalty management organizations — to fully realize the advantages of digital distribution,” said Miller.

Now in beta testing, Reciprocal’s rights management system in Windows Media Technologies 4.0 will be generally available in the third quarter.

The firm has also just linked with InterTrust’s MetaTrust utility to release a rights management solution built upon InterTrust’s technology.

Reciprocal’s technology will permit the secure transmission of music and provide for the collection of royalties or fees for the downloading from consumers.