When the gods dance...

Friday, September 7, 2012


Grooveshark Hit By Legal, Technical Setbacks


Just when Grooveshark thought it was safe to go back into the digital music waters, it was bitten by two significant setbacks. In a lawsuit filed last week in a New York federal court, recording company EMI accused the company of breach of contract and copyright infringement. Essentially, EMI claims that after entering into a licensing agreement with the label in September 2009, Grooveshark fell behind in its monthly payments and also failed to provide sales records. As a result the label terminated the deal in March, while Grooveshark allegedly continued to distribute or allow users to share music. According to CNET, Grooveshark said in a statement: "While we always strive to keep lines of communication open with rights holders, artists, and all other interested parties, disagreements inevitably arise, as is true in any business, particularly one that is pushing for innovation and industry change. We remain confident that we will be able to resolve our dispute with EMI." The company's second setback of the week came when the Grooveshark app was inexplicably pulled from the Google Pay app store; a Google spokesperson told the New York Times that "the company had not worked with Grooveshark to reinstate the app," and added that the program had been removed for a violation of Google's policies for developers. [Full story: CNET   NBC]

Mobile Ad Market Should Hit $13.5 Billion By 2015

The mobile ad market, driven largely by increasing use of digital music streaming and "cloud listening," should grow from $1.8 billion in 2011 to about $13.5 billion by 2015. That's the projection from mobile ad network Millennial Media Inc., which last week released a comScore report on mobile advertising spending that suggested smartphone adoption grew 42% in 2011. Smartphone users who make entertainment purchases typically buy tickets, DVDs, games, or digital music downloads, or use the devices to pre-order these items. The biggest reason for consumers to use smartphones to purchase entertainment products is convenience; according to the study two-thirds of smartphone users cite it as the most important reason for making a purchase on a mobile device. The study also notes that entertainment is the third-highest ranking advertising vertical market for smartphones and that entertainment advertising spending grew by 133% year-over-year in 2011. That's well behind technology advertising, which grew nearly 700%, but it's still not trivial. Additionally, about 92% of mobile entertainment advertising promotes movies, cable and network TV programming, and DVD releases. Only 8% of the advertising spend currently generates sales. Disclaimer: As an ad network, Millennial Mobile clearly has a stake in the mobile advertising environment. [Full story: Daily Finance]


Nokia Launches Music Streaming App For U.S. Lumia Devices


Nokia this week announced the launch of Nokia Music, a free streaming service that will be available to U.S. owners of the Lumia smartphone device. According to a company statement, the new music service will provide access to more than 150 playlists ranging from the New York Philharmonic to Lady Gaga, all of them curated by U.S.-based "musicologists." "The U.S.A. is the most vibrant and competitive digital music market in the world - by a wide margin," Nokia VP/Entertainment Jyrki Rosenberg said in a statement. "We have worked extra hard to ensure our service meets the expectations of the demanding, active, and inspired music fans in the U.S.A." The ad-free service requires no registration or subscription, and lets Lumia owners create their own soundtracks from a library of millions of songs, which can be accessed offline, without the need to tie the phone to a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. It also provides a "Gig Finder" service, which pinpoints live concerts in the users' local area. Nokia attempted to enter the U.S. digital music market in 2008 when it launched Ovi Music Unlimited, but that service was ended less than three years later. The new app is now available for owners of Nokia Lumia 900 and Lumia 710 devices. [Full story: PC Magazine]

Survey: Top 40 Radio Listeners Purchase The Most Music

According to a new radio format study conducted by The Media Audit, Top 40/Rhythmic listeners are the biggest consumers of CDs and digital music downloads. Just under 43% of the format's weekly listeners (42.8%, to be exact) frequently purchase CDs or download digital music, compared with 27.7% of all U.S. consumers who do so. Mainstream Top 40 ranked a close second in the study, with 42.4% of the format's weekly listeners frequently purchasing CDs or download digital music, followed by listeners of Urban (39.2%), Hot AC (38.3%), Rock (36.4%), Urban AC (34.1%), Sports (33.2%), Public Radio (32.7%), Classic Rock (31.5%), and AC (30.4%). Just under half (49%) are female, while 51% are male; 46.6% are between the ages of 25 and 44 and 67% are between the ages of 18 and 44. The study also indicates that frequent purchasers of CDs and downloaded music are 15% more likely to have a college degree and earn an average of $76,739 in household income. Note: Frequent purchasers are defined as having purchased CDs or downloaded digital music within the past four weeks. [Full story: All Access]


ReKiosk Seeks To Introduce Digital Stores To Online Market

In a world of "big box" online digital music companies (think iTunes and Amazon) is there room for the internet equivalent of a mom-and-pop retailer? The folks at reKiosk - a startup whose model revolves around user-created digital stores for independent music, and ebooks, and films - are about to find out. "We wanted to recapture the personal, independent, and knowledgeable experience of visiting a corner record shop or local bookstore, and bring it to the online world," company founder/CEO Aziz Isham explained in a statement.

"We are the only site built from the ground up to encourage the sale and promotion of independent digital media." Essentially, the concept is very much akin to an antique mall with individual booths where vendors can offer their own selections of books and albums featuring independent artists, while others can choose to trust book recommendations of a kiosk curator. Isham says he hopes to attract independent artists who seek more visibility, and early adopters who are willing to curate music and books at a profit. As for the users, he insists "there is something else at work, a nostalgia for the corner bookstore and the independent record shops I used to frequent every Tuesday, before they all closed down." [Full story: TechCrunch  Digital Music News]


Al Bell Presents American Soul Music ... And American Soul TV

If you're into classic and contemporary Soul, R&B, Blues, Gospel, Jazz, Hip-Hop Soul, Rap Soul, and Neo-Soul, we invite you to listen to Al Bell Presents American Soul Music. Former Stax Records owner and Motown Records Group President Al Bell personally has programmed this awesome radio station online, presenting your favorites from the 1960s and '70s [and some '80s], a lot of the best new music that's being released today, and some real gems you haven't heard in a long, long time. Come to www.AlBellPresents.Com
 and hear it for yourself!

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