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ILike Unveils “Local Concerts” IPhone App And Releases Apps By More Than 250 Artists August 5, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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More than 250 artists use iLike platform to launch their own iPhone apps —

August 4, 2009 – Seattle, WA – iLike, the leading social music discovery service, today unveiled its new “Local Concerts” app, which provides personalized concert listings and notifications based on scanning the music on any iPod Touch or iPhone. iLike also announced unprecedented adoption of its recently launched iPhone app solution for artists. For a list of the top iLike artist apps, visit: http://www.iLike.com/mobile.

iLike’s Local Concerts app, already the top-ranking free concerts app in the iTunes App Store, lists upcoming shows in a user’s area and provides links to buy tickets. In the two months since iLike announced its iPhone Apps for Artists program, more than 250 artists from all genres of music have already launched iLike-powered iPhone apps.

More about iLike iPhone Apps for Artists
In May 2009, iLike announced a turnkey system enabling any artist to create their own app featuring concert dates, video messages, photos, blogs, bulletins, games, and exclusive content. Bands can post content and messages to fans who install their app via the iLike Artist Dashboard, already in use by more than 300,000 artists.

In addition to artist iPhone apps, iLike’s “post once, publish everywhere” model helps artists reach their fans among more than 50 million music fans across the iLike network, including iLike’s leading music applications on iGoogle, Facebook, hi5, Bebo, Orkut, and iLike plugins for iTunes and Windows Media Player.

For Artists: To learn more or create an artist iPhone app today, go to: http://www.iLike.com/mobile.

For Consumers: To download an iLike-powered artist app or Like’s Local Concerts App, go to:
Url: http://www.ilike.com/

Apple’s “Cocktail” Little More Than “Stir-Crazy” Notion, Light on the Sauce August 5, 2009

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Last week, news broke that Apple was in talks with the major labels regarding the creation of the “Cocktail”, a new digital music format will go beyond a simple PDF file of liner notes, and instead bundle photos, videos, lyrics and other assets with an album’s music.

Although I haven’t reported on it until, it isn’t because I missed this story. It was because I was waiting for someone else to confirm what I had suspected.

Another lame idea proposed by the record industry, it turns out this idea is little more than a thinly veiled attempt to extract more gold out of consumers pockets. Or as reported, “It’s all about the Benjamins. ”

Unsatisfied with what it was realizing in digital sales, the record industry had to come up with another idea to sell music, and other products, stirred gently, heavily garnished with possibly a little umbrella and served up for what they hope will bring a bigger price.

Downloadable music didn’t kill the album cover. The CD did. By the time the MP3 format came along, consumers shrugged off the absence of album art and liner notes.

Details remain slim, but label sources confirming the effort’s existence point to it as the digital version of the record sleeves of yesteryear.

The Cocktail format would enable fans to play an album without having to open their iTunes music management software.

While pricing information isn’t available, you can bet Cocktail-formatted albums will certainly cost more than the standard album available on iTunes.

One major-label source reports that when a digital album is released as both a standard music-only download and a deluxe download with extra content, the deluxe version typically outsells the standard one by 85 percent to 90 percent in the first few weeks after its release, even though it usually costs $2 to $5 more.

“It’s not about selling more albums,” a label source says about Cocktail. Cocktail-formatted albums would include only content selected and bundled by the label, but the broader goal would be the same — to offer fans a more immersive digital music experience than they have had with MP3s and CDs.

Apple has already offered a variety of incentives at iTunes to enhance the appeal of digital album purchases. Through a partnership with Ticketmaster, iTunes has bundled digital albums with the purchase of a concert ticket.

Will the Cocktail format drive greater digital album sales? If you are inclined to answer yes, may be it’s time you offered someone else your keys.

For me it wouldn’t matter, even if they were to throw in rolling papers.

If you are uncertain as to what I am talking about here, ask any one who attended college back in the ’60s and ’70s. They can tell you what the album cover of yore was good for.

Music Downloads: “But Can It Save Its Customers Hundreds of Dollars a Year?” August 5, 2009

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A new service launches this week promising consumers a way to save money on legal downloads.
Comparedownload.com primarily offers services similar to how price comparison websites do, with the aim of giving the consumer a choice from where to legally download.

By brokering deals with key online retailers including iTunes UK, Amazon UK, 7 Digital, Play.com, Tesco Digital and We7, the site offers a catalog of 10 million tracks. As well it offers reviews, up to date information on artists and gig tickets.

