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IODA Signs With MySpace Music

Ioda_logo_2Myspace_music_logo_2 Digital distributor IODA has finalized a deal with MySpace Music. They become the second major Independent distributor after The Orchard to have their music included on the social networkers new ad supported music service.

The deal means 1 million tracks from 50K indie artists. "Sometimes being first to the party is not the best position to be in during negotiations," IODA CEO Kevin Arnold said in an interview late Wednesday. "We weren't under intense pressure to make this deal and I'm very happy with what we ended up with."

Arnold stated that "equity and profit participation were not a part of the contract", as MERLIN and some indies have called for.  "I said from the beginning that finding short term revenue streams for our label partners was the goal. We've tip toed our way towards the ad supported model and MySpace Music is well positioned to make it work."  While labels are able to opt out of participating, Arnold says his labels are generally enthusiastic. "Many of IODA’s labels have been early and active participants in the MySpace Music community, and consider it an essential tool to develop relationships with their fans."

Who is next? MySpace isn't really saying. "We’re creating a sustainable, profitable music economy for all artists and we're thrilled IODA endorses this vision.  MySpace Music continues to actively embrace the indie community as we further our partnership discussions with additional labels and aggregators," says  Frank Hajdu, My Space Music's Executive Director of Strategy & Operations.

Thursday's Synergy: imeem Layoffs, SanDisk & More

Hypebot_favicon_4 TOP NEWS& FEATURES:


  • ImeemImeem is laying off 25% of its staff and looking for a buyer. (paidContent) Portfilio has a look at imeem's troubles as part of  the broader digital music landscape. (Portfolio) The consolidation which is being sped up by the poor global economy continues...
  • Samsung has dropped it's $5.85B bid to buy Sandisk. (DMW)
  • 3Q European Platinum Music awards. (IFPI)
  • Facebook Opinion: The Facebook Music Mess. (Computerworld)
  • A video look at the new Android music apps. (Music Ally, more info)
  • Jambase has released an iPhone app that taps their big database of live shows. (Digital Noise)
  • In an era of low sales, what constitutes a hit? (Daily News)
  • Listen to the new G&R single and tell us if you think it was worth the wait.

Chinese Democracy - Guns N Roses


Part 2: Seth Godin On Music's Messy Future

Seth_godin_broken Part 2:  Today, marketing guru, blogger, and author of the new book Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us. Seth Godin, talks about the old music business, it's messy future, the economic downtugn and what's on his iPod. (Read Part 1: Tribes Heretics & Music)

Q. Is it too late for the old music industry and what should new music industry tribes and their leaders focus on?

It's not too late for music, no doubt about it. It's probably too late for the music 'industry'. Most of the religion of this industry is about paying for people who add precious little value to what's actually valued by the listeners. Once you remove radio, record stores and duplication from the equation, it's not clear to me what 80% of the people in the music industry actually do to add value.

Q. You caution, “Don’t panic when the new business model isn’t as clean as the old one.”  Can you elaborate, perhaps by using artists and the music industry as examples?

GODIN: Well, it took twenty or more years before the record business got perfect, but it was perfect. Free promotion (radio), dedicated stores (Tower)...

Continue reading "Part 2: Seth Godin On Music's Messy Future" »

Google's Android Gets iPhone Like Music Treatment

The first phones powered by Google's Android open mobile platform are just becoming available and online music providers are already planting the flag with applications and hopes of success stories like iPhone provided Pandora and others.Androidlogo2

  • imeem for Android offers free streaming music and personalized radio. (more)
  • Shazam offers an application that that recognizes a song, enables purchase on Amazon and connect with the artist on MySpace. (more)
  • MySpace Mobile is offering an Android music application of its own. (more)
  • Amazon MP3 also has an Android download application.

All of the applications will be offered as free downloads via the creators web sites and the Android Market.

Will Labels Control Your Digital Music Locker

Will record labels control the music you store online digital lockers?  It's an important question that Greg Sandoval at cNet asked, that I admit had never crossed my mind.

  • Lala The newly re-launched lala got licenses from all the major labels (not sure about indies) before it opened shop.
  • Mp3tunes_logo MP3tunes, however, believes that if you own a track and its for your own use, why should they have to make a deal with the labels? They're in court with EMI right now trying to prove the point.

Is this about labels once again trying to control downloads even after they are purchased? Or is it protecting the artist and label rights?  If you believe, as many do, that  like other digital information your music will someday exist primarily in the online cloud to be pulled down for use wherever you are, then this is an important distinction. What do you think?

