Onesheet Adds New Features to Better Simplify Your Web Presence
-- Watch for Onesheet to become a favored tool in 2012 for building an online presence among musicians and other creative types. Launched in August by ArtistData founder Brenden Mulligan, OneSheet is an online service that creates one simple website that serves pertinent information and media to fans, A&R scouts and other interested parties. Information and media is pulled in from a long list of services artists are already using. It's elegant and easy to use.
Most importantly, Onesheet solves a problem created by an abundance of different services (social media, fan management, audio streaming, video streaming, concert listings, etc.) that haven't been able to live together under one roof. Fans can get access to an artist's presence on a variety of services through a Onesheet page.
Mulligan has updated Onesheet to include features most requested by users. A Onesheet can now incorporate more than one media player. Users can choose names for links in the navigation bar. Onesheet now accepts more than musicians -- TV shows and movies have their own Onesheets now, too. And Onesheet now pulls data from more services. New additions to the Onesheet family are Hulu, Vevo, IMDB, Broadjam, Amazon MP3, Rdio, Official.fm and NoiseTrade. Finally, the premium tier of the service, called Pro, has been improved and its price has been reduced to $4.99 per month from $9.99 per month.
Boston Globe Supports Stop Online Piracy Act
-- People in the content industries will be pleased that the Boston Globe has come out in favor of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The bill, set to return to the House Judiciary Subcommittee later this month, has support in Congress and much of the business community but has strong opposition from the technology sector. Here's the meat of the op-ed:
"While opponents of the bill cry censorship, their fears seem to based on the belief that it somehow creates a slippery slope - that blocking an illegal download of an Adele album will be logically followed by blocking a search for information about the Arab Spring. The government already has cracked down on online child pornography without a corresponding attack on civil liberties. There's no reason that the First Amendment would be endangered if the Justice Department beefed up its enforcement of copyright law as well."
The Globe doesn't think SOPA will be a perfect piece of legislation, but it doesn't buy into the doomsday warnings offered by the bill's critics. And like the AFL-CIO, which attorney Chris Castle points out is behind the bill, the Globe believes Congress should protect American jobs.
Best Buy's Holiday Performance In Question
-- How Best Buy performed over the holidays is up for interpretation. MarketWatch called the retailer's holiday numbers "disappointing" and points out that comparable store sales not only declined 1.2 percent they failed to meet analysts' expectations. It certainly wasn't difficult to find reports that emphasized the negatives.
But investors weren't too bothered. Given the tough holiday season for electronics retailers, some were quite pleased with the results. Shares of Best Buy, still one of the leading music retailers in the U.S., rose 3.3 percent on Friday to $24.22 (which is on the lower end of its 52-week range of $21.79 to $36.13). And the company maintained its outlook for the upcoming fiscal year.
"Given competitor comments and supplier input, these are relatively impressive results," Credit Suisse analyst Gary Balter told Reuters. Those are encouraging words considering Best Buy's disappointing fiscal third quarter numbers.
Recent criticism struck a chord with CEO Brian Dunn. He took to his corporate blog on Friday to defend the company's business model and the vitality of brick-and-mortar shopping ("nearly 80% of consumer electronics revenue still moves through physical stores," according to NPD Group). And he took responsibility for a slate of online orders that were cancelled last month ("it's not representative of how we EVER want to treat our customers").
SoundExchange Responds To System Issues Reports
-- SoundExchange moved quickly when Digital Music News posted meeting notes that describe issues with the system it uses to process and distribute digital performance royalties to performers and owners of sound recordings. The notes claim problems have reached "crisis mode" as the system strains under the volume of tasks, according to the report.
"The updating of our systems is something that we've been very open about for months now," SoundExchange said in a statement. "We've been fortunate to have seen tremendous success as both the organization and digital music services continue to grow. We have made very clear that this is also one of our greatest challenges, and not uncommon to a lot of growing companies."
SoundExchange is a common target for criticism, but it doesn't appear to have been caught napping. It hired CTO Scott Day and COO Jonathan C. Bender at the end of 2011. And it insists any problems with its IT infrastructure did not harm the integrity of its royalty payments. The organization's latest figures, released in late December, definitely attest to the volume of work being performed by the system. SoundExchange paid out $250 million to artists and labels in 2010 and expects to pay out $292 million in 2011. It has paid out nearly $900 million since inception.