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Apple Closing Lala 5/31. Is iTunes In The Cloud Next?

Lala is shutting down

The Lala service will be shut down on May 31st, 2010.

Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting new users.

That was the simple message posted on the lala.com home page last night. Does this mean iTune's in the cloud is nearing launch? And what does it mean for Google music search results that point to lala? Apple, as usual isn't talking.  But, stay tuned...


MusikPitch Launches Online Marketplace For Songs

MusikPitch has launched as an online marketplace for custom songwriting. The site offers music supervisors, corporate brands and others access to a largely untapped pool of songwriting talent and revenue opportunites for the songwriter. Clients post their needs along with a budget. Next songwriters submit tracks and clients provide feedback. At the end of the contest, the client picks their favorite song and pays the winning songwriter.  image from media-room.musikpitch.com

MusikPitch is free to songwriters, charging the buyers a small fee plus 10% of the prize. They also help streamline the licensing process with free contracts. Potential MusicPitch custom song clients include film, TV, video games, corporate jingles, as well as, personal songs for reunions, parties, weddings, etc.

Watch a video overview:

Continue reading "MusikPitch Launches Online Marketplace For Songs" »


E1 Buys IndieBlu Labels Artemis, V2, Light & More

image from www.newswire.ca Consolidation within the India sector appears to be heating up. Last week Concord acquired the massive Rounder Records catalog and this week E1 Entertainment (formerly Koch) has acquired the rights to more than 25,000 master recordings and a related publishing company from IndieBlu Music Holdings.

IndieBlu was formed in April of 2009 when it bought the assets of Sheridan Square Entertainment at a foreclosure auction. IndieBlu’s roster includes Artemis, V2, Light, Compendia, Vanguard Classic, IndieBlu Records, Spitfire, Tone Cool, Triloka and Ropeadope. Eight IndieBlu staffers will join E1's Nashville office including IndieBlu president Michael Olsen.

Watch Contoversial M.I.A "Born Free" Video

The controversial M.I.A. video "Born Free" depicts the military rounding up red headed children and executing them. Some media outlets reported that YouTube had removed the violent video, but instead they put it in an age restricted section. The net result is that it's almost impossible the find the video unless you know the YouTube internal URL. 

Perhaps parental discretion is warranted. Perhaps not. The video is disturbing and contains violence and nudity, but it also deserves to be seen.


More Music Industry News: Flash Ban, Vivendi Reports, HMV Falls, Taco Machines & More

  • image from www.eecs.tufts.edu What Apple’s Flash Ban Means For Music. (Billboard.biz)
  • Universal Music Group  (UMG) parent company Vivendi said its performance in the first quarter of 2010 was in line with expectations and predicted a modest increase in profits for the full year. The company also announced the appointment of Lucian Grainge, Co-CEO of UMG, as a member of the Vivendi Management Board. He will take up the position of CEO of UMG on January 1, 2011, succeeding Doug Morris, who will remain as Chairman. (FMQB)
  • BPI and The Pirate Bay clash at London music industry debate. (Music Ally)
  • eMusic has extends its digital music club rewards initiative to the UK. Dubbed the eMusic A+R Access + Rewards program, UK eMusic members will get offers and discounts from select music partners. 
  • UK music retailer HMV's sales fall 10%. Group pins hopes on boost from release of Avatar on DVD and new Amy Winehouse album following 'difficult' start to the year (Guardian)
  • image from blogs.iwcc.edu Yahoo looses another exec: Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president for the consumer products group, is leaving the company after little more than a year on the job.(CNet)
  • Michael Robertson on music in the cloud: A Billion Taco Vending Machines = Bigger Taco Industry


UK Band Gets $300,000 To Change Their Name

image from www.banksyfilm.com (UPDATED) Exit Through The Gift Shop Door was  the name of a band started by 41 year old Simon Duncan in London just 18 months ago. "It was a kind of midlife crisis, but we are still going, with a different line-up, and it has become a bit more serious," according to Duncan.

The band's path to success took a twist, however, when famous UK graffiti artist Banksy randomly chose the band's name as the title of his first ever movie project. Exit Through The Gift Shop Door, the film - also dubbed "The world's first Street Art disaster movie" - debuted at Sundance and will be screened in select U.S. Cinemas this week and next.