Contest: How Are You Building Your Tribe?

Tribes_circles_2 As part of Tribes week on Hypebot, I want you to hear how you are building your tribe. Whether its fans or team members at a label, management firm or start-up we're all trying to build tribes. Use the comment section below to share tribe building technologies and techniques that are working for you.  Is Facebook. ArtistData or Basecamp working for you?  Are you using vlogs or free music to grow your Tribe? Maybe there's something you've seen someone else use that you think is worth sharing.

One winner for the best idea gets a free a copy of Seth Godin's new book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. Two more winner get to tell us your favorite 2 artists on our Skyline Music booking agency roster and we'll send you some free CD's. We'll also take a few of the best and share them in a Tribe Building post.  

Continue reading "Contest: How Are You Building Your Tribe?" »

Wednesday's Music Briefing: Yahoo, iLike, Winn-Dixie, PlayPhone, CMJ & More

Seth_godin_broken_2 HYPEBOT FEATURES:


  • Ilike
  • iLike grabs an exclusive pre-release of the new Ryan Adams. (press release)
  • Shoppers at 521 Winn-Dixie supermarkets in the US south can buy Sony BMG Premiun MusicPass download cards. (press release)
  • Yahoo has axed 10% of its worldwide workforce. (FT) Here's a look at 3Q earnings. (ars) The Yahoo Music has already been cut so its heard to imagine more job losses there. Please email me if I'm wrong.
  • UMG will offer real music tones from through a number of PlayPhone's mobile entertainment destinations including Wal-Mart, Best Buy and BET. (press release)
  • The School of Rock comes to the iPhone complete music lessons from some classic rockers. (press release)
  • Cmj_2008 Are you at CMJ? Email me and let me know what booths and bands our representative Patrick May of Skyline Music needs to check out. We hear our own The Lee Boys rocked last night and Trevor Menear is a must see for tonight at Kenny's Castaway. Stay tuned for reports...

From SF MusicTech Summit: Don't Forget The Data

Sf_musictech It's no secret that music fans are hungry for all the artist information they can get, from lyrics to liner notes to every other piece of meta data imaginable. Artist data not only drives music discovery, but lyrics can also be a source of publishing income when licensed by sites like LyricFind. Yet according to the panelists at yesterday's SF MusicTech's "Leveraging Data" session, many indie labels and artists aren't making their data as accessible as they should be.

Fortunately, there are a couple of relatively easy solutions...

Continue reading "From SF MusicTech Summit: Don't Forget The Data" »

LaLa Adds Twist To Streaming And Owning Music

lala has reinvented itself for the third or fourth time and this time may (or may not) be onto something. At the very least, they've added a new twist to streaming and ownership delivered in a clean interface with the blessing of the major labels. We wrote about the new site in beta a few months ago, but here is what theLala_2 public site has to offer:

  • You can store the music you own and access it from any web enabled device
  • If you don't own a track you can add it your lala.com library for unlimited streaming for 10 cents
  • For about 90 cents you can own the mp3 and if you previously rented the track the 10 cents is applied to the price

Will people pay 10 cents...

Continue reading "LaLa Adds Twist To Streaming And Owning Music" »

A2IM Study: Payola Still Keeps Indies Music Off Air

A2im_2 18 months after the end of the most extensive payola investigation in a decade and the signing of FCC sponsored Rules of Engagement, a new survey by indie label trade group A2IM shows that independent artists and labels are still being shut out of broadcast radio. According to 61 indie labels who responded to the survey:

  • Radio Over 92% of independent labels report no change in their relationship with commercial radio since the settlement
  • 41% reported that payola remains a determining factor in commercial radio airplay
  • 47% said indie promotion companies are still a factor
  • Asked if that had asked for payola since the FCC settlement, only 39 labels answered and 1 in 4 of those said that they had

Continue reading "A2IM Study: Payola Still Keeps Indies Music Off Air" »

Interview: Seth Godin On Tribes, Heretics & Music

Tribes Part 1 of 2:  Marketing guru Seth Godin is a prolific author (Permission Marketing, The Purple Cow and more) and the world's most read business blogger. His new book Tribes was not written about music or the music industry per se, but Godin is an enthusiastic fan and along the way offers important direction for both artists who care about their fans and a music industry in search of new ideas and leaders. 

Q: Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us" explores the power of committed groups and the need for people to lead them. Do you see fans as a tribes and artists as leaders?

