music reporter

From TV to ringtones, it's a whole new biz

Artists continue to find creative ways of making money outside of traditional album sales. Touring, mobile partnerships and writing for film and TV are only a few ways acts are cashing in.

Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche has penned songs and score for the upcoming Touchstone Pictures film "Dan in Real Life." It's been a growing trend this past year to have one artist musically attached to a film — think Loudon Wainwright III and "Knocked Up" or Jesse Harris and "The Hottest State."

"Dan" director and co-writer Peter Hedges says he listened to 500 artists for the film but kept coming back to Lerche. "There's a depth to (his music), and you feel that this is a man who believes in love," Hedges says. "The music is just infused with that feeling without being sappy or sentimental, which made it a complete dream for this story."

The "Dan in Real Life" soundtrack, which hits stores Oct. 2, also includes a duet with Regina Spektor and A Fine Frenzy's Alison Sudol performing the Peggy Lee classic "Fever."

Colombian superstar Juanes is partnering with Sprint for the release of his latest album, "La Vida Es un Ratico" (Universal), which hits stores Oct. 23. For the next two weeks, the first single, "Me Enamora," is available as a full-track download and ringtone exclusively to Sprint Power Vision customers. The song then will become available to other carriers.

Sprint also is offering exclusive mobile video episodes showing behind-the-scenes footage of Juanes, starting with the "Me Enamora" music video shoot, in 10 installments rolling out through early next year. And Sprint is supporting the release with a national online and broadcast campaign along with in-store signage and promotional material. Additionally, Sprint will sponsor Juanes' 2008 U.S. tour.

In the touring world, the 2007 Vans Warped tour grossed about $18.6 million and sold 622,467 tickets to 45 shows, according to tour founder and producer Kevin Lyman, president of 4fini Prods. Warped, which wrapped Aug. 25 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., is the longest-running multiact touring festival and has helped break countless acts. This year's bill included Bad Religion, Hawthorne Heights, Cute Is What We Aim For, Flogging Molly, Killswitch Engage, Coheed and Cambria, As I Lay Dying, Sum 41 and New Found Glory, to name a few. Asked who might be the breakout bands from Warped '07, Lyman says: "Paramore went through the roof; Gallows is now getting offers to do a lot of great tours. Bayside did very well out there. Boys Like Girls did very well."

Ray Waddell and Ayala Ben-Yehuda contributed to this column.