More & The Film's Trailer:

Continue reading "UK Band Gets $300,000 To Change Their Name" »


Try Stoking Your Fans

This guest post comes from Ben Coe who is an artist coach and co-founder of music management and marketing firm The Artist Farm.  His work there is designed to help artists of all types and levels succeed in clarifying and achieving their goals.image from snowvillecreamery.files.wordpress.com

 The most effective marketing comes from word of mouth: and as you may also know, it is easier to retain a customer than it is to get a new customer.  Put those two ideas together and you see that it is more cost effective and efficient to keep your current customers happy so that their word of mouth will help you to gain new customers.  On top of this, mix in the benefits of the internet where word of mouth is archived and global and you can see how it is a powerful tool for marketing.

What I’d like to propose is a new form of marketing that I call “Stoking.”  Stoking puts all three of these elements together and combines the idea of “gifting” as well.  (Gifting is the practice of giving away something of value when you expect nothing in return.  The act of the gift and the pleasure it creates is the value).

How does ’stoking’ work?

Continue reading "Try Stoking Your Fans " »


MP3Tunes Bumps Free Cloud Storage 5X to 10G

Online music storage locker MP3Tunes has increased the capacity of its free cloud based service from 2G to 10G.  That should be enough capacity to store 2000 songs for play on almost any connected device.

image from s.mp3tunes.com

"The goal is to store every internet user's music collection in the cloud and make it available everywhere they want to listen," according to the company's blog. "This will require a massive expansion of our system but we're ready to make the jump from hundreds of thousands of users to tens of millions." Invites are available here. 50G Premium accounts are also available for $39.95 per year.


TuneCore & MySpace Music Partner For Discounted Distribution Services

image from eldino.files.wordpress.com image from blogs.sfweekly.com

Flat fee digital distributor TuneCore has partnered with MySpace Music to offer discounted music distribution services to all the major download outlets. 

In addition, MySpace Music will provide participating artists a MyAds credit to market and promote on MySpace along with the additional marketing, sales data and other services of TuneCore. In the coming months, MySpace artists will also be able to log into TuneCore using their MySpace ID to provide a more seamless experience. 


More Music Industry News: HP Buys Palm, Blogs Under Attack, Facebook Buttons Spread, Ted Cohen & More

  • image from www.mobileworld.com.my HP buys smartphone developer Palm for $1.2 billion. (MediaMemo)
  • Irish music blogs under attack over royalties. (Guardian)
  • Apple releases iTunes 9.1.1 to fix a few bugs. (MacWorld)
  • Rovi to power metadata for RollingStone.com. (press release)
  • Have Trent Reznor And His Wife Started A New Band? (FMQB)
  • Facebook’s New Social Plugins Come to 50,000+ Websites in One Week, (Mashable)
  • Did you know that you could message your YouTube subscribers with bulletins? (YouTube)
  • Ted Cohen: Servicing The Music Fans' Quest for Tunes (MidemNet)

Record Store Day Declared Big Sales Success

image from www.musicvice.com It was a great day for recorded music as sales surged during America’s third annual Record Store Day on April 17th.  Compared to the prior week, overall U.S. album sales in the independent sector increased 12%  including a whopping 119% vinyl sales jump for the weekend and 529% growth in vinyl single sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan

Continue reading "Record Store Day Declared Big Sales Success" »


We7 Claims A Profitable Month. Is This A Breakthrough For Ad Supported Music?

What Income Is Being Paid To Artists & Labels?

image from static.guim.co.uk UK music streaming service we7 has it's first month where on demand music was paid for in full by advertising. That may make we7 the first company to demonstrate that a music on-demand ad-funded model can be profitable and still return measurable payments to rights holders.

1 million plays on we7 generates payments to the music industry of between £2,000 to £4,000 ($3100 - $6200 US), according to the company. Without mentioning Spotify by name, we7 claimed that their payouts "dwarf previously reported competitive models, especially revenue share models which shift the risk to the artists and songwriters".

The list of failed companies in the ad supported space is long and likely still growing. iMeem, SpiralFrog, iLike, Lala and Ruckus are a partial list of the companies that have tried to make ad supported music profitable and either gone out of business or been sold, often at fire sale prices.

The difference may be in we7's model of controlled growth, but record labels giving reasonable terms and time to experiment have also helped to make it work. 

Continue reading "We7 Claims A Profitable Month. Is This A Breakthrough For Ad Supported Music?" »


John Mayer Drops 3.2M Twitter Followers For Tumblr

"140 characters...

a mathematical equation without an established value."

