April 2, 2001, 12:00 AM

Streaming audio is the next music frontier, head of MP3 says

MP3 Chairman Michael Robertson tells iEB Expo that the downloading of music and other entertainment will soon be obsolete.

The internet has radically changed the way music is sold and distributed--but the changes are not over yet, Michael Robertson, Chairman and CEO of MP3.com told attendees at the Internet and E-Business Conference & Expo on Monday. Downloading music, as consumers do at Napster, will soon be obsolete, Robertson said.

"We`re moving to a streaming world," he said. "Why download all that music and lug it around with you? Leave all the storage online."

With myriad ways to connect to the internet, consumers will still have music at their fingertips, Robertson said, although it will be delivered in a format appropriate to where the consumer is listening. "We`ll be able to see that a consumer is in his car with a 50k connection and we can stream for a 50k connection. If the consumer is at home, we`ll stream it for a DSL connection."

Music labels benefit because such streaming would allow them to know who is buying an artist`s music and how often the consumer is listening to it.

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