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MixTube Picks Up Where Muxtape Left Off



Where the now shuttered Muxtape ran afoul of the RIAA by actually hosting music files, upstart MixTube.org tries to avoid infringement and bandwidth costs by letting YouTube do all the heavy lifting. Like Muxtape, MixTube is free and its inerface offers playlist creation and sharing.

MySpace Opens Self-Serve Ad Platform


Myspace_new_3 There's no sign yet of the new MySpace Music, but the social networker has just launched a self-service ad platform aimed straight at bands, concert promoters and small business. 

The ads run as pay per click banners, but unlike Facebook ads or Google Adsense, MySpace ads can only link to another page on MySpace. That's rather limiting to marketers trying to drive traffic elsewhere, though they can easily create custom MySpace pages (like for a new release or tour) filled with external links.

The power of these kinds of ads is hyper-targeting, and here again MySpace falls short of the competion...

Continue reading "MySpace Opens Self-Serve Ad Platform" »

What If You Took A Poll Of Your Fans?

What would you learn if put a poll on the web or had someone with a clip board at shows and asked questions like:Vote

  • How old are you and where do you live?
  • What are your favorite songs and albums?
  • Where do you buy music?
  • What other bands do you like?
  • How many of our shows have you been to?
  • Where the ticket prices too high?
  • Would you have paid more to get a great seat?
  • How did you learn we were coming to town?
  • What piece of merchandise do they wish we sold?

Reward those who take the survey with a free download. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is doing something like that right now.

Continue reading "What If You Took A Poll Of Your Fans?" »

Wednesday's Music Briefing: CIMS Looses Leader, GPhone, Janet Jackson D.I.Y. & More

  • Cims Don Van Cleave will exit his position as executive director of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) at year's end to join Gary Gersh's Artists Organization in an executive management position. The company manages The Counting Crows, John Legend and Matisyahu among others. The CIMS board is interviewing candidates to fill the position which remain in Birmingham. (Billboard)
  • Yesterday Google and T-Mobile unveiled the first GPhone powered by Android open source software yesterday and it includes an app that enables Amazon mp3 downloads via wi-fi.  ItGoogle will cost $179 with a to year commitment. View two video walk throughs after the jump. The second video focuses more on software including a push GMail app.  What music apps do you think developers should create for the open source Android?
  • Janet Jackson D.I.Y. - "More than 20 years after the release of her iconic album, Control, Janet will have autonomy over her career, without the restrictions of a label system," her publicist said in a statement. "Always known to break new ground and set trends, Janet's departure from Island makes her one of the first superstar artists to have the individual freedom to promote their work through a variety of avenues such as iTunes, mobile carriers and other diverse and innovative channels."
  • Coverage of the EconMusic Conference. (paidcontent)
  • RoyaltyShare plans new Digital Music Tracking Service. (press release)
  • Media trading site Swaptree grabbed $3.35 million in funding. Users can trade CD's, DVD's, video games and books at no charge other than the cost of shipping. (press release) Since no cash is changing hands would it be legal to trade mp3's?  Would anyone bother?

RoyaltyShare Adds Mobile Distribution

Royalty_share_2 RoyaltyShare has expanded its low cost mobile distribution services through partnerships with mobile music services LiveWire Mobile, Moderati, SendMe Mobile, Thumbplay and Zed (formerly 9squared).

Labels who use RoyaltyShare royalty tracking and digital distribtuion services ( including Sanctuary, Beggars Group, and Epitaph.) will now also be able to sell full track downloads, master tones, ringback tones, voice tones, and wallpapers through leading U.S wireless carriers.

More: RoyaltyShare Adds 7 Download Stores

Labels, Publishers & Internet Broadcasters Agree On Mechanical Royalties


UPDATE: The agreement only covers interactive net broadcasters like Pandora or Rhapsody and not general net streams like Radio Paradise and SOMA-FM. (more @ RAIN)

A diverse group of industry trade groups have jointly submitted a draft agreement to the Copyright Royalty Judges proposing mechanical royalty rates for interactive streaming and limited downloads including subscription and ad-supported services.

The group includes:

  • Dima_color_logo Digital Media Association (DiMA) representing such major online music services as AOL, Pandora, Live365, Real and Yahoo!
  • National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA)
  • Riaa_2 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) representing the mjor record labels
  • Nashville Songwriters Association Int'l (NSAI)
  • Songwriters Guild of America (SGA)

Performance royalties collected by Sound Exchange are not a part of the agreement which proposes that mechanical royalties be calculated as a flexible percentage of revenue with minimum payments...

