Thursday, September 29, 2011

Music Startup VC Funding List for 2011

Digital Music News has a list showing the funding various music-related startups have received in 2011. There are some interesting startups on there and the total funding for all of them came to almost $440 million for the year so far. You can see the full list here.

Spotify Adding Private Listening Mode

Spotify has added a 'private listening' mode to their client, allowing users to keep their client from automatically posting the songs they are listening to on their Facebook account. To access 'private listening', make sure your client has been updated and look for the 'private listening' toggle on the Spotify/File menu.

Shazam Removes 5 Song Limit

Shazam, a music identification app for mobile devices, has removed their 5 song monthly limit from the application.  Due to the 'maturity' of the mobile advertising market, they've decided to switch to an advertising support revenue model for the free version.

As a promotion for the limit removal, they've created a $25,000 contest that users can enter when they identify songs (up to once per day, users must activate 'Shazam Friends' to be eligible).  You'll also get to meet Kelly Clarkson and receive a VIP flyaway to one of her concerts.

See here for more details.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Making Money in the Digital Age

There's a nice spreadsheet here illustrating the various amounts that artists make for each method of distribution for their music.  All of the major physical and digital formats are compared.  Not too much surprising here, except it's interesting to compare the different amounts made on different digital streaming outlets.  They also indicate how many streams/downloads an artist must achieve in order to be making minimum wage from their music.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

FanBridge Introduces Social Digest

FanBridge, a fan engagement platform for artists, has released 'Social Digest', a tool that allows artists to aggregate their social media content and e-mail this content to subscribers.  This allows artists to better reach users and increase their visibility in situations where their fans' social networks are becoming increasingly cluttered and crowded.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Spotify Now Requires Facebook Account For New Users

Spotify has started requiring a Facebook account for new users, and both new and existing users are unhappy regarding this new requirement. contacted Spotify for more information regarding this change and the Spotify spokeswoman responded that
To us, this is all about creating an amazing new world of music discovery. As most of our users are already social and have already connected to Facebook, it seemed logical to integrate Spotify and Facebook logins. We already use Facebook as part of our back-end to power our social features and by adopting Facebook’s login, we’ve created a simple and seamless social experience. 
From today, all new Spotify users will need to have a Facebook account to join Spotify. Think of it as like a virtual ‘passport’, designed to make the experience smoother and easier, with one less username and password to remember. You don’t need to connect to Facebook and if you do decide to, you can always control what you share and don’t share by changing your Spotify settings at any time. 
We’re constantly trying new things, always looking for feedback and we’re always going to listen to our users, making changes based on this feedback wherever we can. 
What's equally strange is Spotify recently announced changes via their blog regarding Spotify Open accounts and then quickly deleted the blog post.  The original blog posting (now giving a 404 not found error) was this:
It’s all good news at the moment. First, we become better friends with Facebook. Now we’re removing time limits for all new users. It seems only right to give you more time to discover more music! So, from today, there’ll be no more Spotify Open. Everybody who listens to Spotify for free will simply have a Spotify account. All Spotify accounts come with a 6-month time-limit honeymoon! During this time, there’s no limit to the amount of ad-supported music you can enjoy. 
After 6 months, you’ll be limited to 10 hours of streaming a month and a 5-play limit for any individual track. Unless, of course, you’ve subscribed by then! How does this affect existing Spotify Open users? If you’ve had your Spotify Open account for less than six months, you’ll discover that your time cap has gone. And it’ll stay gone until your account reaches its six-month birthday. Enjoy the extra music. If you’ve had your Spotify Open account for more than six months, you’ll still be limited by time. 
As you’ve been with us for a while, the chances are you also enjoyed a six-month period without time limits when you first joined. What about paid accounts? There’ll be no change to our paying subscribers – Spotify Unlimited and Spotify Premium will carry on giving joy as normal. Happy listening! Any questions, please take a look at our Help section.
Not sure what the deleted blog posting means for the new 6-month honeymoon.  Hopefully they'll clarify this soon.

The Real Cost of Direct To Fan (Part 1 of 5)

Good Lizard Media is releasing a white paper in 5 parts via MIDEM presenting information regarding Direct To Fan sales for artists.  You can see part 1 below:

VoxBloc now available on The Orchard Marketplace

VoxBloc is a platform that allows artists to reward their fans through loyalty programs.  Artists can create contests and loyalty programs where points are awarded when users share links, tweets, Facebook posts, or other social information about an artist.
The Orchard has recently added VoxBloc to their Marketplace, allowing current The Orchard users easy access to all of VoxBloc's services.

Ganxy now available via The Orchard Marketplace

Ganxy is a service that allows musicians to sell music directly to their fans.  They have recently partnered with The Orchard to allow musicians using The Orchard access to Ganxy from The Orchard Marketplace.  Check out an example of the musician Edguy's using Facebook page using Ganxy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dutch coder examines Facebook music bridges

Dutch coder Yvo Schaap has examined the HTML of major music streaming providers' websites and noticed similar code containing a Facebook bridge.

His blog entry lists the music services that appear to be integrated into Facebook's new Music service:

as well as those who don't appear to be linked (yet):

  • iTunes
  • MySpace
  • Pandora
  • (store and cloud player)
  • Napster
  • Kazaa
  • Grooveshark
  • emusic
  • OVI Music

Check out Yvo's blog for more information: