Retail Briefs: NARM Upgrades Database, IRIS To Distribute Saban Artists
Retail Briefs: NARM Upgrades Database, IRIS To Distribute Saban Artists

NARM Upgrades Database
NARM has rolled out upgrades to its 15-year old database of music releases, which is dubbed the NARM Product Platform.
Starting this week, the product database features a new, streamlined web interface that allows for simpler queries and improved search options while providing uniform metadata, thus enabling retailers to more accurately populate their backend systems.

For example, newly enabled algorithms allow correction of issues including artist naming variations (i.e., "The Beatles" vs. "Beatles, The"); featured artist references; "parentheticals" such as (live), (bonus track), and (acoustic); and messaging around catalog deletions. These algorithms, a press release notes, aim to improve the workflow for retailers, labels, and content providers - and, ultimately, benefit the consumer by making it easier to locate music through legitimate commerce channels.

NARM will now move into Phase 2 of the upgrade, an expansion the database to include digital and mobile product data from all four major labels and leading indie aggregators, which is expected to launch in early 2012.

A short video outlining the new system's capabilities can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/23642503.

"Music is not just a product or service-based business; it is an information-technology business," explained NARM VP of digital strategy and business development Bill Wilson. "The backbone of that business is a collection of robust databases that can work together to provide accurate data on any release to trading partners around the world. The NARM Product Platform is intended to be a node in that system."

The NARM Product Platform is available to all qualified music commerce partners. Retailers do not need to be members of NARM to use the service, and can request a user ID at www.narm.com/services/database/narm-distributor-database/request-user-id. Suppliers who would like more information can email NARM's manager of information systems, Vinny Goffin, at goffin@narm.com.

IRIS To Distribute Saban Artists
IRIS Distribution will provide worldwide digital distribution for artists represented by Saban Brands, whose portfolio includes Paul Frank and Power Rangers, according to an announcement from the digital music aggregator. Under the relationship, IRIS will distribute curated compilations under the Paul Frank name. In addition, IRIS will distribute music from the series Power Rangers Samurai to digital retailers for the first time.

"With these music releases, we aim to continue to establish Paul Frank and Power Rangers as entertainment brands with a transmedia strategy approach that builds, enhances and extends their appeal," Saban Brands president Elie Dekel said in a statement.