Continue reading "Labels, Publishers & Internet Broadcasters Agree On Mechanical Royalties" »

Amazon MP3 Goes Mobile With Google's Android

Amazonmp3 GPhone envy may be about to replace iPhone envy.

Today is the day that T-Mobile will officially announce the October availability of the first mobile phone powered by Google's open source Android application. According Iphonevsgphone_3 to Venture Beat, the new phone will carry an Amazon created app that powers over the air downloads from the Amazon MP3 store as well as perhaps video rentals.

The direct to iTunes connection has been a major selling point for the iPhone and the Amazon application helps Android powered phones compete. For Amazon, the app provides an opportunity to wow all important early adopters as well as to gain a foothold in the over an air download market that is already exploding overseas.

We Are The Curator, The Light and The Frame

GUEST POST by Kyle Bylin of indie label 50 Entertainment.  Kyle also contributed the much praised post The Fall Of Communization And The Rise Of The Music Fan.

Frames_full The roles we play and responsibilities we take on in relation to the artists we represent have changed over the years. In the beginning we were known as managers and marketers, since then we've transformed into curators and storytellers. We are now responsible for presenting art to our audience and telling them stories that make it come alive.

For the average person, at the slightest mention of visiting a museum, you're already bored. Once inside, a guide brings you piece to piece and gives you a whirlwind of facts.  Every so often though, you get someone who is passionate and deep down loves what they do. Suddenly, the date, the style, and the story behind each piece creates a collage of mental images and meaning which allow you to feel and understand it as a window into this person's life.

New media allows us to heighten the level of intimacy with our audience and provides us with an opportunity to become the curator. We can guide them through our collection and make it come alive for them. At one point in time major record labels were the biggest art dealers and buyers in town. They bought everything, whether it was to ...

Continue reading "We Are The Curator, The Light and The Frame" »

MySpace Music Responds To Indie Criticism

Responding to reports that MySpace may be the subject of antitrust lawsuits because of an equity stake shared by three of the four major labels, as well as, growing criticism of its treatment of indie labels, a MySpace Music spokesperson gave Hypebot this statement:

Myspace_2 “We are not aware of any antitrust complaint or inquiry pending against either MySpace or MySpace Music.  MySpace Music welcomes indie artists and is not blocking content from them or other labels.  Our goal is to provide the indie community with powerful tools and monetization channels to enable them to access revenue streams previously unavailable.”'

Meanwhile, Techcrunch has hacked screen shots of the new service.

Stay tuned for a more in depth response and analysis.

Part 4: Tunecore's Jeff Price On The Democratizaion Of Music

Tunecore_2 In the conclusion of Ethan Bauley's conversation with Tunecore CEO Jeff Price, they talk about trending reports, how Tunecore chooses partners and the democratization of the music industry 

Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this exclusive interview.

Ethan: How do you guys go about expanding your syndication partners?

Jeff: The stores that we currently deliver to (at least in the United States) represent 99.9% of all music sales.  It’s the iTune Music Store [including international iTMS], Napster, Rhapsody, eMusic, Amazon, MP3, lala, Amie Street, etc.  That said, we have a rigorous criteria set which does limit the number of stores that we distribute to.

I think the list is only 14 or 15 outlets long, but this is done very consciously.  The fact [that we don't work with every possible store] has been used against me by potential competitors and on conference panels.  The thing is, TuneCore doesn't take any revenue off the backend [sales], so a huge syndication list is not my goal.  I’m not desperate to shove music into every stupid crappy store that exists on the planet in hopes that I can generate half a penny in the future.  That process is usually to the detriment of the musician because his or her music gets wrongly labeled, wrongly displayed, royalties aren't paid appropriately, and so forth.

We have criteria that follows from the demands of our customers and the strength of our business.  Take quantity/volume for example. There’s more music released on TuneCore in one day then there is on any major record label over the course of a year. There’s between 150-300 titles released every day through TuneCore.  It's nuts.  n any three day period...

