Monday, October 13, 2008

Do It Yourself CPC Advertising on MySpace Network

MySpace has just released their Do-It-Yourself advertising platform named "MyAds."

MyAds:
- $25 campaign minimum
- $0.25 cost per click minimum
- You're only charged for clicks, not impressions

For more info:
https://advertise.myspace.com/

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Facebook Sees Large Growth in 2008

Facebook continue to see large growth in 2008. I'm struck with the growth rate in smaller 2nd and 3rd world countries. I'd be most curious to how MySpace growth compares to Facebook growth on a country to country basis.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Own A Garth Brooks Song

I found this article on the Tennessean today. I think this is a very interesting concept - one of those that allows music fans to have ownership in the music they love. I don't fully understand the revenue sharing - need to read into it a little more.

Want to get a piece of the royalties from a Garth Brooks hit?

Monday, September 29, 2008

MySpace Music Stumbles

This is a great (though a bit long) article about the new anticlimactic MySpace Music:
http://mashable.com/2008/09/28/myspace-music-rant/

I didn't have a chance to really look at the new pages and player until late last week. I was shocked with many of the bad decisions that MySpace made especially since many of these problems existed during the MySpace - Snocap days.

Mainly, the user interface is terribly confusing. I was unsure how to purchase a song.

I couldn't tell the difference between MySpace-Music-Content and Record-Label-Content. It appears that MySpace has a master data feed of all music for each artist which it pushes to the artist's player.

I was at a label's office last week; this label had not opted into MySpace Music with any agreements yet their artist's back catalog appeared in the MySpace players.

If the artist has been around for 10 years and has 8 albums (all from different labels), chances are all the records will be available (as previews or for-sale) within the MySpace player. I'm wondering how the artist's current label will react to this, especially if they are trying to promote only the current album.

The next few months will be telling both in user interactions with the player, user purchases and label sentiment with the new system. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best Buy to buy Napster for $121 million

Best Buy Co Inc plans to buy digital music service Napster Inc for $121 million in cash in an effort to compete with Apple's dominant iTunes service and its iPod music players.

Best Buy, one of the largest retailers of CDs, and Napster, once the best known name in digital music, both offer digital subscription services, but neither have mounted much of a challenge to Apple, which holds more than 70 percent of the U.S. digital music market.

Napster and Best Buy are betting they have a better chance by combining rather than competing with each other.

Best Buy said on Monday it would pay $2.65 per Napster share, nearly double its closing price on Friday. Napster shares jumped 87 percent in early trading to $2.54.

In 2006, Best Buy teamed up in with RealNetworks Inc and SanDisk Corp to create a digital music subscription service and compatible media player.

The original Napster helped set the digital music market in motion in the late 1990s with a free music sharing service, which was shut down following a lawsuit filed by the music industry. The brand name was bought and resurrected as a legal digital subscription service, although it never really threatened iTunes.

Best Buy plans to use Napster to reach new customers over an array of devices. The proposed acquisition includes Napster's approximately 700,000 subscribers, its Web-based customer service and mobile capabilities.

"This is a very natural and appropriate time for Napster to lever up our position in the industry with a strategic bear hug from such a powerful partner," Napster Chief Executive Chris Gorog told Reuters in an interview.

Best Buy is moving into categories that are outside traditional consumer electronics as it looks to double annual sales to $80 billion over the next five years. It is also boosting its wireless offerings since completing the introduction of Best Buy Mobile shops at its U.S. stores.

Napster has been facing the threat of a proxy battle by three dissident investors, who criticized management's strategy in competing with iTunes, the country's largest overall music retailer.

Its share price has plummeted about 60 percent from a high of $5.80 in October 2007.

Last month, Napster said it was willing to consider a sale and hired UBS Investment Bank to consider options.

Included in the deal is approximately $67 million in cash and short term investments held by Napster, meaning the net price of the deal would be $54 million, the companies said.

Gorog and key members of senior management have entered into employment agreements with Best Buy, effective at deal closing, to continue as the Napster leadership.

