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REWIND: The Music Industry's Week In Review


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Spotify: We're NOT Cannibalizing Download Sales!

But Offer Little Proof

Responding to a recent NPD survey, that it "cannibalizes"  download sales ,a Spotify spokesperson told Fast Company:

image from en.onsoftware.com "There is other data out there to prove the exact opposite of that report," a spokesman says, pointing to a report in Billboard magazine in which Scott Cohen, the London-based founder/VP of The Orchard, says Spotify is already boosting income for labels in two ways: 'First, the more tracks are streamed on Spotify the more downloads occur on other services,' Cohen tells Billboard. 'We are not seeing any cannibalization'."

"Spotify is not just about downloads. We're generating a mixture of revenue which includes downloads but also ad sales and subscriptions both of which are growing rapidly."

Film 72 Musicians Released Using Topspin Platform

image from 72musicians.com
Could the Topspin direct to fan music marketing and sales platform also serve as a launchpad for indie film and other digital media? 72 Musicians was shot in Kansas City and asks the eternal question, “Why the hell do we chase this music dream, anyway?”.

72 Musicians was made and released by Topspin's VP of Product Design Bob Moczydlowsky; so, the partnership is an obvious fit. Following the usual Topspin model, the film has been released in bundles ranging from an $8 iPhone to DVDs with t-shirts and posters,  and all the way up to a $400 version on a hard drive with all the film's assets and a Creative Commons-licensed for the buyer to edit and release their own version.

Watch the trailer:

Continue reading "Film 72 Musicians Released Using Topspin Platform " »


DEVO Inc. Conducts Focus Group To Choose Ideal Color For New DEVO Brand

(Update 2) As part of a partnership that involves the band DEVO, former Orchard CEO Greg Scholl (now at NBC) and Warner Brothers Records, focus groups were recently orchestrated in Los Angeles to chose the color of the new DEVO brand.

image from www.wired.com image from themusicslut.com Hypebot has launched a full investigation to determine the true reason for this bizarre coupling. Stay tuned....

Hypebot readers are encouraged to submit theories, photos taken with their iPhones (no old school Blackberry photos please), and exclusive tips based on information found on their RSS feeds. All secrets should be posted in the comments section below. Your privacy is guaranteed, since no one reads then any way. 

Here, in an exclusive video uncovered by Hypebot on YouTube, are some shocking results from the color focus groups:


More Video: Greg Scholl, COO of DEVO Inc. reads his first official communique to the public:

Continue reading "DEVO Inc. Conducts Focus Group To Choose Ideal Color For New DEVO Brand" »


MOG Gets $9.5M, Expands Into Spotify Territory

(Updated) Music discovery and subscription service MOG.com has announced another $9.5 million in funding and a pending expansion into Europe. The round was led by Menlo Ventures which was joined by new investor Balderton Capital. Dharmash Mistry, partner at Balderton Capital, has been appointed to MOG’s board. The company had raised $12.5 million in previous rounds.

image from www.bloggersblog.com MOG also announced that it will launch in the UK by the end of the second quarter. The UK is one of rival Spotify's most successful markets; and with Spotify thus far kept out of the U.S., it's the first time the two services will go head to head.

MOG will try to counter Spotify's premium model with paid access to a 7 million track catalog of music that includes all four majors. One label exec told Hypebot that he is supportive of MOG not just for it's paid model, but also because it offers far more options for music discovery than its competitors.

MOG's Free Trial Extended (Plus A Video Tour):

Continue reading "MOG Gets $9.5M, Expands Into Spotify Territory" »


More Music Industry News: SellaBand, Gaga Drives Vevo, Sirius XM, Music Mastermind Gets $5M & More

  • image from news.sellaband.com Sellaband is back online but users are skeptical.  Read the comments.
  • Lady Gaga generates 25 percent of Vevo's traffic. (CNet)
  • image from samuelfebres.com Songkick is the big ticket in gig listings - With 100,000 concerts on its global database, Songkick dominates the listings market. But why is the UK lagging behind? (Guardian)
  • A report from the recent Millennium Music Conference. (Creative Deconstruction)
  • Sirius XM has its first profitable quarter since merger. (FMQB)
  • Music Mastermind Gets $4.85 Million For Music Creation Tools (paidContent)
  • Friendfeed goes down. (TechCrunch)

Video: Sony's Hesse At Digital Music East

Thomas Hesse, the President of Global Digital Business, US Sales & Corp. Strategy at Sony Music Entertainment was interviewed by Larry Kenswil of Loeb & Loeb at this week's Digital Music East. Topics included niche markets, music in the cloud and digital personalization.