Seth_godin GODIN: I think that when it works, that's exactly what is happening. Bob Dylan led a tribe. It's not clear that Rhiannon does. Artists of all stripes can entertain us, certainly, but when you create a movement, things change, a new force appears and the world becomes different.

Q: Not every artist feels comfortable as a leader.  What is the cost of avoiding leadership or can someone else lead their Tribe for them?

GODIN: I think being uncomfortable leading in the traditional sense is quite common. Your opinion on the financial crisis, or on gay marriage may be something you don't want to share. But if you're not willing to lead ARTISTICALLY...

Continue reading "Interview: Seth Godin On Tribes, Heretics & Music" »

Tuesday's Music Briefing: 3.8M XBox Tracks, Live Nation Stock, Satellite Trouble & More



  • Xbox_2 A new NPD survey shows that Xbox Live has "delivered more than 80 per cent of the downloadable songs for music games, currently averaging 3.8 million music downloads per month," for a total of 45 million music files to date. (GamesIndustry.biz)
  • U2, Jay-Z and Madonna all got shares of Live Nation as part of their 360 deals. (LA Times)
  • Watch out Sirius XM. WorldSpace, a top provider of satellite radio services outside the U.S., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (BusinessWire)
  • The blogger who leaked the new Guns 'n Roses pleaded innocent. (Reuters)
  • Mexican customs seized 8.7M blank discs coming in from Taiwan. (IFPI)
  • A film chronicling the legacy of legendary indie Chess Records and starring Beyonce as Etta James will hit screens in December. (Playlist)
  • Music Ally spent some time with free streaming music service Spotify and liked what what it heard. (Music Ally)

Majors May Miss MySpace Music Payday

Myspace_music_logo COMMENTARY: According to paidContent, News Corp is now reconsidering the need to bring in private equity partners and spin off the new MySpace Music. The initial success of site appears to have caused the company to question if it needs to dilute its position.

Money But a move towards private equity and a spin off is also a move closer to an IPO and the real payday that the major labels were hoping for when they reportedly dropped cash advance demands in exchange for an equity share. If the big pay day never arrives, it also throws into question the wisdom of Merlin led indies holdong out for an equity position of their own. 

Perhaps a share ad revenue and promotional value is all that MySpace Music ever intended to offer.  If so, isn't that enough? - Bruce Houghton

Free Seth Godin, Free Tribes, Free The Music Business


All this week, alongside our regular features, we'll be looking at Seth Godin's  new book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. Godin is an outspoken marketing guru and prolific author whose passion for music is almost as great as his passion for marketing in our post-tv, post-advertising, internet connected, socially networked age.

Tribes We'll look at the need for music Tribes (aka passionate, active supporters) and how to lead them. You'll have a chance to share your Tribe building techniques and stories with prizes for the best ones. In case you haven't had a chance to buy and read the book, here are are two free of near free audio versions and a free bonus ebook:

  • Free Audible is ofering the audio book as a free promotion. You need to register.
  • Godin's reading of Tribes is also available on iTunes as a 3 hour audio book for less than a dollar.
  • Members of an invitation only Tribes social network have created a Current Tribes Casebook available as a free ebook. (pdf)
  • Seth's popular blog is also a fabulous ongoing resource.

Facebook Mulls Music. This Time With Partners.

Facebook_music Facebook is once again considering deepening its music offering. Music already finds its way onto Facebook via authorized widgets and the site's open API. But according to reports, the social networking giant is in deep talks with a number of streaming services and music community sites, including Rhapsod, iMeem, iLike and Lala about an outsourcing deal that would more deeply integrate their music experience into Facebook.

Facebook has made looked at turning up the volume of music content previously; and the early successes of MySpace Music may have motivated the latest round of talks. Interestlngly Facebook is choosing not to cut its own liscensing deals as MySpace did and instead is eyeing alliances with providers who have already crossed that costly mindfield or at least begun the journey. 

Exactly what a new alliance would offer is unclear.  But a mashup of the best of several services could provide a worthy music alternative.

Monday's Music Briefing: Pandora, U2, G 'n R, TuneCore & Much More



Pandora Cuts Staff 14%. Are More Layoffs Ahead?

Pandora "This is a very sad day for Pandora, and for me personally. Today we reduced our staff from 140 to 120 employees. Like virtually every company, Pandora is not immune to the challenges presented by the current economic turmoil. We are trying to react quickly and responsibly to the new environment...

There are tough times ahead for the economy, but our listenership is growing rapidly, the Internet radio royalty rate resolution seems finally near, and the explosion of mobile devices like the iPhone are opening up a world of opportunity for internet radio to expand off the desktop. Moreover, our ad sales are growing so well that, not only did we not make any reductions there, we need to continue to hire more."

