All posts tagged Google

iTunes Gets The Beatles, EMI Gets a Bump & Hollywood Gets Another Warning Sign

Arrive on iTunes

Today Apple announced the addition of The Beatles catalogue to the iTunes store, which ends a longtime hold out from the group and leaves AC/DC, Bob Seger and Kid Rock among the remaining high-profile acts whose music is not available on iTunes. Reports of the Beatles announcement leaked well before the Fab Four popped up all over, the iTunes homepage and Ping early this morning. Many were hoping for a music-streaming or Lala related announcement, but as reports pointed out, there is nothing indicating that Apple has new licensing deals in place with the major labels yet. However, this morning’s announcement does beg the question of whether of not The Beatles catalogue will be left in download-only mode, if and when Apple launches a streaming service, particularly in light of “the long and winding road” it took just to get their music available digitally. Others are pointing to the much needed bump the new pact will give to EMI, ostensibly providing the label with a huge Q4 release in the form of all thirteen of the group’s studio albums, available as full albums or single songs, as well as other popular collections and a digital box set… While all parties involved were lauding the new digital era of Beatles music, there was a stark reminder of the role Apple has played in the industry’s digital music quagmire over the last decade, in the form of a dinner conversation in San Francisco last night. The discussion, which was part of the 2010 Web 2.0 Summit, featured WME head Ari Emanuel discussing among other topics, the film and television industry’s burgeoning piracy problem.  In mentioning the recording industry’s plight of piracy, Emanuel asserted that record labels in all likelihood would not have agreed to a 99-cents per song structure had they the knowledge they do now. Others argue that given what has happened in the music industry, the studios should have the foresight to avoid making the same mistakes in holding out on new digital services from Google, Apple and Netflix. Read the full story on SAI… And for even more on Hollywood’s growing digital issues, check out a Q&A with BigChampagne‘s Eric Garland on CNET.

[UPDATE: Ethan Smith has more on the backstory of how the iTunes - Beatles deal came to fruition, read it here on WSJ]

Wednesday Bits & Pieces: iTunes Song Samples Get Extended & MP3Tunes

The extending of the iTunes song-sample length to 90 seconds, which was expected to be revealed during Steve Jobs‘ September 1st ‘music related’ event, was finally announced yesterday in the form of a letter from Apple to labels. The past two months Apple has been negotiating primarily with music publishers and performing rights organizations, after the NMPA previously stepped in to block the sample extension. What’s being most discussed this morning however, is the way in which Apple has handed down the new decree, which essentially tells rights holders that by simply continuing to have their music in the iTunes store they are agreeing to license “gratis mechanical rights to 90 second ‘Clips’” – with some believing the harsh message is directed more towards indie labels who are presumed to have been left out of discussions Apple had with the four major music groups…. Meanwhile, according to CNET founder Michael Robertson‘s ongoing legal spat with EMI is nearing an end, the outcome of which, according to Robertson, will have major repercussions for other media companies like Apple and Google

Wednesday Bits & Pieces: LimeWire No More, Apple + Spotify + Google = ??? & the New MySpace

Gets a Relaunch

Yesterday LimeWire software was dealt a blow in the form of a permanent injunction from a U.S. District Judge issued to parent company Lime Group, essentially killing the software that once was found on 1/3 of all PCs.  Reports of a new legal digital music service began when the initial injunction was handed down against the company in May, though it appears licensing talks with major labels have broken down. The company still insists that they hope to launch the new service before the end of the year… Meanwhile, TechCrunch published a piece yesterday claiming that Apple has been in sporadic discussions with Spotify about acquisition, though it’s very early in the process, and no price has been offered. The claims are being questioned by many, believing that a deal of that kind for Apple would not make sense, if for no other reason than the presumed high price alone. However in the same post, it was revealed that Google had offered $1 billion for the service last year around the same time that the company acquired Lala…  The new redesigned MySpace was launched in beta last night, and the new focus of the beleaguered social network will apparently be on entertainment content. Recognizing that they’ve been passed by in the social networking arena by Facebook, they no longer aim to compete, and are now looking to become the web’s biggest hub for music, movies and games – seeing MTV now as a more apt comparison. The backend of the site has also gotten a major overhaul, something that has been much needed since its acquisition by News Corp back in 2005…

