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Rolling Stone gets multimedia site

The Web home of the high-profile rock magazine swallows up the JamTV site and all its multimedia bells and whistles.

A rolling stone gathers no moss, but Rolling Stone just gathered a heap of high-tech multimedia Webcasting capabilities.

As soon as next month, the high-profile rock 'n' roll publication will swallow up online music site JamTV. In exchange for what JamTV chief executive Howard Tullman called a "significant equity stake," Rolling Stone will fold JamTV and the current Rolling Stone site into the Rolling Stone Network at "rollingstone.com." While the JamTV corporation will continue to exist as a promotional company, the JamTV Web site will cease to exist.

The demise of the seven-month-old JamTV site comes amid tough competition in the online music industry, where thousands of sites from high-tech Webcasters to individual fan pages compete for ears and eyeballs.

The Rolling Stone Network will combine editorial content from Rolling Stone magazine with the Webcasting and multimedia functionality of the JamTV site. Since its launch in March of this year, JamTV had focused much of its energy in building up a high-tech site, providing streaming audio and video with technology from Microsoft, Intel, and Compaq.

But the focus on content and technology left out a crucial ingredient for success: marketing.

"They just basically were concentrated on getting technology partnerships and building up the site, and didn't put a lot of effort or resources into marketing," said JamTV spokeswoman Denise Walpole. "JamTV has a ton of great stuff to offer consumers from a technology standpoint...but what they didn't have was any brand recognition. Nobody knew what it was, which was a shame because it was such a cool site."

A "soft" launch of the new site will take place next month, with the official launch to follow in January.

Tullman described the deal as mutually beneficial. "We felt that it was a great combination of our technology and their assets," he said. He also said the company would leverage Rolling Stone's readership base of 1.2 million to drive traffic to the site. "This combination is far more than the sum of its parts," he said. "We intend to be as opportunistic as possible in establishing a worldwide brand."