Monday, September 29, 2008
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, 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
"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 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
Friday, September 5, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
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
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.
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