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Sony, VantagePoint Bankroll Redband Broadcasting

Start-up company Redband Broadcasting Tuesday secured $17 million in first-round funding from Sony Music Entertainment and VantagePoint Venture Partners. The company will invest the capital in marketing, talent and partnerships.

The company is spin-off of LookSmart, a provider of Internet search infrastructure, which will retain an equity stake in the company. Redband produces, aggregates and syndicates exclusive audio programs on the Internet, spanning news, entertainment, lifestyle, money and technology categories.

On-line distribution will be accomplished through syndication, viral adoption and the Redband Network, which includes distribution through Sony Music Entertainment-affiliated Web sites and the LookSmart search and navigation network. Lifestyle programming also will be distributed via partners in on-air radio, Internet satellite services and Web-enabled wireless devices and mobile phones.

Redband will launch with proprietary content, massive distribution and a differentiated audience, reported Val Landi, chief executive officer.

"With Sony Music Entertainment9s vast resources and technology, and LookSmart9s global Internet distribution network, we are a step ahead of the competition," he said.