All posts tagged MOG

Post Austin News Round Up…

Another SXSW Music week has come and gone, and now you’ve had time to get all those BBQ stains out of your clothes and organize all those new biz cards you got, right? Good, neither have we… Here’s a recap of some recent goings on. Read more…

News Bytes: BigChampagne acquired by Live Nation, Rara-who?, Sony & Warner join Grooveshark fray & more

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Quick Bytes: (Give It To Me Baby) Digital Royalties Lawsuit Against Universal Music to Proceed, Tunecore Launches Publishing Admin Service & More…

A federal judge is permitting a class-action lawsuit against Universal Music Group to move forward that involves a group led by Rob Zombie and the estate of Rick James. The issue at hand is digital royalties and the difference between treating downloads purchased at digital retailers like iTunes as a “sale” or a “license” as is relates to the artits’ split. This case follows similar litigation involving UMG and Eminem recordings, which was settled last year… Tunecore has launched a new songwriter publishing administration service that will register copyrights, collect royalties and issue licenses for users. The new service is among other recent entrants to the previously absent sector of expanded publishing admin for independent artists. More info can be found hereSpotify user numbers might be skyrocketing with the new Facebook integration, but it isn’t the only one – monthly users at MOG have quadrupled following the pairing up with the social network… Meanwhile, some are asking where the native Facebook music player app has gone, and what this means (if anything), for future music apps after it disappeared from the site this week… RIM will be launching its new BlackBerry Messenger music service this week… And Apple missed the ‘late October’ launch for its new iTunes Match service that was announced back in June, with no word from the company as to when it can be expected. [UPDATE: It appears that iTunes Match is still in the 'testing' phase.]

Digital Round Up: More Spotify, Rhapsody + Napster, Rdio goes free & more…

There seems to be quite a bit of optimism lately in the realm of digital music and what the future holds for subscription services. So far 2011′s album sales are already up from the previous year, with a big bump from digital, and at least one major label is claiming that they’ve finally figured out “free”. Glassnote artist Mumford & Sons became the third artist ever to sell 1 million digital albums, and even MTV has announced a second O Music Awards show, celebrating music and technology, which is set for October 31st… Spotify was quick to release new user data within only a couple months of launching its service in the U.S., and while they are clearing unclear in terms of paying versus free and how many are U.S.-only as opposed the world-wide, the overall statement is that a lot of people are trying out the service. The announcements in the music arena made during Facebook‘s recent f8 conference also helped boost the outlook of not only Spotify, but a number of other digital music services including MOGRdio and iHeartRadio that were also included in the social networks big changes. And while most eyes remain on the Swedish-start up, the competition continues to counter with new moves of their own. Rdio announced this week that it will be launching a free on-demand streaming service, that has no ads, and an unspecified limit on free-listening, which follows a similar move by MOG… Meanwhile, Rhapsody has acquired Napster from Best Buy, in a purchase that will raise the longtime streaming service’s plateauing numbers… Elsewhere, Apple revealed during their press event on Tuesday that its new iCloud service will be extended to Europe, following recent reports that the company was seeking worldwide music rights from labels and publishers… And after only a few months as the new owners of MySpace, Specific Media held presentations for top-level advertisers at Radio City Music Hall on Monday, trying to generate excitement for the site, which will be focused primarily on music and video content. Creative partner and investor, Justin Timberlake (who has also been tapped to play Neil Bogart in an upcoming biopic of the Casablanca Records co-founder) was on hand for the presentations as well.