A Conversation with Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Bus., US Sales & Corp. Strategy, Sony Music Ent. from blackweb20 on Vimeo.


ITunes: Over 10 Billion Songs Served

image from i.telegraph.co.uk Apple has passed the 10 billion songs sold mark on iTunes. The 10 billionth song, “Guess Things Happen That Way” by Johnny Cash, was purchased by Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia. 

As the winner of the iTunes Countdown to 10 Billion Songs, Louie will receive a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card. iTunes is the number one music retailer in the world and features the world’s largest music catalog with over 12 million songs. The iTunes Store has a catalog of over 12 million songs, 55,000 TV episodes and over 8,500 movies.


SellaBand Saved, May Be Back Online Today

After declaring bankruptcy in Dutch court earlier this week, fan to artist funding site Sellaband has been saved by a German investment group who are moving the site to their home country and promising to have it back online today.

image from sellaband.com
Exactly why the site went dark and how the new owner plans to change SellaBand is unclear. But CEO Johan Vosmeijer is out; replaced by Michael Bogatzki. "We will continue to advance this fantastic platform while acting in the spirit of the SellaBand community and its founders," wrote Bogatazki. " Starting from today we proceed with this unique concept and maximize the potential of SellaBand with the trust and faith of all Artists and Believers. I will take care about the community and spirit of sellaband.com with your help and confidence".

It may not be easy for SellaBand's new owners to restore fan and artist trust and confidence. SliceThePie, Kickstarter and a handful of others also competing for fan funded projects, and many artist are reaching out to fans directly for support.

Co-founder Says Business Model Has Major Flaws:

Continue reading "SellaBand Saved, May Be Back Online Today" »


Dropcards.com: New Look, Even Better Tasting!

Kyle Bylin (@kbylin), Associate Editor

noname

In January, Dropcards unveiled their new download card platform.  Then, late last week, they held a short webinar to take people through a tour of the new features they added.  I was in attendance, and while I was not familiar with the inner workings of their previous site, I became quite impressed with their rather neat and current offerings.

It goes without saying, that for any artist, the detailed redemption reporting and interactive graphs that the staff over at Dropcards has added to their site, will prove to be extremely useful.  As they will help artists keep all of their offline marketing efforts focused and data-driven.  Plus, they also have this really cool redemption map powered by Google, wherein each user who redeems their media is pinpointed according to their actual location.  Giving artists even more insight into potential tour routes and where their fans cluster across the globe.

Another source talks about the potential for selling Dropcards instead of CDs at merch booths, which — while it is something that I’ve never encountered — I’m sure isn’t a exactly a new idea to many of you.  What’s good about Dropcards is that — when redeemed — you can chose whether or not to collect emails from those who do so.  Thus, widening your contacts for your direct-to-fan campaigns, where you could then establish a connection and make a unique proposition to your new contacts, whom, hopefully become new fans as well.    

Have any of you used Dropcards and what are your thoughts?

(See below for image.)

Continue reading "Dropcards.com: New Look, Even Better Tasting!" »


Rejoice! It's Not The End Of The Rickroll Era.

The internet was buzzing and CNet and others were bemoaning the take down of the infamous Rick Astley video that has beem played 30 million times, rejuvenated a forgotten pop star's career and caused the word rickroll to be added to the pop culture dictionary had been taken down on YouTube.

But have no fear, it was all a terrible mistake. "With 20 hours of video uploaded every minute to YouTube, we count on our community members to know our Community Guidelines and to flag content they believe violates them,' reads a statement from Google."...Occasionally, an account flagged by users or identified by our spam team is mistakenly taken down. When this is brought to our attention, we move quickly to take appropriate action, including restoring videos that had been mistakenly removed and channels that have been mistakenly suspended."

