status

Social media campaign for new Tom Waits album

The latest Tom Waits album “Bad As Me” (ANTI) has been launched last year with quite a remarkable social media campaign that deserves some credit:


Here’s the order of events

  • Aug 16, 2011: First announcement of upcoming news on Aug 23 (reminder on Aug 22)
  • Aug 23, 2011: Video clip with Tom Waits announcing new album release on Oct 25, contains snippets of new songs
  • Aug 30, 2011: Title track “Bad as me” free stream; pre-order CD, deluxe CD, LP
  • Sep 27, 2011: Single “Back in the Crowd” available as (paid for) download
  • Oct 04, 2011: Track “Back in the Crowd” free stream
  • Oct 11, 2011: Announcement: Full album for streaming available on Oct 17. Mailing list signup. Reminder on Oct 14 (“the only way you will be able to hear the new album (…) before it is released”)
  • Oct 17, 2011: Full album available for streaming; only available to people on mailing list (who received an invite code by email). People with invite codes can invite 5 friends (see below)
  • Oct 18, 2011: Interview on pitchfork.com
  • Oct 18, 2011: Invites code available until Friday (Oct 21)
  • Oct 21, 2011: “Listen with Friends”: Set of local record stores listening parties (US only)
  • Oct 24, 2011: Album available in stores (CD, deluxe limited edition CD (+3 songs), LP
  • Nov 01, 2011: Interview on npr.org
  • Nov 08, 2011: Video for “Satisfied”
  • Nov 23, 2011: Deluxe limited edition CD “available again”
  • Jan 03, 2012: “Best album of 2011” award by Metacritic
    (Unfortunately, as of today, the album is not yet available for streaming on Spotify.)

Here’s a few more screenshots from the invitations campaign:

31
Jan 2012
POSTED BY Sebastian
POSTED IN

Music Industry

DISCUSSION No Comments
TAGS

status

Rhapsody Acquires Napster International

Rhapsody announced on Thursday that they have acquired Napster International, i.e., the non-US branch of Napster, which is currently operating in the UK and in Germany.

Unlike in the US, where the Napster brand is put on ice, Rhapsody will retain the Napster brand in the UK and Germany, because of its high brand awareness. The service as such will be replace by Rhapsody technology though, and Napster subscribers will be migrated to Rhapsody’s infrastructure by March.

After more than a decade in the US market, the music streaming pioneer had bought Napster US  from its owner Best Buy back in October 2011. With the acquisition of Napster International, Rhapsody now for the first time moves to foreign territory, shortly after Spotify entering the US market last year.

Rhapsody says they have over 1 million paying subscribers, compared to 3 milion that Spotify claims to have (see yesterday’s post).

28
Jan 2012
POSTED BY Sebastian
POSTED IN

Music Industry

DISCUSSION No Comments
status

Spotify has over 3 million paying users

According to Music Week, Spotify chief content officer Ken Parks revealed the figure at an industry event at Universal Music UK’s offices. Not bad!

27
Jan 2012
POSTED BY Sebastian
POSTED IN

Music Industry

DISCUSSION 1 Comment
status

Rara.com – Music for Everyone?

WHY RARA.COM IS FAILING TO ADDRESS THE MASS MARKET

The other day I pointed out four reasons why Rara.com is worth checking out. While Rara.com certainly brings a fresh breeze into the market, I believe they will have a tough time. Here’s why:

Let’s look again at what lets Rara.com stand out in the ecosystem of streaming services. The biggest difference between Rara.com and the existing players is clearly the user interface, which is designed to be very easy and intuitive. In the launch presentation Rob Lewis, chairman of Rara.com, said that the market of digital music is still in its infancy and has not yet reached the mainstream. Players like Spotify, at the same time, do not address the mainstream market, but a small niche instead:

The graph shows the audience along the two axes “music knowledge” (from “music listener” to “music guru”) and tech knowledge (from tech laggard” to “tech wizard”). According to Lewis, a majority of existing music services (including Spotify, Napster, Pandora, but also iTunes) are “designed for people who know a lot about music and also are technically very literate” (i.e., the upper right quadrant), and fail to meet mainstream requirements. Rara.com, on the other hand, focusses on the remaining untapped market, that represents a majority of 80% of the entire market, according to their analyses.