(UPDATED) Singer/songwriter John Mayer has amassed 3.2 million twitter followers, but at the recent ASCAP Expo, he told the crowd, “I think it’s pretty much done… Twitter as a form of communication, I think it’s over to be honest with you.”  Now on his blog Mayer clarified his dislike for Twitter:

image from a1.twimg.com "...the days of "Twitter: The Breakthrough" have passed; The Twitter-bred syntax isn't really doing it for me anymore."

"Finding out in 140 characters what a stranger has to say about you is like a mathematical equation without an established value of 'x'. Who are you, stranger? What do you stand for?..."

"Tumbler... the future of social networking"

"This is where Tumblr comes in. It's the future of social networking if your image of the future features intelligent discourse. I love reading other Tumblr users replies, because they're thoughtful by virtue of the fact that if they're not, they'll bring the intellectual property value of their own blog down, and that's a commodity on Tumblr."


Time To Add Android App Creation To The To-Do List

image from tctechcrunch.files.wordpress.com click on image to enlarge (via TechCrunch)

iPhone music apps are hotter than hot. Not just because of the big numbers they can deliver, but also because iPhone users are early adopters that help spread the word. But a new Ad Mob survey should remind music marketers not to forget Google Android users when planning their development schedule.

According to the study, U.S. Android traffic increased to 46% of overall smartphone OS web traffic compared to 39% for the iPhone operating system. Worldwide, iPhone held the top spot with 46% vs. 25% for Android. AdMob measures mobile ad impressions, which they use as a measure of overall traffic.


Twitter Complies With DMCA Takedown Requests

image from jpsblog.net Twitter has begun acting on label and rights holder requests based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to take down allegedly offending material. It's not the first report like this, but last week blogger JP got this notice from Twitter after posting about a recent leak of The Nationals new album complete with links and tweeted about it:

jp917, Apr 22 03:10 pm (PDT):
Hello,
The following material has been removed from your account in response to a DMCA take-down notice:
Tweet: http://twitter.com/jp917/statuses/12499491144 – New Post: Leaked: The National – High Violet http://jpsblog.net/2010/04/20/leaked-the-national-high-violet/  

Asked to respond, Twitter said in statement:

Continue reading "Twitter Complies With DMCA Takedown Requests" »


More Music Industry News: Pirate Bay, MySpace PR Exec Leaves, AOL Down, Indaba Debuts & More

  • The Pirate Bay’s Sale Drifts On (paidContent)
  • MySpace PR Exec Dani Dudeck Resigns, Moves To Zynga As GM Corporate Communications. (TechCrunch)
  • AOL’s Turnaround Isn’t Here Yet: Revenues Down 23 Percent. (MediaMemo)
  • Indaba Music has debuted Mantis, its new web-based Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Mantis enables anyone, from anywhere in the world, to record, edit and mix high-quality audio — for free. (press release) I'll be doing a full story later this week on Hypebot.
  • Digital distributor IODA announced that Ely Guerra has joined their growing Latin music catalog, which represents 4.5 % of the U.S. Latin digital market. The announcement was made at the Billboard Latin Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • WIN and Qtel launch mobile music service in Qatar. (press release)
  • Sonicbids and Berklee Partner to Give One Band a $20K Scholarship to Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program (press release)


Trade Your Fans On Headliner.fm For New Ones

The concept of trading gigs with another band - say in another city - is nothing new.  But what about trading fans? Headliner.fm encourages artists to promote their peers on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter in exchange for return promo to their fan networks. Headliner.fm's platform is designed to keep the trades targeted and even; so the artist is assured of getting as good as their giving. 

image from headliner.fm There are certainly other successful examples of "if you like X, you'll probably like Y" music marketing. Look at what Fall Out Boy has done with it's Ning powered Friends Or Enemies site and community.   Of course, like a band that blasts out too much unwanted info, overuse of Headliner.fm has the potential to cause fan burnout. But used wisely, it seems like another worthy tool in the artist marketing toolbox.

Watch a Headliner.fm intro video:

Continue reading "Trade Your Fans On Headliner.fm For New Ones" »


Report: UK Recorded Music Biz A Mix Bag In 2009

image from www.2cuk.co.uk The statistical highlights courtesy of BPI:

  • Total UK recorded music trade income rises 1.4% overall to £928.8m
  • Trade revenues from physical formats down 6.1% to £739.9m
  • Digital income now a fifth of total recorded music revenues - up 47.8% to £188.9m
What does this mix report mean for the future?  According to Forrester analyst Mark Mulligan, the glass half empty perspective is appropriate. "The UK recorded music market has lost close to 40% of its value since 2003. Though this isn’t necessarily a dead cat bounce, it is going to take a lot more than 1.4% annual growth to turn things around".

