We are excited to announce an addition to the Hypebot LA Music Tech Meetup on Monday, March 24! The event will now kick off with a brief panel featuring entrepreneurs from music and tech. Join us at 7:00PM for a lively discussion. Then stick around for drinks and networking to keep the conversation flowing. Panel attendance is optional; we will provide a separate space for chatting and networking.
Yesterday we published a Bloomberg report that Beats Music added 1000 subscribers per day in its first month, and was converting 70% to paid when their free trial ran out. Is such a high conversion rate likely? And if so, how might other digital music services achieve it?
After getting some bad press last year for holding money from several crowdfunding campaigns that had used the payment service, PayPal has finally published a list of clear guidelines. They govern not only direct campaigns using PayPal, but also crowdfunding services like Indiegogo that process some payments there.
After almost 2 days of hacking, the finalists for this year's SXSW Music Hackathon have been announced. Singer and songwriter Travis (left) did the honors Thursday, and the finalists are: Moot, ARTPOP, Beats Video, Moon Neon, Crowd Scan, Hype, Lamb, Party Play, Song Stash, Glass Karaoke and Booth Bands. The winners will be announced tonight at the Awards Show and Afterparty March 14th 6pm-12am Austin Ballroom ACC.
Rdio has acquired troubled Indian streaming music service Dhingana. It was India's largest music service when it announced in February that it would soon shut down. Dhingana received $7 million in funding in 2012 and had more than 10 million subscribers. No details of the acquisition were announced.
Hypebot presents our third Los Angeles meetup for readers to have a conversation with like-minded peers. You are invited to gather for drinks on March 24, 2014 from 7:00 to 10:00pm at NextSpace Venice Beach. There is a limit of 75 people for this event, so if you wish to attend, please fill out the RSVP form. You will receive an email confirmation and a reminder beforehand.
If you're headed to SXSW this week, there are a lot of things you want to think about in advance. What to bring, what to plan on doing, what to look for, what to participate in, and what to avoid.
Neil Young's campaign to fund high quality music player and download store Pono went live on Kickstarter on Tuesday. By the next morning it had surpasses it's $800,000 goal, raising $1.35 million in 24 hours. Pono will play FLAC files with bit rates up to 9216 kbps, and the campaign has pledge levels ranging from $5 to $5000. A $200 pledge nets an early edition of the Pono player that will retail for $399. Watch the video:
Beats Music has raised an additional $60 - $100 million in funding, according to several sources. The money comes primarily from current investors including Warner Music Group owner Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. Bloomberg News, who broke the story, pegged the funding at $100 million. Other sources tell Billboard it's closer to $60 million.
JamKazam allows musicians to play together online in sync. There are some limits to the service but they say musicians can be up to around 500 miles apart and avoid latency problems. Their demo video is impressive and now they're taking the demo live in Austin and online for SXSW. 6 bands are scheduled for tomorrow's Virtual Jam Fest beginning at 11:30 am Central Time, March 12.
Late last month Kevin Arnold, the founder of IODA Music and the Noise Pop Festival, launched OpenAura, which gives artists more control over how they appear online, along with a new revenue stream. We published a first look at OpenAura when it launched. Recently Arnold shares more about the new service and his motivations behind launching it.
StoryAmp, a web platform that optimizes press kits and email blasts to journalists, has released a new enterprise feature set allowing music PR firms, booking agents, and record labels to power their branded websites and email blasts to the media. PR and marketing firm Girlie Action (with Lucius, My Morning Jacket, Meshell Ndegeocello, Pussy Riot, They Might Be Giants) and Dick Huey's Toolshed (Basia Bulat, Cat Power, and Wax Tailor) are StoryAmp’s first white label clients with both companies relaunching their sites using the StoryAmp platform.
As SXSW Interactive winds down and SXSW Music begins, there's a moment when the tech freaks and music geeks overlap. It's the SXSW Music Meets Tech Meetup and Hypebot is proud to be a sponsor. It's time to hang IRL with the people on the other side of those three month long email chains and connect with the other innovators in the scene.
By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Neil Young plans to release his $400 PonoPlayer portable audio player and the proprietary music download store that goes with it at SXSW, via a Kickstarter campaign set to begin on March 15, according to a press release making the rounds. The device will play PonoMusic files, with audio elements designed by Ayre Acoustics, after a deal to do the same with Meridian apparently fell through.
UPDATED: This morning, news broke that Spotify has landed a $200 million credit line from a consortium of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, according to several sources. Banks often pitch loans to tech companies hoping to win an underwriting role in a future IPO. The credit facility is the latest in a string of strong signs that Spotify is planning an IPO.
If you're at SXSW, stop by and cheer on the 6 music tech startups presenting this weekend March 8-9 at the SXSW Accelerator pitch event in Startup Village at the Downtown Austin Hilton. Here's a preview by Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Before each year’s SXSW, experts from various fields anoints a new generation of SXSW Accelerator winners out of a pool of finalists chosen from the crop of startups looking to make a big impression to the music and technology industries.
BalconyTV launched in 2006 as a video art experiment that morphed into shooting some musicians on the balcony which set the stage for BalconyTV's worldwide presence. The Orchard yesterday announced the acquisition of BalconyTV and say they'll continue to help it grow and expand its reach while connecting it to their own "discovery, audience development and marketing" efforts.
Spotify paid $100-$125 million to acquire The Echo Nest with up to 90% of the figure being equity in Spotify, sources tell TechCrunch. Based on the higher valuation, sources peg $15 million split between founders Brian Whitman and Tristan Jehan, and CEO Jim Lucchese, $20 million for employee cash earn outs over 4 years for 70 others employees and $90 million in deferred payments.
Reaction To The Deal & What's Next
The Echo Nest has partnered with Y Combinator backed AirPair help developers connect to its API, the company announced the morning. Connecting APIs to create more interesting products and services is at the core of The Echo Nest's mission both in its own product development and as sponsor of many Muisc Hack Days.