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"By offering its music as legitimate downloads through EMusic, Matador is providing its artists with an extra source of revenue and promotion."
—--Ray Farrell, EMusic
VEVENDI UNIVERSAL: ONLINE WHIRLIGIG
Bevy of Offerings Proves VU Does More Before Noon Than We Do In A Month
Ever the busy conglomerate, Vivendi Universal has been barraging the wires with announcements of late, and their initiatives reflect an involvement with everything from wireless to interactive music education--and let's not forget good ol' fashioned downloads!

The media and utlities giant has teamed with Netonomy to manage its Universal Music Mobile Service. Along with communications company Cegetel (owned by Vivendi), Vivendi Universal will use MyNetonomy as the self-service portal for Universal Music Mobile, which delivers Vivendi Universal content to SFR wireless GSM network subscribers throughout France including new music previews, music news, concert dates, and discounted CDs. Oui! On-demand music news is all the rave in gay Paris. The entertainment conglomerate hopes MyNetonomy will help improve customer satisfaction and speed up service.

Also, VU-owned EMusic has signed a downloadable-music deal with indie label Matador Records, adding to the MP3 music service's list of over 200,000 MP3s. Matador additions include tracks from artists such as Guided By Voices, Belle & Sebastian, Cat Power, Mogwai and Superchunk, among others. EMusic's Director of Music Acquisition, Ray Farrell, had this to say about the union: "By offering its music as legitimate downloads through EMusic, Matador is providing its artists with an extra source of revenue and promotion." Added one indie-music fan, "You mean I'll finally have a chance to pay for Mogwai downloads? Somebody pinch me!"

But it's really all about education, as you're well aware. Thus, InsideSessions, Universal Music Group's joint venture with Penguin Putnam Publishing, has released its interactive course supplements for institutions of higher learning. The online "distance learning provider" and coursework publisher XanEdu has come on board to bring customized lessons from popular recording artists and authors into the college classroom. The programs were created to supplement InsideSessions' online learning programs, which offer advice and guidance from artists such as Elton John, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Shaggy and Fred Durst, and authors including Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Clancy and Nora Roberts, among others. XanEdu is distributing the CoursePacks to educators in music and writing programs at selected universities. In a related story, Durst's illuminating Foucaultian take on fractured subjectivity in the work of seven late-Victorian English poets is slated to be published early next quarter, while an excerpt from Shaggy's investigation of postmodernism as a trope in vector mathematics can be found in the current issue of Diacritics.

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