Continue reading "Part 4: Tunecore's Jeff Price On The Democratizaion Of Music" »

Tuesday's Music Briefing: MTVU, Pandora, iPhone & Much More



  • Emerging artists are competing for MTVU Woodie Awards. (press release)
  • MTV has completed its purchase of social networker the Social Project. (FT)
  • A Spanish court says linking to P2P downloads is legal. (TorrentFreak)
  • Iphone Pandora has added ads to its popular application on the iPhone. Beck's Beer and Best Buy have signed on. (press release)
  • Another iPhone problem emerged as Apple announced an recall of it's USB power adapters.
  • Free site Skoggins tries to connect bands with gigs. The band that created it, San Francisco's Ten Mile Tide is using the full range of new music marketing stratagies to promote its latest release. (press release)
  • Music publicist extraordinaire Michelle Roche has debuted her new blog Roche, Rant & Roll - On the music the music industry, life and getting older.  If you're like Michelle (and me) and remember life before the internet, you'll find her a wonderful read.

Continue reading "Tuesday's Music Briefing: MTVU, Pandora, iPhone & Much More" »

2009 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees

Congratulations to our Skyline Music client DMC of Run DMC on his nomination! The 2009 Induction nominees are:

  • Jeff Beck
  • Chic
  • Wanda Jackson
  • Little Anthony and the Imperials
  • Metallica
  • Run-D.M.C.
  • the Stooges
  • War
  • Bobby Womack

Five of these nine nominees will be inducted into the Rock Hall with inductees announced in January 2009. Ballots will be sent to more than 500 voters, who will select artists to be inducted at the Ceremony on April 4 at Public Hall in Cleveland.  For the first time, tickets will be available to the public.

SanDisk & Major Labels Introduce SD Card Format

Sandisk_microsd_3 A new physical format dubbed slotMusic which utilizes pre-loaded SanDisk microSD cards is being introduced by EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner Music. The cards will first be available in the U.S. at retailers including Best Buy and Wal-Mart with Europe to follow. Titles, availability and pricing which is expected to be comparable to CDs, will be announced prior to the holiday buying season.

While today's announcement focused on the majors, a SanDisk spokesperson confirmed that the format is available to indie labels and that several are also planning holiday launches. Filled with 320 KPS mp3's, the cards come bundled with a USB sleeve insuring campatibilty with millions of cell phones, computers and other portable devices. With a 1GB capacity, slotMusic cards can also hold liner notes, album art, videos, and other content.

With consumers migrating to downloads delivered via the net and over the air, it is unlcear that they will favor any new physical format. But compatibility with mobile phones, as well as, the capacity to deliver additonal content offers real potential.

Edgar Buys $28.5M House. Marci Gets 214K Options

Money_2 Who needs to make money in music when can make it in real estate and the stock market?

Just week's after Lyor Cohen sold a bunch of WMG stock in part to finance a multi-million dollar mansion tear down in the Hamptons, CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. has reportedly bought the fomer Muppets Mansion in NYC for $28.5 million.  It's the sixth multi-million dollar house flip for Bronfman in the last 12 months according to the New York Observor.

Meanwile, newly promoted EVP and CFO Steven Marci was granted 214,080 additional stock options after the market closed for the week. The bulk of the options convertible in ten years rewards Marci for a stock price of $7.56 or $1.04 lower than Friday's $8.60 cent closing price.

Part 3 With Tunecore's Jeff Price: Open API & More

Tunecore In Part 3 of the conversation between Ethan Bauley and Tunecore CEO Jeff Price, they explore the company's API which turns anyone into a digital distributor.  Tuesday's final installment shares stats about the quantity of indie music being released and new models for publishing music that aren't predicated on "full length" albums.

Read Part 1 & Part 2 of this exclusive interview.

Ethan:  I want to ask you about the new TuneCore API, which is now available.  Do you have anything in mind that you would like to see somebody build that you don’t have the resources to do?  Do you have any big ideas (or small ideas) that you hope to see come to pass because of the API?

Jeff_rice Jeff:  The API enables anyone to become a music distribution company.  You create a handshake with our backend, and we’ll do all the heavy lifting (just like we’re doing now): we deal with the file uploads, the transcoding, delivery of the music files, the metadata, packaging, delivering, the customer support issues.  Voila, you're a music distribution company.  It could be JoeSmithRecords.com or it can be Pepsi.com, it doesn’t matter to us, it works the same way.

