Spanish labels body Promusicae is asking U.S. music radio stations to use its free online digital distribution service Ritmonet to source new Spanish singles.

Carlos García Doval, Promusicae's director of planning and development, visited New York recently to present Ritmonet to 300 college radio stations, a move which, he tells, will help boost U.S. radio airplay for Spanish releases.

Promusicae's visit was part of the Sounds From Spain initiative by the country's music industry organizations, including Promusicae, which started last month.

The trade mission opened an opportunity for Promusicae to market Ritmonet, which was created in 2005, to the U.S. Music-radio market.

The (U.S.) station directors were "surprised that a single distribution source exists to supply nearly all new releases to nearly all the music radio stations in a single country," Doval says.

That is the case in Spain, where some 55 labels (including the four majors) distribute newly released singles to some 1,000 stations through Ritmonet,

"These constitute about 90% of legal music stations, and close to 100% of music station listeners in Spain, as all the big radio groups such as Cadena SER and Cadena 100 participate," Doval adds.

He says similar systems as Ritmonet exist in a few European countries such as France and Germany, but there is no such centralized new-release digital distribution model in the United States.

Ritmonet has started supplying its service to three stations outside Spain. They include Radio Miami International in Miami (Fl.), Radio Arrells in southern France, and a station in Andorra, a small nation-state between Spain and France.

"But we think this can work in the United States as an excellent way of promoting Spanish music released by Spanish labels", Doval explains.

However, international releases by artists such as Madonna are not included in the U.S. offer, and all the instructions for usage have been translated into English for U.S. radio.

Promusicae's accumulated investment in Ritmonet stands at about €300,000 ($374,000), which includes computer equipment and rental space in a data center close to Madrid.

Promusicae is Spain's International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) affiliate, and has 85 record label members.