Bits & Pieces: Live Nation + UMG, Facebook’s f8 Conference & more…

Monday afternoon saw the official news of a major deal that has been in the works for months that unites Live Nation Entertainment and Universal Music Group in a new pact joining UMG’s management properties, including Sanctuary, Twenty First Artist (and presumably the new producer management arm Twenty First Republic that was formed earlier this year with World’s End) and 5B Artist Management, all under LN’s Front Line Management… Apprehension by banks to finance private-equity firms in buyouts and mergers is growing, according to an WSJ article this week, and that might mean the stable of bidders for EMI is shrinking. It might also mean the likelihood of the music group being sold intact is also lessening… Tomorrow is Facebook‘s big f8 conference, where they will announce many new features and major redesigns, and music fans are looking forward to the expected integration of new streaming services like Spotify, MOG and Rdio. Some are expecting Pandora to be added to that list as well, given the redesigned and relaunched player from the web radio service today, which includes among other things increased sharing capabilities and the removal of the cap on free-listening hours. Exactly how seamless the integration of media services into the social network is unclear, as MediaMemo points out, FB was originally planing on allowing users to access music and video services without ever leaving the site, however now that has changed. Announced speakers and panelists at the conference will include CEO’s from Spotify and Turntable.fm along with Clear Channel Chairman‘s Bob Pittman who has been busy promoting iHeartRadio and manager Troy Carter among many others…  Elsewhere, video site Vimeo has launched a Music Store in a new partnership with Audiosocket, that will help video creators easily find and license music… R.E.M. is calling it quits after three decades… Van Halen is reportedly ending their longtime relationship with Warner Bros. Records and heading to Columbia Records… And Jeremy Summers has been named EVP/Chief Marketing Officer at Interscope Geffen A&M.

Digital Music Round Up: Turntable.fm seeks label deals, MOG & Rdio go free, iHeartRadio vs. Pandora & more…

MOG launches free music service

In addition to revealing more details about investors in the recent funding round, Turntable.fm has also announced that the company is indeed seeking licensing deal with the four major label groups as well as indie labels. This would help the service grow internationally according to CEO Billy Chasen, presumably in addition to offering new and more robust features that licenses would allow for. It appears Turntable is attempting to forge a new kind of licensing deal with labels, something that would fall in between the low-rates that web radio services like Pandora pay and higher ones paid by on-demand services like Spotify… Music streaming service MOG launched a new free ad-supported version of the service called FreePlay yesterday, in a what can be seen as a direct move against Spotify. The concept puts a twist on the freemium model, by giving free-users a “gas tank” of music, which they can refill in perpetuity through various actions like listening, sharing with friends, making playlists, and exploring MOG. A possible leg-up for the new service, will be utilizing its large blog-directory, MOG Music Network, with integrated blogs now able to share songs and playlists with readers via FreePlay tools… Rdio is also releasing a free version of their music service, though details are still few. It’s expected that more information will be disclosed when Facebook reveals its new music-plans next week at its f8 conference; Rdio along with MOG and Spotify are all expected to be partners in the new FB music features – Deezer is also expected to be announced as a Facebook Music partner in Europe… On the heels of all the streaming-music announcements this week, the results of a new study commissioned by mp3-retailer eMusic were released, and they show that 91% of those polled still prefer to own their music, while 76% use streaming services to discover music before buying. More details from the study are here… Meanwhile, Clear Channel has seriously bolstered its online radio service iHeartRadio after recently acquiring Thumbplay, and the company is quickly taking shots at Pandora, who until now has not faced any serious competition in the non-interactive web-radio space. Clear Channel media chief Bob Pittman told Forbes that he doesn’t see Pandora’s business as a “free-standing platform,” and that more functionality will continually be added to iHeartRadio, including possible features similar to Turntable.fm.

Bits & Pieces: More Executive Musical Chairs, EMI Shopping Begins, Warner Music Interest Expands & more…

Big four in limbo; all looking for x-factors

While a lot of the industry was immersed in debauchery on Austin’s 6th street last week, the following news broke; Island Def Jam head, Antonio LA Reid, announced his departure from Universal Music Group to take a judge spot on Simon Cowell‘s X-Factor, it’s widely believed that Reid will end up back at Sony Music under former UMG boss Doug Morris (Cowell’s X-Factor also has a deal with Sony)… The following day it was announced by UMG chief Lucian Grainge that newly acquired East Coast exec Barry Weiss would be taking over the reins left by Reid, as new CEO of IDJ and Universal Motown Republic Group… After recently being sold to BMG Rights Management, it was reported that Chrysalis Music founder Chris Wright is in the process of buying back the company’s distribution company Lasgo Chrysalis, a division that has seen a rise in business due in part to the resurgence of vinyl… The NY Post claimed sources who have indicated that Citigroup has begun quietly shopping EMI, and many of the interested parties are also currently bidding on the whole or parts of Warner Music Group… The short-list of suitors for WMG stays much the same, though who is bidding on what pieces seems to be shifting; KKR-backed BMG who originally submitted a low-ball offer for Warner/Chappell is said to now be considering a bid for all of WMG, while reports today claim that there are three specific WMG assets that the joint-venture is interested in. Meanwhile one new bidder has emerged in private-equity and investment firm Tamares, who is also interested in the entire company… Elsewhere, a new report has predicted that within five years, there will be over 161 million subscribers to digital music services… MOG is trying to put together a new investment fund in the range of $25 to $30 million… And Clear Channel is said to be taking a serious look at recently bankrupted music service Playlist.com