You may sleep soundly tonight, Hypebot readers, because the Rickster is back.


More Music Industry News: Pandora vs. Spotify, Missing Music Buyers, Earnings Calls & More

Bruce Houghton press2.12.09 I've been having a great (and hectic) week. Did a national NPR interview with Laura Sydell. I'll let you know when it runs. Also saw some great live music - Dave Alvin and two of his Guilty Women. I can't believe I've never seen the ex-Blaster before. Catch him if you can. Tonight, it's Ruthie Foster. Seems like Roanoke, VA really is becoming a music city.

  • image from userlogos.org Pandora spurs music sales; Spotify not so much. (CNet)
  • Missing: 24 million music buyers. (Music Ally)
  • The Orchard adds UK legends Jethro Tull, Cornershop, and Boy George. (press release)
  • Live Nation Entertainment, the company formed after concert promoter Live Nation merged with ticketing giant Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. last month, reports its first post merger quarterly earnings today (Thursday) after the market closes. Hypebot will have details.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation has "Practical Advice for Music Bloggers Worried About DMCA Takedown Censorship". (EFF)
  • Ex-MTVN, Six Apart Execs Wolf And Dash Pair Up (paidContent)
  • ReverbNation Adds Some RtB To Its CwF Platform (Techdirt)

we7 Gets Appstore Approval, Premium Service 3/1

image from crenk.com

Ad supported music service we7 just got the green light from Apple Appstore to launch its Premium Plus service.

we7 will launch the subscription music service on March 1st. Premium Plus will offer  £9.99 unlimited streaming on the PC and iPhone and access to 5 million songs. The app allows PC playlist creation which instantly refreshes on the iPhone and an offline button enables the user to take favorites offline.


The Fate of a Format: Will MusicDNA Catch On?

Kyle Bylin (@kbylin), Associate Editor

musicdna-player-392

Twenty-seven and a half years ago, the manufacturing of the world’s first compact disc took place at a Philips factory in Langenhagen, Germany.  Upon its introduction, the CD was marketed to music fans with regards to its superior sound quality and scratch free durability.  But, as time when on, those claims were both highly debated among audiophiles, and, in the case of durability, or “Perfect Sound Forever” as they called it, even refuted completely.  When compared to the record in terms of the trade-off between fidelity and convenience that music fans made when choosing formats, it’s clear that the CD offered up far more convenience than records did at the time.  Their higher portability and capacity to allow effortless skipping between songs gave the CD a definite edge.

Continue reading "The Fate of a Format: Will MusicDNA Catch On?" »


Roanoke, VA: Where Music Is Made Matters

image from upload.wikimedia.org Virginia's Star City Explores Music As An Economic Driver

I've written before about how where music is made matters. Not only can music add flavor to a city as it does in Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans; but musicians can also be harbingers of future growth as we've seen in places like Austin and Brooklyn Heights, New York.

The conditions needed to grow a music city and music's potential to lead a city's transformation have become particularly apparent since my wife Katy and I moved  to Roanoke, Virginia late last year. There's a diverse music scene of surprising quality beginning to take shape here driven by a long tradition of music making, affordable living, and a few dedicated individuals like Katherine and Ed Walker, Gary Jackson and Stephanie Koehler of the Kirk Ave Music Hall, The Jefferson Center's Dylan Locke, Chris Stup of education hub The Music Lab, Cyrus Pace, who with VH1's Save The Music Foundation is bringing music into the schools, Beth Deel and Wendy Schuyler who chronicle the scene as well as help present it, and David Stewart Wiley who bucked national trends and grew the Roanoke Symphony's audience by as much as 316% for certain programs.

The Interview

Continue reading "Roanoke, VA: Where Music Is Made Matters" »


Tune Tribe And 3rd Space Team For Ad Supported Mobile Video

image from www.tunetribe.com image from www.3rdspace.com TuneTribe is partnering with  with mobile entertainment marketer 3RD SPACE to launch an ad funded mobile music videos service.

Users of the new mobile video channels will get free entertainment content in exchange for watching an embedded advert, with TuneTribe and 3RD SPACE pooling resources to attract sponsors and advertisers.

