Some good ones coming up:
The Future of Music (9/11-13, DC): The folks at the FOMC have put an excellent line-up together. This is one not to miss if you’re interested in what life will be like in the post-Grokster world. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make this one yet.
Web 2.0 (10/5-7, SF): Don’t think I can be at this one but the panelists they’re having are among the leading lights in the brave new world that we call Web 2.0.
Digital Hollywood (9/19-21): Looking forward to the schmoozefest that Victor & Co. put on at the Loews Santa Moncia
Streaming Media West (11/15-17, San Jose): I’ll be moderating the Internet Radio panel on 11/15. I’ll be announcing the participants shortly
Let me know if you plan on being at any of these and hopefully we can connect.
I think I left it at a Starbucks. Went back 30 minutes later and nothing. Asked a guy behind the counter if anyone had turned it in. He checked in the back, asked me what kind it was and then said no, there was nothing (but he kind of stammered it out, which made me suspicious). Given how popular they are, I believe him that someone snatched it.
Fred Wilson covers a lot of ground in his post about Impact Media. Part of it involves dissecting the relationship between the record business and radio and Fred’s vision for the radio dial of 2010. Let me add the following:
-The radio dial of 2010, besides having HD & satellite radio access, will probably have some sort of IP-Radio content available, whether as a stream to the car or, more likely, via content that is time & space-shifted, aka podcasts (you’ll dock your ipod in your car). The main point will still be that the consumer will have a lot more choice. Like we do on the Web today, we will roll our own radio dial by, say, having a few ‘fm/ams’ on our favorites list (think presets), some satellites and some indie podcaster types.
-Notwithstanding the JD Powers report, I still think HD Radio will be just a small piece of the overall radio pie. It will exist but it won’t be dominant.
-The medium will continue to drive the format. This is butchering McLuhan’s famous phrase, I know. Let’s take FM Radio. We all know that its high frequency/low wavelength make it better for music while AM is better for spoken word. FM music stations have tight playlists because of morning and evening drive. Why? Well, most FM Radio listening occurs during morning & evening drive and since there are only X slots on the FM dial, and since losing listeners means lots of lost revenue, FM music stations play popular tracks and repeats during drive time so that fewer people change the channel when they hear something unfamiliar. If the average commute time in the States were much greater than the 20-30 minutes it is now, we’d have much longer playlists!! Also, fewer channels means more lowest-common-denominator music — i.e. stuff that’s least likely to offend the greatest number of people. Not that all LCD music is bad btw. It just means it’s very likeable.
-OTOH, satellite is a different medium: more ‘shelf space’ means that the individual stations will have deeper playlists catering to a narrower audience. That satellite is subscription-supported means that, like HBO, their content can be edgier and more experimental.
And so it goes with the other technologies: their content will be dictated by the medium. What does this mean? Since radio is continuing to explode, and with the rise of the internet as a great promotional medium, there will be fewer stars and a greater ‘musician middle class’ (something quite lacking in a world where the primary outlets of promotion, FM radio & mtv (lower case), were tightly controlled by both the labels and the media outlets. Indie labels will thrive (but few will hit grand slams).
Here is the announcement via their blog. Makes sense for them to do (as other blog platforms ought to as well). Files are files, bits are bits, whether pictures or .mp3/.aac files.
Interesting that they’re not bothering to add .wma or ogg support. OTOH, I doubt these formats will be big with podcasting until Microsoft adds native support for podcasting in the next rev of WMP, which I bet the Building 50 folks have in the cards (I don’t have any inside info on this though). MP3 will continue to dominate podcasting especially since so much podcast content is spoken word mitigating the quality/bitrate efficiences that .wma/.aac bring to the table, especially compared to the benefits of the universality of .mp3.
Google just filed to raise about $4 Billion by selling new shares. That’s a pretty healthy chunk of change to hire engineers, open new offices and acq-hire/acquire startups/businesses. Good news for VCs & entrepreneurs that Google will continue to gobble stuff up.
Update: Apropros this email I got today from this jobs/social network site I’m a part of:
|Position Title:||Corporate Development – All levels (including entry level)|
|Location:||Mountain View, CA|
|Description of job:||Google is looking for people of all levels of experience to join its M&A team. If interested, please contact [DELETED FOR PRIVACY]. Your email should contain your resume and a cover letter on why you believe you will be a good fit for the job.|
I had a great lunch with an ecommerce veteran today and we were exchanging views on various things Internet. We discussed how some of the larger community sites, like eBay & Craigslist, or rating sites like CitySearch & Epinions, are running into issues with their communities where the threat of fraud or credibility of the reviews comes into question — so much so that it impacts the growth of the community. Much better to figure out a way to leverage people’s self-interest (with safeguards) than to depend on the altruism of others and put elaborate measures to prevent the gaming of the system (which becomes a cat and mouse game). Markets are a great way to do this. Most people are good and law-abiding so having a ‘clean’ community site is achievable but, as it scales, there becomes a greater incentive for bad apples to come out of the woodwork and game the system.
Communism & Marxism are great ideas theoretically but don’t really scale well (easy to be Communist within a family but much harder in a nation).
Thanks to Greg for the interesting discussion & insights.
So says Chris Anderson here and here. I agree. Nothing out there is as comprehensive as IMDB. On the spectrum of passive to active music fan, I’m well towards the active side, but not so active as to spend hours with these services. I like seeing the recommendations in Amazon, Apple iMixes and playing around with some of the recommendation services, but have never really incorporated one into my music metabolism yet. Generally I find the novelty wears off after a while. Also, my tastes tend to be fairly eclectic, whereas many recommendation engines return results that sound like the other — I don’t mind it, but I like being really surprised. For now, I’ll continue to lightly use these services and hope that one sticks, while using humans as my main recommendation engines via shows like Morning Becomes Eclectic & All Songs Considered, and simple word of mouth.
Summertime and the living’s easy. And just like your air conditioner, the rumor mill is humming during these dog days of summer.
-Amazon is rolling out a digital music store/service. This has been rumored for a while and I always thought it would just be a matter of time. Sean Ryan greets this non-news with a yawn. I think Amazon will be able to create a decent UE and be able to acquire customers cheaply via their natural traffic, recommendations and huge number of affiliates if they concentrate on it, though I can understand their hesitation to roll something out.
-Google is rolling out a music play and/or allying with iTunes. This seems more dubious given the paucity of sources. I have no doubt Google has had some of their resident geniuses thinking and working on music. Whatever it is, they’ve kept it under wraps fairly well thus far.
-EMI is buying Wind-Up for $125 Million. Sounds like they’re pretty far along. I’d be interested to know how and why this leaked. Maybe someone trying to entice other buyers into the mix?
Rafat Ali’s strategy to glean this from job postings is a good one (and
one I used when assessing competitors to see what they’re up to), and leads to some other interesting slow-news-day kind of stuff. Of course, the rumors aren’t just related to our small corner of the world. There are also rumors about NewsCorp and the search engine they’re to be buying, the palace intrigue at two prominent Valley VCs and whether Technorati is up for sale (they’re not). Oh yeah, and Demi Moore is pregnant (which was rumored since last year)!