According to data from Hitwise, Facebook now accounts for 6% of all US internet traffic and continues to grow. Twitter has a fraction of that traffic and its growth appears to be stalling. The light blue line at the bottom is Twitter.
The UK's Music Ally tipped me to this, but you have to see it for yourself. Downloads of The Beatles - and not $.99, but rather for a mere $.25 at BlueBeat Music. Same thing with ACDC. Neither act has ever been available legally as downloads.
Not sure you want to buy yet? Sign up for free and you can listen to anything without apparent limits.
The only explanation has to be that the U.S. based site has taken the beg for forgiveness rather than ask for permission approach to licensing. I can hear the billable hours clock starting to tick as a gaggle of LA music industry lawyers read this over their morning lattes.
"...a dispute concerning professional practices was resolved when one Bill Graham said to one Frank Zappa, 'You'll never work this town again'. Cut to our current climate under corporocratic rule where it is now possible for a 'promoter' (no longer an independent/veteran of city hall wars) to tell an artist (anywhere in the world) 'You'll never work this planet again'."
- Gail Zappa @ Huffington Post
RealNetworks has reported a $1.5 million Third Quarter profit or less than 1 cent per share. It marks the first time that Real has turned a profit in more than a year. Music revenue declined 7% to $38.8 million, technology products fell 8% to $47.4 million and games dropped 14% to $29.5 million.
Subscribers to Real's Rhapsody music service were down 50,000 to 700,000 in the quarter. The company said that a recently released iPhone app will be primarily used by existing Rhapsody subscribers, rather than attracting new ones. The company, which faces increasing competition from free ad supported music services, has warned of weaker fourth quarter results. One bright spot is the company's inclusion in Google's new enhanced music search.
Test driving the new Google music search has been a bit of a frustrating experience. Perhaps understandably, the roll out has been incremental and many searches don't yield the new enhanced results.
Thanks, however, to this nifty little box heisted from Google that they shared with journalists, you can get a feel for how the new Google music search looks. Stick with major acts and the results are more likely to net the new format.
Or try a sample search below
- Sony continues quarterly losing streak. (CNet)
- Hands-on: Google music streams useful, not revolutionary. Google has added streaming music results to its normal search page from a variety of different sources. Ars decided to give the new feature a test drive and found that, while there are a few shortcomings, the new streaming results are a welcome addition to Google. (ars) Here's my take.
- Post-Google enhanced music search losers: Facebook and Ticketmaster. (Techcrunch) You could add anyone from LiveNation.com to MOG who's left out of the deal and scrambling to find a way in....
- Paris-based video-sharing hub Dailymotion on Thursday announced a significant partnership with The Orchard to distribute its music videos to Dailymotion's global user base of some 60 million unique visitors. (MediaPost)
- 5 pundits and bloggers of predictions for The Future Of Music. (Atlantic Wire)
- Converse and Pepsi to share their vision of music in marketing @ Midem. (press release)
- Debunking The Idea Of A Music Tax For The Creation Of New Music. (Techdirt)
Concert promoters Live Nation have made changes to their web site that places more of the site’s content int the hands fans and artists. LiveNation.com is a top 50 ecommerce site and a top 5 online music network.
Some of the new features include:
- The ability for artists and fans to upload their own concerts enabling these events to be searched alongside Live nation events. Some competing venues and promoters have balked at having a competitor display their shows, but in an increasingly open web environment more are embracing the service.
- A robust set of fan-generated content modules, including concert and artist-specific wikis, ratings and reviews, fan moderated Q&As, and integrated Twitter streams.
- Facebook Connect integration which enables fans to share concert information and to identify friends going to a show.
- A comprehensive and comparable listing of concerts and primary ticket inventory.
(ANALYSIS) As impressive an undertaking as it is, and even though it's great seeing so many diverse players working with instead of against each other; last night's announcement by Google, MySpace, lala and all the other partners is probably not a game changer.
More sophisticated music search and the opportunity for fans to listen and buy wherever they land are attractive and powerful, but as yet not completely proven, concepts. Fans have always found ways to learn about and support the music that they care about But increasingly music purchase and ownership are less important to fans.
