If Labels Hate Amazon's Cloud, They'll Won't Like Tunesbag Either
-- If labels hate Amazon's Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, they might as well hate Tunesbag, too. Just days after the launch of Amazon's cloud storage service rankled rights owners, music storage service Tunesbag has upped the ante by integrating with one of the most best online storage and sharing services of them all, Dropbox.
Here's how it works: Tunebag will recognize songs in your Dropbox and populate them in your Tunesbag media player automatically. It takes just a few seconds to sync your Dropbox and Tunesbag accounts. Once Tunesbag scans the assigned Dropbox folder, those songs show up in your Tunesbag library. It's all pretty seamless.
Tunesbag also integrates with Squeezebox and Boxee devices, plus it offers an iPhone app and a desktop radio application.
Some content owners have reacted negatively to Amazon's Cloud Drive because the company did not seek licenses. While Amazon and many experts see Cloud Drive as an online equivalent to a person's hard drive - and therefore in no need for a license - others feel differently. As Billboard's Antony Bruno reported, a Sony Music spokesperson called it "disappointing" and said Sony is keeping its legal options open. Sony/ATV Music Publishing Chairman Martin Bandier told the Wall Street Journal it is "just another land grab." In addition, writes Bruno, "multiple label sources speaking to Billboard.biz on background confirm that their legal and business affairs teams are studying the service to see if it broke any copyright laws or terms of prior deals."
Like Cloud Drive, Dropbox appears to do nothing that would require a license from the owner of a copyright. It allows for storage of music and video files as well as documents. But unlike Cloud Drive, Dropbox is regarded as one of the best - if not the best - online storage service. The growing company, a graduate of the startup incubator program Y Combinato, is backed by such big names as Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital.
Both Dropbox and Tunesbag are more expensive than Cloud Drive, however. Tunesbag offers the first GB for free and charges 2.90 euros per month/ 29 euros per year for 10GB up to 14.90 euros per month/ 149 euros per year for 200 GB. (At current exchange rates, 29 euros is about $41 and 149 euros is about $211). Dropbox gives the first 2GB for free then charges $9.99 per month/$99 per year for 50GB and $19.99 per month/$199 per year for 100 GB. But for sharing documents and collaborating, Dropbox is excellent. ( Tunesbag blog)
M&As On The Rise
-- Merger and acquisition deals are on the rise, according to two separate estimates of first quarter activity. Although the two banks disagree on the number of deals (one says the quantity of deals was up, the other says quantity was flat), they agreed on the value of the deals. In addition, they both see valuations going up throughout the year.
The music business did not have any blockbuster M&A in the first quarter, although that could change in the second quarter with Warner Music Group currently on the block. In digital music, one notable acquisition was FanBridge's purchase of social marketing startup Damntheradio in January. FanBridge closed the deal right after landing $2 million in financing. ( paidContent)
Masio Joins Allegro
-- Rich Masio, a former exec at digital distributor IODA and a member of Billboard's Twitter 140, has joined Allegro Media Group under the new position of GM: NAIL, Digital Strategy. Allegro's NAIL is a distributor of alternative independent music. "I want to help to continue grow the business and take it to where we all believe it can go," he said in a statement. "There is still a need for competent distributor to get music and video into all many diverse channels Allegro and NAIL have access and we have the selling points that labels need and want to hear." Masio will continue to be based in New York. Allegro is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
Eventbrite Gets Beery
-- Eventbrite loves the power of social media. Created by AppBistro, the new Eventbrite Facebook app "enables organizers to embed their ticket sales directly into their own Facebook Pages." For a glimpse of the app in action, check out the Facebook page of the Breckenridge Beer Festival. The app pulls in event and ticket information from Eventbrite. Once you click on "order now," you're taken to a web order page. So, the order form is on the Facebook page, but the order summary, where the actual payment takes place, is on the festival's Eventbrite web page.
Facebook has long been seen as a key marketing channel. It's where people spend time, after all, and its importance has increased as MySpace has fallen. But as I explained in my recent Billboard magazine article on social commerce, Facebook is increasingly seen as a viable sales channel. Moontoast Impulse is one example. It builds a store front into a Facebook page and allows for purchase without ever leaving Facebook. ( Eventbrite blog)