Is it Curtains for HP's Planned Music Service?
-- Hewlett-Packard's new transformation plan puts a big question mark over its planned music service. As Billboard.biz reported back on June 10, Hewlitt-Packard had been in negotiations with major labels regarding a planned streaming music service.
But by next year the company's consumer-facing products will likely be sold by another company. HP is shifting focus to business customers and wants to ditch its low-margin consumer products. The plan to transform the company is threefold: stop making tablet computers and smartphones by October, spin off its personal computer business and buy business software maker Autonomy Corp. for about $10 billion.
The transformation plan was announced late Thursday afternoon at the same time the company released disappointed earnings and cut its earnings forecast. The news dragged down shares of HP 20% on Friday. And one analyst told Reuters investors should stay on th sideline as "more bad things could be lurking around the corner."
In talks with major labels, HP was trying to figure out what type of service it would launch. "They're debating doing something like Qriocity for a variety of media, which can be delivered on any HP device," a major-label executive told Billboard.biz. The company was said to also be interested in partnering with an existing music service rather than building one from scratch.
The market for music services by equipment manufacturers is already crowded without HP's involvement. Google acquired Motorola Mobility earlier this week, giving the company a hardware division to go with its mobile operating system and growing list of media applications. BlackBerry is not working on some sort of music service. Nokia has its Nokia Services, formerly known as Ovi. And, of course, Apple has the best hardware-software combination on the market.
Spreading Like Wildfire: Ticketing Websites
-- Ticket sites were the fastest-growing web site category in the U.S. in July, according to new numbers from comScore. The category was up 23% to 26 million visitors compared to the previous month. Ticketmaster was first with 10.9 million visitors, a 13% increase from the previous month. MovieTickets.com rose 34% to 5.6 million visitors and placed second. Tickets.com, StubHub.com and eBay Tickets took second, third and fourth, respectively. A handful of other
( Press release)
From Facebook to Zynga To Spotify: Teymour Farman-Farmian
-- Teymour Farman-Farmaian, GM, Strategic Partnerships at online game company Zynga, has been hired by Spotify to be its "Chief Acquisition & [Ad Business] Retention Officer," according to a report at TechCrunch. Much is being made of Farman-Farmaian's work with Facebook when he was at Zynga - the two companies do share a deep link, after all. With Spotify rumored to be working on some sort of deep integration with Facebook, this is a hire that would make a lot of sense. For what it's worth, Farman-Farmaian's LinkedIn page still has his current employer at Zynga but his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/teymourf has a picture of him standing in what appears to be the foyer of a Spotify office.
What Do Matt Cohler, Lady Gaga and Kanye West Have in Common?
-- Former Facebook executive Matt Cohler is an investor in hot social music site Turntable.fm, according to a report at Business Insider. The investment could be his own or could be on behalf of Benchmark Capital. Turntable.fm, which has absolutely set digital music on its head this summer, received $7.5 million in a round led by Union Square Ventures. There has been s rumors that Kanye West and Lady Gaga have invested in the company, but those rumors haven't gained much traction.
( Business Insider)