Spotify Gets A Major Upgrade Unifying Cloud & iTunes Playlists In A Single Player

Details & A Video Introduction

image from www.spotify.com (UPDATED) After six months of development, Spotify has released a major upgrade that allows users to import tracks from their download library into the Spotify player along with a new Spotify Social feature that encourages music discovery. Users can friend each other to share tracks and there is full Facebook integration, all within the Spotify player. The result is a more unified music experience which for Spotify means additional opportunities to deliver ads.

A recently introduced iPhone app allows playlist downloads for offline listening. Now paid Spotify users can enjoy cloud-based music streaming, digital downloads, playlists, wireless sync and offline listening - all in a single player that looks and feels a lot like iTunes.

The gain for labels, says Spotify, is that greater engagement leads to more music sales. But that has yet to be proven, which U.S. users even more frustrated; as the record labels blocking their way wait for proof that Spotify can someday deliver significant payouts.

Video Of The New Spotify:

Continue reading "Spotify Gets A Major Upgrade Unifying Cloud & iTunes Playlists In A Single Player" »


Free SoundExchange Artist Webinar Today & 10 Reasons Artists Don't Register

Register for Our Webinar

Digital royalties collection group SoundExchange is offering a free webinar open to the first the 1,000 musicians to register today at 2:00pm EST.  Participants will learn about SoundExchange, maximizing digital performance royalties , the process of getting their money, and activities in Congress that will affect their career.  Daryl P. Friedman, VP, Advocacy & Government Relations, The Recording Academy, will join to discuss  others issues facing musicians.

image from 360jmg.com
SoundExchange is also continuing its efforts to distribute money collected from digital and satellite music providers to artists. They'd been criticized for not delivering money to artists who could have been  easily found with a Google search. But, at least since this campaign, the roadblock  has often proven to be the artists themselves rather than SoundExchange. Unaware or perhaps suspicious of who SoundExchange is, some artists have still failed to take the simple steps needed to receive money due them.

The latest chapter in Sound Exchange's ongoing effort to educate artists is this list of The Top Ten Reasons Artists Don’t Register with SoundExchange (And 10 Reasons They Should):

Continue reading "Free SoundExchange Artist Webinar Today & 10 Reasons Artists Don't Register" »


More Music Industry News: EMI's Future, SoundHound, Seeqpod, Another Blog-Label, PlayMPE Hacked & More

(UPDATED)
  • image from www.highposition.net New EMI Music chairman Charles Allen is believed to have pulled back from suggesting sales of parts of the group in the strategic plan he has just submitted to financier Guy Hands, who runs parent company Terra Firma. (ThisIsMoney)
  • SoundHound, has launched a limited free version of its popular music search mobile app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The app can identify recorded music as well as songs users sing or hum. (press release)
  • Bloson.com, a portal that converts everyday social activities into financial aid for charitable causes, has purchased the remaining assets of SeeqPod. (press release)
  • Popular music blog MyOldKentuckyBlog has gotten a major face lift and started a record label. (MetroMix)
  • Digital distributor IODA is delivering a first-ever Amazon MP3 global exclusive with Kris Kristofferson's new album made up of early publishing demos. (press release)
  • Music distribution system PlayMPE, used by many record labels was hacked last week. (AbsolutePunk)
  • HYPEBOT ADS - You may have noticed that the Google provided ads that ran under the first post  are gone as part of our ongoing redesign. We're also about to increase our ad rates including a number of new ad positions. To lock in at the current rates or if you are interested in some of our new advertising and sponsorship opportunities, contact us now.


Even For Majors Labels, It's A Direct To Fan Future

image from weblogs.cltv.com UMG & Mozes Expand Latin Fan Outreach

Direct to fan marketing and sales has been the indie d.i.y. mantra for months, and now even the major labels are getting into the game.  With an increasingly fractured media landscape and a decreasing retail marketplace, what choice do they have?

Recent surveys have shown that mobile interactivity trumps the internet for many Hispanic consumers and Universal Music Group upped its d-to-f game for Spanish speakers today with a deal to utilize the Mozes Connect mobile engagement platform. By leveraging the Mozes Connect platform, UMG is opening additional channels of discovery and delivery to Spanish-speaking and bilingual fans.