He said Best Buy has indicated it would retain the Napster name after deal closing, expected in the fourth quarter.

Best Buy expects Napster and its 140 employees to remain at its current Los Angeles headquarters.

Napster also said on Monday it would postpone its September 18 annual meeting in connection with the Best Buy agreement.

Best Buy shares rose 0.47 percent, or 21 cents, to $44.70 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out and what the service will actually look like. I still think the only way to compete with iTunes is going to be to develop a device that functions better than an iPod, which clearly isn't happening. iTunes and iPod are so seamless that it makes it hard to even want to look into another music service. Thoughts?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Metalabel - Beyond Labels

Another site for independent artists to help them sell music - need to dig into this a little more. Found it through the site edopter.com. They don't sell advertising, have a pretty straight-forward site, and give the artist 80% back. Here is the last bit of their About page:

"We sell music to fans. We sell music for artists. We sell music to whatever fans that artist has. Period.

We sell songs for $1 each. The artist gets 80 percent."

Would be interested to know what the traffic is to this site and how successful they are. Check it out - http://www.metalabel.com

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Target Scores Aguilera Hits Album Exclusive

Looks like iTunes is losing another new release from a major pop artist...according to the following article, Target and Target.com will be the exclusive retailer for Christina Aguilera's new greatest hits album. Wonder how much longer before Target tries to enter the digital music playing field? You have to think this is coming at some point. According to their website, Amazon currently handles all fulfillment of their online music sales and it looks as they only offer physical. The only digital music I can find on Target.com is the exclusive John Legend Live From Philadelphia release that is powered by Hip Digital Media.

Target Scores Aguilera Hits Album Exclusive

Target and Target.com will be the sole retailers to carry Christina Aguilera's first greatest hits collection, "Keeps Gettin' Better -- A Decade of Hits," due Nov. 11 via RCA.

The set will include a pair of new songs, "Dynamite" and the title track, plus re-recorded versions of her prior hits "Genie in a Bottle" and "Beautiful."

Fans will receive a free download of "Keeps Gettin' Better" when they pre-order the CD beginning Sept. 30 via target.com/music. The track goes to top 40 radio on Sept. 22.

The collection will contain all four of the pop star's No. 1 hits: "Genie," "Come on Over (All I Want Is You)," "What a Girl Wants" and "Lady Marmalade," her collaboration with Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink on a remake of the Labelle classic.

Aguilera joins Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood, the Jonas Brothers and John Legend as artists who've released music exclusively through Target in recent years.

The artist is at work on the follow-up to her 2006 album "Back to Basics," but no release date has yet been announced.

Katie Hasty, Billboard.com

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New Find: toksta: Free Audio, Video, and Text Chat

While doing my daily review of the news I came across this article:

This may turn out to be a useful tool for music labels and artists. The software allows realtime chats in audio, video, and text. It's ad supported, meaning you can use it for free, or you can use the white label version though I don't know of a cost.

Might be worth checking out Justin.

Friday, September 5, 2008

You WILL Adhere To The New Facebook

I'd like to start this post out explaining that I'm a huge Facebook fan. It would be safe to even term me a "Facebook Fan Boy". However I've been surprised at the Facebook "New Design" as it's fallen fall short of offering a more better experience. Nor does it even match the old design in a sensible simple layout. My specific qualms...

1. They've tried to display too much data to the point that looking at someone's Facebook page gets your head spinning.
2. General layout seems half backed like a design that was never finished. Lots of odd content placement and blanks spaces.
3. And most importantly, you can only access Facebook applications by going to a users page and then drilling down into their "Boxes" section. This would seem to be a very insulting change to Facebook application developers.

Justin, what are your thoughts? This report from Inside Facebook claims that as of next week, the old design will be gone. The article goes on to explain that better Facebook application access is coming soon but lacks any specifics.

Starting The Engine

I'm very happy to have you here, assuming someone is actually reading these posts. :) Justin did a great job explaining our aims with this blog so I need say little concerning our vision. 

