Fresh idea for fresh bands

Music hunters use free Web sites like Pandora Internet Radio to discover up-and-coming artists, but one newsletter service is making the search easier by delivering new artists to subscribers’ e-mail.

New Band Daily (NBD) is in its infancy when compared to music discovery giants like Pandora and Last.fm, but its innovations may set it apart – at least among college students hungry for new tunes.

NBD is a daily e-mail newsletter that introduces fresh, independent bands Monday through Friday. It provides up to 20 new bands a month. The newsletter includes a review and link to the featured band’s Web site.

The MP3s are free and legal, and the service features well-known indie acts like Of Montreal and Attack! Attack!, as well as rising acts like Caravan of Thieves and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.

The site’s design is a long way from Pandora’s, but that doesn’t mean it offers less. Songs in the newsletter or on the site can be downloaded and played on “virtually any device you want,” according to the site.

The newsletter, based in Miami Beach, began in April, but it re-designed and re-launched in September.

“We didn’t offer free music at that time, but mainly wrote music reviews,” said NBD founder Santiago Vega.

Vega said the site isn’t connected with any labels and considers all music styles, featuring “bands from around the world.”

Bands interested in working with the site go through an application process that includes uploading a photo, bio and MP3 sample. The band retains all rights, and NBD uses the information strictly for promotional purposes, Vega said.

Subscribers also have access to areas of the site – they can save profiles of bands they like and browse through older features. NBD also offers syndication, allowing users to stream the free daily MP3s to their sites.

By the end of November, mobile subscribers will be able to take advantage of the free music as well.

“If you’re a Sprint subscriber, you’ll be able to download free MP3s from our mobile site,” Vega said.

He said if the Sprint partnership flourishes, he will pursue extending the service to other carriers.

NBD enables college students to be on the forefront of music trends, but it’s also good news for bands seeking exposure and fans.

LeVar Thomas, who lives in Ocala, was recently featured.

“The newsletter makes a lot more people aware of indie acts,” Thomas said.

Like the bands it promotes, NBD has some indie charm. The homepage features a painting of three band members that reappear throughout the site like mascots. There are also links to the band’s Facebook and Twitter.

Now that the site is up and running, Vega is looking to the future and plans to revolutionize the new music hunt that consumers embark on daily.

“Who doesn’t love receiving free music?” he said.

For more information and to subscribe to the newsletter, visit newbanddaily.com.

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