UltraStar, pioneers in morphing the entertainment industry with Internet services, today launches BowieNet (www.davidbowie.com) in the United Kingdom. In a prolific career spanning over 30 years, David Bowie has always been on the cutting edge of technology and artistic endeavor and is the logical first to be part of an artist-created Internet Service Provider (ISP). The launch of the UK dial-up service for BowieNet follows on the heels of a successful US launch in September.Commenting on the launch of BowieNet, David Bowie said, "I wanted to create an environment where not just my fans, but all music fans could be part of a single community where vast archives of music and information could be accessed, views stated and ideas exchanged." UltraStar expects the BowieNet ISP to be operational worldwide by the end of 1999. Users who sign on to have BowieNet as their ISP pay a fee of $US19.95(Ã‚Â£10.00) per month. Those who wish to remain with their current provider can access BowieNet for a monthly fee of $5.95. The service offers subscribers not only essential news pertaining to business, sports and finance, but also music and entertainment content exclusive to BowieNet. In effect, BowieNet offers members the combination of exclusive access to David Bowie's visual artistry, words and music and BowieNet's unparalleled technical capabilities.
The launch of BowieNet will be kicked-off at 8:30 pm in the UK (12:30 EST) with the world's first glam rock-themed chat featuring famed music producer Tony Visconti and legendary rock photographer Mick Rock, both of whom worked closely with Bowie during his glam years as Ziggy Stardust. BowieNet member features include:
Personal home page?Each BowieNet member is given 20MB to custom build a home page.
Through a relationship with Lycos and Tripod, BowieNet members will also receive an additional 11MB in the David Bowie Pod to create fan based Web sites.
Chat?BowieNet offers members a full schedule of real-time chat sessions with Bowie and other artists and celebrities.
Songwriting competition?BowieNet members were recently invited to co-write one of Bowie's new songs, titled "What's Really Happening." The music and chorus for the song have already been penned by Bowie, leaving budding songwriters to submit three verses to complete the track. Bowie will soon be selecting the winning entry from a shortlist chosen by the public. The winner will receive a $15,000 publishing contract with Bug Music, co-writing credit and a trip to New York for the "What's Really Happening" recording.
Cybercasts?Live and archived cybercasts from Bowie and a host of other artists and celebrities are available to all BowieNet members. BowieNet will be the first open Internet site to use the Lucent 360 degree FullView Camera, which enables members to control the direction of the camera lens during a live event, allowing the user to become the "director" of the event.
Virtual CD?BowieNet subscribers will help create the very first online Virtual CD to be titled "liveandwell.com." BowieNet members will be given three songs recorded live during his 1997 EARTHLING tour and asked for their contributions for the album cover art and a 48-page insert. Two or three additional songs will be posted each month to create two pages per track for the insert. BowieNet members have been asked for photos and ticket stubs from the shows along with anecdotes and their personal reviews of shows they attended during the EARTHLING tour. BowieNet will be making set lists, pictures and other clip-art available to subscribers.
BowieNet Radio?Users will also soon be able to access BowieNet Radio where they will experience Bowie himself acting as program director and DJ.
General news & information?In both the US and the UK, content is supplied by Lycos, offering everything from news, financial information, sports and weather to less serious, but equally vital, subject matter such as lottery numbers, local TV and film listings and horoscopes. Lycos offers BowieNet users unlimited access to content, including the ability to create a personalized home page.
Exclusive content?Member privileges allows access to previously unreleased material, videos and photos. All subscribers receive a CD containing "Fun," a totally exclusive track for BowieNet members, and two unreleased live videos of "Under Pressure" and "Space Oddity." Additionally, thousands of album and concert reviews across all musical genres are updated daily.
BowieWorld? BowieWorld is the first artist/music avatar based 3-D chat environment. Through BowieWorld, users become a three-dimensional personality that can interact and chat with BowieNet members everywhere.Upgrades?Each user is given the latest version of Internet Explorer, specifically customized for www.davidbowie.com.Service & support?BowieNet provides a 24 hour, 7 day a week customer support service.
Commenting on BowieNet, Ron Roy, a partner in UltraStar, said, "With the advent of BowieNet we've been able to actualize the UltraStar vision by creating a site to satisfy the hardcore fans of the artist as well as the true music and pop culture lover. BowieNet received a tremendously positive response in the US and we believe that it will have the same impact in the UK and beyond." BowieNet's technology partner in the UK is Global Internet. Site design is overseen personally by David Bowie in conjunction with New York-based NettMedia, a new media development company specializing in Web site design and production for the entertainment industry.
About Nettmedia Nettmedia is a New York-based new media development company specializing in World Wide Web development and enhanced music CD's for the music industry and can be found on the Web at www.nettmedia.com.
About Global InternetGlobal Internet Solutions Ltd. offers a wide range of Internet products ranging from a free Web site package to full corporate sites with e-commerce and online databases. The company, who has been named "The Best ISP on the Planet" in the December issue of the UK's Internet Magazine, can be found on the Web at www.globalinternet.co.uk.
About UltraStarBased in New York, UltraStar is a management, technology partnership that specializes in the arena of Internet services, bringing major entertainment, sports and fashion clients to the world in a community-based forum delivered over the Web. The UltraStar philosophy is simple -- allow Internet users the opportunity to get "up close and personal" with their favorite personalities, in a members' influenced community via the Internet. Never before has there been an ISP gateway where the private and public worlds of famous figures has been opened with the continued support, input and materials of each star. BowieNet is UltraStar's first in a wide range of planned entertainment-focused ISPs.