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Hear and Now

Creative marketing catapulted his album from sleeper to bestseller.

Moby describes his music--which incorporates elements ranging from classical to punk rock-as "eclectic." Others describe it as innovative. Regardless, this platinum-selling artist takes the award for originality when it comes to spreading his music.

In 1999, when his newly released album, Play, was drawing weak sales, Moby generated interest by licensing each of the album's 18 tracks to be used in films, TV shows or commercials. Play became the first album to be licensed in its entirety. Moby's decision resulted in the sale of more than 10 million copies of the album worldwide--and changed the way music is marketed.

"Necessity being the mother of invention, if you make music that you want people to hear, and the traditional ways of getting people to hear music aren't options to you, then you really have to avail yourself of untraditional avenues," says Moby, 40. In 2002, he co-founded New York City tea shop Teany, which offers a menu as diverse as his music. As a musician--and as an entrepreneur--Moby certainly marches to his own beat.

This story appears in the January 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »