« Bertelsmann Starting From Scratch | Main | Grassroot Classical Music Movement »

June 02, 2005

News from Muze

MuzeAbout 2 weeks ago, Enterprise Partners Venture Capital acquired Muze, a privately held company based out of NYC and I recently had the chance to talk briefly with Paul Zullo, co-founder, President and CEO about the merger and the seismic shifts ocurring in the industry. (Zullo co-founded Muze in 1990 and manages the day-to-day operations as well as overseeing the company's current and future business strategy.)

Prior to our discussion, I was under the impression that the company was simply a meta-data powerhouse somewhat similar to Gracenote, but in reality it offers so much more than media recognition and its databases are the most comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date in the industry. For example, Muze has been publishing album credits for over a decade and it has people on staff to hand type in the information because believe it or not - there is no standard yet for submitting CD booklet info that consumers crave. (I might have missed his point, but why wouldn't PDF's or plain text work?) In 1987, the company started developing the Muze Music database, and since 1991 many of the world's top retailers (i.e., Best Buy, Yahoo!, Tower Records, Apple iTunes, Yahoo, AOL, Buy.com, J&R.com, FYE, Barnes & Noble, Virgin Music) have been relying on its content to help them sell more entertainment products.

In addition to its core database of millions of music, books, videos and games, Muze also offers comprehensive, thematic storefronts that provide retailers an inexpensive and simple way to offer a virtually limitless warehouse of music, books, videos and games - without increased inventory. With a choice between Music, Games, Film and Book databases, Zullo said that most clients actually license multiple databases, but when it comes to actually selling physical products the company's focus is to outsource and facilitate.

While Muze is the backbone of online commerce for major players in the entertainment retail business, Zullo said his company is not out of reach for smaller independent labels and in fact, treats them just like the larger ones. (Most recently Muze has partnered with Rounder Records Group to preview Tracy Bonham's  forthcoming CD, “blink the brightest” and staged an exclusive preview of Aimee Mann’s new album “The Forgotten Arm.”) He feels that full free pre-release previews such as these are working to drive demand of physical CD sales and digital downloads and that piracy of the live streams, while technically possible for some, will not be a huge problem for the artists or the company. In other words - the exposure is worth the risk...

One of the industry complaints that I shared with him was that many digital music services and software packages lack a comprehensive category list of the various musical genres for the consumer who is searching and for the content providers who encode the music.  If there could be some pseudo standard that was accepted, perhaps future search results could be even more accurate.  While he agreed the lists could be more inclusive, he also pointed out that there is just so much natural variance within some genres like "rock" that will never lend itself to being nicely packaged into multiple sub-categories.  True, but since music in general is organic and always evolving and we now have real time analytics via the internet - I still think better lists could easily be achieved and adopted to everyone's benefit.

Although Muze's core markets are in the US, UK ad Japan, Zullo said he wasn't in too much of a hurry to expand outward just yet as he wants to fully serve these marketplaces and improve the core markets.  However if and when that time comes, he indicated that translating the company's massive databases into other languages was not really a hinderance for future growth...

Posted by Todd in Companies | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c784753ef00d8346b217869e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference News from Muze:

Comments

"...and since 1991 many of the world's top retailers (i.e., Best Buy, Yahoo!, Tower Records, Apple iTunes, Yahoo, AOL, Buy.com, J&R.com, FYE, Barnes & Noble, Virgin Music) have been relying on its content to help them sell more entertainment products."

When was this thing written? Pretty sure Muze lost all those contracts to its competitors over the last several years. Long before Enterprise Partners bought them up, anyway...

Posted by: Boye | Jun 2, 2005 11:41:55 AM

Boyne is spot on. This article seems to be based on information that is years old.

Muze, and Gracenote for that matter, have both been losing many major clients to All Media Guide recently. AMG's data and services are more comprehensive and the quality is superior. Apple's iTunes Music Store is a recent example of widespread industry adoption of AMG.

Posted by: Ross B. | Jun 3, 2005 10:10:31 AM

Boyne is spot on. This article seems to be based on information that is years old.

