August 29, 2005

New Music Service Knows What You Like

PCWorld: A new online music discovery service called Pandora has been launched...Pandora Media, formerly known as Savage Beast Technologies, based its new service on the Music Genome Project, the company's close to six-year study of the 300,000 songs of more than 10,000 artists undertaken by 30 musician analysts
The first 10 hours of Pandora are free. After that, subscriptions costs $3 per month or $36 per year. Subscribers can set up a maximum of 100 online radio stations tuned to their preferences and further tailor the selections by giving a thumbs up or down to each song played.

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>MTV To Launch "Urge" Music Service in 2006

That's according to a story in the latest edition of AdAge..MTV is finally close to launching (well, next year) its as-yet-vaporware online music service...The planned name the is Urge, and the service will also have a My Space-like online community, as well as subscription and a la carte downloading services, according to the story.
In July, MTV parent company Viacom applied for the trademark
Urge to be used as a brand name for an online community, news and chats, as well as downloading and streaming of digital audio, video, graphics and peer-to-peer networking. Viacom registered as trademarks the names "Phyle" and "Playcast," too.
Keep in mind that MTV has been considering an online music service in some form for the last 3-4 years, and at various times over that period, the "imminent launch" news has been leaked I'll see it when I believe it. Meanwhile, MTV Overdrive had great coverage of the VMAs last night...after the live ceremony on TV, it has archived the whole show to be watched on demand online...and tons of extras. It has learned its Live8 lessons well..

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August 25, 2005

Lower Prices for Music Subscription Services Key to Adoption

Parks: Portable music subscription services will have to drop below $10 per month to attract a significant number of MP3 player owners, according to Parks Associates new report. 41% of MP3 player owners in the U.S. are not willing to spend more than $10 per month for a music service subscription. With comparable service costs presented in local currencies, 62% in the U.K. cap their interest at this amount, with 49% in France, 52% in Germany, and 56% in China expressing similar price inhibitions. Furthermore, on average, one-third of the MP3 player owners across these five nations believe these music services should be free.
Given these findings, the entry of low-cost services such as Yahoo Music could reshape the marketplace, says the report. Currently in the U.S., portable music subscriptions from companies including Napster or Rhapsody cost $14.95 per month.

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August 21, 2005

Naxos Goes Download

Stereophile: Naxos, the world's leading distributor of classical music, has just signed a worldwide digital distribution deal with the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA), which will use its Digital Distribution Dashboard (D3) technology platform to distribute and manage music files from the Naxos family of distributed music labels. The deal entails distributing titles to many of Naxos' 22 Digital Service Providers, including Sony Connect, Rhapsody, iTunes, Napster, and Microsoft (which charges consumers the lowest download price of all: $4.99 for an entire Naxos CD).

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August 16, 2005

MusicNet Appoints New CFO

Release: MusicNet, the B2B digital music service provider, has appointed Rory Parness to the position of Senior Vice President and CFO. In this role, Parness will be responsible for overseeing MusicNet's planning, reporting and financial systems operations, as well as monitoring and ensuring the company's financial strength.
Parness joins MusicNet from New York-based Zomba Label Group, a division of Sony-BMG, where he served as Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer.

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August 15, 2005

Cdigix Signs Up With Missouri Universities

Release: Cdigix, the digital media service provider to the college marketplace, has igned on three Missouri state universities. Southwest Missouri State University, the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Missouri-Rolla , have will deploy Cdigix's services on their campuses.

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August 14, 2005

Digital Music Downloads - The Problems of a Next to Zero Margin Business

SharkJumping: Sean Ryan, the founder former CEO of (which he sold to RealNetworks and has now struck on his own in the casual gaming market), combs through Loudeye's latest 10-Q, and writes about the decreasing margins and the difficulty in developing a business around digital music alone.
"The digital music download business is, in particular, NOT a place for service providers, or in my opinion, for investors. The margins are simply terrible, one has no leverage over your primary suppliers, there are legions of competitors, your business customers want to go directly to the labels, and there is a massive piracy issue."

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Iron Maiden, INXS on PSP

Release: Sanctuary Visual Entertainment is launching 5 UMD titles available for Playstation Portable's (PSP) initial launch in Europe and Australia....among them, INXS, Iron Maiden and Bob Marley's albums. More details here...

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August 10, 2005

Downloadable music business: Rent, lease or sell?

NYT on IHT: A good review of the current pricing models in the online music stores, and a need to go beyond that. "One thing, though, is already clear: the business of downloading music is still in its fumbling, bumbling infancy. It may take the music stores several more years of hammering away at their problems - software complexity, steep pricing and holes in their song catalogs - before the recording industry can think of the Web without wincing."

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Music industry seeks Hollywood's 'windows' Sony BMG is already seeing 10 percent of its revenue in the United States, and more than 20 percent of its revenue in China and South Korea, come from digital and mobile products, Thomas Hesse, president of global business for Sony BMG Music Entertainment, said in a speech at the Music 2.0 conference here on Tuesday.
"We will see tiered pricing in the online world," Hesse said. "It will be coming out in different windows over time, and will be much more sophisticated than just the 99-cent download that we have seen."

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