SoundHound Integrates with Apple iOS 5, Sends Search History to the Cloud
-- SoundHound's new support for Apple's iOS 5 operating system takes advantage of the iCloud's capabilities. iCloud, Apple's cloud-based media storage service, launched Wednesday and is a free feature for iOS 5 users.
The new version 4.1 of SoundHound allows users to sync their search history across multiple devices. This is enabled through iCloud's ability to sync data across multiple devices such as iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. So if you've been watching reruns of "Breaking Bad" and want to know which songs you have ID'd using SoundHound, you can look up your "Breaking Bad" search history on any of your iOS 5 devices.
Taken to its logical extension, iCloud will eventually allow ID'd music to be acquired and store in a cloud-based collection from any of the user's devices. This shift in discovery and collection of music was explained by Billboard's Kyle Bylin last month in a post on Billboard.biz titled "The Rise of Capture Culture: How Apps are Revolutionizing Music Collecting."
The SoundHound Infinity App is available for $6.99 from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, or at iTunes. Users can also download the free version of the SoundHound App and upgrade to the premium version.
Don't miss Billboard's FutureSound Conference, taking place November 17-18 at Terra in San Francisco. FutureSound will feature keynotes from the top minds in investment, technology and music today; presentations that will offer specific solutions structured around answering the most pressing questions; and workshops.
Are Artists's Benefitting From Facebook's Music Service?
-- A report that artists aren't receiving a benefit from music service's integration with Facebook might be accurate, but still misses the mark by a wide margin.
Inside Facebook conducted a very interesting experiment to gauge the impact of Facebook integration with streaming services. Users' activity on services like Spotify, Mog and Rdio can be displayed in the news feeds and tickers of their friends. That leads to possibilities for good consumer impressions, right?
But Inside Facebook found no noticeable change in the rate of friend acquisition at the 20 most popular Facebook artist pages after these partnerships took effect.
How could this be? A couple easy explanations.
First, music activity posted on Facebook does not link to an artist's Facebook page. It goes without saying that an artist might get more "likes" if users' streaming activity actually linked to the artist's page. Since Facebook does not bridge that gap, listeners have greater difficulty getting to the artist's Facebook page. Second, Inside Facebook's sample of artists is a poor one. Any benefit of streaming activity related to the most popular artists is likely to be drowned out by other activity -- radio play, video play, general news items, etc. It would be better to choose a sample of less popular artists for whom streaming services represents a greater share of their activity (which means the sample should have included a lot of indie rock).
One might be tempted to compare the expected impact from Facebook-aided discovery to the increase in awareness an artist receives from terrestrial radio play. After all, terrestrial radio is well known to lead to a boost in awareness that can be measured in numerous ways -- search requests, website traffic, Facebook friends, Twitter followers.
But there are important differences. Radio has a larger audience than streaming services. Repeatedly listening to a song makes a deeper impact than simply seeing an artist's name in Facebook's ticker or news feed and possibly -- but not necessarily -- listening to a track.
The bottom line is that a simple line of text is not terribly persuasive. Reading "George is listening to Metanoia -- Original…by The Blizzard on Spotify" won't exactly get people clicking. It's a status update, not a passionate recommendation. Streaming services' integration with Facebook is definitely valuable, but it's unrealistic to expect tangible results at this early stage. And it's especially unrealistic to expect gains in Facebook followers when Facebook does not yet link streaming activity to the pages of the artists.
Early Review: iOS 5 and iCloud
-- No hard launch date has been set for iTunes Match -- Apple has said it will debut at the end of October in the United States -- but iOS 5 and iCloud are off and running. As such, the early reviews are in. And they're mostly positive.
The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg calls the new iPhone 4S, which runs iOS 5, "one of Apple's less dramatic updates." But he believes the combination of new features creates "an attractive new offering to smartphone users." In particular, Mossberg is enthusiastic about Siri, Apple's voice recognition software that gives the 4S some artificial intelligence features that could be very exciting in the future. The iOS 5 software -- which can be downloaded by owners of iPhones other than the 4S model -- includes a free text-messaging service, deep integration with Twitter and the ability to edit photos on the phone.
The New York Times' David Pogue has positive things to say about iCloud while easing the apprehension of people who remember its predecessor, the problem-plagued MobileMe service. iCloud "is solid," he writes. "Like a rock." He especially likes the syncing of address book and calendar items, and he applauds to Photo Stream, a folder that captures photos taken with an Apple mobile device or uploaded to a computer. The music aspects of iCloud are only lightly covered, however.
Craig Palmer Leaves CEO Post at Gracenote
-- Craig Palmer has left his position as CEO of Gracenote and is the new CEO of Wikia, the developer of collaboratively published entertainment and content. Wikia has 275,000 wiki sites written by a community of members about a range of topics. Palmer had been Gracenote's CEO since 2003.
(Digital Media Wire)