Pearl Jam and Verizon go mobile for live bootlegs

Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:46am EDT
 
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By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Pearl Jam has struck a deal with Verizon Wireless' V Cast service to sell select tracks from the authorized live bootlegs that will be available in conjunction with the band's upcoming summer tour, which begins Wednesday (June 11) in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Under this extension of Pearl Jam's long-running live bootleg program, three tracks from each show (excluding Bonnaroo) will be available immediately afterward via V Cast and PearlJamConcerts.com -- one as a free mobile download and two others for purchase.

All V Cast tracks will be "dual downloads," meaning that once purchased, they are sent to both the mobile phone and the user's computer. They will feature Verizon's existing digital rights management (DRM) system and will also be sold as ringtones and ringbacks.

The Verizon deal also includes mobile tickets. Any fan downloading any type of Pearl Jam content from V Cast -- going back to the beginning of the year -- is eligible to win seats to an upcoming show. Tickets will be sent directly to the phones of winning fans, in the form of a barcode that can be scanned at the venue's entrance.

In addition, DRM-free digital tour bootlegs will be sold in FLAC format. A less expensive MP3 option will also be available, with all digital versions hitting PearlJam.com exclusively two weeks after each show.

In the past Pearl Jam has used a proprietary download tool to help fans manage acquisition of their bootlegs, but it isn't doing so this time, Pearl Jam fan club manager Tim Bierman told Billboard.com. "Customers will download through their individual browsers. Those needing help with larger files/slower connections will be advised to use a free download manager available on the Web," Bierman said.

The bootleg series, which began on CD in 2000 but went digital-only for Pearl Jam's 2006 tour, will once again have a physical component this summer. CDs will be manufactured on demand and will be mailed within three weeks of the show.

Reuters/Billboard

 
<p>Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam, opens with his band for U2 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, December 9, 2006. REUTERS/Lucy Pemoni</p>