Archive for January, 2010

[WaTunes] – MediaNet’s Downloads And Streaming Soar

Source: Hypebot

(Updated) MediaNet's content network delivered a record 200 million music downloads and 150 million on demand plays in December, the company's CEO Alan McGlade shared in a Thursday  afternoon call. That's a 124% increase in downloads from December 2008. image from

MediaNet powers music and media delivery via an API and web components to iLike, HMV, Tesco, MOG, Fox News, Ultimate Guitar, Intertech Media and a growing number of others. These sites use  the company's services including streaming, downloads, music search, contextual matching and other discovery tools to engage their users without having to send them off site.

"We see the growth coming from our partners and their users," McGlade told Hypebot. "But we also see more extensive activity from existing users. Digital music has become a mainstream part of more people's lives."  He sees growth continuing in 2010, "The labels are more open and new investments are being  made." Music streaming and add-on services from ISP's will be particular areas of growth according to McGlade.

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January 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

[WaTunes] – Universal Music Expands Direct To Fan Mobile Efforts With Netbiscuits

Source: Hypebot

<img class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d83451b36c69e2012877203aa1970c " src="" alt="image from” style=”border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;” />Universal Music Group is expanding its direct-to-consumer efforts via a deal with mobile publishing platform Netbiscuits.

UMG will leverage Netbiscuits' B2B web software platform to launch mobile websites and services. Through artist-branded mobile websites, UMG will offer fan to fan interaction and the ability to make purchases directly from smartphones across the iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile platforms. UMG also plans to  utilize the text messaging service integrated within the Netbiscuits platform.

From the press release:

“Universal is committed to providing consumers with even more engaging interactive opportunities to connect with their favorite artists and music by personalizing their mobile devices,” stated Mr. Ring. “Thanks to the support we are getting from Netbiscuits, we’ll be in an even better position to extend these artist opportunities and products across the widest array of available wireless devices. Through their exclusive technology, we’ll be able to offer consumers truly engaging mobile music experiences, that include the chance to generate their own content, leaving comments, uploading pictures, and chatting with each other via these mobile sites. UMG will continue to lead the way in adopting the latest technology to offer fans the most dynamic interactive musical experiences possible.”  

“We’re very excited to help Universal Music mobilizing so many of the world’s most famous music artists," added Ran Farmer, Managing Director of Netbiscuits Inc. “All these artists going mobile means to me that the mobile web today really is a mass market phenomenon. Adding the right mobile commerce strategies and technologies to the mix finally paves the way for real revenues coming from the mobile channel.”

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January 28, 2010 at 8:03 pm Leave a comment

[WaTunes] – “Hope For Haiti Now” Becomes First Digital Only Release To Reach U.S. #1

Source: Hypebot

The benefit recording of the recent "Hope For Haiti Now" telethon will enter the U.S. album charts at #1 this week with about 175,000 units sold. The fact that this represents less that three days of only digital sales makes the achievement all the more impressive and a first for a download only release. Sources tell Hypebot that the recording is also on track to debut at #1 in some 20 countries, as well as, be one of the top full weekly sellers in iTunes history.

image from

Insiders have actor George Clooney driving the project and cajoling both artists and rightsholders to give 100% of  their earnings to the charity.  MTV Networks did most of the behind the scenes work,  distributor INgrooves waived all fees and delivered the tracks in record time to iTunes, Amazon, Napster and Rhapsody who are all also donating 100% of all revenue generated.

While the tragic events unfolding in Haiti clearly created a perfect storm of  fan interest and industry cooperation, having a #1 all digital only release is a also milestone for the U.S. music industry; and may indicate that music's digital tipping point has arrived far earlier than many predicted

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January 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

[WaTunes] – Spotify Starts To Look Serious

Source: Hypebot

We7 To Launch Paid Premium Service Feb 1st

For more than a year streaming music service Spotify has been the darling of the music press and it appears that fans agree.  Some tidbits dropped from various company sources at Cannes point to a good year for the company:

  • image from 250,000 paid subscribers
  • At very roughly 10 euros each that $40-50,000 million
  • That's before revenue from ads, downloads, etc.
  • 6 million free subscribers – a drain on the balance sheets for sure
  • Ratio of paid to free subscribes 3.5 to 100
  • Ration needed to pay the labels? 10 – 12 to 100

When will Spotify launch in the US? Founder Daniel Ek refused to comment yesterday, but sources tell Hypebot that the two biggest roadblocks are Universal in the U.S. and music publishers in general.