These layoffs come from what is by many measurements one of the more successful music start-ups. As founder Tim Westergren pointed out in the announcement, battles like royalty rates are almost behind the company.  But a bad economy is a bad economy; and Pandora is smart to conserve cash as it works toward profitablitiy. Expect more such announcements before the end of the year from across the music and tech sectors.

Music's Week In Review: slotMusic, iTunes, WMG, AC/DC & More

Oct. 20-26: Seth Godin Tribes Week On Hypebot


Along with our regular news and commentary, we'll be delving into Seth Godin's just released book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us and some of its implications for artists, labels and the music industry. Godin is an outspoken marketing guru and prolific author whose passion for music is almost as great as his passion for marketing in our post-tv, post-advertising, internet connected, socially networked age.

Continue reading "Oct. 20-26: Seth Godin Tribes Week On Hypebot" »

Limewire Legit: Free CMJ Compilation & Subscriptions

Even as Limewire fights extinction in the courts for an application that enable music and other file sharing, its quest for legitimacy continues,

  • Limewire_circle CMJ28: 28 Years, 28 Tracks, a free compilation of bands playing at the convention in NYC next week. is available on Limewire's fledgling download store.
  • A Limewire Subscription plan offers pre-pay plans from $9.99 to $19.99 which effectively bring the price to as low as $.27 per track from the daily $.99.

Unfortunately, the store's offerings are limited to a few of the usual brave indies admirably willing to give almost any 2.0 service a chance.

eMusic Says The Long Tails Is Not Dead

Long_tail_cover Last week Frank Taubert of 24-7 Entertainment announced at Popkomm that three million out of his mobile catalog of 4.5 million songs had not been played a single time casting doubts over the Long Tail theory. eMusic's stats suggest that The Long Tail is still twitching thanks to the growing importance of social networking sites for music fans.

Emusic " Three quarters of eMusic's entire four million track catalog sells at least once every year, or to put it another way, we sell more than 50% of our catalog at least once every quarter," according to Madeleine Milne, Managing Director of eMusic Europe. "Music discovery on mobile devices may not be supporting long tail sales but the new digital music consumer is web savvy, and turns to social networks, blogs and the web to find out about new music. This is further evidenced by Entertainment Media Research's Digital Music Report 2008 out this week which also highlights the growing importance of social networking sites for music fans."

Continue reading "eMusic Says The Long Tails Is Not Dead" »

Friday's Music Briefing: Godin's Tribes, Facebook Music, MP3 Kiosks & Much More

  • Tribes Marketing guru Seth Godin's book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us is a great fast read on building and leading tribes. Godin is a real music lover and examples like the Grateful Dead tribe are sprinkled throughout. Hypebot will be running Tribes Week next week with a contest and interviewing Seth Godin next week, but I'd get my own copy of Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us right now and start leading.
  • RIAA wants to appeal on contested jury instruction (ars)
  • Digital distributor INgrooves has launched an extensive music licensing site with YouLicense.(press release) Both companies are aggressively forming new partnerships to help each company compete in their competitive markets.
  • Facebook Facebook continues to eye the digital music business.(Reuters) What is taking these guys so long? This could a real boon to marketers of music to the 25-50 set. If you have not tried Facebooks targeted ad platform, you should.
  • Tom Calderone has been promoted to president of VH1. (FMQB)
  • Mixandburn Mix & Burn adds a new MP3 Filing Station to its growing line of CD burning station kiosks aimed at electronics retailers. (press release) Imagine the marketing possibilties if more consumer lifestyle destinations (fashion, furniture, health food stores, etc) added a kiosk with front screed offerings aimed at eash audience.
  • DDEX, a consortium of major players in the digital music space including the major labels, iTunes and other download stores, tech companies and others have joined together for a new set of standards aimed at improving business operations and the consumer experience. (press release)

Why Hasn't Apple's iTunes Gone DRM Free?

Applelogo Months after Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster and a dozen other download stores have gone 100% DRM free, Apples iTunes still sells most of its tracks with its own proprietary DRM attached. Why?  There are three possible reasons:

  1. Antiapple THEY CAN'T -  Some labels hate Steve Jobs so much that they want to give competitors the DRM free edge.
  2. THEY DON'T HAVE TO - Sales at iTunes continue to grow.  Why make the switch?
  3. THEY DO WANT TO -  Jobs wants to control to keep the Apple iPod iPhone iTunes ecosystem as closed as possible as long as possible. After all, it helps sell stuff.