Muze, and Gracenote for that matter, have both been losing many major clients to All Media Guide recently. AMG's data and services are more comprehensive and the quality is superior. Apple's iTunes Music Store is a recent example of widespread industry adoption of AMG.

Posted by: Ross B. | Jun 3, 2005 10:10:31 AM

Literati Di Graffito X in immortal contralto
; disturbance of the phantom poetica on Massacre Street between two avenues of Butcher & Beheaded:O'Banion,Yale,Torrio and
Capone don't syndicate like the digital music
X throne! AMG and Muse metadata spraying the
spoken spectacular throughout the universe...

Posted by: Phantom Poet Graffito | Jun 5, 2005 7:18:22 PM

Actually Boyne is NOT spot on. Muze lost only one of the contracts above to AMG - Apple.

The merchandising quality of Muze data is far superior to AMG in every way.

Posted by: Matt Censuulo | Jun 6, 2005 10:48:43 AM

Matt, not sure where you get your facts. Boyne's list of clients IS a subset of clients who have switched to AMG over the last few years.

Muze seems to be really proficient at one aspect of "merchandising quality": selling their data very cheaply to compete with higher quality data from competitors. Guess you might call that better "merchandising quality". I just call it bargain basement quality.

Other aspects of AMG's database are superior to Muze, and anyone else out there: coverage, depth, data quality, editorial quality.

Matt, are you a Muze salesperson or something?

Posted by: John D. Eliot | Jun 6, 2005 5:07:42 PM

John, are you an AMG salesperson or something? Cuz you seem pretty gung-ho, lol

Posted by: Phylis Quinn | Jun 8, 2005 12:28:45 PM

Just a former Muze licensee who now uses AMG ;)

Posted by: John D. Eliot | Jun 10, 2005 8:59:12 AM

If the Muze database emporium was founded in 1990, why do I see so many items at eBay, with Muze database information, with the copyright tag "©1948-2007 Muze, Inc."? Is it because Muze acquired countless databases that go as far back as 1948, or did they acquire countless items of information that go as far back as 1948? Or is it a combination of the two, or maybe something else or something more?

Posted by: CookyMonzta | Feb 6, 2007 9:45:52 PM

Lots of coupons, deals & coupon codes related to electronics are available at here at [url="http://www.couponalbum.com/coupons/jr.htm"]J&R.com[/url] store through Couponalbum.com.....!

Posted by: Andrew | Dec 27, 2007 2:09:47 AM

Hi there,
Not sure that this is true:), but thanks for a post.

Thanks
GlenStef

Posted by: GlenStef | Mar 15, 2009 10:27:56 AM

Hi,
Not sure that this is true:), but thanks for a post.

Thank you
GlenStef

Posted by: GlenStef | Mar 22, 2009 3:35:09 AM

Hi,
Interesting, I`ll quote it on my site later.

Have a nice day
Nadine

Posted by: Nadine | Apr 11, 2009 5:46:20 AM

When I was in my late teens a friend of mine, an elite athlete, gave me the most profound yet simple advice that changed the way I would view myself forever. He told me "You yourself have to think you're great because no one else is going to tell you that you are."

Posted by: tiffany silver | Jan 4, 2010 9:52:12 PM

A great man .Thank you for your post.

Posted by: Canada Goose Jackets | Nov 4, 2010 4:52:37 AM


Thanks That's a good idea. I like your new blog design!

Posted by: nike air max | Dec 21, 2010 8:15:50 PM

I was so thankful and planned to send a card of appreciation to them. But as life happens,

Posted by: Ed Hardy Sales | Mar 14, 2011 10:20:28 PM

Think about the last time somebody gave you an unexpected gift. You most likely felt a strong urge to give a gift back.

Posted by: nike free run | Mar 14, 2011 10:20:50 PM

I like this post. Business is getting tougher and tougher so people need to

run and chase.

Posted by: air max shoes | Mar 18, 2011 5:57:56 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.