Like all good journeys the point is "the exercise" not necessarily "the ends". Neither Justin nor myself are solidly certain what and where we'll go with this blog as our aims are fairly broad but as said early, it's nice to have you along. And I look forward to the exchange of thoughts & ideas with my dear friend Justin McIntosh along with you, friends, family and all other viewers.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kid Rock Living Large Without iTunes

Came across this article on Billboard.com - would be interested to know what his sales numbers have been.

Kid Rock Living Large Without iTunes

Kid Rock's latest album "Rock'n'Roll Jesus" and its single "All Summer Long" have been two of the biggest hits of the summer. But it's happened without either being available for download via Apple's iTunes Music Store in the United States.

Rock has been an outspoken critic not only of track downloading but Internet piracy. In a "smartass" public service announcement he recently advised people to steal everything. Eschewing iTunes also proves a point, Rock adds.

"I tell people in my organization, 'Do not ever come up to me and say, "This is what everyone's doing and how they're doing it." Don't ever give me that lame-ass bullsh*t,'" he tells Billboard at a Nashville tequila bar. "As soon as someone says, 'You have to be on iTunes ... they're the No. 1 retailer' ... I don't have to. Because I remember being a kid when I heard a song that I liked, I would jump on the bus, ride to Detroit, get a $2.50 transfer and walk a mile to the hip-hop store to buy the new Eric B. & Rakim record. You're not going to stop people from obtaining what they want if it's available at some level."

However, Atlantic president Julie Greenwald says "Rock'N'Roll Jesus" will be available soon digitally in the States as an album via providers like Amazon, walmart.com, Rhapsody and bestbuy.com.

"We get so caught up in technology and ease [of downloading a single] ... there's nothing wrong with listening to a whole record from start to finish," Kid Rock co-manager Ken Levitan says.

In other news, Kid Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker band recently cut a new song, "Warrior," for a National Guard commercial. It will be downloadable in its entirety on the National Guard's Web site once the commercial airs. He's also looking at launching signature beer and cigar products.

"I like [branding opportunities] when it's something I'm into, and I'm definitely into beer and cigars," Rock says. "You probably won't see me on the cover of a Wheaties box or selling Tide detergent, because it's irrelevant to me."

Ray Waddell, Billboard.com

Monday, September 1, 2008

It begins...

Today is Labor Day, September 1, 2008. After a long year of friendship, hours of conversation, and hundreds of ideas exchanged, Tanner and I are proudly giving birth to this new blog. I, personally, am very proud to be making such a commitment. I know there will be many sleepless nights of walking the floor as we raise and nurture this little blog, but I hope in the years ahead we can look back on these insane times and say "Look what we accomplished." :)

In all seriousness, I am very excited to be entering the world of blogging with serious intent. I am very passionate about my profession in the music industry. I believe, and I think I can speak for Tanner on this as well, that the arts (music, film, fine art, etc.) can change lives and inspire. As much as I believe that, I also believe that the arts are a business and those that create art should be able to make a living and survive on the skills with which they have been gifted. Therefore, it excites me to discover new ways to share and distribute these art forms as well as generate revenue from them.

Tanner and I have spent many hours discussing our thoughts on a variety of topics - life, business, religion, entertainment, media, politics - you name it, we've probably discussed it. We've seen the best and worst sides of one another, and at the end of the day - good or bad, we're still friends. I cannot think of anyone else I would rather co-author a blog with. I am constantly challenged, encouraged, enlightened, motivated, humored and inspired by our conversations and I hope that something we will discuss in this format will do the same for whomever might read this.

Happy reading!

- J

Welcome

Welcome to Out With The Old, Be With The New - a blog that will attempt to discuss the past, present & boundless future of the entertainment business.

This blog was born (asexually, of course) from the fateful friendship of two guys who both share a common passion for the entertainment business and the exciting possibilities that surround its future.

We hope that this blog will be a source of information, education & entertainment for those of you who happen to stumble upon it.