Going Once, Going Twice: eBay launches auctions for Radio Ad Spots

eBay announced Tuesday that it was ready to begin auctioning advertising airtime through the eBay Media Marketplace for Radio.  The service, which is powered in partnership with Bid4Spots (which has been hosting radio airtime auctions since 2005) will provide an open access market for buying advertising slots on 2,300 US Radio Stations.

radio advertising

A similar effort to create a marketplace for cable television ads ran into a wall of resistance from cable television channels and the Cable TV Advertising Bureau in April. That’s not the case, so far, with radio.  The hammer will fall today, in a positive way, when the service goes live.  All of the major radio operators will be part of the market including Clear Channel, the nation’s largest radio operator.

Stations in all of the top 300 markets nationwide will be represented and the auction marketplace will include access to ad inventory for both conventional over-air radio (terrestrial but not satellite) and Internet radio Click to Read More

Free Warner Music promised by LaLa

On a day when a major security company published a report that online music is more dangerous to your computer than web porn; a day when Microsoft got headlines for an initiative to use the combined promotional strength of its brands to help promote new emerging musicians;  a day when Apple announced a creative initiative to encourage musicians from different countries to translate and cover each other’s music, the award for the most interesting headlines in the music industry likely belongs to  a virtual unknown: a little company called Lala.

The little known startup, which heretofore was primarily focused on providing an exchange where music fans can trade used CD’s for a fee,  is expected to announce that it will begin making the majority of music in the Warner Music catalog available for free online. 

LaLa’s ambitious plan is to provide free streaming music, for which it will pay licensing fees to the music labels on a per/play basis.  Alongside the web music player, subscribers to Lala will be able to buy music in digital download or CD format.  From these sales LaLa hopes to sell enough music to cover its sizeable licensing expenses.  (estimated by the company’s founder and CEO in a New York Times article  to be as high as $140m over two years if the company attracts 5m users). 

Click to Read More

Slacker Builds a War Chest

Slacker Music

What do you get when you take three previous CEO’s from MP3/Online music companies and put them together in one room?   In the case of MusicMatch founder Dennis Mudd (MusicMatch, a pre-iTunes desktop music player, was bought by Yahoo in 2004) former Rio CEO Jim Cady, and iRiver CEO Jonathon Sasse, you get a company called Slacker that’s hoping to do what their prior companies didn’t – capture the digital music market and maybe even break Apple’s stranglehold on the $21b music downloads market.

To help in the effort, Slacker has just closed a $40m Series B financing from investors Centennial Ventures, Rho Ventures, Austin Ventures, Mission Ventures and Sevin Rosen Funds.  That follows a previous $13.5m round announced back in March.

Despite the lazy sounding name, Slacker has big ambitions. Click to Read More

About the music … Video: EMI, Warner, YouTube and Apple in deals.

The news in the later part of this week was all about the music, but not the music you listen to … it was about the music you watch.  

music videosIn a series of announcements several companies made clear they were taking music videos playing online seriously.   Some of the major names grabbing the headlines included labels Warner Music and EMI, search giant Google, and of course, Apple, which these days is always within a whisper of another headline regarding consumer entertainment technology.

Here’s a recap of developments in three news flashes:

News Flash 1: Warner Music

Warner Music, one of the Big 4 record labels, made public plans launch its own online video site.    The planned site, which will be built in partnership with UK based Premium TV, will house the entire archive of Warner Music’s music video collection.  Multiple sites are planned with content organized by artist, label (there are many labels under the Warner Music umbrella) or genre.  Click to Read More

CBS Buys More New Media: Last.fm acquired

CBS is serious about its online content.  That may not have been clear with last weeks confirmed purchase of news videolog Wallstrip, but with today’s announcement that they were buying UK based Internet radio company Last.fm it certainly is.

cbs last.fmNow, in addition to a sizable investment in IPTV company Joost, and an active content distribution strategy of its own, CBS will add a community driven music network that has more than 15million users spread around more than 200 countries.

In announcing the deal, CBS CEO Les Moonves said “[Last’s] demographics play perfectly to CBS’s goal to attract younger viewers and listeners across our businesses.”  With Joost, Wallstrip and now Last.fm, CBS is clearly trying to build that audience quickly. 

To acquire Last.fm, CBS will pay $280m in cash.  The founders of Last, which was started in 2002, will continue to run Last.fm independently but they will almost certainly be exploring joint efforts with the CBS Radio Division.

In its overall content strategy, it almost seems that CBS is positioning itself to compete Click to Read More

DRM-Free iTunes goes Live

Over the last few days Metue has posted speculation about a DRM-Free iTunes launch and what it might include. All signs pointed to it being imminent, and it in fact, was. iTunes Plus, Apple’s name for higher quality, digital rights management free music officially launched today. A full press release is available on Apple’s website.

Click to Read More

Top 10 Beatles Songs For an Apple announcement?

Yesterdays post about Apple, iTunes and speculation about the up coming release of DRM-Free music was popular and got a lot of hits. 

Apple has a tendency for showy announcements so I’ve predicted that DRM-Free songs will be released on iTunes in a  high profile way (speculatively alongside the iPhone launch, and with the announcement of the availability of the Beatles catalog being released too)

That got me thinking.  Beatles song Lovely Rita played during a prior iPhone announcement.  If my guess is right, what Beatles song will play next?  If any Beatles song will play in the background during an announcement of DRM-Free music, the launch of the iPhone, or roll out of the Beatles songbook to the digital domain, what would it be. 

With so many classic songs, and obscure ones, out there, the choices are many. 

The email lines are open for an impromptu poll. I’ve created an email account for just this at beatlespoll@metue.com  Send a message, or a leave a comment on the site (If your comment doesn’t post immediately, don’t worry. First time posts are moderated to prevent spam).

metue top ten

  10. Rocky Raccoon

  9. Dear Prudence

Click to Read More

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