Senzari, a new Pandora competitor, launched in the U.S. and Brazil today with a licensed catalog of 10 million songs from all four major labels and many independents. Unlike Pandora, who has not followed the music service rush to Facebook, Senzari combines the musical choices of the user and their friends, as expressed on Facebook, to their individual choices and the sites algorithm.
YouTube has replaced and upgraded its Insight platform with the launch of YouTube Analytics. As an example of the kind of data, that YouTube now provides, they offered the video of the talking twin babies. Shot in Brooklyn, and this video has been viewed more than 10M times in the US and 30M times outside the U.S. 5% of its views came from Brazil, another 5% from Russian, and 1 out of 100 people in the Philippines watched. A list of key YouTube Analytics features:
(UPDATED) As announced today by CEO Daniel Ek, the first generation of Spotify apps includes 16 apps, with 12 available from launch. Starting later today, in the left sidebar of Spotify, there will be a section called Apps. Click on it to bring up the App Finder. Spotify's global app partners at launch incude:
During a press conference today, Spotify CEO Daniel EK announced that the popular music streaming site had "become a music platform" with the addition of apps from Rolling Stone Magazine, Last.fm, TuneWiki, Songkick, Pitchfork, The Guardian and others (complete list here). The company also opened its API to other developers. But Spotify must approve each new app, and is not offering developers direct monetization (i.e. paid apps or revenue sharing). While new apps are not live yet, Spotify did publish this demo video:
Shazam, iTunes, 30 second "samples" and crowdsourcing all get blasted in 2 minutes and 33 seconds by former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher. The tape was made to "promote" his "High Flying Birds" album released in September on own Mash Records label.
WARNING: His language is not fucking suitable for some workplaces.
Perry Farrell recently upset Brazilian music fans with a comment about their knowledge of music. Though this is bad pr for Lollapalooza's first run at Brazil, it also points to music opportunities in emerging markets for styles of music that are more popular abroad than in the States. All indie musicians - old school or avant garde - would benefit from exploring the possibilities.
Discussions of DIY and indie music often center around how to conduct business and build a livelihood without signing with a major label. However, as we all know, the DIY and indie ranks are full of people who play music because they have to and take care of business inasmuch as it facilitates their art. That approach is the focus of the documentary "Blood, Sweat + Vinyl: DIY in the 21st Century" and filmmaker Kenneth Thomas has done an excellent job of capturing that perspective.
(UPDATED) With words like “engagement” and “involvement” being at the focal point of nearly every new piece of music technology surfacing as of late, we’re beginning to see more and more artists taking the traditional, passive experience of merely watching music videos and bringing it to the next digital plateau.
A collection of 24,342 tracks is close to worthless if they can't be enjoyed at will. Cloud services like iTunes Match, Amazon Cloud and Google Music offer a partial solution, and streaming music provides another. But the last few feet between your music and listener bliss in places like the kitchen or back porch can still be elusive. Providing ubiquitous in-home audio has been Sonos' mission since launch; and a stream of innovation cemented their status as modern in-house audio leaders. (Yes, I know I'm gushing. If you've got a better product, prove it to me.) Here's the latest round of Sonos upgrades:
We're live blogging today's Spotify announcement at 11:45AM. Read the latest from journalists and pundits sharing what they say will be announced here. Follow the live blog and comment after the jump.
(UPDATE 2) Spotify is making a "big announcement" today at 12pm EST/9am PST which they say will mark a "new direction". I'll be live blogging here. Until then, here is a roundup of the latest Wall St Journal plus rumors, my guesses, a bit of humor and at least one wild theory:
- Sony Music's global digital President Thomas Hesse is leaving to return to Bertelsmann AG. He will be managing the corporation's global and digital business development.
- Grooveshark Prepares To Unmask Anonymous ‘Whistleblower’ (TorrentFreak)
You define your target consumer, and then you plan your marketing campaign to reach them. This holiday season, however, the market has become more fragmented. NARM and eMusic are offering a webinar this Thursday December 1st sharing insights into the new music marketing landscape. Hypebot and MusicThinkTank readers get in free.
New comScore data shows 84 million U.S. Internet users watched online videos in October for an impressive average of 21.1 hours per viewer. The total U.S. Internet audience viewed 42.6 billion videos, an all time high. Google sites, driven by YouTube, ranked #1 with 161 million unique viewers and 20.9 billion videos viewed. But Facebook, which was barely a blip on the video viewing charts just a couple of years ago, came in at #2 with 59.8 million viewers.
Artspire is a newly launched crowdfunding platform that takes a different slant than sites like Kickstarter. A project of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), this a web-based extension of NYFA's fiscal sponsorship program offers fundraising support as well as the ability to accept tax deductible contributions and grants usually restricted to 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. It's a useful development for a well-established service that should be considered by musicians with an interest in developing donors and seeking grants.
Are you struggling with social networking and trying to figure out how to expand your fan base? On Music Think Tank, Michael Brandvold interviews one of his past clients about her experiences and fan base growth through social networking.