Continue reading "Tune Tribe And 3rd Space Team For Ad Supported Mobile Video" »


Mark Cuban: Cut Off The Vampires

In a speech before the AlwaysOn's OnMedia conference, outspoken entrepreneur Mark Cuban chided the newspaper industry for allowing "vampires" (aka Google) to "suck the life" out of their business.  In typical Cuban fashion, his propsed cure is radical; and while I think its not (and probably never was) the answer for the music industry, he makes several points worth pondering. 

Thanks to Hypebot reader Tyler Pennell for tipping me off to this video.

More Music Industry News: INgrooves Adds, Spotify Gets $'s, Lawbreakers, Luck Media & More

  • image from www.africandope.co.za Digital distributor INgrooves is now feeding content to subscription service and music ad network MOG, streaming service Deezer and the ad-based music service Guvera.
  • Spotify takes new investment from Sean Parker at Founders Fund. (TechCrunch)
  • Millions of iPod fans breaking law by copying CDs - Millions of music listeners are breaking the law every day by copying CDs, which they own, onto their home computers, iPods or other devices. (Telegraph)
  • Music Won’t Feed The Band - But Merch Might. (Epicenter)
  • Luck Media, a pr firm founded by music industry veteran Steve Levesque in 1999, is expanding the company’s services to include artist development, management and marketing consultation. Included is what Levesque calls the “Virtual Major Label,” where teams of respected industry executives will be assembled on behalf of a particular artist or project.
  • Rock producer Jim Kaurman’s American Voodoo record label has entered into a distribution agreement with EMI Label Services for North America.

SellaBand Issues Statement on Bankruptcy

The message on the front page of SellaBand's website has changed from "down for maintenance" to an explanation of the bankruptcy filing story which Hypebot broke this morning.

image from images.google.com

On Friday February 19th, SellaBand AG requested provisional suspension of payments (moratorium). This was granted by the Court in Amsterdam on the same day. Yesterday, Monday February 22nd, this moratorium was changed into bankruptcy, with appointment of, Mr Paul Schaink, an amsterdam lawyer, as trustee. The trustee wishes to inform the 'Sellaband community' that, apart from a few technicalities, the completion of a transaction with a potential buyer of the business, is to be expected soon, in order to make a fresh start, safeguarding both the rights of Believers and Artists. More news will follow shortly.

On behalf of the trustee,

Johan Vosmeijer
CEO SellaBand

More: Sellaband Files For Bankruptcy


Interview: Kevin Maney of Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don't

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Kyle Bylin, Associate Editor

Recently, I spoke with Kevin Maney, who is a widely respected technology writer and author of Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don't.  In this interview, Kevin talks about the lack of aura in digital music, the hedgehog concept, and how live music establishes indentity.

To start this off could you briefly outline how music fans, in their everyday lives, make trade-offs between the fidelity an experience and its convenience?

5347c0a398a08752e7273210.LKevin Maney: There are two extremes to enjoying music. The high fidelity end would be going to a big-time concert like U2 or Lady Gaga. It’s an amazing experience and people will pay a lot to go and put up with terrible inconveniences like crowds and parking – but we’ll give up convenience for that level of fidelity.

The high convenience end would be MP3 music files. The fidelity isn’t that good, but you’ll give up fidelity for the great convenience of carrying thousands of songs in your pocket.

Continue reading "Interview: Kevin Maney of Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don't " »


ReverbNation & Audiolife Partner For Reverb Store

image from profile.ak.fbcdn.net Music marketing platform ReverbNation has partnered with direct to fan e-commerce provider Audiolife to launch of the Reverb Store following a private trial involving more than 15,000 bands.

image from www.newmusicseminar.biz Using on demand production, the Reverb Store allows musicians to sell t-shirts, hoodies, hats, CDs, downloads and ringtones direct to fans on Facebook, social networks, their blog and homepage without any up front expense.

Artists set the final price above the cost and keep 100% of the profits. They can order larger quantities of their CDs and merchandise at discounted prices for sale at shows. Some artists also use on demand production to test market new merchandise before producing larger quantities.

