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Muziic's 16 Year Old David Nelson Responds To VEVO YouTube Controversy

(UPDATED EXCLUSIVE) It's been a busy week for Muziic's 16 year old co-founder David Nelson. First, Nelson cleverly used YouTube's openly available API to add VEVO's music videos to his music discovery site. Muziic.com. But VEVO and YouTube (who share the same API) were none too pleased and issued a terse statement condeming Nelson's seemingly legal actions.  In an email to Hypebot, on Wednesday afternoon, Nelson shared his response and as he wrote, got "a few things off of my chest".

image from www.hypebot.com From the start I have appreciated the concept behind Vevo - there's really no two ways about it, artists and labels need to be fairly compensated. I respect the fact that those behind Vevo recognize that the business model must change. I believe that Vevo will be very successful with what they're looking to do.

While I have not been formally approached by any of the labels, I am more than willing to work with them to help build a better business for all parties involved. I'm willing to look at all options, including revenue sharing.

Prior to Vevo's launch, I reached out to the company in effort to provide an open channel of communication and express my interest in streaming Vevo content. Unfortunately, I received no response. I do believe that if we had correspondence, this situation could have been entirely avoided.

Continue reading "Muziic's 16 Year Old David Nelson Responds To VEVO YouTube Controversy" »

Hypebot Exclusive: Pre-Beta Invites To Rank 'Em

image from www.gorankem.com Internet music-ranking platform Rank ‘em will enter public beta on January 19th, but Hypebot has exclusive pre-public invites now.  Based in Athens, GA, Rank 'em is crowdsourcing music discovery by asking fans to rank their favorite songs.  Then fan favorites are aggregated by artist.

The site also just got a makeover. "Rank 'em is building the ultimate resource for accelerating music discovery,” says CEO Adam Wexler, “while still adding that shine that the site was lacking in its private stages.” The makeover includes an improved home and search page, as well as an expansion of the leader board to recognize the top-tier contributing rankers. Rank ‘em will soon also implement a recommendation system, where fellow users can recognize and/or give “props” to other members’ taste in music or quality of rankings.  

Get your free pre-public beta invite:

Continue reading "Hypebot Exclusive: Pre-Beta Invites To Rank 'Em" »

How Not To Sell More Music: Interscope & Best Buy Give Away Something That Was Already Free

Best Buy is offering a free bonus with every purchase of a $9.99 - $13.99 album from an Interscope label act like Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent, Timbaland and others. The only problem is that what their offering in exchange for the purchase - a download of Twitter utility Tweetdeck - is already essentially available for free. image from cache0.techcrunch.com

To be fair to Interescope, according to TechCrunch, this is a special custom version of Tweetdeck that comes preloaded with the Twitter feeds of a bunch of Interscope acts that you may or may not care about hearing from. If you want to save the $9.99 and up and spare yourself the pointless tweets, you can download a free no strings attached version of Tweetdeck here or the free Tweetdeck iPhone app here.

Bands Have An Official Life Span Of Nine Months

image from dclips.fundraw.com"As of '09, bands have an official life span of about nine months dating from the launch of their MySpace pages, thanks to the comically accelerated, DSL-enhanced hype cycle. Faster than you can tweet "Serena Maneesh," entire genres of music are "discovered" by attention-starved writers; bloggers engage in hilarious slap-fights about who was there first; magazines feel pressured into writing clueless, hackazoid, late-pass trend pieces; bands get elevated to a critical mass of attention they can't possibly handle; and the phenomenon is promptly abandoned once we find a newer, shinier toy to play with."

- Christopher R. Weingarten, Village Voice

How are you going to last longer?

Muziic Adds VEVO Videos Without As Many Ads

(UPDATED) VEVO and YouTube may soon close a loophole in their shared API which Muziic used  to grab their videos. "VEVO does not authorize, condone or otherwise endorse, in any way whatsoever, the actions of Muziic which involve our licensed music videos or registered trademarks." the company said in a statement. 

image from www.muziic.com
Online music hub Muziic, created by teenager David Nelson & his father Mark, has added video content from VEVO. As it does with YouTube, Muziic works to improve on VEVO's limitations. For example, unlike on VEVO.com, there are no video "pre-roll" advertisements.