Court documents released in the lawsuit filed by Universal Music Group against Grooveshark include emails that appear to show that company executives set out to build as big an audience as possible while not paying for music. Their strategy appears intended to establish a stronger negotiating position with record labels while avoiding millions in payments to artists, labels and publishers. From an email dated 12/1/2009, Chairmen Sina Simantob wrote to another Grooveshark executive:
Dizzyjam.com and Bitvibe offer contrasting models for web-powered music merch stores. Dizzyjam.com is similar to CafePress with more limited options while Bitvibe is an even newer breed of merch store similar to Soulblendr which was previously profiled at Hypebot. Both provide platforms that feature band merch without requiring as much in-house work as creating and fulfilling merch requests on one's own.
(UPDATED) We'll be live blogging Spotify's promised a "big announcement" tommorrow (11/30) at 12pm EST / 9am PST. The company says it is taking a "new direction". But aside from CEO Daniel Ek hosting along with some "special guests", no other details are being provided. That hasn't kept the pundits from making educated guesses. Here's what the experts think, my best guesses and a wild theory that could change digital music consumption for decades:
Music industry meg-gathering midem will play host to the second edition of its hack day from January 28 - 30. Like Music Hack Days elsewhere, about 30 global developers and hackers globe will be given 48 hours to create new music applications. With the number of music related APIs exploding, the hacks created at these marathons have grown from just fun to useful, with some driving business expansion and new startups.
EU appears ready to slap Facebook with privacy sanctions that cut to the core its business model. (Mashable) With a cloud hanging over it, can Facebook pull off a $100 billion IPO (Wired) which some say could happen as early as April.
- Is Digital Music The Next Eurozone Crisis Waiting To Happen? (paidContent UK) Another brilliant analysis form Mark Mulligan.
- We'll be live blogging tomorrow's "big" Spotify press conference. In the meantime, we're gathering our and other pundit's best guesses as to what they'll be announcing. Stay tuned...
A new study by social-media marketing firm SocialCode puts the value of the average Facebook fan $9.56 per fan, assuming a constant cost-per-click of $1. The study looked at 5 million Facebook ads placed by 50 SocialCode clients between May and September 2011 measuring the cost of acquiring new fans and what it took to get them to perform a desired action. The study looked at 7 possible actions that might happen on or via a Facebook page :
As a self-released musician, I was happy to see that Google Music includes the option for musicians to add their material to its music store, without having to go through a distributor. I wish the same option were available for Apple's iTunes. But what's the real upside for Google?
Webdoc is an interesting new service that takes the Storify concept of mixing and matching web content to another level. It was the winner of the recent MUSIC techpitch 4.5 event in London. Though not limited to music, it's clearly useful for musicians, marketers and fans who want to quickly create content that has a more social element than Storify.
Sharing has been a part of life for a long time, but has become increasingly important in business and social media - just look at the prominence of share buttons on websites. On Music Think Tank, Derek Sivers explains the co-op/sharing model.
(UPDATED) Jim Donio, President of NARM, joins Ian Rogers for a new episode of This Week In Music to talk about how music retail has changed over the past 20 years. Since 1958, The National Association of Recording Merchandisers has represented retailers, wholesalers, and now technology companies selling recorded music. Jim and Ian speak about the evolution of that process over the past decades, as well as NARM's new technology initiatives. About 18:30 in the pair tackle the coming mega-shift from the sale of music to subscriptions and streaming
Onyx Ashanti, an artist and inventor based in Berlin, is in the final days of a crowdfunding campaign for the second phase of development for Beatjazz, his "quest to build the most amazing live music performance system ever." It's quite an interesting project that is hitting the end of its IndieGoGo funding window soon, possibly today. If you feel the time has come for improvisational music cyborgs that dance, this is a project you should probably be supporting.
Spotify suffered scattered outages on Sunday evening that effected users in the US and Europe. Some users trying to login were greeted with the message: “Service Temporarily Unavailable. The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.” A couple of hours later service began to stabilize, and Spotify tweeted:
NEWS BRIEF: Spotify's 'Big' Day, Sweden v. Legal Music, TuneCore v. DMN, Fugazi, Dizzee Rascal, More
Spotify had a brief outage Sunday, just days ahead of their "Big Announcement" on Wednesday. Music marketing options like this Gorillaz 10th Anniversary page may be part of the update. That same night Spotify is celebrating with a second 'user only' gig in their London series w/Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) and Josh T Pearson.
- Is Sweden selling its music-makers for a song? Swedish songwriters are up in arms after politician Annie Lööf suggested illegal downloads be legitimised for private use. (Guardian)
- JOIN THE DEBATE: Digital Music News used Tunecore stats to claim that "99.875% of its artists make less than minimum wage" and the only solutions are "a day job or subsidizing parents". Needless to say, Tunecore CEO Jeff Price didn't agree. More here.
(UPDATED) Earlier this week, blogger Paul Resnikoff of Digital Music News used isolated statistics obtained from TuneCore to prove an oversimplified claim that "99.875% of Tunecore artists are making less than minimum wage". According to DMN, the solution for developing artists is "a day job or subsidizing parents to keep the ship afloat."
TuneCore CEO Jeff Price responds: Before I say another word, yes, I know I'm rising to the bait. I know this response means more eyeballs for Digital Music News – a semi-legitimate music industry blog that tends to be sensational to drive eyeballs. I know that Paul Resnikoff’s constant personal attacks on TuneCore and me are a goad and good for his web traffic. Okay, sometimes the only way to refute a gambit is to accept it. If this means more people paying attention to Paul's site and generating revenue for his ad-supported business model, I guess he wins that round.