Continue reading "Even For Majors Labels, It's A Direct To Fan Future" »


Rhapsody Adds Offline Playlists & An iTunes Buy Button To Mobile App

image from faculty.ivytech.edu As promised when they released an Android app last month, Rhapsody today launched a new version of its iPhone app that enables subscribers to download playlists to their iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and listen to them - even when not connected to the net.

With the upgrade, Rhapsody becomes the first U.S. service to enable the downloading of subscription music to the iPhone. A similar app for the Blackberry is scheduled for a summer launch.

An iTunes Buy Button On A Rhapsody App -

Continue reading "Rhapsody Adds Offline Playlists & An iTunes Buy Button To Mobile App" »


Column: What Do You Mean, Broken?!?

Kyle Bylin, Associate Editor (@kbylin)

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Since publishing my latest essay I’ve started to wonder whether or not I delivered a concept that was useful and at least somewhat universally understandable.  No doubt there is some rather abstract thinking and big ideas in the essay that aren’t the easiest things to grasp, and some of its argument may be flawed.  What about the central purpose of the essay, which was to examine the ‘broken’ state of the traditional music consumption system, was that message communicated, and in a way that was clear?

I’m afraid that it wasn’t and for that I apologize.  So I thought I would take a moment to try to reflect on that concept and reveal some of my thinking behind it, as it relates to the bigger picture of the plight of the record industry in the digital age.   More so, how the ‘broken’ consumption system relates to a more familiar topic that I’ve argued previously: The Death of the CD-Release Complex.  To quickly review, what that terminology entails is the collapse of the symbiotic relationship between fans and the record industry, where fans discovered music through the same mediums that the major labels used to promote new music.

Continue reading "Column: What Do You Mean, Broken?!?" »


David Pakman: Witnessing The Atomization Of The Music Industry And What Do Do About It

We are witnessing the atomization and decentralization of the music industry, says David Packman, a partner at venture capital firm Venrock and former eMusic CEO. The music industry's best hope going forward is to decentralize music consumption as well.

image from www.scienceblog.com "We have been witnessing the atomization of artistic culture. The internet gives us far more choice than the limits imposed upon us by broadcast media. We know of more bands, we can get tour dates pushed to us, can sample music long before it is released and we can reserve tickets well before the show. But we are doing this across many more artists, spreading our limited disposable income around in ways we didn’t when we had fewer choices..."

"The future of the (music) business is atomized and decentralized. It is one where the collective power of the many fans actively engaged in discovery and sharing have more power than a few senior execs calling the shots about marketing budgets. Yes, there will always be superstars...But today’s superstars sell a fraction of records/downloads as the ones from years past..."

The New Power -

Continue reading "David Pakman: Witnessing The Atomization Of The Music Industry And What Do Do About It " »


CD Baby Adds $9 Digital Singles Distribution

(UPDATED) Online independent music distribution service CD Baby has added a digital singles program. For a $9 one time fee plus 9% of net earnings, CD Baby will distribute a song to including iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, Spotify, CD Baby and others. The company charges $35 plus 9% of net for full albums. No annual fee is charged for either singles or albums.

image from 
www.virtuosi.info

The $9 fee per song includes digital distribution to all partners, and for a limited time, a free UPC barcode. Songs are typically live on CD Baby within 48 hours and delivered to the online outlets. "Independent artists are changing the way that they interact with their fans," says Brian Felsen, the president of CD Baby. "Now musicians can sell singles as soon as they're mixed, put out an EP every 3 or 4 months and the finally compile the best of the best material into a full album by the year's end.


More Music Industry News: NZ 3 Strikes, Suburban Home, Azoff Profile, Fourquare + VH1 & More

Hypebot Favicon Want to be sure that you didn't miss anything last week?  Be sure to read REWIND, Hypebot's Music Industry's Week In Review.
  • New Zealand Moves Forward With Three Strikes; Big Questions Left Unanswered. (Techdirt)
  • Best copyright policies in the world? Try India (ars)
  • In a new deal Interpunk.com will handle all order fulfillment for indie Suburban Home Records and Vinyl Collective and warehouse, ship and handle customer service for online orders, stores and distributors.
  • A profile of Live Nation Ticketmaster CEO and uber-manager Irving Azoff. (NY Times)
  • Foursquare Gets Some Major VH1 Love. (TechCrunch)
  • A very bright future for the iPad? 26 Percent of Wired Magazines mobile traffic already comes from the iPad. (Gadget Lab)
  • Check out two great internship opportunities.
  • Join the discussion re: The Cult's Ian Astbury's statement that Giving Away Music Is "Selfish" And "Irresponsible"