Deezer To Launch In 130 International Markets, U.S. No Time Soon
Deezer To Launch In 130 International Markets, U.S. No Time Soon

Deezer Welcomes App Developers
Deezer has opened its API and launched "Open Deezer" roughly five months after Spotify did the same. Open Deezer will allow developers to create applications and services that integrate Deezer's on-demand music service.

Open Deezer partners on the launch day cover social networks (Facebook, Twitter,, mobile operators (Orange, Belgacomm, T-Mobile), Audio hardware (Sonos, Logitech) and auto manufacturers (Parrot, Nissan). As a part of the Open Deezer launch, Deezer and Bemyapp will hold hackathons in Paris (May 25 to 27) and Berlin (July 6 to 8).

If subscription services are to be the future of music, open APIs will need to play a big part. No single music service has the resources to create all the apps that will enhance the underlying music service and keep a wide range of music fans engaged and interested. Spotify, for example, has become a much more enjoyable platform in the five months since it opened its API and started offering apps.

The results of Spotify's open APIs gives an idea of the kind of apps that could result from Open Deezer. Spotify offers apps for its desktop client. Many of them have been built by record labels and exist mainly to promote the labels' artists and releases. But others offer a better showcase of the potential of an open API. Songkick's app analyzes a user's Spotify catalog to suggest upcoming local concerts. Soundrop creates social radio stations that tap into Spotify's vast catalog. Pitchfork's app offers album reviews that play the albums' songs.

On-demand service Rdio also has open API and powers the music in apps such as social and discovery site and an Android pedometer that matches the beats of Rdio songs to a person's walking tempo. ( Deezer blog)

Quality Video Programming Is Staging A Comeback
More proof that the narrowcasting of popular content won't be outdone by user-generated content: Jay-Z appeared at YouTube's upfront Wednesday night at New York's Beacon Theater to help the company pitch its original programming to advertising agencies. No media mogul would appear on behalf of user-generated content. Premium content seemed written off just a few years ago, but people have come to appreciate its quality and value to advertisers (see Vevo).

Jay-Z Makes Surprise Appearance at YouTube Upfront

Although it offers the longest of long tail content, YouTube is stepping the quality and has said it will spend $200 million to promote its original channels. "We will fish where the fish are in a mighty big pond," Google VP, content Robert Kyncl told the crowd, according to AdAge. "If you want to lead, join us now for the next seven years. We can build audiences together. We can build brands together." Variety reports Unilever, Toyota, GM and AT&T are already on board.

Some people still believe user-generated content will kill Hollywood and other big media. At a conference last month, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales predicted "collaborative storytelling and filmmaking will do to Hollywood what Wikipedia did to Encyclopedia Britannica." Silicon Valley author and commentator Andrew Keen disagrees, however. Keen brings up something told to him by Tom Panelas, Director, Communications at Encyclopaedia Britannica: "We've seen what massive collaboration can do, and it's impressive, but it's not going to replace individuals and their unique, irreducibly brilliant, idiosyncratic contributions. Some people would wish it so, but the culture will need its Shakespeares, Cervanteses, Woody Allens, and Spielbergs of the future." ( MediaMemo, AdAge)

Labels Get Another Way to Sell Music on Facebook
More record labels have yet another tool to sell digital downloads on Facebook. ONErpm has partnered with distributors INgrooves, IRIS Distribution and Naxos to power their labels' music stores on Facebook. "Labels often face technical and legal barriers when selling their music directly on Facebook," said Emmanuel Zunz, CEO of ONErpm, in a statement. "By partnering with their distributors, we have overcome these hurdles so that labels can immediately start selling music on the world's largest social network."

Live Nation's Facebook App Aims to Get More People to Concerts
As Billboard previous reported, Live Nation released a Facebook app that allows people to search for and track concerts. The app is definitely for the heavy user. The author of a glowing post at TechCrunch says he sees over 100 bands each year. No clarification was given on what percent of those 100 bands come from multi-band lineups and festivals. But let's assume it's 100 bands at 75 unique concerts. That's 73 more concerts than the typical Live Nation customer attends each year. The company has long said its average ticket buyer attends just 2 concerts per year.

The concert business wants to use social media to get more people to attend more concerts. The concert calendar app could be a great tool for people who build their social lives around concerts. Expect heavy usage in places like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and other major cities with active music scenes, an abundance of concerts and large numbers of people who attend shows on a regular basis.

What about the infrequent concertgoer? Promoters should also be focused on extracting as much value as possible each time a person actually goes out without harming the concert-going experience and turning off fans. One way to do this is to address mental budgeting, the way consumers tend to keep budgets in certain silos as a way to track their spending. For example, a T-shirt purchased at a concert may come out of a consumer's entertainment budget while the same T-shirt purchased at a clothing store would probably come out of the apparel budget.

A concert that seems more like a vacation would generate more revenue per attendee than a concert that consumers budget as entertainment. A meal purchased at a venue may come out of the food budget rather than the entertainment budget. Since entertainment spending as a percent of personal income doesn't change much over time, being able to tap into additional mental budgets would get more from the 2-concerts-a-year crowd. The trick is offering the goods and services in a way that consumers don't think they're spending money on entertainment.