We are on the verge of being able to listen to what we want, when and where we want for free or a low monthly fee. That, not Google search, is the game changer. - Bruce Houghton
Full Story: Google Supersizes Music Search
(NEWS & VIDEO) Last night Google announced partnerships that will simplify and improve how people find music. As only the tech giant could do, MySpace, lala, imeem, Rhapsody, Pandora, Gracenote and all four major label groups have come together to provide Google content for a new music search engine.
Users who type on an artist's name, album title or a snippet of a lyric will see results that include a single song play button from either lala or MySpace's iLike. A buy option and links to more content are also included, as are links to artist content on imeem, Rhapsody and Pandora. Gracenote is powering the lyric search function.(See a demo video after the jump.)
The core of Google's listen and buy option is powered by MySpace and lala. And the later said in an interview after the announcement that artists will have some control over which songs are played and what content is shown when lala is chosen by the searcher.
Video interviews with executives involved in the project including RJ Pittman of Google, MySpace's Courtney Holt and Bill Nguyen of lala (via Techcrunch) and two video preview of the new service.
A few days ago on his blog, Seth Godin wrote:
For the musicians who read Hypebot, and those if us who care about them, I would only add "Listened To". Judge your online actions and reactions and you'll know if you are on the right path.
"Notice me"If the new web has a mantra, that's it.
So much time and effort is now put into finding followers, accumulating comments and generating controversy... all so that people will notice you. People say and do things that don't benefit them, just because they're hooked on attention.
Attention is fine, as long as you have a goal that is reached in exchange for all this effort.
Far better than being noticed:
- Engaged with
- Purchased from
- Teaching us
Cameo Carlson has been promoted to EVP of the Universal Motown Republic Group of labels. Her appointment is notable in part because Carlson's background is in digital music, as well as, that she is one of only a handful of women to ascend to a high level post at a major label.
Another barrier breaker, Sylvia Rhone, President of Universal Motown was among those announcing her promotion along with Mel Lewinter, Chairman and CEO; and Monte Lipman, President of Universal Republic. Formerly, Carlson served as SVP of Digital Business Development for UMRG.
- Apple’s iPod Net Sales Dropped 12 Percent In 2009; iTunes Up. (paidContent)
- U.K. Music Biz Reacts To Three-Strikes Pledge (Billboard) and the EFF weighs in.
- Pandora now shares with Facebook, Twitter (CNet)
- Last.fm to add video with Last.tv. (MusicWeek)
- Fresh Pirate Bay Purchase Attempt By Four Potential Buyers - Following the abortive attempt by Global Gaming Factory to purchase the Pirate Bay, fans and onlookers could be in for a sequence of new dramas as the site pursues new buyers. According to a report, four entities are in the running, one of which proves particularly interesting. (TorrentFreak)
- Two former music executives from Yahoo have launched Dashbox - a subscription service for music for productions and sound effects. (MediaMemo)
- Qtrax announces Asia Pacific roll out schedule (press release)
- AC/DC's Reason To Buy: Get A Box Set Inside A Functioning Guitar Amp (Techdirt)
- Warner Music Nashville and BAM Racing Form Strategic Marketing Alliance (press release)
- Facebook’s big changes to the platform - key takeaways. (VentureBeat)
Listen To Google's Discover Music Announcement Online
This afternoon's announcement of Google's new enhanced music search service that includes play and purchase functionality courtesy of lala and iLike has been an open secret for more than a week. (see details) But that doesn't mean that today's press conference won't include a few surprises.
In case you didn't get an invite or don't happen to be in L.A. today, you can still join a webacast of Google LaLa ILike announcement live online.
The action start promptly at 4PM PST and quick online registration is required. So get there early and come back and share your impressions.
CEO Patrick Faucher and his team at artist se rvices provider Nimbit have been creating the tools and infrastructure for indie and d.i.y. artists to build and monetize their fanbases for more than 5 years. Most recently, their Nimbit MyStore direct to fan Facebook sales widget surpassed 2800 artist users including the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and London Symphony Orchestra.Alongside the technology, Nimbit is adding a series of tutorials; and with their permission, Hypebot is publishing this useful overview of Facebook Artists pages and how they differ from the more common Profiles.
How it differs from a Facebook Group or Profile
Yes it's true. Facebook is a great place to be for a musician. But how do you get started? Do you make a group, a profile, or a page? What's the difference anyway? There are three types of pages you can create on Facebook:
- Profiles are for personal use and represent the individual user controlling it. The easiest way to create any of the other types of pages is to create a profile first and control the others from here.
