Monthly Archives: September 2008

Indie labels slam MySpace, threaten lawsuits, more

The world’s leading indie labels are furious with their perceived treatment at the hands of the formerly edgy start-up now News Corp. owned MySpace.

Indies are furious that MySpace’s new music service – a service in which major labels own a stake – won’t offer independents the same kind of level playing field. In essence, each time an independent label sells some music, the major labels each makes some money. That’s making the indies pretty mad.

MySpace Music launched without deals in place for the independent labels, though it does have some arrangement with leading music aggregator, The Orchard. Now the indies are speaking up – and, as reported on the BBC – are threatening to boycott MySpace. (Does this mean MySpace has become a place for major label bands? A&R departments may have to seek unsigned acts elsewhere….)
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Shazam service opens up mobile music

Shazam has today announced that its service  can be fully integrated with operators’ music stores to allow users to download tracks directly to their handsets, with T-Mobile the first operator to integrate Shazam with its own music store on Samsung’s new music phones.

The Shazam service is now embedded into Samsung mobiles, including the latest Beatb (model: M3510) and the Beats (model: M3200) mobiles.  The Shazam application on Samsung’s new phones allows users to seamlessly discover music simply by holding their mobiles to the tune for just a few seconds and then go on to buy identified tracks through operators’ dedicated music stores.
 
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Nine Inch Nails plot iPhone game play

Nine Inch Nails continue to explore the digital frontier, reaching a deal this week with Tapulous, the people behind iPhone game Tap Tap Revenge, which will see a Nine Inch Nails premium version of the game appear some time next month.

TechCrunch has the skinny on the story, claiming the application will include a NIN-centric theme, as well as over a dozen of the band’s songs from its last two albums. The partnership is among the first to bring licensed content to an iPhone application, and will likely prompt a wave of similar deals.

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We7 reaches distro deal with The Orchard

Peter Gabriel-backed ads-supported music service, We7, announced a second significant deal this morning – reaching an agreement with leading aggregator The Orchard to offer music from the labels it represents through We7.

This news means music handled by The Orchard will be made available for on-demand ad-funded download, streaming and mp3 sales. It’s highly significant as the move will bring 1.3 million tracks into the We7 service
 
The deal allows customers on the ad-funded music website access to The Orchard’s significant and diverse music offering, spanning international multi-platinum acts, cutting-edge breaking bands, and iconic and historically significant regional music.

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The Filter.com and We7 reach music discovery deal

TheFilter.com has signed a deal with ads-supported music service We7 in which both firms will work together on new music filtering and recommendation tools for We7 users.

We7, which recently signed EMI for its ad-supported streaming music service, now has a catalogue of over three million tracks. But the site claims that it is now a challenge for its users to discover new music based on tastes due to the huge choice available. 
 
TheFilter.com’s integration into the We7 service will combat this problem by giving users access to its smart filtering tools. The tools use an advanced mathematical algorithm to filter out music that a user will not like and filter in content that reflects their taste. Continue reading

eMusic boss to leave the company

Digital music’s longest-lasting CEO other than Steve Jobs or much-lamented Wippit service’s Paul Myers, eMusic’s David Pakman is to leave the enduring company for a venture capital group at the end of the year, he revealed this week.

Pakman has watched stores from MTV, Microsoft, Sony, Yahoo, and AOL come and go. “We outlasted almost every other digital entity in the space,” Pakman said. “We’ve proven the business model, growing the company by five times. I’ve had an amazing team.”

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Kings of Leon nail UK album, single win

Kings of Leon took the number one slots on both the UK’s album and single charts, the Official Charts Company revealed today.  
 
The Tennessee rock band’s fourth album “Only By The Night” is also one of the fastest selling albums of the year, with over 220,000 sales in the week of release.   The only album to sell more in its first week this year was Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends.”
 
Meanwhile, the Kings of Leon single, “Sex on Fire” has spent a third week at number one, outselling it’s nearest rival Katie Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” by more than half.
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Last.fm ships second version iPhone app

Last.fm has introduced a second version of its Last.fm application for the iPhone, introducing a range of features and improvements.

Here’s the feature breakdown:
– vastly improved user interface all around (tap to zoom album art included)
– Ability to tag songs
– Personal tag radio
– Calendar based events view
– Common artists when viewing a user profile
– Many other usability and back-end features

The application is available in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Spain and France. The company is also working to make streaming more reliable on slower connections, revealed Toby Padilla on the Last.fm blog.

Pandora gets slight respite, but not yet saved

Internet radio service, Pandora, has seen a slight reprieve in its battle to stay alive.

The $13 million company, founded in 2000 as Savage Beast Technologies, gets about 1 million visits a day and is one of the 10 most popular iPhone applications and holds 16 million members. It’s based on the Music Genome Project, a database of analyzed songs that helps predict what songs listeners will like.

Pandora and other Web-based radio services have been negotiating with music-industry groups for more than a year now, hoping to agree on a workable royalty structure before the existing structure bankrupted webcasters. They need a little more time. Continue reading