Comparedownload.com’s founder James Bott says, “The inspiration for the site was born out of frustration at having to search through a range of stores to find the music I wanted at the right price.
“As the site developed, it was clear it could be so much more than just a price comparison site: to get everything that I wanted as a music fan I used to have to hunt through dozens of sites – now it’s all available at Comparedownload.com.”

Comparedownload provides plenty of opportunity for interactivity: Users can add their own feedback and opinion regarding tracks as well as share play lists via an email link.

Comparedownloads co-founder Darren Sher adds, “No longer are you tied to one provider: through our ground-breaking search technology, CompareDownload brings transparency to the music download industry.”

Chart Evolution: Here’s a Real Reason to Pop Your Cork August 5, 2009

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In 2009, a top-charting single or album still means something. But what about everything else going on? Wouldn’t it be great if all of the other activity regarding a release, both on the web and off, was viewable on a single site.

BigChampagne has been attempting to address this question. Starting Wednesday, the company is giving its clients a far broader canvass of chart activity – online or off.

Effectively, the “BC Dash,” as it is known, is now out of beta, and clients can tap the real-time, breathing database to check song activity up to the hour.

That means a greatly expanded menu of platforms, spanning YouTube, iTunes, Last.fm, terrestrial radio (Mediabase), file-swapping networks, online radio, subscription services, and other outlets.

“We’re rebooting the charts,” BigChampagne CEO Eric Garland said. “The new BC Dash is a platform for managing information in the real-time age and turning data into actionable insight.”

BigChampagne data subscribers include major media companies, retailers, advertising agencies, analysts, broadcasters, managers, artists, and others. Now the public can dive into the same dataset

BigChampagne has also created a news and data portal for the industry, including some interesting Twitter concepts.

“The world’s aglow with Twitter, but very few know how to use it well,” Garland relayed. “How do you separate the ‘waiting at Starbucks’ tweets from the essential-to-your-business tweets? We curate and edit out the noise, leaving the real, pertinent conversation.”

A freshly-launched bcdash.bigchampagne.com features aggregated news feeds covering industry developments, as well as a curated ‘TwitterStream’.

Heath Ledger Releases Music Video From the Grave August 5, 2009

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Before the brooding Dark Knight Heath Ledger passed away January 2009, at the age of 28, he was working on an animated music video that was created to bring attention to the practices of Australia’s whaling industry. Directed for the band Modest Mouse, for their song “King Rat.” this video has debuted on MySpace Music.

Unfinished, The Masses, a film and music company Ledger was a partner in, stepped in along with co-director Daniel Auber to finish this video. Both whimsical and dark, this six-minute, animated video shows whales and dolphins aboard a ship, fishing for humans in the water.

It concludes with a message in white letters on a black screen: “This began with our friend, a great defender of life, and was completed in his spirit.”

Obviously, promoting the exclusivity of this Ledger directed video and crediting him by plastering his name all over the page would have been an easy way for MySpace to get a ton of traffic.

Instead, the main MySpace Music page and the video page itself makes no reference to Ledger. Not clear why, the video has still received over 155,000 plays so far, and 209 comments. Not bad considering this was within one day’s time.

“This is a pretty meaningful exclusive for us,” MySpace’s VP of Global Communication, Dani Dudeck said.

When the video appears on iTunes, proceeds will go towards the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a non-profit focusing on marine wildlife conservation.

To see the video, copy and enter this URL to your browser:

Online Video Killed the Radio Star August 5, 2009

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“It is difficult to imagine the public tolerating a return to paid content for video genres that are currently ad-funded,” said Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the report.

Audience levels and stream counts are climbing, the demographic range of the viewing population is expanding and the content mix is evolving from short, snack-type clips to long-form content such as TV shows and feature films, according to eMarketer.

By 2013, Web video viewers will make up 85% of all Web users, eMarketer finds. That equals 188 million consumers who will stream or download a video at least once a month — up from 144 million, or 72% of all Web users this year.

The mass-market tipping point will occur in 2010, when online video will be viewed by 50% of U.S. consumers.

Most online video inventory is funded through ad support, but some feature films and mainstream sports content continue to be monetized through subscriptions and download fees.

The ability to share video through social networks, blogs, micro-blogs, e-mail and other social platforms makes every video a potential viral hit and opens opportunities for content distributors and marketers to monetize the medium, eMarketer concludes.

Improvements in streaming quality — including HD — will also go a long way toward making the online video experience more attractive to users, especially on mobile devices.

Meanwhile, much of the growth in the Web video space over the past year has come from premium content — TV shows, movies, news programs and mass-media events that have played out online. A number of trends will keep online video on an aggressive growth trajectory in the coming years.