- Groups were created to bring Facebook users together that had similar interests.
- Pages are created to represent businesses, Artists, public figures etc. This is where your home base should be as an artist.
Advantages of an Artist Page -
"Congrats and thanks to the Topspin team. I built the pkgs for http://getbusycommittee.com on the new platform in under an hour!"
Major upgrades or the long promised self-serve platform? Rumor is that the delayed "Topspin Certified" online course via the Berklee College of Music will begin its first class in January. A self-serve platform launch alongside that would make sense...
In 1997 Mattel Corp. sued one hit wonders Aqua for copyright infringement over their annoying yet catchy hit "Barbie Girl". The lawsui lasted until 2002 when the judge ruled in favor of the band. Now 12 years later the song is being used to try to prop up the flagging brand.
The lyrics have, of course, been sanitized. Mattel replaced the original “You can brush my hair / Undress me everywhere,” with the meant to be inspirational “You can be a star / No matter who you are.” But for the band, the checks coming in the mail must feel like sweet justice.
- UK Confirms Plans To Warn, Throttle, Kick Illegal Downloaders - The UK government will write in to November’s upcoming Digital Economy Bill a French-style, graduated-response method of tackling unauthorized downloading leading to possible suspension of ISP accounts. (paidContent)
- Microsoft's MSN is in preliminary talks with MySpace about using the social-networking site's music service, MySpace Music, to help power music offerings on the giant portal. (CNet)
- Spotify’s CTO Andreas Ehn has left the company just ad the company is preparing its launch in the US. Ehn tweeted Leaving Spotify for new ventures. Feeling a little sad but very excited and full of energy.” and “Thanks, everyone wishing me luck! I’ll probably need quite a bit of it.” about his departure.
- Songs Used In Promotions Get A Ton Of Sales... So Why Does The Music Industry Try To Make It Harder? (Techdirt)
- Universal and Sony backed upcoming music video site VEVO has partnered with AT&T to support VEVO across a variety of connected platforms.
- Women's music festival Lilith Fair will return in 2010 with at least 18 cities. Details on the new web site.
- Video search engine blinx blinkx has added blinkx Music, a tool for finding and watching music videos online. They've has indexed over 33,000 hours of music video from 10,000 artists.
on the Web.VentureBeat was less than impressed.
- Lala is preparing to launch an iPhone application that it says paves the way for the end of downloading songs in the MP3 format. (AP)
If You Can't Beat Them,
Connect With Them
Executives of both companies have confirmed that Facebook and MySpace are in talks to share some content via its Connect platform, which allows people to log into third party sites using a Facebook ID. The talks come at a time when some measurements show Facebook with twice the traffic of MySpace
Thus the urge to merge content. “Facebook is focusing on building the best technology which helps people share content, while at MySpace they are focusing on more a content-led strategy," Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, told the UK's Telegraph. "We would like to have their content, as we already do with many other sites, shared across our network because it is good for our users."
(Updated) Using free to build your audience sounds simple, but getting something to spread virally beyond your existing fan base is far from easy. Tweet For A Track offers a launching pad via a free online tool for artists to upload a track, tweet a link to their followers and encourage them to help spread to word.
To get the free track the recipient must repost your tweet to others before he is emailed a link to download the track. As his Twitter friends do the same your track spreads virally outward.
This graphic shows how the process works:
On the eve of the big iLike/imeem/Google announcement this interview done a few weeks ago by DMW's Jay Baage with Ali Partovi, CEO & Co-Founder, iLike seems particularly worth sharing. Partovi talks about a new golden age for music, iLike's purachase by MySpace and where he thinks the partnership is headed.
Try not to take yourself too seriously.
Try not to be terribly precious - but it doesn't hurt to be obsessive and dogged. To have some inner drive to get it right.
Take the time to get things right.
more @ KnowTheMusicBiz.com
Alice In Chains releases and iPhone app today for its latest album Black Gives Way To Blue. The app features full songs, videos, news, photos and social networking; and includes as an impressive level of interactivity. Custom-built functionality allows fans to interact with each of the album’s 11 tracks via a touch, drag and hold feature that reveals hidden visual elements.
