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In Case You Missed It: Vevo – MTV Standoff Continues, Imeem & MOG Founders on Startups & Spotify’s Ballsy Play…

Web TV Means Opportunity for Music

News, commentary and opinions in the tech + music arena were particularly plentiful this week, with many of the current players making headlines… Vevo and MTV are still at an impasse for a deal that would allow the former to sell ads on the latter’s properties and target their viewers, a scenario that MTV is not comfortable with. While publicity battling over who has the #1 spot in views has become common, the heart of the matter is that Vevo continues to capture the majority of the online music video market, with deals in place with all the major labels except Warner Music Group, but its sights are set on bigger targets in the form of deals like the recent Google TV partnership. AdAge has more on the standoff… And television increasing looks likes the next platform to conquer for digital music, with set-top boxes growing in availability and increased features, mainly apps.  As smartphones multiply and the user base for those who get their music delivered via web and mobile apps increases, TV is quickly becoming a big part of the equation. More on why this is at… The founder of the now deceased Imeem, Dalton Caldwell, gave some cautionary words to those looking to enter the music startup world this week, pointing to the difficulty to innovate in the current landscape… Though MOG CEO and founder David Hyman, was quick to share his opposing opinion via TechCrunch, saying, “digital music seems to be a game that every 20-something wants to try and play, and it’s almost as if creating a digital music product is a rite of passage for millions of young buck programmers. It’s unfortunate that because it’s a sexy space, and because there are tons of entrants into the field, all of the noise creates an impression that winning can’t be done. It certainly can”... [Update: Rhapsody weighs in on opportunity for music startups via SAI]… Former young buck behind Napster, Sean Parker, is feeling confident about Spotify in spite of continued roadblocks in the U.S., saying of the company’s model, which is creating most of the hesitation from labels in the states, “You have no choice. We’ve got you by the balls, you’ll have to become a subscriber.” Parker, who was speaking at a DailyBeast event, also claimed a launch of the service in the states will still happen before the year ends … Elsewhere, Google has launched its music service… In India… Viacom has tapped a new big gun lawyer to lead its next round in court against YouTube… The L.A. Times catches up with Tim Westergren on what’s next for Pandora… And Chamillionaire schools tech entrepreneurs and talks to ThisWeekIn

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap – Ping, MySpace’s New Content Chief & Mulve

Is Mulve digital downloading's "nightmare scenario"?

It’s been almost a month since Apple revealed iTunes 10, which included Ping, the new ‘social’ feature that connects iTunes Store users through fan and following features. While the addition of artist profiles to Ping was slow-going initially, things have picked up, but the reason for the sluggish start may have been that the labels weren’t given details about the new feature until the very last minute, as reported on Fast Company this week.  Indie aggregators like CD Baby and Tunecore are also now getting in on the Ping artist-profile action too, with limited abilities to submit artists into the program as well… Following the recent launch of an American Idol audition platform on MySpace for the upcoming 10th season of the show, it was revealed yesterday by the Hollywood Reporter that MySpace is also getting a new content chief in Andy Marcus, who will oversee the company’s entertainment initiatives, including the new Idol partnership…  Sub Pop has a new distribution deal with Australia’s Inertia, a result of financial woes for the Seattle label’s former distro partner Stomp, an inevitably tipped by our own Cool Hand Luke in a recent missive from down under… And many people are talking about Mulve, the new entrant into the digital downloading arena. But what is it? It’s not P2P, it doesn’t pull song-files from search services and it’s not BitTorrent based. Whatever kind of creature it is, people are interested, as the site crashed shortly after reports of the service first surfaced – as of this morning, it appears to be back up

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Fortune’s Fool: Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music and an Industry in Crisis hit the book shelves this week.  Check out the 2-part interview on with author Fred Goodman… The new “Facebook movie,” officially titled The Social Network, released a new trailer for the upcoming film that features an eerie background supplied by a choral rendition of Radiohead‘s “Creep” – you won’t find the film being promoted on Facebook, but it is part of Twitter‘s newly launched Promoted Tweets… Fear not, if the lack of news regarding Spotify in the last few weeks has got you worried, CEO says the service is “growing healthily,” and the U.S. launch of the service is still on track for this year… Elsewhere, the NY Times has a profile of Pitchfork and its growth from a small bedroom website to indie music dominance, getting 30-million page views a month… Live Nation Entertainment held a presentation this week for investors and analysts detailing the company’s plans for the future and addressing the highly scrutinized struggle of the concert business this year… And Peter Jenner, former manager of acts such as Pink Floyd and The Clash, shares his thoughts on the economics of digital music and the inevitability of file-sharing…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

The Best Things in Life Aren't Free?