What I hope to see people do is to take what we do, which is distribution (all the administrative accounting services) and some marketing/promotion and mix it with whatever they do.  Then it becomes a new thing...and TuneCore is just a piece of the new thing

It could be, hypothetically,,,

Continue reading "Part 3 With Tunecore's Jeff Price: Open API & More" »

Is An Antitrust Lawsuit In MySpace Music's Future?

Myspace MySpace music is now scheduled to launch this week, but an antitrust lawsuit may be in the making as indie labels in the EU and US complain they are being excluded.

Some speculate that the launch has been delayed because of ongoing negotiations with EMI. Others believe it has been more about tech issues. This is an important launch both for MySpace who wants to cement its relationship with consumers in the face of growing competition and the music industry who needsEu_flag to finds ways to monetize music particularly with MySpace's young audience.

To date, however, no independent record label has signed a deal to get paid to stream music on MySpace, though a number of digital aggregators have had meetings about it. Reports are filtering in from the UK that...

Continue reading "Is An Antitrust Lawsuit In MySpace Music's Future?" »

Monday's Music Briefing: Ellis, RIAA, Nokia & More

Sandisk_microsd_4 HYPEBOT FEATURES:


  • Indie agents Ellis Industries has been absorbed by Paradigm. (Billboard)
  • Riaa_toiletpaper The RIAA has rejected a damage award and is forcing a new trial making themselves look "hypocritical" according to repsected tech journal ars technica.
  • The FCC is voicing some concerns over the lack of localism in radio. (FMQBFinally...but will they do anything about? Probably not.
  • Live Nation has promoted Jason Garner from Chief Executive Officer, North American Music, to the newly created position of Chief Executive Officer, Global Music.  He will oversee the company's core live music business on a global basis. (press release)
  • Nokia_logo Nokia's Comes With Music will add $128 to the price of a new handset when it launches in the UK next month.  (Afterdawn via CoolferThat's less than most music subscription services and despite WMA DRM, you get to keep the tracks.


Hypebot's Music Industry Week In Review

Myspace_4 Top Music Industry Stories From Last Week

ASCAP Seeks $'s For 30 Second Song Clips


Just as more and more sites are adding full song streams, ASCAP and BMI are trying to get paid for 30 second song samples.  The Digital Media Association (DiMA) filed an amicus brief today in the case of ASCAP vs. AT&T Mobile asking the federal district court to rule that 30-second music preview clips are “fair use” and do not justify public performance royalties as demanded by songwriter and music publisher representatives. 

“DiMA supports fair compensation for copyright owners,” stated Jonathan Potter, Executive Director of DiMA.  “DiMA members pay tens of millions of dollars in royalties to songwriters and publishers for online music sales.  But the performing rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC) who represent songwriters and publishers demand additional payment for the preview clips that facilitate these online sales.”

Courts have consistently found...

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60 Second Pitch: Songza

TechCrunch has a fascinating community video project that allows startup CEO's to pitch their idea in a 60 second video. From time to time we'll share some of the best and worst music related start-up elevator pitches.  Here's Songza's video. Tell us what you think of this pitch? And if you've got a pitch, I'd love to post it.

Part 2 With Tunecore's Jeff Price: Marketing

Tunecore_2 In Part 2 of the conversation between Ethan Bauley and Tunecore CEO Jeff Price, they talk marketing. Monday they'll take a look at Tunecore's new API which opens the site to outside developers.

Read Part 1 here.

Ethan: The knowledge [about the economics of the music industry] that you and Benkler have is hard won but it's very powerful.  Even though it's complicated, it has a lot of practical applications.  From what you've written in the Huffington Post and on the TuneCore blog, I think you're analysis makes sense and is valuable to a lot of people.  Giving your customers the ability to learn about their options and opportunities in the music world seems to be a strong marketing move.  How are you going about getting the word out about TuneCore?

  The way we market and promote ties in to the number of potential customers and to social networking, word of mouth, and blogs.  Previously, there was only a fraction of a percent of musicians who were even allowed the chance to have a career.  The concept behind TuneCore was, "Let everybody in"; turn distribution into a bottle of water.  Just like water, anyone can walk into the store and buy it for a simple fee.  You know there’s no filters and everyone gets treated the same, be it Keith Richards or Nine Inch Nails or TuneCore customers or Liam Sullivan (who put a video up on YouTube for a song called "The Shoes" and who has sold over a million songs without a record label).