Aside from providing solutions to some of  the technical issues associated with VEVO.com, Muziic adds it own playlist management, search, internet radio, "MuziicMix" crossfading, and social networking features.
While the VEVO.com website itself will not be available globally until 2010, Muziic streams much of VEVO's content globally now.

Continue reading "Muziic Adds VEVO Videos Without As Many Ads" »

QTrax Cancel Press Conference. Promises January Launch. Really...They Swear...

Continuing what feels like an unprecedented string of false starts and missed deadlines, ad supported music service Qtrax canceled a Christmas eve press conference. 

image from opinion.latimes.com
What's the excuse this time? Apparently only one person is capable of speaking for the company or honoring its commitments and he was...ill. "Yes, it is true that we intended having a Press Conference today," said a post on the Qtrax blog. "And it’s also true, that in the last week, our CEO, became ill with a generally non-life-threatening but quite painful ailment- kidney stones. And it is also true he was admitted to hospital & thankfully is leaving today. So we’ve decided to cancel the conference".

Instead of apologizing for the cancellation or the fact that it missed another of its own deadlines -  the most recent being a still unrealized "October launch" in China and the Pacific Rim - the company is painting itself as a David against a Goliath comprised of "detractors - some of whom, hide behind curious names on blogs, others are more brazen". (Just in case they mean me, my name is Bruce Houghton and I don't hide that this blog is mine.  Is their CEO named Mr. Qtrax?)

The company says it will finally launch in January: "...we were finally launching in January. Are we? Yes. Have we been wrong before? Humiliatingly, yes. Will be wrong this time? No."

If taking bets on exactly when Qtrax will launch weren't illegal, Hypebot could go ad free in 2010. Then again, who would bet against me?

The Artist As An Entrepeneur And Vice Versa

image from gapingvoid.com

"In their own way, all artists are entre­pre­neurs, and all entre­pre­neurs are artists.

Though their tools and pro­ducts may dif­fer, both entre­pre­neurs and artists are in the same game– the making and selling of work that is per­so­nally and emo­tio­nally impor­tant to them.

Artist. Entre­pre­neur. They’re just words.

What’s far more inte­res­ting is not what we create, but how we create it, WHY we create it."

- Hugh McLeod, Gaping Void

Christopher Bryant Works To Gain New Fans By Opening For Himself

One of my favorite things about the emerging new music industry has been the realization that there is no longer a single best way to do much of anything anymore. That pioneering spirit is leading to wonderful experimentation including this great twist from indie artist Christopher Bryant.

In January, he's launching "The 2010 Discovery Series" in order to "better establish myself/my music". "Each month I'll play a special show with the first set consisting of music from an artist, band, or genre and my music taking up the second set," he wrote in the Topspin Green Room forum. "In essence, I'm opening for myself." First up is Ben Harper as he explains in this introductory video:

Pandora Hits Holiday High Thanks To Mobile

"Xmas day was twice as big as our previous high... Def a sign of the growing footprint of devices/mobile."

- A tweet from Pandora founder Tim Westergren early on Monday morning. 

image from www.freshphonenews.com Less than two weeks ago the online music service announced that it had topped 40 million total registered users. Pandora says that it is adding  600,000 new registered users a week, 300,000 of whom are mobile -- Pandora added a total of 20 million registered users across all platforms (home, PC and mobile devices) in 2009.

10,000 Sonicbids Members Get $4 Million From SoundExchange

image from www.chicagobluestour.com Nearly 10,000 Sonicbids members got holiday presents in the form of $4 million from SoundExchange. The two companies partnered to identify indie artists using the Sonicbids electronic press kit system that are owed unclaimed digital performance rights.

SoundExchange is a non-profit that collects performance royalties from satellite and Internet radio, streaming sound recordings and other mostly online music sources. They also recently partnered with ReverbNation to find indie artists eligible for royalties. Artists can log on to their Soncibids account to see if they are owed money form SoundExchange or learn more about the partnership here.

