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April 29, 2005

Streaming Radio Versus Podcasting

Rags Gupta: Rags fisks Om's Business 2.0 story...good stuff..."I consider them to be separate faces of the same 'IP-enabled Radio' coin, if you will, and not mutually exclusive. If I were a radio brand, all of the distribution technologies above would be fair game for me to distribute my programming (though the business model may well vary depending on the economics and value prop of what I'm offering)."

Posted by Rafat Ali in Online Radio, Podcasting | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Want Some Free Music With No Strings Attached?

Amazon: Are you one of those people still spouting the familiar mantra "nothing in life is free?"  If you're like me and stuck in that mindset - Amazon has put together a single page listing all the free, MP3 files (with NO restrictions whatsoever and full compatibility with every portable music player on the planet) that you can download from their site, as promos for CD's that they sell.  Currently there's about 200 songs to choose from and they update the list every six hours...You'll find some great stuff there from indies and major acts and you can sample 30 seconds to decide if you like it... I know that we've all been getting accustomed to streaming music for free with our broadband connections, but free and legal unprotected full length promotional downloads seems like a great marketing ploy because everyone loves something for nothin'.  Have a great weekend! (Thanks Stephen!)

Posted by Todd in General | Permalink | Comments (3)

MTV Partners With China Mobile

Earvolution:  In a recent press release in Beijing, it was announced that MTV Music Zone, a new subscription-based music service, would launch on May 1st as part of China Mobile's Monternet service's new music platform MO Music Channel. It is the first time MTV content has been distributed on the mobile phone platform and China Mobile's (the world's 2nd largest mobile playe) subscribers will now be able to access MTV-produced music charts and entertainment news, as well as download music ringtones and ringback tones. MTV will also be Monternet's exclusive promotional partner for its new Ringback Tone Chart...MTV Networks Asia Pacific President Frank Brown stated, "Through our strategic alliance with China Mobile, we look forward to exploring how we can work together to bring innovative music and entertainment experiences to more than 200 million mobile users across China."


--MTV to Distribute Content Through China Mobile - Bill Roedy, vice-chairman of MTV Networks stated that, "He believes the partnership with China Mobile introduces an exciting new medium for TV broadcasters and record companies that is piracy-free, increases revenue and raises customer loyalty, and said that MTV will introduce the strategy in other parts of the world."

Posted by Todd in Mobile Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tiger Direct Sues Apple

Osx_1TheEnquirer:  Tiger Direct filed a last-minute law suit yesterday against Apple Computer over the use of the word 'Tiger' in its latest system software which hits the streets today as OSX 10.4. TigerDirect says it owns trademarks on the names Tiger, TigerDirect and TigerSoftware so it will be interesting to see how this plays out...Among the 200 new features in Tiger, Spotlight (which is like Google for your hard drive) is likely to be the coolest...The second most heavily hyped Tiger feature is called Dashboard...(By the way, the iTunes music store celebrated it's 2 yr. birthday yesterday.  If you recall, the revolutionary service started out Mac only here in the states and has now expanded into a number of countries across the world and onto other computing platforms...)


--From Apple, A Tiger To Put In Your Mac

Posted by Todd in Apple | Permalink | Comments (0)

Notable Headlines From The Week:

SIRIUS Reports Strong Growth In Q1 2005 - yesterday's announcement points to 305,000 new subscribers and a fourfold growth in revenues...

Students Accused of Piracy Won't Be ID'd - another blow to the RIAA in its unsuccessful legal campaign...

RealNetworks Embraces Microsoft DRM for Portable Devices - "Buried somewhat beneath the bevy of enhancements for end-users is an increasing dependency on Microsoft Windows Media DRM rather than RealNetworks's own HelixDRM...RealNetworks is now sleeping with the enemy even as it carves out a differentiating strategy."

Music Settlement Sounds Off-Key  - "This week, the shipment of 665,000 music CDs donated to libraries and schools by five major recording companies across California will give us a chance to see whether yet another industry charged with misdeeds has put one over on the public...In effect, the plaintiffs settled the price-fixing case by allowing the companies to fix the price of 5.6 million donated CDs at $13.50."

Posted by Todd in General | Permalink | Comments (0)

eMusic Debuts Artist Download Cards

EmusicYahoo:  eMusic, the world's #2 digital download service which focuses specifically on the independent market, has announced a new initiative that allows artists to "give away" their newest releases while still being compensated. The new Artist Download Cards offer entire albums for free as part of a package of 50 free songs and the best part is that the artists will continue to collect future royalties as many consumers will opt into eMusic's subscription music service...

