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…
All posts tagged 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
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…
With an announcement out of London this morning, Roger Faxon is in as the new group chief executive for EMI, moving from his previous position as chairman and chief executive of EMI Music Publishing. Recently appointed non-executive chairman of the group’s recorded music division, Charles Allen, will now become an advisor to EMI and Terra Firma… MySpace co-president Jason Hirschhorn is out as shared head of the troubled social network, leaving Mike Jones to remove the “co” from his title… News yesterday revealed that veteran A&R executive Mark Williams is in as the new Sr. VP of A&R at Columbia Records. William’s most recently worked on M.I.A.‘s new album for Interscope Records… Limewire is in for more trouble as members of the National Music Publisher’s Association including EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner/Chappell filed a copyright complaint in federal court against the file-sharing service this week… And free concerts are out in NYC, as the city cracks down after the recent Drake concert fiasco…
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?
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 EMI… Google 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.
A week ago today the news broke that Apple was buying music service, and new Google Music search partner, Lala, lighting up the tech and music world (cnet). How much Apple actually paid to acquire the streaming-music service has been a matter for continued speculation (TechCrunch)… EMI made an 11th hour content licensing deal with the new major label-backed video site Vevo, which officially launched on Tuesday (Epicenter). True to industry form there was a celebrity-filled gala to commemorate the occasion (Billboard)… MySpace formally acknowledged it has bought struggling Imeem and promptly shuttered the streaming service (VentureBeat)… And as expected, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and a handful of other Nielsen Media publications were officially sold to a consortium of investors (LATimes).
EMI and owner Terra Firma are back in the headlines as the private equity investment firm reportedly prepares to write down its investment in the struggling music company by 90% after their latest bid to restructure debt was denied… But it wasn’t all gloom and doom for EMI this week as the the music group announced a first-of-its-kind deal with Hulu to distribute artist content on the popular online video destination… MySpace snapped up online streaming music service Imeem for a bargain basement price, a move some suspect was more about talent than technology… And Sony announced plans to launch an online store that will sell music, movies, books and mobile applications, sound familiar?
In the news this week… Universal Music Group CEO Doug Morris appears to be making plans to bring in a successor, though the 71-year-old executive has no plans of retiring… MediaMemo reports that Apple is out taking the temperature of networks for a $30 a month iTunes TV subscription… MySpace will reportedly fall short of the minimum traffic levels specified in parent company News Corp.’s massive 2006 Google ad deal… And digital marketplace BlueBeat.com uses the old ‘psycho-acoustic simulation’ defense in legal action taken by EMI for the site’s illegal and bizarre sale of The Beatles catalog online… Is that like claiming insanity, or just insane?
Back with some elsewhere articles of the week… Google and partners in new Onebox music search took over the Capitol Records building to unveil the new service… Rumors surfaced that Microsoft’s MSN may be linking with MySpace Music… Like the little engine that could, music service Lala is back in the news with high profile Google and Facebook partnerships… And is News Corp. making moves to sell action sports and music channel Fuel TV?
It’s been a lethargic week here on RM 64 blog, but we thought we’d share some ‘elsewhere’ reading that caught our interest this week… TechCrunch was first to reveal info about Google’s Music Service, leading to much conjecture and hearsay, but no official statement… MySpace heads took the stage at the Web 2.0 Summit to announce new MySpace Music artist features and discuss the service’s bumpy road… Meanwhile Facebook believes “in the wisdom of friends” as COO predicts the future is social and not search oriented… And Disney looks to the sky for the future of digital content, as they are reportedly developing a new cloud-computing technology codenamed “Keychest” that would give consumers access to purchased content for life on multiple devices via the cloud…
UPDATE: Rock band TONIC has just been added to the lineup for Dylapalooza!
MySpace Records, Hotel Café, and Pablove.org/Dangerbird Records are presenting Dylapalooza this coming Monday, October 19th, 7:00PM at The Echoplex in Los Angeles. This all-ages event features a lineup of great new artists, including Emily Wells, Sonos, Leah Andreone and The Lonely Forrest, but more importantly the night is a benefit to celebrate and support a courageous young boy, Dylan David, who has battled cancer twice in his short life.
Dylan was diagnosed in 2007 at age 5 with Medulloblastoma, an aggressive type of brain tumor. After undergoing numerous treatments and showing dramatic improvement, in 2009 a new tumor was discovered showing signs of Leptomeningeal Disease, an even more aggressive cancer with an even shorter survival curve.
Through it all, Dylan’s determination, will, fortitude and indomitable sense of humor have been an inspiration to many. Dylapalooza is meant to be heartfelt acknowledgment of the struggle for survival that this little soldier has waged.
Needless to say, this is a great night of music and an opportunity to help an amazing child and his family. We hope to see you there, and please support and spread the word in any way you can…
Monday, Oct 19: Doors 7P/$10/All-Ages
Echoplex is at 1154 Glendale Blvd. Echo Park 90026
Emily Wells, Sonos, Leah Andreone, The Lonely Forest
After Myspace Records’ Jason Reynolds stopped by the RM 64 offices for our interview with him, we uncovered an interesting tidbit left on tape during the post-interview banter. The off-the-record discussions and gossip from our interview sessions have been quite eye-opening. It makes for good industry fodder to post when our editorial staff is feeling lazy or in this case, are nursing a hangover. So we hope you enjoy a little inside story concerning the signing of a certain Australian rock act that went on to sell millions of records. We start with Mr. Reynolds and RM 64 poser-journalist Rodel Delfin reminiscing about their shenanigans and what started out as a bet.
RM64: Jason, a friend asked me the other day about Jet signing to Elektra Records several years ago. He had heard that you and I were somewhat involved with stirring that up. It was definitely a fierce bidding derby. I recall the band was starting to garner a lot of industry attention in Australia, where the band is from. I was the A&R Editor at Hits Magazine at the time, and you and I would talk about new music and bands coming across your scene. And I remember you handing me the Jet demo. How did you come across them and what was happening at the time?
JR: My friend David Vodicka, who was running Rubber Records, also ran a company called Media Arts Lawyers in Melbourne, Australia. Basically, he had found Jet and told me that I need to know about this band. It was one of those things, when I was listening to the demo –like ‘oh holy shit.’
RM64: It’s funny because I pulled the demo from my old archives, and it had “Are You Going to Be My Girl?” and “Cold Hard Bitch” along with four other tracks.
JR: Yeah, it was basically half of the album and actually all of the songs that ended up being singles. It was definitely one of those no-brainer situations.
RM64: So you had it. What was happening in Australia at the time?
JR: All of the majors in Australia had heard about it and approached it. And I know through a couple of those labels it had filtered out a little bit overseas. Then David had contacted me to talk to people over here. He and I had that kind of relationship where I would help him connect the dots with A&R people in the states. And that was it. Then you became my conduit because most of the A&R people weren’t taking my calls.
We commented last week on the current changes in affect at MySpace, and how in-spite of speculation during this transition, they continue to be an unmatched music networking and promotion platform. Further evidence of the wide reach and how that dominance can be leveraged is found in their recent contest, launched in partnership with Toyota, called Rock the Space. In a short period of time, it appears they’ve received over 12,000 submissions from unsigned artists hoping to be selected for the final five. Finalists will be voted on by the community, the winner will get a MySpace Records recording contract and the runners-up will also receive targeted advertising throughout MySpace via the label’s “friends” development deal package.
They’re still accepting submissions until July 1st. Visit: http://www.myspace.com/toyotamusic