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

Wednesday Bits & Pieces: CMJ “Break Outs”, Starbucks Digital Network & more…

Starbucks Digital Network Launches w/ iTunes, LinkedIn & more

CMJ is in full swing this week in NYC, and the Village Voice music critics discuss who could be crowned this years’ “breakout” act, and what that really means… The L.A. Times catches up with Cee-Lo and asks whether or not he lets his own children listen to his viral anthem… Meanwhile Starbucks in partnership with Yahoo! has launched something called the Starbucks Digital Network, which can be accessed at any of the retailers free wi-fi spots and will provide a collection of hand-picked premium news, entertainment and lifestyle content along with local insights and events. Content providers include iTunes, LinkedIn, the New York Times and Foursquare – in case you were wondering, Starbucks wi-fi is accessed 30-million times a month, and more than half of those connections are wireless… Elsewhere, former Rhapsody VP Tim Quirk has landed at Google, setting off a fury of speculation as to his taking of the Google Music top spot, though it appears that is not the case… And Irving invades Nashville with B.A.D. Management

Apples to Apples: Spotify = Threat

Yesterday CNET published a lengthy piece on Spotify and the ongoing struggle to launch its music streaming service in the U.S., mentioning sources who have indicated that Apple is putting up road-blocks to the Swedes’ already difficult free-music pitch to labels.  Just last week Spotify celebrated hitting 10 million users across Europe, only 5% of which are paying, with a bash in London where they indicated that a launch in the states is indeed still planned for before the the end of 2010. While most don’t believe that is possible at this point (the article also pointed out that even Google‘s highly publicized music service will most likely not launch until early 2011 now), the company also announced the launch of its Windows Phone app this week.  It’s clear that Apple is taking this potential rival more seriously than most recent music services given the same moniker by the media. Further proof comes in the form of a New York Post dispatch late last night, reporting that Apple is still in talks with labels about a monthly subscription service, reviving the all too familiar iTunes in-the-cloud chatter…

Amid Google Ad Expiration & Executive Exit, News Corp Unites MySpace and FAN

News Corp Integrates FAN with MySpace

As the clock was ticking on News Corp.‘s $900 million ad-deal with Google, which was announced in August of 2006 and had MySpace as the primary revenue generator, many were wondering how the struggling social network would replace the significant loss when the deal expired this summer, and who would a new deal be with; Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Yahoo! Inc.?  The answer has come this week, with News Corp.’s decision to integrate the team and technology from its own Fox Audience Network (FAN) with MySpace. FAN, already the monetization division for MySpace, IGN and various other News Corp. digital properties, also happened to lose its president Adam Bain this week to Twitter, who has hired the executive to act as the company’s new president of global revenue. The timing of Bain’s departure and the decision to unite FAN with MySpace rather than an outside ad partner, has many wondering what that spells for the social network as it is gearing up for a major relaunch this fall. Adding further curiosity, is that only a few months ago it was reported that FAN was on the block, which further fueled persistent rumors of an impending sale of MySpace…

**UPDATE: Bloomberg reports that MySpace is extending their ad deal with Google by one month. Read full article here

Wednesday Bits & Pieces – Legal Edition: Viacom’s Appeal, Lime Wire, Grooveshark & More…


The drawn out legal fight between Viacom and Google, over YouTube copyright issues, has reached its next phase as Viacom has filed an appeal in federal court today. This comes after last month’s comments from Veoh that the outcome of their legal skirmish with Universal Music Group could foreshadow the events of Viacom’s appeal… Lime Wire has filed a request for a jury trial in the lawsuit filed by by members of the National Music Publisher’s Association back in June… Merlin and Grooveshark have settled their legal scrap, and in doing so the online music service has licensed catalogs from Merlin’s indie record label members. Grooveshark settled a similar lawsuit brought by EMI last year… And song parody and viral video sensation “Newport State of Mind” has been yanked from YouTube via a taken-down notice from EMI Music Publishing at the behest of the seven writers of the song “Empire State of Mind”…

