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IODA Launches International Music Discovery Initiative at WOMEX 2006

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SAN FRANCISCO & SEVILLE, Spain (Jill Mango Media) - IODA founder and CEO Kevin Arnold addresses the WOMEX 06 conference today in Seville, Spain, with a presentation entitled 'Crossing Borders: International Music Discovery in the Digital Marketplace'. The presentation examines the opportunities and challenges of marketing the diverse landscape of music from around the world to the new global, digital audience. For more information about the 'Crossing Borders: International Music Discovery in the Digital Marketplace' presentation and a downloadable PDF of the slideshow document, please visit

As the digital music marketplace has come of age in these first years of the new millennia, it has brought great promise to the creators and proponents of independent and niche music across the globe. The unlimited shelf space of online music stores like iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, Napster and the like has freed artists and labels of the distribution constraints and territorial limitations that create barriers for reaching potential fans. Yet many of the same cultural barriers that have traditionally stood in the way of creating a global marketplace have carried over into the digital world.

Nearly 20 years after the 'World Music' genre was first defined as a way to classify non-Western music, WOMEX 2006 provides an appropriate context in which to examine the challenges that still exist in discovering music from outside of one's cultural comfort zone. IODA prides itself in its position as the leading digital distributor of world music and counts the genre's top labels among its clients, including World Music Network, Wrasse, Sterns, World Connection, and World Village. Its diverse catalog offers tracks from Seu Jorge, Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, Rachid Taha, Salif Keita, Baaba Maal, Mariza, Orchestra Baobab, Sara Travers, Tinariwen, Boubacar Traoré, and also includes the World Music Networks' acclaimed Rough Guide compilation series.

Yet, as IODA's catalog has grown in the past several years it has also come to include a vast collection of international repertoire that falls beyond the traditional scope of what the world music genre represents, and this music often finds itself under- and mis-represented in the standard genre discovery hierarchies commonly employed by digital music retailers. Arnold's presentation reviews the current state of digital music discovery tools and systems with a focus on the world music genre, and proposes a simple, technology-based regional browse and filtering solution which uses the inherent territory and location data of artists and labels to increase discoverability across all styles of music in the global landscape. This type of regional filtering system can easily and quickly be integrated into the existing discovery platforms employed by most digital music retailers today, using existing territory and location data sources. By way of example, IODA will shortly launch a regional filter-enabled version of its own renowned music discovery and promotional portal, Promonet, at

'The potential to expand the audience of non-Western music has never been greater,' said Arnold. 'It has been an enlightening experience to expand the horizons of my own personal music sphere as IODA's catalog has grown to include diverse content from across the globe, and we look forward to helping the digital music industry better serve both music fans and artists around the world with this initiative.'

'When we coined the term 'World Music' nearly 20 years ago, we did so to help traditional record shops make sense of non-Western releases and give their customers a designated place to discover international/roots music,' said Charlie Gillett, journalist and host of BBC's 'A World of Music'. 'Now digital distribution via the internet has opened up many opportunities for world music to extend its reach even further beyond the borders of the countries from which each record comes. I'm pleased that IODA has made fostering international music discovery a priority and applaud their suggestions for more helpful classification of this music.'

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