Quite frankly, I think that Rara.com is not going to be able to get those remaining 80% of the market, and I’m going to explain why.

(more…)

25
Jan 2012
POSTED BY Sebastian
POSTED IN

Music Industry

DISCUSSION No Comments
link
status

Grooveshark shuts down in Germany

As of today Grooveshark has shut down in Germany. According to their website, they did so because because of “excessive operating costs”. They continue to imply that this is the fault of the GEMA, and suggest to get in touch with them to help bring down these costs.

It would appear they are referring to the recently announced rates for streaming services (as mentioned in a previous post). Which is kinda funny, given that they don’t even pay any license fees to the GEMA in the first place. As the GEMA says in their press release in response to Grooveshark’s accusations:

Grooveshark has shut down their service in Germany – contrary to their claims – not because of excessive operating costs.
In fact, Groovshark refuses generally to pay any fees whatsoever for their service. Grooveshark has never even been in touch with the GEMA in any way yet. (source)

So what Grooveshark forgets to mention is that they don’t, never did, and probably never wanted to give money to the artists that they have on their website. Contrary to streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, or Simfy, Grooveshark do not have deals with the labels, nor do they pay any royalties. In fact, they are being sued by all 4 majors because of that.

Here’s the message that Grooveshark shows to visitors with German IP adresses:

At the bottom they recommend that German users should use Simfy instead. Here’s what Simfy says on their blog:

simfy AG today announced a transatlantic collaboration with US-based Escape Media Group and its music streaming service Grooveshark. In response to Germany’s music streaming regulatory environment, Grooveshark.com has begun referring visits from German IP addresses to simfy.de. The goal of the agreement is to provide German music fans with continued streaming access to the songs and artists they love. (source)

19
Jan 2012
POSTED BY Sebastian
POSTED IN

Music Industry

DISCUSSION No Comments
status

last.fm: Annual loss increases to £5m in 2010

Bad news from my second-favourite online music service: According to The Register, last.fm saw an annual loss of £5m in 2010:

According to the company’s accounts, Last.fm’s losses increased in 2010, the last year for which records are publicly available. The annual loss grew from £2.89m in 2009 to over £5m in 2010. That was on a turnover of just £7.992m in 2010 (2009: £7.283m). Administrative expenses increased from £2.95m to over £8m.”
(www.theregister.co.uk)

Unfortunately The Register did not specify their sources, so we’re left to wonder what exactly “According to the company’s accounts” means.

16
Jan 2012
POSTED BY Sebastian
POSTED IN

Music Industry

DISCUSSION No Comments
TAGS

status

Simfy now connects with Facebook

Simfy announced that they now connect to Facebook as well – just in time for the Facebook Timeline roll out. The feature, which is already used by Spotify, connects to Facebook’s Open Graph, which has been introduced in September 2011 on the f8 conference, and automatically shares songs in the Facebook Ticker on the Facebook news feed. Simfy →

15
Jan 2012
POSTED BY Sebastian
POSTED IN

Music Industry

DISCUSSION No Comments
status

Facebook launches ‘Listen with Friends’ Feature

Facebook announced on their blog a new real-time group music listening feature called “Listen with Friends”:

Look for the music note in the chat sidebar to see which of your friends are listening to music. To listen with a friend, hover over their name, and click the Listen With button. The music will play through the service your friend is using. (source)

Judging from the screenshots among the first services to make us of this are Spotify and Rdio.

14
Jan 2012
POSTED BY Sebastian
POSTED IN

Music Industry

DISCUSSION No Comments
status

Rdio to launch in Germany

It’s getting cozy in the German online music streaming market: After the recent launches of Deezer and Rara.com, US based Rdio now announced their Germany launch starting January 12, 2012 (blog.rdio.com).

Spotify, any news?

10
Jan 2012
POSTED BY Sebastian
POSTED IN

Music Industry

DISCUSSION 1 Comment
TAGS

,