More Music Industry News: Facebook, CD Baby, Guy Hands, Predictions, Van Halen, eMusic & More

  • A sneak peak at Facebook's coming redesign. (Gigaom)
  • image from www.barrylou.com CD Baby's Music Discovery Podcast has been named by iTunes as one of 2009’s best podcasts. A weekly series highlighting songs from a wide variety of genres, the songs played in Music Discovery Podcast usually feature a theme such as “Christmas Rocks,” “Nerd Core,” and “The Un-Googleables.”
  • How dealmaker Guy Hands is fighting to recover his balance after his mistake with EMI (Guardian)
  • 2009: the Year of Twitter and Facebook. (AFP)
  • 5 Predictions for the Music Industry in 2010. (Mashable)
  • Guitar Hero: Van Halen a big lump of coal in our stockings. - Guitar Hero: Van Halen offers a bastardized version of the band, a set list that seems almost random, and a limp, derivative experience. It was free if you bought Guitar Hero 5, but if you want to pay full price it's available in stores now. Save your money. (ars)
  • 5 Legal Cases That Defined Music in 2009 (Epicenter)
  • How internet-based music services make their money . (BBC)
  • Former Musician Now Lawyer Comes To Terms With What's Happening To His Music Online (Techdirt)
  • eMusic Considers Sale, Shift In Strategy


REWIND: The New Music Industry's Week In Review

ArtistData Adds Facebook Integration

image from www.google.comAs of Christmas Eve, ArtistData users can post events directly to Facebook Fan Pages. "We wanted to roll this out for the holidays, but remember it's still in beta and you might encounter some bugs", said excited  ArtistData founder Brenden Mulligan. "And stay tuned .. in early 2010, we'll be releasing some big changes."

 ArtistData designs solutions to automate the updating of artist websites, social network profiles, concert databases, Twitter, official news feeds, local press, newsletters, and tour books. When an artist updates the ArtistData site, all their sites are updated.

The company also added two more to their team. Brandon Passley has joined as a senior engineer and Matt Williams has joined as a senior user experience designer. 

eMusic Considers Sale, Shift In Strategy

image from www.libraryjournal.comApparently the recent shifts in ownership at imeem, iLike and particularly Lala have the executives that run eMusic thinking about selling the company or at least making some shifts in their strategy.

"They started out looking for financing, but after Apple bought LaLa, they began thinking that some of that pixie dust would sprinkle onto them," one source familiar with eMusic told the New York Post. And eMusic CEO Danny Stein did not disagree. "We're opportunistic stewards of capital," he said in an interview. "If an offer was made that created value for our shareholders, we'd listen to it."

Continue reading "eMusic Considers Sale, Shift In Strategy" »

10 Musicians I Want To Invite To My Holiday Party


  1. Leonard Cohen - Talk about intelligent cocktail conversation
  2. Ozzy Osbourne - Is it really a party without Ozzy?
  3. Ziggy Marley - Somebody has to bring the....
  4. Ray Lamontagne - I just want to try to make this guy smile
  5. Dr. John - To add a little New Orleans spice to the party gumbo
  6. Willie Nelson - Because he's so dang cool
  7. Prince - To get the dancing started
  8. Ringo Star - Every rock party should have a Beatle and Ringo seems like a lot more fun than Paul
  9. Robert Plant - Just so I can find out if Zep is really gonna tour or not
  10. Polyphonic Spree - There are like 30 people in this band so at least it'll make the room look full.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (as in I wish they were still around to invite...) TO: Janis Joplin,  Rick Danko of The Band (I knew this gentle soul and I miss him) and John Lennon.


Study: Average Adult Spends 13 Hrs Online Weekly

image from hypebot.typepad.com A new Harris Poll found that adult Internet users are now spending 13 hours online each week. People's usage varies greatly: 20% of adults are online for only 2 hours or less each week, while 14% are spending 24+ hours a week online.

Over the years the average hours spent online have increased from 7 hours in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, to between 8 and 9 hours in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.  In 2007, it increased to 11 hours.  Last year (in October after the financial crisis broke and before the presidential election) Internet users were online for 14 hours a week, double what it was from 1999 to 2002.