A Video Demo:

The store is designed to be easy to set up. In this demo an existing ReverbNation user creates a t-shirt and is selling it on Facebook in 2 minutes.

Selling Merchandise on Facebook in Two Minutes or Less from ReverbNationBlog on Vimeo.

Continue reading "ReverbNation & Audiolife Partner For Reverb Store" »


Sellaband Files For Bankruptcy

image from news.sellaband.comUPDATED: The translation and content of the court document below has been verified by a Dutch contact familiar with the music and tech industries.

Artist funding platform Sellaband has been offline for several days with its front page declaring, "We're currently down for maintenance...we expect to be back up tomorrow by the end of the day."

But documents filed in an Amsterdam court yesterday show that the company has been declared insolvent, a Dutch legal status similar to bankruptcy in the U.S. An English translation of court documents reads simply:

"Pronunciation ams.10.146.F.1306.1.10 bankruptcy after termination suspension on February 22, 2010"

The fate of funds being held for fan investors or for artists like Public Enemy, who were using the platform to raise funds for a new album or  for fan investors is unclear. Company officials have not yet responded to an morning inquiry.


Indies Boycott Limewire Party At Digital Music East

image from api.ning.com American Association Of Independent Music (A2IM) President Rich Bengloff is encouraging his members attending this week's Digital Music Forum East to boycott at Limewire sponsored reception on Thursday evening.

"...Services like LimeWire, Myxer and many more that, by the nature of their services, make it too easy for consumers to violate copyright and/or compensate independents in a sub-standard fashion or not at all," Bengloff wrote in an open letter to his members and shared with Hypebot. "LimeStore uses the LimeWire illegal hits to drive traffic to their legal site," he added.

Full text of the letter:

Continue reading "Indies Boycott Limewire Party At Digital Music East" »


More Music Industry News: MySpace Refocuses, Guvera, MTV Digital, OK Go, UK 3 Strikes & More

  • image from www.dancingword.net MySpace will refocus on music discovery post-management shakeup. (TechCrunch)
  • Microsoft phone system hits reset on digital music. (Reuters)
  • Inside Guvera: Free, Ad-Supported Music … With a Twist. (Epicenter)
  • Twitter Hits 50 Million Tweets Per Day. (Mashable)
  • Baidu found guilty of infringement in Chinese lyrics case. (Music Ally)
  • MTV Digital Reorg: McDonnell To Head Fusion; Tribes’ Hopkins Gets Expanded Marketing Role (paidContent)
  • EMI Gets State Farm To Sponsor Embedding Ok Go Video. But Should You Need A Sponsor To Embed? (TechCrunch)
  • UK Says ‘No’ To Disconnecting File-Sharers, Sort Of. - One of the key clauses in the UK’s Digital Economy Bill is the suggestion that alleged persistent copyright infringers could be disconnected from the Internet. In a response to an online petition opposing the measure, the UK government has stated it will not terminate the accounts of infringers. But it has a wording trick up its sleeve. (TorrentFreak)

The Orchard Ups Navin From Interim To Full CEO

image from media.marketwire.com

image from dailyrindblog.com Digital distributor The Orchard announced on Monday morning that interim CEO Brad Navin has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and a director of the company.

Navin was selected after Board Chairman Michael Donahue launched a search committee last October when popular long time CEO Greg Scholl left to take a senior executive position heading some of NBC Universal's new media efforts.

Continue reading "The Orchard Ups Navin From Interim To Full CEO" »


SellABand Down Just When It Needs To Be Up

Sellaband Downclick on image to enlarge

Greeting visitors to Sellaband on Monday morning was the message, "Sorry, we're currently down for maintenance...we expect to be back up tomorrow by the end of the day." An apparently scheduled maintenance had to be extended, and it could not have happened at a worse time for the fan to artist funding enabler.

image from www.hypebot.com Fan Funding For Public Enemy Release Slips

As Hypebot reported back in December, the site has had trouble generating sufficient fan investments to fund one of its most visible projects to dat - a new album by Public Enemy. In mid-December they had only raised $71,620 or just 28% of a $250,000 goal. Now Billboard and other mainstream media are reporting that Public Enemy and Sellaband have actually lost investors with the total raised now down about $4000 to $67,400.