Though venture capitalists are notoriously uninterested in investing in content plays, every major business on the web eventually seems to head towards web publishing. This week it's Spotify with the launch of Landmark, an ongoing series that kicks off with "The Real Story of Nirvana's 'In Utero.'" On the data side, the Nielsen TOPTEN mobile app grounds its first consumer app in popularity data for a variety of media including music.
Seriously, everybody wants to be a publisher. Google started with snippets of news items and, later, scans of books. Now they're gradually adding components to their search results that provide content.
Twitter began as a form of public instant messaging and now has Twitter Cards featuring text, video, audio and pictures.
LinkedIn, a business network and recruitment platform, now has a Facebook-like stream for microblogging that also highlights original content that they've commissioned.
This week two major players in the music industry debuted publishing efforts that are a good match to their current strengths.
Spotify Landmark - The Next Music Magazine?
Spotify launched Spotify Landmark just in time for the 20th anniversary of the release of Nirvana's "In Utero":
"Spotify Landmark is the story behind some of the greatest moments in music, told by the people who made them. Each show blends intimate interviews with artists, producers, industry figures and celebrities to create a listening history of legendary albums, concerts and events."
The first show, "The Real Story Of Nirvana’s 'In Utero'," features a series of interviews with the people who helped create it or were involved in the "In Utero" tour. This audio content is then leveraged both on the Spotify Landmark site and on a related playlist, "'In Utero' with Commentary" by Spotify Landmark.
On the Spotify Landmark site, additional content includes a photo by Anton Corbijn, a Bobcat Goldthwait promo video and an excerpt from a Rolling Stone article with a link out. This page gave PandoDaily's Hamish McKenzie visions of Spotify as the next music magazine.
The related "In Utero" playlist includes bits of the interviews as commentary on the various songs from the album.
Nielsen Launches Mobile App: Nielsen TOPTEN
Nielsen TOPTEN uses Nielsen and partners' sales and viewing data "to give you the most accurate look at what people are actually watching and buying all across the United States."
That's some boring promo copy for a product that basically takes top ten lists and builds an entertaining app around them with such features as:
detailed descriptions of each item
related trending links and tweets
viewing options focused on images or a list view
trending stores from the web via BuzzFeed
The app includes personal profiles and social aspects that leverage Nielsen demographic data.
Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and you'll see links out to related social network accounts which all feature various forms of microblogging and image posting.
They're also promoting the app, in part, with a TOPTEN Tour of colleges documented on the TOPTEN Tumblr blog as well as on the related social media accounts.
Take Note Musicians
There are at least two things musicians and labels should note about such developments.
1. They open up new possibilities for marketing your music though the above two examples will be initially reserved for the top dogs.
2. If you're creating music, shooting videos, posting to Instagram, microblogging on Twitter and so forth, you too are a web publisher. Or, since apps are part of the picture, you could consider yourself a digital media company.
Why bother? Well, for one thing, if you're feeling all bottled up by the current state of affairs for musicians, thinking about how to move forward as a digital media company or web publisher might open up some new ways of thinking that will help you move forward.
Stranger things have happened!
[Thumbnail image: Cover of 20th Anniversary remaster of In Utero.]
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.