Video after the jump:
- Vivendi head calls for 'three-strikes' rule to tackle UK filesharers. - Jean-Bernard Levy tells the C&binet Forum that the UK should follow France's lead by cutting off internet access for persistent illegal downloaders (Guardian)
- Twitter Finds Growth Abroad With 58.4 Million Global Visitors In September (TechCrunch)
- Public radio's syndicated On The Media devoted almost a full hour to the music industry. Interviewed were an eclectic group of new music industry thinkers and doers including Amanda Palmer, law professor James Boyle, promoter John Scher and Duncan Freeman of Band Metrics and others. It's really a must listen.
- HITS handicaps the New Artist Grammy.
- Lala resurgent: how the music service got its groove back. - Radically changing the business model is usually a sign that a startup is near death, but CD-swapping service Lala has morphed into a streaming music provider with a new iPhone app and a hot deal with Google.
- German indies and artists sue YouTube and Google. (Billboard)
- MIDEM is extending the deadline to apply for MidemNet Lab until Friday 6th November. The initiative will showcase the talents of 15 innovative digital music start-ups as part of Midem which takes place in Cannes, France from 23-27 January 2010. The winning companies will each win a free pass and be invited to present their businesses throughout the whole event. Details via partner Music Ally.
Lise Barbanti has been named Chief Marketing Officer for TuneCore.com. She is a senior marketing executive with over 20 years experience developing and implementing marketing strategies and programs to achieve market share, revenue and sales objectives.
Barbanti was previously Chief Marketing Officer for Frontier Communications, a $2 billion Telecommunications provider of voice, internet and television services to consumer and business customers. Prior to that, she was the Vice President of Marketing with Virgin Mobile USA.
EMI Music Publishing has promoted Big Jon Platt to President of North American Creative. In this new role, he will oversee EMI Music Publishing’s creative team.
Music collaboration site Kompoz, has launched an online publishing feature which allows musicians to self-publish collaborative projects while retaining all rights to the original work.
Musicians can use Kompoz to launch a project, work with other musicians around the world to complete the song, publish it and offer customized licensing options for use in films, TV, and other commercial projects extending the Creative Commons license attached to each song. The system generates a custom PDF license agreement with pricing options and usage channels defined by the musicians.
Kompoz has a deal with BIGSTAR.tv, an independent film site beginning November. BIGSTAR will begin streaming published Kompoz songs to its community, allowing film producers to license music for use. Published songs are also automatically streamed on Kompoz.com's Finished Songs page, on Boxee, and on the Kompoz streaming audio iPhone App.
SendMe Mobile today announced a deal with Sony Music Entertainment to offer mobile access to major label group's roster. SendMe now has pacts with all four majors and several indies.
As part of the agreement, SendMe will offer a selection of Sony Music ringtones, videos and wallpaper. Subscribers can download directly onto their mobile devices at SendMeMobile.com or through one of SendMe's distribution channels including imeem, Eventful and Univision.
UK musician and activist Billy Bragg and Jon Newton who.blogs at P2PNet have launched a blog that they hope will foster discussion between artists and fans. a2f2a.com (artists to fans to artists to artists) was started with a single underpinning principle: "Artists need to be paid, and fans want to pay them".
Is Direct Payment The Answer?
"Start your own revolution -cut out the middleman!" declares the site's sub-header; and an initial blog post lays out the basis for the discussion:
"The internet has huge potential for artists to make a living on their own terms. Previously, they’ve been forced to rely on the recording industry to fund recordings, manufacture and distribute their art and collect money for them. Without industry help, it was almost impossible to find enough fans to support a career.
Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles, LaLa and iLike will announce their much written about deal with Google. While an interesting addition, Google is not taking on iTunes as some reports suggest. This is more about adding song sampling or playback as well as purchase to music search on Google. Here's what we know so far and Hypebot will have more after the official announcement.
UPDATE: imeem and perhaps Pandora will be part of the new Google music search results.
Amid suggestion s from some analysts that the company should sell its Rhapsody music service which has failed to gain traction and is facing increased competition, RealNetworks will Report Q3, 2009 results on Thursday October 29th. Call in to listen @ 800-857-5305 or 773-681-5857. Passcode: Third Quarter Earnings