Karaoke online service wins POPKOMM IMEA Award

September 18, 2005 There’s an old Zimbabwean saying which goes along the lines of “if you can walk you can dance, if you can talk you can sing” – noble sentiments indeed, and completely untrue if you have friends who like karaoke. Well now you’ll be pleased to know that there are no longer enough places to hide – on-line technology has caught up and you cannot escape as karaoke has gone on-line. Indeed, so impressive is the new KSolo internet karaoke service that it picked up first prize on Wednesday evening when the Popkomm IMEA 2005 Awards (Innovation in Music & Entertainment Awards) were announced in Berlin. Though a global field of innovative music industry innovators entered, American-based companies took out all the rostrum positions with online talent market Sonic Bids and musical fingerprinting company Gracenote second and third.

IMEA 2005 patron and member of the jury Herbert Gronemeyer commented: "There are many people willing to see winds of change take hold in the recording industry. Personally, I welcome the idea of a forum for new companies to present themselves and their ideas, and for this reason I was delighted to accept the invitation to be on the panel at the Popkomm IMEA", said the German pop star and director of Gronland Records. "The quality of the finalists was excellent throughout, ", said Gerd Leonard, CEO of the digital media agency ThinkAndLink (Basel /San Francisco) and Chairman of the Popkomm IMEA panel. "All the participants had prepared extremely well and did a great job presenting their companies". He added that Popkomm IMEA, now in its 2nd year, has already achieved international recognition. "Initially there were over 1,000 inquiries from around the world. In the end 300 companies from 20 countries submitted their applications", continued Leonhard.

KSolo is the world's first internet-based karaoke service that, in addition to offering a vast library of sing-along tracks - lets users sing and record, and share their favourite songs (via email or ecards). KSolo's innovations work with any computer, only a broadband internet connection and microphone are needed.

Sonic Bids is a fast growing online talent market and community that already comprises 1000s of members from 107 countries. Gracenote

GraceNote is one of the leading providers of music-related technologies and data services, worldwide, and has created a new, voice-controlled playlist program which manages a database containing 48 million tracks. In addition to ongoing publicity and media coverage, the 1st prize will receive a free booth at Popkomm 2006, and the 2nd and 3rd prizes will receive free registrations.

A total of 14 finalists presented their ideas to the audience and panel (all finalists are listed at www.imea2005.com)

In addition to IMEA founder and Chairman Gerd Leonhard and Patron Herbert Gronemeyer this year's also included Jim Griffin, Cherry Lane Digital CEO; Rupert Perry, Tim Renner, MD of Motor Music in Berlin / Germany; David Pakman, Managing Director, Dimensional Associates; Peter Vesterbacka, Founder, Global Leader Business Enablement, HP Mobile E-Services Bazaar, Hewlett-Packard Company; Ralph Simon, Owner of the Mobilium Group and Chairman of the Mobile Entertainment Forum; Alison Wenham, Association of Independent Music Chairman & CEO, Kelli Richards, President of the All Access Group; Horst Weidenmueller CEO of !K7 and Chief of VUT Digital, and Dave Goldberg, Head of Music at Yahoo!. Popkomm IMEA 2005 media-partners include Billboard, Der Musikmarkt, Musically, Digital Media Wire and European Tech Wire.

The 17th Popkomm will be taking place on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds from 14 to 16 September. Numerous trade visitors from all over the world are expected to attend this business platform for the music and entertainment sectors. With its Exhibition, Festival and Congress sections this event, one of the world's leading meeting places for the industry, provides three forums for its participants, who represent not only the core area of the music business but also come from a number of other associated fields such as advertising, film, fashion, consumer electronics, mobile entertainment and the live sector. This is the second Popkomm and it is again taking place in Berlin. In 2005 the partner country is Spain, and Popkomm 2005 is being organized by Popkomm GmbH, Berlin.

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