Webby Awards Announce Nominations
A handful of music sites and artists have been nominated for the 16th Annual Webby Awards organized by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science to award excellent on the Internet. The awards show will take place on May 21 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
Nominees in the "Music" category are NPR Music, Pandora, Pitchfork, the San Francisco Symphony History Timeline and Spotify. Billboard.biz believes Spotify will win this year's award. Its high media profile before and after its July 2011 U.S. launch have made Spotify the digital music story of the last year.
This year's winner will join a list that reads like a history of digital music: SonicNet (1997 and 1999), Experience Music Project (1998), Napster (2000), sputnik7 (2001), Loopslabs (2002), Flaming Lips (2003), iTunes Music Store (2004), BBC OneMusic (2005), Fabchannel.com (2006), Last.fm (2007), BBC Radio 1 Meets the DJs (2008), NPR Music (2009), Pandora (2010 and 2011).
Google Music may not have much market share in digital music, but the new MP3 store has been nominated in the "Best Navigation/Structure," "Best Visual Design - Aesthetic" and "Corporate Communications" categories.
Lady Antebellum's website by Music City Networks, the MTV O Music Awards site by Happy Cog and VH-1's "Create Your Own Pop-Up Video" site are nominated in the "Celebrity/Fan" category.
Online ticketing service Eventbrite and secondary ticketing site SeatGeek got a nomination in the "Web Services & Applications" category. Also nominated were video creation service Animoto, file hosting service Dropbox and webstreaming service Livestream.
The nominations in the "Social Media" category went to fast-rising Pinterest, Google+, Storify, I Had Cancer and CNN iReport.
Where Did All The Music-Based Video Games Go?
Sales of music-based video games just aren't what they used to be. A list of the most anticipated video games of 2012 doesn't have a single music game. Instead, gamers are eagerly awaiting titles like "Assassin's Creed III," "Max Payne III," "Resident Evil 6" and "Madden NFL 13" (yes, video games share Hollywood's reliance on franchises).
A new music title is actually coming out later this year. Harmonix has updated its "Rock Band" franchise with " Rock Band Blitz," a rhythm-based, downloadable game that will launch with 25 songs such as "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People and "Metal Health (Bang Your Head)" by Quiet Riot.
"Guitar Hero" is going nowhere, however. Activision announced the franchise was on hiatus in April 2011 even though "Guitar Hero 3" was the biggest revenue generator in U.S. videogame history and the top game of 2011, according to NPD Group.
Only one music game, "Just Dance 3," made NPD Group's list of the 10 best selling games in the U.S. in 2011. Only 2 music games made the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment's list of best selling games of 2011: "Just Dance 2" and "Just Dance 3" both made the Top 5 for the Nintendo Wii platform. ( Nielsen Wire)
Amazon Introduces In-App Purchasing
Amazon now allows developers for its Amazon App Store to build in-app purchasing into their apps. "With the Amazon Appstore for Android In-App Purchasing solution, you can reach customers with existing accounts who have already bought apps, including millions of Kindle Fire customers," Amazon explains in a blog post. Amazon's Appstore offers apps for the Kindle Fire tablet and other Android devices.
Developers get the advantage of working with Amazon's one-click purchasing solution. In-app purchasing allows developers to monetize free games (through expansion packs or virtual currency) and publishers to turn a one-time sale into recurring revenue (through subscriptions). "Strategies and tips" from beta partners such as the New York Post, Storm8 and Glu Mobile will be introduced in the coming weeks. ( Amazon Appstore Developer Blog)
MASS MoCA To Auction Wilco Benefit Show Tickets
Ticket buyers frustrated by the typical online rush for in-demand tickets may like the way the MASS MoCA is selling 1,000 tickets to Wilco's July 31 benefit concert - although they may have to pay a bit extra. The first 500 tickets will be auctioned off to the highest bidders, a method that wouldn't work for every concert but one that lends itself well to a benefit concert. The remaining 500 tickets will be placed into a random lottery. Bidders selected at random will have an opportunity to buy a pair of tickets at the their earlier bid price. The auction opens Friday the 13th at 10am ET and will run through 10am ET on Monday the 16th. ( MASSMoCA.org)
The previous Business Matters post contained incorrect numbers about Pandora's growth in 2012. The correct numbers for Pandora's active users are 51 million at the end of March and 47 million at the end of January. The post incorrectly had 61 million and 57 million.