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-- Statistics revealed by TubeMogul show the dominance of music videos among YouTube’s most-watched videos. Tracking all-time views for videos to land in YouTube’s Top 25, TubeMogul has found the five (now four) major music groups account for 76.5% of all views and are the top five creators at YouTube. Again, this is only for videos that have landed in YouTube’s Top 25. Even so, it shows the high demand for music videos and hints at the potential of Vevo, Universal Music Group’s joint venture with YouTube. (TubeMogul)

-- The Nation Post looks at access models, such as Spotify’s music streaming service, in terms of the debate for a mandatory ISP levy to remunerate creators for file-sharing. The ISP levy – often called a P2P tax – has for years been seen by many as a viable solution to illegal file sharing. Consumers would not have to change their behavior – the illegal would become the legal – while a system would be put in place to track shared files and pay content owners.

Proponents of a market-based solution will be heartened to see that some people now feel there will be no need for an ISP levy. Services like Spotify, they believe, provide an adequate alternative to piracy. A new generation of services may be able to provide access to music in a way that reduces the need to seek out music on P2P networks. The long term financial stability of these startups should be a major concern, but it’s clear their products are an improvement over their predecessors. And any market-based solution is better than the political fight that would precede an ISP levy. Said Nettwerk’s Terry McBride, “They can legalize (file-sharing) all they want; I think file-sharing within two or three years is gone.” (National Post)

-- In Rhapsody, RealNetworks has a solid, niche product. After years of improvements and outlasting competitors, Rhapsody has 750,000 paying subscribers. And there may not be much growth potential. Wall Street does not expect Rhapsody’s iPhone app to boost the subscriber number. Wrote JP Morgan’s Vasily Karaysov: “Rhapsody’s subscriber base (750K as of Q2 ’09, a decline of 50K sequentially) reflects the existing demand for a subscription-based music service irrespective of the device on which it’s available. We don’t expect the new application to reverse the challenging trend.”

Why do its newer competitors get the attention while Rhapsody trudges ahead away from the spotlight? A few thoughts are offered in the post’s comments section: lack of offline functionality, too-low data rate, too high a price tag to rent music. Here’s another thought: Rhapsody has been around long enough that people made up their minds about the service a long time ago. It has already made its first seven or eight impressions. If Rhapsody wants to go mainstream, it needs a new product. The core Rhapsody product is for that small but devoted group of music listeners who want editorial, the ability to browse sub-sub-sub-genre lists and access to millions of tracks. And even though those listeners will pay for the service, which is more than the users of many competing products, they are small in numbers and reside outside of the mainstream. So Rhapsody has two main choices: cater to its small group of subscribers or shoulder the risk that comes with creating a more mainstream product. (MediaMemo)

-- The curious case of Baimurat Allaberiyev, as told by the New York Times last week, is an opportunity to gauge the ability of the Internet to launch and sustain careers. Wrote Allen Shadow: “So what statistical sobriety supplies us artists is the tired-but-true principle: the path to success is fraught with frustration and limitation. Same in the new model as it was in the old. So, buckle up, batton down and stay the course. The meek may inherit the earth, but they won’t star in the movie version.” (Music Think Tank)

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