More Google Music Clues Surface

More clues are surfacing as to what form the impending Google Music service will take, as Epicenter reports that in addition to a paid on-demand streaming service, there will also be a free option similar in style to Pandora.  The free option would include audio advertisements intermixed with streaming music, and it may be available via YouTube as well. This is the latest in a string of information about the new music initiative from Google that has come to light in the last week. Here’s a recap of what is known so far… Last week TechCrunch reports that Google has hired former Davis Shapiro Lewit & Hayes attorney Elizabeth Moody to assist in its industry negotiations… The following day Moody’s hiring is confirmed in a Billboard Q&A… And on Monday the New York Post reported that Google is in the midst of accelerated talks with the Harry Fox Agency. Stay tuned…

Thursday Bits & Pieces: New Music Seminar, Google’s New Legal Gun & More…

BigChampagne's New Ultimate Chart Tracks Popularity Across Many Platforms

The New Music Seminar (NYC) wrapped up yesterday after featuring a number of speakers and presenters including Tom Silverman (NMS Co-Founder), Eric Garland (BigChampagne), Corrie Christopher (Agent, VP APA), Ariel Hyatt (Ariel Publicity & Cyper PR) and Peter Kafka (All Things Digital) among many others. There was a wide range of topics discussed, all focused on the future of the business, including media, touring and breaking through. BigChampange’s new Ultimate Chart, which measures artist and song popularity using a number of metrics including the three F’s (fan/friends/followers), also created a lot of discussion following its unveiling by Eric Garland during the conference’s State of the Internet Address… Google has hired veteran music attorney Elizabeth Moody, formerly of Davis Shapiro Lewit & Hayes, presumably to help them through the label terrain as they move closer to launching their much-discussed new music service likely to be known as Google Music… July 31st will see a first-of-its-kind star studded event in India for the release of the audio to the new film Endhiran, composed by Oscar winner AR Rahman who became a household name in the West after winning Best Original Score for Slumdog Millionaire. South African label Think Music has acquired the rights to Endhiran‘s audio, beating out a number of larger labels who were rumored to be vying for the rights… Elsewhere, Atlantic Records has signed Christina Perri, the overnight sensation who performed her song “Jar of Hearts” on So You Think You Can Dance recently.  Perri is also the younger sister of former Shinedown lead guitarist Nick PerriLinkin Park has teamed up with MySpace MusicIndaba Music and TopSpin Media for a new online fan collaboration contest… And Forbes discusses music in the cloud with Thumbplay Music chief exec Evan Schwartz

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

Wednesday Bits & Pieces: Sony Music, Apple + EMI, A MySpace without Google & More…

“We had to change the stretch limo culture that prevailed in many areas of the music industry,” says Schmidt-Holtz

A Sunday piece in the New York Times takes a look at Sony Music and its head Rolf Schmidt-Holt. Much of the article examines Sony Music’s moves into territory outside of the traditional music industry, including its partnership with Simon Cowell and a consulting relationship with the government of Argentina… The other apple, Apple Records, announced a new partnership with EMI for the digital release of fifteen remastered albums from artists including Badfinger and James Taylor, though it doesn’t appear that any Beatles releases will be included… MySpace‘s lucrative ad-deal with Google is just about up, and while the Wall Street Journal recently reported on News Corp.‘s shopping of a new partnership, TechCrunch asks some crucial unaddressed questions… And if you thought those Jonas Bros. albums you bought in the privacy of your home would go unnoticed, think again.  In a move to further propel its new iAd platform and compete with Google, Apple is mining data from billions of iTunes downloads to study user’s buying habits…

Wednesday Bits & Pieces: WMG + MTV, eMusic Working on Cloud Service, Pitchfork’s New Blog Collective & More…

Warner Music Group brings in MTV Networks for ad-sales

Warner Music Group announced today its new partnership with MTV Networks, in which MTV will sell ads against the music group’s video content.  The arrangement replaces a previous partnership between Warner and Outrigger, a smaller sales company.  The most interesting part of the new deal is that MTV parent Viacom is still in court with Google, yet YouTube (owned by Google) is likely to account for a majority of the ads-sales by MTV. Make sense?… First week sales of Eminem‘s Recovery came in at 741,000, making it the biggest release yet for 2010 and the biggest first week since 2008′s AC/DC album Black IcePitchfork has announced it’s launching a sister site dubbed Altered Zones that will act as a blog collective of sorts with 14 different music blogs supplying content… The NY Times technology blog, Bits, has an article on cloud music companies to watch (spoiler, Apple and Google aren’t in there), but a surprise inclusion is eMusic. The piece reveals that the once indie-only subscription service that added both Sony and Warner Music catalogs to its service in the last 12 months, will soon also add Universal Music and is working on a cloud music service that could be introduced early next year… Expect a sold-out crowd at L.A.’s The Echo tomorrow night for the double-down and uber-indie bill featuring Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles.  That latter recently recorded their new album with producer James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence & the Machine, Klaxons) at the famed QOTSA studio Rancho De La Luna (check out “Sleep Forever” from the new album at Stereogum), while Dum Dum Girls, who recently released their debut full-length on Sub Pop, will head out on a North American tour with Vampire Weekend in August followed by a string of MGMT dates in Europe…

