Pyramind Supports TowerPod Independent Music Initiative

San Francisco, CA (May 2, 2006)--Pyramind: The Institute For Advanced Digital Audio Training, is supporting the new Tower Records podcasting service, "TowerPod," by housing their production studios on the school premises and staffing the podcasting production team with their current students and alumni.
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San Francisco, CA (May 2, 2006)--Pyramind: The Institute For Advanced Digital Audio Training, is supporting the new Tower Records podcasting service, "TowerPod," by housing their production studios on the school premises and staffing the podcasting production team with their current students and alumni.

"The TowerPod project is a great example of Pyramind offering student support in the music industry," said Greg Gordon, director and president of Pyramind. "Our goal of teaching music production technology to students and preparing them for the real world of the music industry is perfectly served by their involvement with this new podcasting service."

The 90-store Tower Records chain announced the new online podcasting service powered by Outhink, Inc. at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX in March. The podcasts, much like a "recorded" radio broadcast with music, DJ chatter and advertisements, went live at SXSW last March. TowerPod will let consumers create their own podcasts--audio and video shows for a computer or portable media player-using a catalog of some 6,000 free songs that Outhink will offer from independent labels and artists.

The company is also creating a large volume of podcasts themselves, and this is where Pyramind helps out. The new Outhink offices and production studios are located at the San Francisco South of Market Pyramind school location. Pyramind students staff the production studio and help create the podcasts for TowerPod's own releases.

Doyle Johnson, a graduate of Pyramind and studio owner in one of of Pyramind's "incubator" spaces at the school, has his own podcast--"Tycoon's Independent Hip Hop Show"--and is listed on the TowerPod.com website as the first hip hop podcast. Johnson said, "My podcast is all about giving a voice to hip hop artists so they can tell the world what they have going on with their music, performance and production techniques. Whatever they want to talk about. There are so many talented people out there, I just want my show to help them connect with people they might not have a chance to, like record companies or promoters."

On his show, Johnson plays two tracks from the artist and then picks a topic to discuss. Along with other interns at TowerPod who are Pyramind students, Johnson is paid to edit some podcasts from other producers. Johnson has information about "Tycoon's Independent Hip Hop Show" at: www.myspace.com/tycoon_9800.

Outhink is promising to pay both artists and consumers from any revenue the service generates from the sale of ads that will be included in the podcasts. Consumers will get "free" music within the podcast and "indie" artists get free promotion. Major labels have not started to let their music be distributed on podcasts, which don't have digital-rights management to keep consumers from giving the files to others free of charge. The artists available on the service are signed to smaller labels and have joined the Independent Online Distribution Alliance to facilitate the process.

"It's an excellent way to champion the breaking of new music as well as promote established artists that are not considered relevant to the highly formatted genres of mainstream radio," said Morty Wiggins, head of 33rd Street Records, (a label owned by Tower), in a recent Fortune Magazine article about the new TowerPod service.

Any revenue generated from advertising, Outhink says, will be divided between a large group that includes the producer who created the podcast, the artist, the label and the publishers who created or own the music.

"When Morty first mentioned the project to me I knew it was a great fit for the facilities at Pyramind," added Gordon. "It was a win-win situation where I was able to help on multiple fronts by designing and installing the podcast studio in less than a month as well as providing qualified students with great job opportunities and experience and recommending great PJ's (podcast jockeys) from the Pyramind family like Mo Mellady of Planet Check Radio, Steffen Franz of Positive Sound Massive and The Independent Distribution Collective."

Wiggins added, "Our current podcasts are really just a first step in what we plan will be a personal media hub. This summer there will be a place at TowerPod.com where fans can create their own playlists, mashups and other personal media expressions."

For more information on the service please visit: www.towerpod.com.

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