Not to be left out of the growing media preoccupation with new music services from industry giants like Google and Apple, not to mention the handful of new players who have emerged ahead of the curve like mspot, MOG, Spotify and Rdio, MySpace Music is back in the mix with renewed reports this week of a looming subscription service. The company is said to be in talks with labels about moving away from their current free streaming model to a paid service… Simultaneously MySpace parent News Corp. was quick to deny rumors that the company is in talks to sell the once supreme social network that has been facing a tough transition and revolving door of executives over the last year… An article in the WSJ today examines the increasingly tough road for the live music business – and for those keeping score, Rihanna‘s “Last Girl on Earth” tour appears to be the latest summer outing to announce cancellations…  Elsewhere, Wilco is planning to start their own label and will be leaving Warner Music after a 15-year relationship, having released albums on both Reprise and then Nonesuch… And CAA + “The Decision” x Kanye West = LeBron to The Heat

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Disney Buys iPhone Music Game Maker Tapulous

Yesterday saw another report declaring that a cloud-based version of iTunes is “definitely happening soon,” though further reporting by CNET‘s Media Maverick today has those claims in question as there is nothing indicating Apple has secured the necessary licenses from the four major labels to launch such a service…  Disney has bought Tapulous, the maker of popular iPhone music games including their early hit Tap Tap Revenge, such a move seems to indicate the mouses’ plan to move more into the social and mobile game arenaNettwerk CEO and Lilith Fair co-founder Terry McBride penned an open-letter on Tuesday to all the critics of his struggling tour; this coming ahead of the announcement yesterday of the cancellation of 10 Lilith concert dates… Elsewhere, the expected closure of BBC Radio 6 may not happen, thanks to the large increase in listenership and support for the station since it was first announced that the digital station was marked for termination… And checkout the LA Weekly profile of L.A.’s Saint Motel in the studio…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Thom Yorke Shares his Cheery Outlook on the Biz

Apple‘s WWDC announcements on Monday did not include a new cloud-based version of iTunes, as many had expected (or hoped for), but Jobs did reveal the company already has a boatload of iAd commitmentsBuzzmedia is not the only one bolstering its ad network, as startup MOG announces a new deal that will add Sony Music Entertainment online properties into their network, including 117 major artist websites… In a recent BBC Radio 4 documentary, new EMI Music chief Charles Allen discusses the state of his company and the difficulty of spreading the message that they are in “really good shape”… Following Allen’s positive outlook came comments from Radiohead frontman and former EMI artist, Thom Yorke, predicting the collapse of the music industry within “only a matter of months” and going on to advise aspirant musicians to avoid the “sinking ship”… And a report in Reuters today examines Terra Firma boss Guy Hands gift-giving techniques and the “high concentration, high risk strategy” in his current efforts to save EMI… Elsewhere, a look at the business of selling online fans, followers and viewers to artists… New England area coffee shops and other small venues are facing increased pressure from PRO’s… And Complex Magazine discusses free music, almost signing Drake and f*ckin kids in a brief Q&A with Warner Music boss Lyor Cohen

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Buzzmedia Adds New Music Sites to Network

