EMI and Snocap: making more DRM-Free music

emi snocapAs part of an apparent strategy to get its musical catalog as much retail exposure as possible, Big 4 record label EMI has been signing licensing deals with, seemingly, any distributor interested.

Today, EMI will add another distributor to its slate.  EMI is expected to announce a deal with music licensing/distribution company Snocap similar to a deal it struck recently with business to business music sales company PassAlong Networks.

In the Snocap deal, Snocap will sell EMI’s music through it’s MyStores online shops which can be added to various Internet sites. Click to Read More

Palm Q4 Earnings Reported

palm-stockPalm reported Q4 earnings after the close of market Thursday.  The numbers easily beat Wall Street analyst consensus expectations but overall were poor year over year; and especially dim in comparison to very positive results from competitor Research in Motion.

For the quarter ending June 1, Palm earned $15.4m (15c/share) on revenue of $401.3 compared to $27.2m (25c/share) for the same period last year.  Excluding one-time charges Palm said it would have earned $17.8m (17c/share) this quarter.   Analyst consensus estimates (Thompson) were for earnings of $14.43m (15c/share).

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UPDATE: Rekindling an iPhone & Beatles Connection?

iphone beatlesWith a day and a few hours until the iPhone launch, added bits of information are trickling out that may add more credibility to speculation about a Beatles announcement being revealed alongside the iPhone – as was first theorized here on Metue (The full text of the Metue article from two days ago is here)

In addition to all the previously noted information.  Add the following two pieces, with a heavy weighting for the first:

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MySpace TV: Upgrade Launched

With Facebook trying to steal audience and the hip-factor, with YouTube working on delivering more interactive social networking features, leading social network MySpace is today defending its territory with the launch of a renamed, newly improved video sharing site and service. 

myspace tvAs noted by MySpace CEO Chris DeWolf in the New York Times, an upgrade was over do.  He said “We [hadn’t] really freshened up our video offering since we launched it… We wanted to highlight the fact that we have a video destination on the Web with all this great content that we’ve acquired.”

MySpace TV will be operated as an independent website where users can watch or share videos whether they have a MySpace account or not.  Those with MySpace pages will be able to use embedded tools to make videos accessible from their personal pages.   Later in the year, though not part of the original offering, MySpace will also launch a video editing service based on technology it acquired in the purchase of Flektor.

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Blockbuster Netflix Settlement

On Wednesday, video rental companies Netflix and Blockbuster announced a settlement was reached in their ongoing patent suit.

settledIn the case,  filed in April 2006, Netflix had claimed  Blockbuster’s Total Access video rental service violated Netflix’ patents for its business method.  Blockbuster had counter-sued with charges of fraud and anti-trust violations.  Blockbuster had  also claimed that the Netflix patents were too broad to be enforceable.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed but a Blockbuster spokeswoman said the settlement would not have “any material effect on [the Company’s] financial performance.”  Further, Blockbuster will not change either its website or business models. 

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Wii: Open for Development

Want to create your own game to play on the Nintendo Wii? Now those capably skilled can do just that.

Today, Nintendo announced it is opening the popular Wii platform to independent developers.  From the weekend-warrior computer geek to professional studios,  people will be able to put together their own efforts, and sell the results, using tools called WiiWare and a Nintendo retail channel called Wii Shop. The retail channel will open after the holiday season in early 2008.

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Disney’s Pixarization: direct to video titles scrapped

Since January 24, 2006,  when Disney acquired Pixar,  Pixar executives have been in charge of the joint animation group.  Change has been in the works.  Animation head Ed Catmull and fellow former Pixar executive John Lasseter have been slowly introducing their Pixar based management culture (with the added support of Disney shareholder and Board of Directors member, Steve Jobs).

pixar box officePixar has always had its own way of doing business.  Movies and creative staff are given the time and space they need to create.    There isn’t a rush to market.  While bottom line revenue is important, there is a separation of powers when it comes to development.  Pixar doesn’t want their story tellers thinking about how to make money or their money makers thinking about how to tell stories.  Executives don’t go to story meetings.  It’s all part of its management practices.  Similarly, Pixar also strives to stay original and avoids copying its successes.  Toy Story is the only movie it’s made a sequel of.

Yesterday, in a clear sign of Disney’s “Pixarization,” changes were announced.  Principal among them, Disney will cease issuing direct-to-video sequels of some its franchises.  The sequels, which Steve Jobs has called “embarrassing,” were money makers but their quality level, both in story and execution was second rate.  

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