Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and other pop stars are among initial investors in a new internet music portal that hosts official websites for a number of famous bands. Music3w.com has already signed UB40, Bryan Adams, Republica, Mike and the Mechanics, and Genesis.In return, these artists will get a cut of revenue earned from their websites and any fees generated from traffic to other parts of the portal. Hamish Pringle, director of marketing at Music3w, said: "Cybersquatting is endemic in the music business.
"Any music artist has two to three hundred unofficial websites from which they receive no revenue. We want to give them fair reward for their creativity."
Music3w.com's editorial team will write news and features for more than 60 bands, while the artists themselves will provide exclusive content such as music, concert news and internet chats.
Related goods can be purchased via its e-commerce partner Boxman, one of Europe's largest online music retailers.
Although Mr Pringle insisted that Music3w was not getting into the rock star management business, the website is likely to run up against competition from rivals such as music group EMI which already has internet sites for some of its contracted stars.
Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford have contributed part of the initial backing of pounds 3m. Hewlett-Packard, the website's technology partner, has provided pounds 2m of debt funding. >
Music3w insisted that the company has no immediate plans to float on the stock market, although it expects to conduct second-round financing within the next six months.
© The Daily Telegraph, by Jonathan Lambeth