If issuing a press-release on a holiday can be considered an attempt to downplay a story, that wasn’t the case with the announcement on Monday of Buzzmedia‘s addition of a handful of music sites to their growing stable.  The new site additions including PureVolume, Popmatters, RCRDLBL, Gorilla vs. Bear and other highly-trafficked music properties got extra coverage because of the fairly confusing details. Are they acquisitions, ad-partnerships, lease with an option-to-buy, or a mixture of all three? It appears to be the latter… The New York Post was the first to report that publisher Bug Music is being shopped by JPMorgan for $300-million, and that those in the hunt include Sony/ATV, Universal Music, Warner Music and new (old) player KKR/BMG. Billboard chimed-in to include Evergreen CopyrightsChrysalis Music and an unnamed financial firm as other possible suitors… As AT&T revealed that they would be popping a cap on customers unlimited internet, some were raising concerns about services like Pandora being seriously affected by the change, though further reporting showed the percentage of current users who would take a streaming hit was negligible… The founders of Kazaa and Skype unleashed their latest service Rdio Wednesday night at midnight. The cloud music service operates like a music-only Twitter and currently is only available via invite… Elsewhere, Vevo and boss Rio Caraeff are celebrating being the top spot online for music-videos… Alan McGee gives his 2-cents on the state of EMI Music… And is Google naming its still-to-be-unveiled iTunes competitor Google Music? Probably…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Apple Takes Top Tech Spot

Never far away from headlines, it’s being reported that Apple is now the world’s most valuable tech company. Valuations from Wall Street on Wednesday showed that the company has surpassed Microsoft and is only second to Exxon Mobil in America… Then there’s that pesky DOJ investigation into Apple’s possible anticompetitive practices, with particular focus on the recent allegations that the company pressured record labels to not participate in Amazon‘s MP3 Daily Deal promotion, threatening loss of iTunes visibility for artists who did… The recent federal court ruling against file-sharing service Limewire has led the company down a well-trodden path, with plans to “legitimize” the music service, executives explain they are now seeking licenses from all the major record labels… New MySpace co-presidents faced a number of tough questions at TechCrunch Disrupt regarding huge drops in site traffic and the $10-million-a-month losses for MySpace Music… At the same conference Lady Gaga‘s manager Troy Carter and Justin Bieber‘s manager Scooter Braun discussed how the web is impacting the music industry and the importance of managing an artist’s online identity… Elsewhere, ‘psycho-acoustic simulation’ music service BlueBeat, who made headlines trying to sell digital Beatles songs last year, is back with a streaming iPhone app. More unlicensed music? Yup… And what exactly is a Shaved Bieber?

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

The Video Site Hits the 5 Year Mark; 2 Billion Views a Day

YouTube celebrated its 5-year anniversary this week, and announced some impressive statistics, including the site’s 2-billion views per day and a #3 ranking for most visited sites on the web… Computer processor maker Intel and lifestyle media group Vice make for strange bedfellows, as the two have announced a new partnership to bring together The Creators Project where “curated artworks and installations, screenings, a panel discussion and dozens of performances by creators from all over the world,” which will take place in cities like New York and London over the summer… Mobile start up mspot beat Apple to the punch and unveiled its new free music-in-the-cloud service that allows users to sync music collections across Android phones and PC/Mac computers… Not far behind was Google‘s announcement of its acquisition of Simplify Media at the Google I/O conference on Thursday. Simplify’s software allows users to stream home music libraries on mobile devices… Elsewhere, data shows that the iTunes Store now accounts for more than half of all digital music sales, increasing by more than 5% from 2008-2009… Axl is suing Irving… And Harmonix announced strong early numbers for its Rock Band Network

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Court Rules Against Limewire in Copyright Infringement Case

A big week for Terra Firma boss Guy Hands, as numerous reports revealed that the firm was able to raise the needed 105 million pounds to keep control of EMI. The new injection of funds will keep the music company under the control of the investment firm for another year… A federal court ruled against file-sharing service Limewire in a copyright infringement case; its founder Mark Gorton may be held personally liable as well… Elsewhere, the latest Pirate Bay bidder has tapped TAG Strategic‘s Ted Cohen to help facilitate the deal… Universal Music Group dropped it’s lawsuit against Project Playlist (now… American Idol creator Simon Fuller announced he has been responsible for 160 million downloads via iTunes… And the Apple rumor mill is churning with speculation that a streaming music service will be announced at the Worldwide Developers conference on June 7th…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

One Million + Sold

The clock is ticking for Terra Firma to come up with enough funds to keep control of EMI – recent reports indicate Guy Hands has rallied some of the investment firms’ largest backers in an effort to raise the minimum needed by the fast approaching deadline… Apple announced at the start of the week that they have already sold one-million iPads, that’s less than half the time it took to sell the same amount of iPhones… Elsewhere, Warner Music Group reported a 15% rise in digital revenue in its most recent quarter… Tunecore delivered stats from 2009 that included a total of $35-million in download and streaming income for artists… And The Register takes an interesting look at Beggars Group in an interview with indie label-group head Martin Mills

