Blur to Debut New Songs Via Twitter Feed
Twitter is the new MySpace -- in a good way. Blur will debut two new songs live on Twitter when they perform two new songs via a worldwide live video stream on Monday 2nd July. The event will take place at @blurofficial. The first track will be played at 1:15pm ET and the second will take place at 2:15pm ET.
The performance of "Under the Westway" and "The Puritan," written for the band's upcoming Hyde Park concert in London, will be filmed and streamed live from a secret U.K. location. Recordings of two tracks will be made available for purchase after the webcast.
"Blur is taking this idea even further by debuting two new songs through a live stream and having a direct conversation with their fans on the platform," Tony Wang, Twitter's UK General Manager, said in a statement. "They know what their fans want and are setting the pace for the future of artist engagement online."
Using Twitter to announce new material is not new, but Blur is doing something different by streaming the songs directly within Twitter. The stream will be contained in "a pinned pre-expanded tweet on the band's profile," an EMI spokesperson tells Billboard.biz.
Twitter is often a place where artists announce new tracks. Will.i.am announced his single "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)" before spreading the word elsewhere. But Will.i.am's tweet included a post to a different platform, Dipdive, with an embedded audio stream. Artists routinely announce tracks and track listings on Twitter. Katy Perry has recently used Twitter to give away early screener tickets for her movie, "Part of Me," and ask followers for help selecting costumes to wear and pictures for the movie poster.
Twitter is also developing as a place of commerce. Chirpify, for example, allows purchases and donations to be made using a Twitter account linked a person's PayPal account -- the entire transaction can take place in a reply to a tweet from an artist offering a download or a concert ticket. Easy-to-use e-commerce solution Gumroad is built for the Twitter platform but links the consumer to a separate web page. Universal Music used Gumroad a couple weeks ago to sell the new single by the group Midnight Red.
Nielsen Joins comScore in Tracking YouTube Numbers
Nielsen is now tracking YouTube channel partners in its online video measurements. Its May numbers are sometimes very different than those tracked by comScore, which releases monthly information on online video streaming and breaks out YouTube channel partners.
Through YouTube, Vevo attracted 41.4 million U.S. viewers and streamed 694.9 million videos in May, according to Nielsen. comScore put Vevo's May unique viewers at 47.6 million and streams at 617.8 million on the YouTube platform -- more visitors than Nielsen but fewer streams.
Nielsen puts Warner Music Group as the second-biggest YouTube channel partner in terms of unique viewers with 22.9 million. Machinima was third with 17.6 million unique viewers in May, although its 430 million streams more than doubled Warner's 173 million streams. Machinima is a producer of online videos of gameplay, video game trailers and video game news. This is the same order as comScore's rankings but, again, the numbers are a bit different. comScore has Warner at 27.7 million uniques -- 5.5 million more than Nielsen -- and Machinima at 23.5 million -- almost 6 million more than Nielsen.
Fourth on Nielsen's list of YouTube channel partners is Fullscreen with 12.5 million U.S. viewers and 79.7 million streams in May. Fullscreen was founded in 2011 by a former Google employee who helped create YouTube's partner program. Fifth in May was Maker Studios with 9.7 million visitors and 93.6 million streams. comScore has Maker fourth and Fullscreen fifth in May. The big discrepancy is Maker's video streams in May: Nielsen says 93.6 million while comScore says 169.2 million.
Vevo viewers skew "slightly older," says Nielsen, as 15.7% of viewers are 50 or older. However, more than half of the viewers attracted by Vevo and each of the other four channels partners are under the age of 35. Vevo had close to a 50/50 split between male and female viewers. Not surprisingly given its video game content, men made up nearly 63% of Machinima viewers in May. ( NielsenWire)
Two LulzSec Members Plead Guilty To Site Hacking
Good news for Sony and other companies whose networks were attacked by hackers. Two U.K.-based members of the LulzSec hacking community pleaded guilty to hacking websites of the CIA, News International, 20th Century Fox, Sony and others. One of the defendants has already been indicted by the U.S.
The two defendants pleaded guilty to using distributed denial of service attacks to overload servers and cause them to crash. But the hackers have pleaded not guilty to stealing and publishing proprietary information.
Hackers in Spain were arrested last year for attacks on Sony's networks. In April 2011, Sony had the information of 77 million users of its PlayStation and Qriocity networks compromised by hackers. The networks were down for 24 days. According to one report, hackers stole more than 50,000 music files -- including unreleased Michael Jackson tracks -- from Sony's network. ( VentureBeat)