The move is brilliantly timed to coincide with the release of Rhapsody 3.0 earlier this week, which offers 25 free full-song streams.  The major difference though, is that eMusic tracks have no DRM, are fully downloadable and the files are yours to keep forever (i.e. no expiration date) even if you cancel your membership after the free trial. (Admittedly though, card owners must sign up for a free eMusic trial subscription to get the 50 songs, which gets rolled over into a paid subscription if not subsequently cancelled.)

The artists and their labels will distribute the download cards through their websites, at their live performances and through other promotional avenues and each card features artists' album art and graphics. This download card program is a major departure from other download card initiatives, most of which only offer a single promotional track, or require a user to prepay on a per track basis.

"Through eMusic's artist download card program, everyone wins -- fans, artists, labels and eMusic," said David Pakman, COO of eMusic and a managing director of Dimensional Associates, the private equity arm of JDS Capital that owns eMusic, The Orchard and Dimensional Music Publishing.

Delivering more than 2 million downloads each month, eMusic is among the top digital music services, offering a diverse catalog of 600,000 tracks from established and emerging artists in every genre from the world's top independent labels. eMusic subscription plans start at $9.99 per month for 40 downloads (which is about a song per quarter).

Posted by Todd in Companies | Permalink | Comments (1)

Shawn Fanning's New Tune

Business 2.0  Here's an excellent article about Snocap, Shawn Fanning's new startup company, which has already signed both Universal Music and Sony BMG, which together account for nearly half of the worldwide music market. In a nutshell, Snocap is offering a one-stop shop for rights management across multiple online retailers as well as valuable market information about demand for their catalogs. The system is designed to be a neutral middleman between the labels and the P2P networks. Although the company currently faces little competition, that advantage won't last for long as Fanning plans to get Snocap fully up and running before the end of the year.

His aim with Snocap is "not to sell tunes directly to consumers but to create a central global clearinghouse for digital music -- a back-end system equipped with technology to monitor, authorize, and monetize the swapping of copyrighted tracks...He hopes to seed an array of new P2P services that will provide the deep libraries people have gotten used to, but where rights-holders are respected."

Fanning compares the difference in the numbers between iTunes and P2P...For example, "it took Apple more than a year to sell 100 million downloads which is the number traded through free P2P systems every three or four days....It's undeniable where the industry has to go if it wants to continue to grow the market." (subscription required)

Posted by Todd in P2P | Permalink | Comments (0)

MediaMax Partners with Child Safety Network

Press Release: MediaMax Technology Corporation, the seller of MediaMax developed by SunnComm, has recently announced that they are working with the Child Safety Network (CSN) to create dynamic multimedia safety education CDs to help the organization present and deliver their important safety messages in a fun, user-friendly, multi-dimensional setting. The organizations within CSN will utilize the MediaMax enhanced multimedia platform for audio CD's, which will enable CSN to brand them for specific organizations and projects. (As an example, organizations like the National and State PTA’s, Boy and Girl Scouts and others can have a specific CD focusing on and being branded for their group...) The short term goal includes the distribution of 60 million MediaMax CD's throughout North America and a total of 600 million units world-wide over the next 3 years generating a royalty of 4 to 6 cents per unit depending on volume.

Posted by Todd in Companies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2005

Rob Thomas' Solo Album Is First Dual-sided CD to Debut at No. 1

CNN: "Something to Be," which features the audio recordings on one side and video footage on the other, sold 252,000 units in the week ending April 24, according to weekly sales data made available yesterday by Nielsen SoundScan. "According to Thomas' label, Warner Music Group's Atlantic Records, it was also the first time a male artist from a pop or rock group has opened at No. 1 with a debut solo album."

Posted by Todd in Charts | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wippit Partners With Loop For New Online Music Store

Loot_tunes_logoNetimperative:  The highly successful classified ad publication Loot, known for great bargains, has partnered with the innovative British digital music service Wippit - to launch a new online music store. The service is expected to launch later this summer and is called LootTunes. According to the website, their aim is "to deliver licensed digital music at the best possible price and with the utmost flexibility."  Paul Myers, Wippit CEO, said "Wippit is associated with value and so is Loot, so the marriage that creates Loot Tunes is ideal for consumers and an easy concept to grasp."  Believe it or not, Usher's Yeah!, Featuring Lil' Jon & Ludacris, was the lowest priced item on today's best seller list at only $.49...Other lesser known tracks went as high as $1.59.  Most tracks seem to be offered as unprotected MP3 files encoded at 192Kbps, which seems to be the new standard and a growing trend with all the distaste for DRM. (But there are also some WMA's which require registration to hear them...) Mac and Linux users are compatible too, but limited to the MP3 files only...

Posted by Todd in Companies | Permalink | Comments (0)