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Always Front & Center... This Week: Adobe, iAds & Lala

Last weekend saw the news that EMI Music chairman Charles Allen is reportedly pulling back from his strategy to sell-off parts of the music group in an effort to righten the company’s state of financial disorder… The New York Times published a lengthy piece focusing on the new Live Nation Entertainment and its leading duo Irving Azoff and Michael RapinoRhapsody beat out other mobile music services this week by being getting its new iPhone app approved by Apple, making it the first service in the U.S. market to allow users to store subscription music in the phone’s memory… A lot more Apple in the headlines this week as Steve Jobs publicly sounded-off on his company’s continued stance against supporting Adobe Flash on its mobile devices. Billboard takes a look at what that means for music, while questions remain on how it all could relate to Apple’s imminent iAds platform that will likely cost advertisers at least $1 million dollars to buy into the new ad network… UK-based streaming service We7 announced that during the month of March, and for the first time ever, it had covered all operating and royalty costs with advertising revenue, making it the first company in the the ad-funded space to do so… Elsewhere, David Letterman‘s Worldwide Pants Inc. has started a record label, and its first release will be Orange County’s Runner Runner… And many are wondering if the freshly posted notice from Lala that it will be shutting down on May 31st and is no longer accepting new users means an iTunes in the cloud is finally on the way…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Sold-Out Coachella Weekend Starts Today

Coachella starts today and the sold-out festival has many feeling optimistic about the upcoming summer festival season.  In a New York Times piece this week, organizer Paul Tollett addressed the 3-day only passes, a first for the event, as a move to step-up to the level of Europe’s huge festivals, saying “I want to take the training wheels off”… An initial ad-based business model was announced by Twitter this week in the form of Promoted Tweets… UK songwriters association BASCA has cast more doubt publicly on Spotify‘s ability to generate income for songwriters; makes call for more transparency from the start-up streaming service… Concord Music Group has acquired the Massachusetts-based Rounder Records, who recently celebrated their 40th anniversary… The most recent Apple patent includes details that are causing some to speculate on a possible future concert ticketing application called Concert Ticket… And questions are arising as to the future of the apparently stagnant Lala. With the acquisition by Apple last year, many expected the service to quickly become a key component in an anticipated cloud-based iTunes service…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Buh Bye bebo; AOL Plans to Sell or Shutter the Social Network

The week began with a report that EMI was apparently still in talks with Sony Music about a possible catalog licensing deal, though some have pointed out that contracts with key EMI artists might prevent such a deal from going through. No further updates followed, other than a cheery financial outlook from Terra Firma boss Guy HandsAOL revealed that it was planning to sell or shutter the social networking site bebo that it paid $850 million for in 2008, while Rhapsody spun off into an independent company shedding former partners RealNetworks and Viacom/MTV; the subscription music service now also counts Universal Music Group as a new minority investor… Digital royalty collection organization SoundExchange announced that its 2010 Q1 payouts to artists and copyright holders topped all previous quarters… Details about the Solid Sound Festival were released this week, the Wilco-currated three-day event will take place in June at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA… And Sonicbids owner Panos Panay talks about the artist-as-entrepeneur…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Chrysalis acquires over 45K copyrights in First State Media Group deal

All eyes were on EMI this week with the end of the quarter looming and no clear indication as to what kind of licensing deal, if any, would be struck at the last minute.  At the end of day no deal was made, and the new default deadline for the beleaguered music company and its parent Terra Firma appears to be June… Chatter that American Idol owner CKX, Inc. is in discussions to sell the company was confirmed on Monday… As we alluded to last week, Chrysalis has announced its acquisition of First State Media Group, whose S1 Songs and State One Music trade names control over 45,000 copyrights including the former Dreamworks catalog and Wind-Up catalog… founder Michael Robertson is preparing to take on internet radio with the rollout of his new service… Australian music start up Guvera launched a public beta in the U.S. on Tuesday… And Roadrunner Records will be releasing Korn‘s upcoming Ross Robinson-produced album Korn III – Remember Who You Are sometime this summer…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Acquires Cherry Lane Publishing - Eyeing EMI