Meanwhile, Steve Purdham, who co-founded UK based We7 with Peter Gabriel, shared during a dinner on Friday night that they'll launch a paid service on February 1st. We7 has 2.5 million free subscribers.

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January 26, 2010 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

[WaTunes] – Live Nation May Sell Venues To AEG

Source: Hypebot

<img class="asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d83451b36c69e20120a7fba383970b " src="" alt="image from” style=”border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-color: initial; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; height: 140px;” />
Live Nation has signaled that they may be willing to sell a portion of their venues at favorable terms to their chief rival, AEG Live in a bid to get the Justice Department to sign off on their proposed merger with Ticketmaster.

While the sale of Live Nation's venues to their chief rival may seem like an unusual move, it may serve two purposes; offering a concession to help convince federal regulators at the Justice Department to approve the merger and to induce AEG to back off on their heretofore vocal opposition of the deal.

The merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster was originally proposed in February of 2009 and is currently under review by DoJ. Sources close to the merger have indicated that DoJ may be seeking concessions from both Live Nation and Ticketmaster before they sign off on the pact and this may be Live Nation's offer. Ticketmaster has indicated that they may be willing to divest off their secondary ticket market website.

"The fact that they are out there talking with others about deals suggests that they are nervous about getting approval," a source close to the negotiations told the New York Post "They are trying to pretty up the deal as much as possible for the regulators."

The New York Post did not list any specific Live Nation venues as being under for sale, but Live Nation is the largest venue owner in the U.S. with a sizeable inventory of theatres, clubs and amphitheatres around the United States. In 2009, Live Nation sold what it described as non-core assets, including sizeable theatrical units in both the U.S. and the U.K. in order to narrow their focus to the music industry.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster declined to comment.

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January 25, 2010 at 7:43 am Leave a comment

PRESS: WaTunes Introduce A New Pay-As-You-Go Model!

WaTunes Introduce New Pay-As-You-Go Model
DETROIT – January 22nd, 2010 –WaTunes, the revolutionary social music service that introduced the world’s first free digital distribution service for independent artists has launch a new distribution offering called: Rush.  With the Rush distribution service, WaTunes artists who are able to sell their music entirely free on iTunes are given the opportunity to sell their music on other stores like Amazon, Rhapsody, and eMusic for a fee.  Artists are now able to select three pricing tiers including up to 3 stores of their choosing for $25 per album, 6 stores for $50 per album, or all of the digital stores for $100 per album.

We’re always looking for ways to provide more options to our artists. With this new offering, free members of our service will be able to still gain access to their favorite digital stores without any ties to a subscription system. Now, artists have a choice to either subscribe or pay as you go. We are extremely excited about this new model as we look forward to provide more opportunities to our customers!” Says Kevin Rivers, CEO of WaTunes.

WaTunes is also a social networking platform that enables music artists, labels, and fans to create their very own profile, sync their social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, post comments, and embed any widget from social sites like YouTube, Vevo, and Dijit. WaTunes social platform also enables fans and artists to make instant calls via Skype.

About WaTunes

WaTunes is a social music service that enables music artists and record labels to sell their music to on the iTunes Store entirely free. Artists and labels are able to sell unlimited music on the iTunes Store without any cost and receive 100% of royalties from their music.

WaTunes also provides a whole new social music experience that enables the fans to create their very own profiles, talk instantly via Skype, embed any music and video widgets including YouTube and Myspace, and share profile links.


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January 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm Leave a comment

[WaTunes] – Is VEVO A Hit?

Source: Hypebot

image from anotherbkfilmmaker.files.wordpress.comCOMMENTARY: Despite a very rocky start technically, VEVO is pulling some impressive numbers. In December, VEVO had 35 million visitors to its own site, and 13 billion video views across all channels its sites with 90% of it coming via YouTube.

If so much of VEVO's traffic comes from YouTube, what purpose does it serve? For the labels its aboutt command and control and generating more revenue. For the fan? VEVO offers a platform to watch and playlist higher quality music videos uncluttered by fan generated content of very uneven quality.

There is an unquestionable glut of content on YouTube and across the user-generated web, and thus a need for filters. But VEVO is not a filter driven by taste or quality, but rather by the agendas of large music corporations.

In the long run, will fans be willing to trade a higher quality experience for the freedom of broader content?  And while technical differences can be narrowed, personal taste is not something easy to replicate. 

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January 21, 2010 at 9:22 am Leave a comment

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