Whatever the reason, it would seem that Apple is doing a disservice to its customers even though rising sales would suggest that their customers are satisfied. Why do you think iTunes has not gone DRM-free?  Vote, leave your comments and please Digg and share it.

SanDisk slotMusic: Do We Need These Little Things?

Sandisk_slot_player The need to be attached to your computer to download music into your player is a pain (unless of course you do it over the air.) CD's are bulky (unless you rip them). But are these really problems in need of a solution - particularly a solution that is an entirely new format requiring an entirely new player?

Nickle SanDisk apparently thinks so and with its Sansa slotMusic microSD format and player they attempt to deliver an alternative. Let me admit that I have not spent any time with a player (if Sansa wants to send me one I promise a followup review), but I do know microSD cards. They are about the size of a nickle and just as easy to loose. The player looks tiny as well and at $20 is a real bargain when compared almost any mp3 player.  But here's the catch - there's no internal memory. 

It's often been said that the music industry was saved by the CD. Everyone who had a warn out album bought it again on CD.  slotMusic might be be cool for some, but it doesn't feel like a savior.

slotMusic debut artist line-up:

Continue reading "SanDisk slotMusic: Do We Need These Little Things?" »

Warner Music Group Sale: 5 Years Later


"Bronfman’s purchase got him and his partners off the hook—but it hasn’t been good for shareholders. Like all major-label chiefs, Bronfman has yet to determine how to profit from digital-music sales. And after paying back its first investors’ personal Edgar_bronfman_simscontributions of $1.2 billion, Warner still has a debt load of $2.3 billion. The company even had to suspend its dividend this year. Says Morningstar analyst Larry Witt, 'Warner Music Group’s best days appear to be in the past.” - Portfolio

Thursday's Music Briefing: Radiohead's 3M, We7, Shanghai Synergy & Much More

  • Radioheadin_rainbows_front Some stats from the Radiohead "In Rainbows" release: 3 milliom sold says the publisher. (Music Ally).  Read our guest post on how this release helped change the music industry. Radiohead's "In Rainbows" One Year Later.
  • A look at the six top UK download stores. (Telegraph) And still no Amazon UK.
  • RED signs indies Southern Lord and Decon for distribution. (Billboard.biz)
  • We7 is shifting from ad supported downloads to streaming. (Music Ally)
  • MySpace Karaoke has added tools to record and post your own performance video. (press release).  Come on, I dare ya! The first Hypebot reader to email me your or your band's MySpace Karaoke video gets it posted here.
  • Shanghai Synergy Culture and Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of China's 2nd biggest entertainment group Shanghai Media, and U.S. music and media company a-Peer have established a joint venture in Shanghai to help artists bridge the gap between the two countries. (Interfax)

iTunes Album Debate: Stop Using Apples & Oranges

From the Billboard to The Wall Street Journal, the debate rages on. Has iTunes killed the album? Would Kid Rock have sold more or less if he'd gone on iTunes. (LESS) Was Atlantic smart to pull the Estelle single off iTunes just as it was climbing the chart? (NO)  Would AC/DC sell even more if they finally went digital. (YES, particularly if they stuck to album only)

Steve_jobs_devil_2 There are three things that really bother me about this debate:

  1. The economy is a mess and we all should be concentrating on ways to re-build the music business; not endlessly debating if Steve Job is the devil. (HINT: He's not a God either)
  2. Kid Rock is nobody's hero. He's a smart businessman who knows his audience. He would sell his wares from the back of a garbage truck if he thought it would reach his audience. (it might) He is NOT an industry hero.
  3. The folks who write these endless stories need to remember that artists and their audiences come in all shapes and sizes:

Continue reading "iTunes Album Debate: Stop Using Apples & Oranges" »

AmieStreet Reboots. Price Model Bucks Album Trend

Aimestreet Variable price download site AmieStreet launched a revamped website in beta today with a new look and a number of new features.  The company is also in the midst of a round of Series B funding.

The makeover comes a year after a strategic investment by Amazon and during this time, the site has increased its catalog 10X to over 1million mp3's.  In the last three months, AmieStreet says that its customer base has grown 18% month over month with each customer spending a robust average of $30 annually.  The site's consumer driven pricing model also appears to reverse the industry-wide album purchase decline. In 2007, the ratio of all digital songs sold to digital albums sold was 17:1, according to the IFPI.  AmieStreet.com boasts an album to song ratio of 1:1.