Digital Notes: LyricFind's BandPage Integration, Audiam's $2M Raise, Aether's Smart Speaker

The Cone streaming music player promises to learn about its listeners' musical habits and automatically serve up personalized tunes.

Aether Things Inc.

LyricFind integrates BandPage. The lyric licensing company on Wednesday said it has signed a deal with BandPage to allow artists to display band biographies, touring information and link to their online stores alongside lyrics requested by users of LyricFind's partner sites, including SongMeanings, Lyrics.com, LyricsMode, LyricsFreak, Sing365, Lyrics007 and others.

The companies said SongMeanings, which serves up more than 30 million lyrics a month, will be the first to roll out the BandPage integration, followed by other partners.

Because lyric searches are a good indicator of interest in a particular song, the hope is that users will want to know more about the band and perhaps even spend money to buy the song or tickets to their next show.

"Given that these lyric sites attract massive amounts of these highly qualified super fans, we should see higher conversion rates through these stores and for these tour dates than the typical ways of reaching and monetizing fans," said J Sider, Chief Executive of BandPage, which has been busy integrating its artist data and commerce platform with a number of other partners in recent months, including Clear Channel, Live Nation, Rhapsody and Xbox Music, among others.

Audiam Raises $2 million. Audiam said it closed on a $2 million round of investments. The New York company had initially raised $500,000 last year from angel investors for its July launch. This time, Audiam's investors include artists Jimmy Buffett and Jason Mraz, Epitaph Records founder Brett Gurewitz and concert promoter and artist manager Bill Silva, among others.

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Created by TuneCore founder Jeff Price, Audiam is among a growing crop of companies that claim user-generated YouTube videos that use copyrighted music in order to begin collecting advertising revenue generated by those videos on behalf of music publishers. Other companies in the same market include AdRev, Rumblefish, ONErpm and Price's former company, TuneCore. Audiam's clients include Imagem, Velvet Apple and several other independent publishers that, combined, hold the rights to about 100,000 tracks.

"YouTube is a sponge, which if squeezed correctly, rains money," Price said. "The challenge is to create a cutting-edge, first-of-its-kind technology system built for the new digital music industry that can be applied to the analog world of antiquated, complex and confusing copyright."

Aether's Cone: The Nest of Speakers? Aether Things Inc., a San Francisco start-up, plans to introduce a connected speaker designed to "learn" about its owners' musical tastes and serve up appropriate tunes.

The six-inch wireless gizmo, called the Cone, uses WiFi to connect to existing music streaming services to start playing music. Users can select the first song from a Cone app on their iPhones, and the speaker starts queueing up similar tracks. 

The Cone shares similarities with the Nest, a smart thermostat made by a company that Google Inc. in January agreed to buy for $3.2 billion in cash. Like the Nest, which tries to learn its users temperature preferences during different times of the day or days of the week, the Cone promises to remember its owners' listening habits, also taking into account the time of day and other factors. The speaker also shares the Nest's simple, round, push-button design, but without the Nest's display screen. Users can turn the dial to skip a song, push to pause and press a button to turn on the device's voice recognition and verbally request a particular artist. album or track. The Cone keeps track of these interactions, making note of frequently requested (or skipped) music to refine its playlists.

The company plans to ship its first batch of speakers this summer, priced at $399 a pop.

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