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Look Who's After Napster

Big money is behind TV-Web-video venture Farmclub.com

It's showtime, and pierced body parts are everywhere on the Universal Studios (VO) back lot. Inside the warehouse-size soundstage where Universal once filmed the ABC sitcom "Coach," technicians are hovering by a computer linked to a 30-foot-wide TV screen, where videos flash images of the rock group Green Day as it performs its hit song Minority on the stage. Next on the program come chart-climbers No Doubt and Eve Six, playing to the cameras and the 200 head-bopping kids Universal shipped in to provide a live audience.

TALENT SCOUT. Forget what you have read about music on the Internet being the creation of college dropouts working from cramped offices. For Universal Music, the music industry's biggest player, fighting the Internet music wars starts with a finely honed TV show. With this kind of firepower, Universal hopes to drive the music Net surfers who have been captivated by Napster and MP3.com (MPPP) lately back into the arms of the majors.