WARNER BROS. RECORDS debuted its World Wide Web Internet site Aug. 15 (http:/www.wbr.com) with another de-but--that of the first single, "Warped," from the forthcoming Red Hot Chili Peppers album, "One Hot Minute," due out Sept. 13. The single went online three days prior to its release to radio. Warner is putting together a "hot minute" of music, composed of sound bites from every song on the album, which will be made available for download beginning this week. Warner also plans to preview videoclips and other songs online, according to the label's new media director, Todd Steinman, and is running a slow striptease of the album cover--veiling puzzle pieces over the course of the month before the Sept. 13 launch. The strategy is one that Warner intends to pursue with other releases online, Steinman says.
WARNER BROS. JAZZ, meanwhile, is showing off its hot new look in the "WB Jazz Space," its revamped arena in the comprehensive Jazz Online (http:// www.), which is hotlinked to the sister Warner Bros. Records site. Randall Kennedy, Warner's senior director of marketing and sales, jazz, has big plans for the jazz site--including a live audio/ video online event based on the new Xing technology (Billboard, Aug. 19) marking the kickoff of Joshua Redman's world tour in October. He also has lots of the lower-tech information his visitors clamor for. "They want to know simple things: 'Who's producing? Who are the side guys?'" Kennedy says. "These things mean a lot to the jazz lever." Audioclips, peppered throughout, are also crowd pleasers, he says.
ELEKTRA RECORDS IS adding a live-chat feature to its recently launched World Wide Web arena (http://www.elektra.com) and will inaugurate the section with a "live" appearance by recording artist Natalie Merchant Wednesday (23) at 8 p.m. EST.
Merchant, who is promoting her new album, "Tigerlily," will be the first in a planned series of Elektra artists stopping by to chat in real time with Web visitors within the label site, Elektra says.
To take part in the chats, users first need to download a special software program, "Global Chat," which is being made available for free through developer Prospero Systems' home page (http://www.prospero.com). The chat room is accessible through a link within the Elektra site, which is designed as a "virtual" office, complete with snaps of Elektra employees at work.
STEVE RACE, who abruptly resigned as president of Sony Computer Entertainment of America Aug. 8 (Billboard, Aug. 19), is back on top--at Spectrum HoloByte. Race was named CEO of the Alameda, Calif.-based game publisher two days after leaving SCEA, which is the Sony arm charged with the Sept. 9 U.S. launch of Sony's new video-game unit. Spectrum HoloByte's most recent project is the just-out CD-ROM "Star Trek: The Next Generation--The Final Unity." Martin Homlish, formerly senior VP of the consumer products group of Sony Electronics, took the SCEA reins as acting president.