For my money, one of the most exciting pieces of news coming out of CES this year is Napster's announcement that the service will be offering up its entire download catalog in the DRM-free MP3 format. It may not be free, but it still hearkens back to the olden days of Napster. Of course, Amazon.com's digital music store has been selling MP3 files for months now (and eMusic much longer than that), but having another major online music service push for the most universal of digital music formats is just one more step in the right direction--it … Read more
MTV Networks announced Tuesday that it will distribute its video content across the Web through deals with a number of social-media sites and video portals: GoFish, Veoh, MeeVee, and Imeem. Through this initiative, users of the video sites will be able to view both short- and long-form content provided by MTV Network as well as embed them on blogs and social-networking sites.
The partnerships will start to go live over the next few weeks; representatives from Imeem, for example, said that MTV Networks video content will appear on the social network, which focuses on ad-supported streaming media, in February.
MTV … Read more
No, it's not Daft Punk, but the robot-suit-clad techno heroes' influence is evident in the choices of artists for MySpace.com's second concert tour.
The tour, produced by concert powerhouse Live Nation, is slated to take place in March in a number of U.S. and Canadian cities. Headlining the tour will be French electronic duo Justice. Joining that act on select nights will be a combination of the electronic and hip-hop acts Diplo, DJ Medhi, Chromeo, Busy P, and Fancy.
The first show will kick off on March 3 in Austin, Texas, and will hit a total … Read more
Seth Godin has a great post about 14 "things you can learn from the music business (as it falls apart)." And it doesn't just to music. Read the whole thing (a couple of times) but one big point that I take away is this: All the analysis and hand-wringing over what percentage of people pay for some downloadable album is really beside the point. The business model has changed for better or worse. The music business going forward won't continue to be about CD's that just happen to be available in electronic form but are … Read more
I stopped by the packed Nokia booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to get an update on the Nokia Music Store announced over the summer. It's already online in the U.K. (PC only), with a library of nearly 3 million songs.
The Web-based store looks fairly standard. But according … Read more
The answer is "Yes." Sony, as Techcrunch reports, is set to allow DRM-free online music...with the inane requirement that you visit a physical store to buy your online music.DRM free music from Sony BMG will be available from January 15 to those who purchase a plastic card called the "Platinum Music Pass" for the album they want from a retail store for $12.99. Buyers will then have to visit MusicPass.com and enter a code to download the DRM free album they selected in the store.
Astronauts have reported spotting Sony BMG executives … Read more
Call it a mix-and-match approach to music retailing.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment, one of the top four music labels, is the latest to meld an offline-online sales strategy. The record company said in a press release it will soon offer gift cards through brick-and-mortar stores that can be used to redeem music from the Web.
The best part of the offering is that the music is available in unprotected MP3s, more proof that Sony BMG is easing away from copy-protection software. Citing unnamed sources, BusinessWeek reported last week that the label is preparing to strip digital rights management software from … Read more
Social-networking manager Flock has really proven that there's a strong interest in browsers customized for specific users. The tools that it comes with are well-suited to helping people who spend their days navigating those networks. Songbird is the hatchling of Firefox and iTunes, a Flock for music lovers.
In the perfect utopia that exists only inside my head, all cell phones and MP3 players incorporate A2DP, also known as stereo Bluetooth. As a result, they're all compatible with stereo Bluetooth headsets like the Plantronics Voyager 855, which CNET rated 8/10, and which Newegg currently has on sale for $57.99, shipped. That's a pretty big savings over the $149.95 list price.
During business hours, the Voyager 855 functions as a fairly standard headset, albeit one with a cool sliding boom mic. When you want to get your groove on, you just connect the second … Read more
Ask Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, whether the band's foray into a "pay what you want" model for music was successful and he'll tell you, as he told David Byne (Talking Heads) in this Wired interview:In terms of digital income, we've made more money out of this record than out of all the other Radiohead albums put together, forever--in terms of anything on the Net. And that's nuts. It's partly due to the fact that EMI wasn't giving us any money for digital sales. All the contracts signed in a certain era have none of that stuff.
Sounds great, except that he's comparing "more money" to "zero money." Apparently the music companies don't pay new bands (or old?) squat for digital sales (read: iTunes) of their music. I can't fathom why. I suppose because they don't have to.
But where the interview becomes useful and interesting is when Yorke talks through the relevance of this new model for new bands. Teaser: it's not.… Read more