Other key findings:
  • The 30-39 age bracket spend the most time online at 18 hours, age 25-29 average 17 hours and 40-49 also clock in at 17 hours each week.
  • 50% of all those online bought something on the net in the last month. This includes 62% of those aged 30-39 and 56% of those aged 40-49.
  • The number of adults online, now 184 million (80%), has not changed significantly since 2008 and 2007. This includes those online at work, at home, at school or any other locations.
  • However, the number of adults who are online at home has increased to 76% this year, and 75% last year, compared to 70% in 2006, and 66% in 2005.

Continue reading "Study: Average Adult Spends 13 Hrs Online Weekly" »

Budget Video Fun With Sia

Big money should no longer be an obstacle when creating music videos. This really fun one from director Dennis Liu of Radical Media for indie artist Sia was done for "a few thousand dollars". "We somehow thought doing a live action video game in camera was going to be easy but actually its really freaking hard, says Liu. We had to push through 40 yards of foam core through a tiny track to get the words moving. But the strange thing is, it's always fun when it's over."

More New Music Industry News: 10 Cent Songs, Global Self-License, Pirate Bay & More

image from thumbs.dreamstime.com

Hypebot will continue to cover breaking news and report on trends throughout the holiday break.

  • Will Apple Bury Lala's 10 Cent Songs? (Michael Robertson)
  • Apple allegedly preparing devs for mystery demo in January. Apple may be planning to demo a device that's larger than an iPhone in January of 2010, according to the latest rumors. In fact, some developers may already be preparing their apps for it. (ars)
  • Bruce Warila explains the new Global Self-License that will required for internet music marketing in 2010. (MusicThinkTank)
  • Why You Should Be Excited About the Independent Music Industry in 2010. (Creative Deconstruction)
  • The five most welcome digital audio products and biggest digital audio duds of 2009 from CNet.
  • The Pirate Bay Goes Retro With 2003 Layout. - The Pirate Bay is one of the longest-standing BitTorrent sites. The former BitTorrent tracker recently celebrated its 6th birthday, and this Christmas they bring back the good old days by reverting to their old layout. The frontpage now has a classic look and is Swedish only. (TorrentFreak)

Would You Pay For Access? Blazetrak Hopes So.

Blazetrakimage from www.newamerica.net Would you pay to have a successful musician, producer, songwriter or choreographer review your portfolio or answer a question about the music industry? Startup Blazetrak thinks so, and has built a platform to make the transaction happen. Most of the professionals charge $100-$200 (R&B star Kenny Lattimore will let you spend the day with him for $7500.) and answer via a short video. The video insures that the response comes from the pro, not an intern; and Blazetrak will give a refund if you don't get a response within 30 days. 

Some of the stars and professionals involved include: Big Boi from Outkast, John Rich (of “Nashville Star” / Big & Rich), Paul Worley (Country Music Songwriter/Producer), Rich Harrison (Grammy Award Winning Producer),   Carlene K (Celebrity Make Up Artist), and Tara Conner (Miss USA 2006). Another possible use for the platform could be, for example, for Beyonce' to view audition tapes from dancers and get paid for it.V

Would you pay for access to a star or industry insider? 

View a Blazetrak intro video:

Continue reading "Would You Pay For Access? Blazetrak Hopes So." »

New Nimbit Marketing Alliance Offers One Stop Direct-To-Fan Services

image from www.volumeeleven.net Artist services provider Nimbit has just opened a Direct-to-Fan Marketing Services Alliance made up of companies who compliment and extend its platform's existing ability to enable artists and their teams to effectively market and sell direct to fans.  Charter members of the Nimbit Direct-to-Fan Marketing Services Alliance include:

Continue reading "New Nimbit Marketing Alliance Offers One Stop Direct-To-Fan Services" »

MySpace Says Wait A Little Longer For Your Imeem Playlists

This email went out to imeem users earlier this week:

image from blog.gl-store.shop-pro.jp
The MySpace Music team is working around the clock to duplicate your imeem playlists and make them available to you on myspacemusic.com as soon as possible.

In the coming weeks, we will be emailing you with instructions on how to claim your playlists on MySpace Music, using your MySpace login. If you don’t have a MySpace account you can sign up for one here.

If you have questions about MySpace, please visit http://faq.myspace.com/app/home.

Thanks for your patience. We will be in touch soon.