Tuesday Bits & Pieces: More Google Music, Eminem’s Recovery, Gulf Relief Benefit & more…

Google's Music Plans

Google is headed for the cloud, or so it would seem with further reporting on the search giant’s forthcoming moves into the music space. No concrete details yet, but a download store could launch as early as this year, with a cloud-based service slated for 2011. Should the Apple rival be careful not to move too quickly…? Interscope cleared the release decks this week to make way for the new Eminem album Recovery. The question from many is whether or not the highly-anticipated release that dropped yesterday will live up to its name after the industry’s recent extremely sluggish sales-weeks… Leading up to the Northside Festival in Brooklyn this weekend, Sirius XMU is featuring special artist-hosts starting today including Real Estate, Woods, Au Revoir Simone and WavvesJes Hudak is the Los Angeles winner of the Ourstage 2010 Lilith Fair talent search; she will perform at the July 10th festival stop… And tonight at El Cid a Gulf Coast Relief benefit concert for Global Green will feature acoustic performances from local artists Voxhaul Broadcast, Trevor Hall, Heavy Young Heathens and others…

** Today only head HERE to get a %20 discount on badges for Northside Festival with promo code “LMAG”

Wednesday Bits & Pieces… Google Music, MTV Twitter Jockey, Limewire & OK Go

MTV looks for Twitter Jockey

Chatter is starting about a possible Google Music Store launch as early as this fall – if true could Apple be far behind… MTV has launched a campaign to find its own official Twitter JockeyReports have surfaced that AOL had sold its music service Bebo, though the media giant was quick to deny any sale… Limewire has a new legal music service in the works, but many wonder if the bridges are already burned… And OK GO has just released a new music video complete with a Facebook fan-contest

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…

Meet Me in the Cloud: Rdio Launches

Twelve hours ago at the strike of midnight, the new digital music service from the founders of Kazaa and Skype was launched. Called Rdio, the service has deals with all the major labels and some indies, and is the latest to join an arena occupied by other similar services like MOG and mspot. It looks like they have tried to differentiate the site by creating a Twitter-like environment focused on music, in which users can follow what and who other users are listening to in real-time, along with other unique listening data and rankings. Right now the service is invite-only (ala Gmail), an indication that Rdio is in no hurry and intends to create a strong base built on serious music fans… This new service comes ahead of any announcement from juggernauts Apple or Google who many expect will soon unleash their own cloud music services. Meanwhile Spotify continues to be quiet on any U.S. launch, though there’s been recent speculation about one major label holdout in particular and that there is already a small segment of users in the states…

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

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…

In Case You Missed It: Reading Recap

Changes Happening at Universal Music Group

More news out of MySpace this week with the departure of CEO Owen Van Natta after less than one year in the position; situation at the social networking company being described by some as a “hot mess”Vivendi announced on Wednesday that Lucian Grainge would in fact become the next CEO of Universal Music Group in 2011. It took no time for the Brit to make comments to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal regarding the future of CD’s and his favor for anti-piracy laws. Naturally this caused a torrent of commentary, though nothing of a ’07 Doug Morris Wired Magazine proportion… Veoh has announced it will be shutting down as a result of a “financially draining and distracting” legal bout with UMG, even though the video site was victorious in the precedent setting case; a closer look finds other possible factors involved with its bankruptcy… Elsewhere, Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr made comments that rekindled talk of the company’s interest in EMIGoogle is receiving a lot of flak for shutting down a handful of music blogs over DMCA complaints, though some are raising questions about where the blame should be put… And Universal Music Publishing CEO David Renzer explains why he thinks 2010 might be the most challenging time yet for publishers.

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