Friday Bits & Pieces: Music Startups Hot at CES, Sony’s Music Unlimited & more…

Music services hot at CES

It’s 2011 and streaming music continues to be a hot topic. Spotify is still getting headlines, but questions now surround not when the service will be launching in the U.S., but if it will ever see life in the states. It appears that labels are continuing to ask for extremely high upfront payments from the startup, due to uncertainty in results from the service’s model. Spotify is betting on a high rate of conversion from free to paid accounts, while content owners remain skeptical. If the company doesn’t go public, is the answer to be acquired, and should Amazon be that buyer?… While the clock ticks on Spotify, not to mention Google Music and a streaming service from Apple, lower profile services that have already launched continue to made progress in the new digital music arena, with a number of key announcements coming out of this weeks Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. MOG will be coming preinstalled on Verizon‘s new 4G LTE phones, as well as being included in Toyota connected cars, along with Pandora… Slacker also announced new changes to its service this week, including a new on-demand subscription tier, that sees a third level of access for users, adding to the non-interactive internet radio service it already provides… Meanwhile Sony took the stage at CES to announced the launch of its new Music Unlimited service in America in the coming months. Already live in the UK, the service will be available to users via Bravia TVs, Blu-ray players, Vaio PCs and PlayStation 3 consoles… Elsewhere, in expected news, Lucian Grainge, who officially assumes his CEO seat at Universal Music Group, announced contract renewals for Universal/Republic rulers Monte and Avery Lipman this week – also re-upped with UMG was SRC Records founder and CEO Steve RifkindS&P Equity Research adds credence to the talk of a likely Warner Music Group acquisition of EMI, as they make their 2011 media predictions, stating [WMG] could finally be poised to make a successful bid for the recorded music operations of EMI Group… And sales data for music in 2010 comes in with news of continued decline for both physical and digital albums, while single tracks all but flatlined. Last year saw a 12.8% decline from the 2009 level in album sales, while single song sales were up by 1%. More stats including 2010 highest sellers are here

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 Evolver.fm… 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

File Under: CMJ Spotlight

Tuesday, October 19th:

MOG Opening Night Party @ Brooklyn Bowl (DOM, Screaming Females)

BMI + Spin Presents @ Highline Ballroom – (Bad Rabbits, Chain Gang of 1974 & more)

IAMSOUND Records Showcase @ Santos Party House – (Kisses, Lesands & more)

Wednesday, October 20th:

SESAC Presents @ The Studio/Webster Hall – (Dinowalrus, BRAHMS & more)

ASCAP Presents @ Canal Room – (Reptar, GroupLove & more)

Hello Music Showcase @ Ace of Clubs – (Ben Talmi, New Look & more)

Thursday, October 21st:

Neon Gold Chess Club Party @ Public Assembly – (Savoir Adore, Alex Winston & more)

Buzznet Presents @ PureVolume House – (The Static Jacks, White Arrows & more)

Friday, October 22nd:

Paradigm Showcase @ Mercury Lounge – (JBM, Ume & more)

Force Field PR @ Pianos – (Lord Huron, Wild Nothing & more)

Saturday, October 23rd:

Windish Agency Showcase @ Santos Party House – (Cults, Bikini & more)

Baeble @ Bowery Electric – (Oberhofer, Blood Red Shoes & more)

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

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

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

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

MOG launches All Access

This week saw the launch of MOG‘s new All Access $5/month music service, see an overview and some initial reactions hereTunecore announced a new campaign with radio promotion company Unleashed Music to provide a to-be-selected unknown artist with a 6-week commercial radio campaign… The Sunset Strip’s Key Club has closed its doors, but hopes to reopen early in the new year… And SideoneDummy recording artist Audra Mae was featured on MTV.com discussing the song she wrote, “Who I Was Born to Be,” the only original tune on Susan Boyle‘s chart-topping album I Dreamed a Dream