- MySpace Music Team

More New Music Industry News: Top iPhone Apps, Stereogum, WMG + Hulu. NARM & More

  • image from www.eachnotesecure.com Proposed Ticketmaster-Live Nation Merger: What To Expect Next. (Billboard)
  • The 40 best branded iPhone music apps of 2009. (Music Ally)
  • Metal music writer Brandon Stosuy has taken his popular Metal Music column to Stereogum.com from Pitchfork.com.  The column officially launched this week with the release of the top 30 Metal Albums of 2009
  • UK Music Industry Now Blames Non-P2P Download Methods - Consumer survey proves proposed “three-strikes” legislation will have little effect on levels of illegal file-sharing. (ZeroPaid)
  • Musician's Institute is running a contest with the grand prize a $10,000 "Full Ride" scholarship. (MI)
  • Warner Music Group signs with video site Hulu. (Hypebot)
  • A year out, where's RIAA's promised ISP help? (CNet)
  • Top 100 Spotify tracks of 2009.
  • NARM upgrades it s web site with a new Digital section including info on its Digital Think Tank and new member profiles. (NARM)
  • Berklee's online school has added a three course official Topspin Marketing Certification. (Topspin) This is a three-course certification program, which includes The Future of Music course that I'll be teaching in January, the new Topspin online marketing course, and Mike King's Music Marketing: Press, Promotion, Distribution, and Retail.

Warner Music Signs With Hulu

(Updated) Warner Music Group has joined EMI in signing on with popular online video site Hulu. The pair will create artist focused online channels that feature music videos, interviews, live concerts and behind the scenes footage. Warners has chosen to pave a multi-outlet course for its online video efforts and remains the last of the four major label groups not to have a deal with new video hub VEVO.image from erictric.com First up under the new deal is Warner Bros.artist Muse. Hulu has launched an all Muse artist page that features the band's appearance on Saturday Night Live's December 19th holiday episode as well as content from Muse's sold out Wembley Stadium show, exclusive interviews and deep-catalog videos. Hulu will also launch artist pages for Atlantic's Jason Mraz and for Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic's Paramore in the coming weeks. More artist channels will be announced in early 2010.

Continue reading "Warner Music Signs With Hulu" »

New Music Industry Executives To Watch In 2010

This inaugural list of Hypebot's New Music Industry Executives To Watch In 2010 covers a wide variety of movers, shakers and trend setters. Many have either recently launched potentially game changing companies or products or are scheduled to in the coming months. For all of them, 2010 will be a year that reveals if the bets they are placing now are winners both for themselves and for the broader music industry. In no particular order:

Please share the names of industry figures that you think deserve recognition below and view some great suggestions from Hypebot readers in the comment section of yesterday's call for nominees.

FreeAllMusic.com Launches In Private Beta

image from assets.bizjournals.com FreeAllMusic, a new site that will offer mp3's in exchange for watching a single video commercial enters private beta today, December 22nd.

There is no software required and once a user chooses a brand to sponsor their download, that brand owns every part of the download process, which includes video advertising, through to the download into their offline music library.

Continue reading "FreeAllMusic.com Launches In Private Beta" »

TweetDeck To Get More Music Friendly

Many musicians and music marketers already use TweetDeck to manage their Twitter traffic, as well as, to post simultaneously to multiple social networks. But Twitter is about to get a lot more music friendly, if only for a select group of artists.

image from i.ehow.com
"Alongside the development of our core products we've also been partnering up with a select group of bands, record labels, movie studios and media companies to develop themed TweetDecks. These special TweetDecks not only offer a potentially radical look and feel but also a dedicated channel straight to the artist or movie alongside the usual TweetDeck columns," according to TweetDeck head Iain Dodsworth

Kik To Bring Stream And Buy Music To Blackberry

"The labels love Kik because it targets a demo that never paid for music." - Ted Livingston, Kik

Originally launched as Unsynced, a utility for managing music on The Blackberry, Kik will enable free and legal mobile playback and playlisting. After three free plays the user gets three options: buy a 99 cent mp3, that can be moved to any device,  pay $9.99 a month for unlimited streaming or listen to a 5-10 second audio ad and the user can continue to enjoy the song on their phone. Playlisting and sharing with others is also enabled. Expect a Q1 Canadian and Q2 U.S. launch. (Kik fact sheet.)