One of the latest wrinkles in the unfolding tale of Terra Firma and EMI comes this week with a report that the struggling music company is in talks with competing major labels to license portions of its catalogue…  Universal Music followed up with a denial that it was speaking with the music company, while as rumored here, Bertelsmann and KKR‘s BMG Rights Management expressed that it is indeed interested in EMI’s assets. In related news, the newly launched publishing company made its largest acquisition to-date by purchasing Cherry Lane Publishing… In what could be interpreted as another step toward ISP bundled music subscriptions, AT&T announced a new music “experience” that will combine song downloads, streaming radio, lyrics and more in a single mobile application for subscribers… Next Big Sound compiled social media data to find the fastest rising bands at the SXSW music festival last week, and it was announced that online radio would be closing its doors.

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Zimbalam enters U.S. market - What will it mean for Tunecore?

The New York Times‘ recent profile on Pandora examines how the internet radio company avoided the start-up graveyard, became profitable and whether an IPO is imminent…  A report commissioned by trade group BPI on behalf of Universal Music Group says that bundled digital music services could earn U.K. ISP’s roughly $155 million in extra earnings… New IFPI report breaks down the cost to record label’s for investing in music talent; total reaches roughly $5 billion annually – $1 million is the average price-tag to “break” a new artist… EMI Music CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti is out as of March 31st. Charles Allen, the former CEO of British broadcaster ITV, is set to take over the position… Europe’s Zimbalam, a flat fee digital distribution service backed by Believe Digital, is entering the U.S. market and will use upcoming SXSW for promotional offer.

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Apple Sets Sights on Amazon Daily Deal Promotion

Unlike the recent hoopla over Abbey Road, no public outcry surrounding EMI‘s recent sale of Olympic Sound Studios, birthplace of classic recordings from The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Who and QueenApple is starting to flex its iTunes market share muscle with labels over their use of Amazon‘s Daily Deal promotion that features deeply discounted albums for new artist releases… Music start ups MOG and Spotify to go toe-to-toe at SXSW, MOG to announce new mobile app… Time Magazine profiled soon to be Universal Music Group head Lucian Grainge…And Peter Gabriel‘s The Filter has announced a new deal with video site Dailymotion

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Sellaband Gets New Owners

A lot of talk recently about Sellaband, the music startup that allows fans to fund projects, first with the revelation that Public Enemy had fallen severely short of their proposed $250K goal for their next album and was even losing fan investors. That was quickly followed by speculation that Sellaband itself was out of cash and on the brink of bankruptcy, which was soon confirmed, but quickly reversed as German investors stepped in to buy the company… At the Digital Music Forum East, an analyst with the NPD group said “We’re eating our young” – claiming that services like Spotify don’t generate music sales while a company like Pandora does. Spotify was quick to respond stating there is evidence that proves the opposite… Music video site Vevo continues to show strong numbers, a quarter of them apparently owed just to Lady Gaga… The BBC announced that among a broad range of changes, it was closing alternative music station 6 Music, though it looks like Absolute Radio (formerly Virgin Radio) will make a bid on the station… Elsewhere Music Mastermind the virtual music creation startup co-founded by Matt Serletic announced $4.85-million in Series A funding… And The Agency Group agent Dave Shapiro in partnership with Rise Records has launched his own label Velocity Records

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

London's Abbey Road Studios up on the block

More EMI headlines this week, as it was reported that company is trying to sell the legendary Abbey Road studios in London. An anonymous source told the AP that the search for a buyer has actually been going on for several months. After the news broke, stories appeared naming The National Trust and Andrew Lloyd Webber as both interested in buying… A face-off in the cloud may be brewing between Apple and Google, with reports that the latter is in talks with cloud media start-up Catch Media. Initial chatter of a possible showdown began at the end of last year with Apple’s high profile purchase of music service Lala… Ad-supported music service Guvera has announced their U.S. launch will be on March 30th. The Australian-based company also announced new licensing deals with BMI, SESAC, Harry Fox Agency and INgrooves, those following previous deals with Universal Music Group, EMI and IODA.  Advertising in Guvera is less intrusive than similar services says LA Times writer Jon Healey, who recently took the new service for a test-drive…

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