As far as marketing, we know that artists communicate...

Continue reading "Part 2 With Tunecore's Jeff Price: Marketing" »

Yahoo! Search Adds Rhapsody Full Song Playback

Yahoo Yahoo! users who search for an artist will now find a play button at the top of the search results and can stream full songs via a Rhapsody powered FoxyTunes Player. This launch is part of the planned expansion of Rhapsody across Yahoo!.

Rhapsody_2 Yahoo! recently partnered with RealNetworks' Rhapsody to offer users access to Rhapsody’s 5 million track deep subscription music service and this extends that relationship to Yahoo! Search. The partnership allows all users to listen to 25 free full-length tracks every 30 days. Once 25 songs have been played, users can subscribe to the Rhapsody Unlimited streaming service or listen to an unlimited number of 30-second samples until the next month begins.

Friday's Music Briefing: Mudvayne, Wii, Bug & More


> RIAA seeks sanctions against a file sharing lawyer. (ars)

> Mudvayne is offering fans a bundle of incentives to get them to pay for their new release.(FMQB)

Wii > "Nintendo is hoping that "blue ocean" lightning strikes thrice with the October 20th release of Wii Music in North America, the rhythm game that, according to the company, "builds on that inclusive legacy" of Wii Sports and Wii Fit and translates into runaway sales. With more than 60 instruments, including guitar, drums, dog and cheerleader, and over 50 songs, Wii Music aims to bring music performance to the not-good-at-Guitar Hero masses." (Kotaku)

> Publisher Bug Music has secured a major line of credit and is said to be in talks with Chrysalis. (Coolfer)

> Videos don't have to be expensive to be effective. After the jump, check out a brilliant use of free public domain archival footage to support the new release of These United States.

Continue reading "Friday's Music Briefing: Mudvayne, Wii, Bug & More" »

Add Hypebot To Your Blog Or Site

I've gotten a number of requests recently from other blogs and web sites to add content from Hypebot. Celebrity Access uses select posts and ProHipHop prints a weekly summary of top stories. Now I've added a free widget that scrolls the latest headlines. Check it out and grab the code below.  If you add it to your site or want your own weekly news summary to print, email me and I'll reciprocate with a mention or to and addition to the Hypebot blogroll.

A Conversation With Tunecore's Jeff Price - Part 1

Tunecore In this exclusive Hypebot interview, Ethan Bauley sits down with Jeff Price for a wide ranging conversation between two creative thinkers who know the industry. Price ran successfull indie label spinArt (Pixies, Apples In Stereo) before founding TuneCore which is democratizing digital distribution with its low cost flat fee model. Ethan Bauley is a musician and Director of Social Media Strategy at M80, a WPP agency.  M80's sister company, m80 Music, is Dengue Fever's record label.

Ethan: Now that the revenue model is up in the air, what are the different roles recorded music plays for musicians besides making money?  Is it just money, is it just promo?

Jeff_rice Jeff: It’s the right question to ask.  Is art for art sake, is it art for commerce, is it something else?  And that’s really up to the person or the band, or the graphic designer, or actor or actress, or slam poet or whoever makes it. Usually people make art or creative things out of passion, sometimes out of a want for money.  It’s really up to the individual or group to define what they want out of it.

What’s interesting is the way things have changed, how people are enabled to achieve success on their own as opposed to having to rely on

Continue reading "A Conversation With Tunecore's Jeff Price - Part 1" »

Thursday's Music Briefing: Yangaroo, Q Prime, Timberland & Much More

> Yangaroo has appointed Josh Zieman, former VP Marketing at EMI's Manhattan/Blue Note Label YangarooGroup  as Senior Vice President of Business Development.  Yangaroo’s Digital Media Distribution Service allows record labels to distribute music directly to radio stations digitally and securely.

> Are the major labels on the verge of becoming profitable again thanks to digital revenues. (ars)

> Mega-managers Q Prime are opening their own label, the Mom & Pop Music Company. (FMQB)Vote

> Vote here in the UK's BT Digital Music Awards.

> Does Metallica's new release sound better on Guitar Hero than it does on CD? MusicRadar thinks so.  (Thanks to Randy Taber for the tip.) Tell us what you think.

> Samsung makes a bid for ScanDisk. (AP)

> Shoe manufacturer Timberland is using music to drive four local environmental action days. (press release)