Business Matters: Lockerz Gets Investment from Live Nation, Sells Its Tickets, Too
Business Matters: Lockerz Gets Investment from Live Nation, Sells Its Tickets, Too

Lockerz Gets Investment from Live Nation, Sells its Tickets, Too
- Live Nation has backed online rewards company Lockerz. Other investors in the $36 million Series C funding round include DAG Ventures, Liberty Media, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The company expects the round will eventually raise up to $45 million. DAG is the lead investor in this latest round. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led Lockerz' Series B round.

The Seattle-based company targets young consumers from the age of 13 to 30. It describes itself as "the place where all the things you love to do online get you discounts on the brands you love." Users get points, called PTZ, for such common online activities as watching videos, listening to music, uploading photos, attracting followers and even just logging in. PTZ can be used to defray the cost of items sold through the site.

Live Nation is already selling tickets at Lockerz. Currently available are concerts by Britney Spears, Lil Wayne, Blink-182, the Identity Festival and the Uproar Festival. Lockerz points can be redeemed to offset part of the cost of a pair of tickets. For example, two will call tickets for club level seats to the Lil Wayne concert in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 11 normally cost $126 (ticketing fees included). The 500 PTZ a Lockerz user gets upon signing up will drop the cost down to $93.24 for the pair. Lockerz points can reduce the cost of the pair of tickets up to 99% -- if the shopper has accumulated enough points.

EMI Music has also partnered with Lockerz. Tens of thousands of the company's videos can be viewed for PTZ, although only the first three views of each video results in six PTZ per view.
( Press release)

Big Entertainment: 1, Zediva: 0
-- Chalk up another legal victory for Big Entertainment. A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against video-on-demand streaming service Zediva. "Defendants are violating Plaintiffs' exclusive right to publicly perform their Copyrighted Works," the judge wrote.

Movie studios had sued the Zediva in April for violating their exclusive right to publicly perform their works. Zediva does not acquire streaming rights and interfere with studios' right to grant exclusive licenses. As Dan Robbins, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, pointed out at the MPAA blog, Zediva's attempt to find a loophole to the Copyright Act put it at an advantage over other movie services. "Movie fans today have more on-demand options than ever for watching films at home, from iTunes to Netflix to Amazon to Vudu to Hulu to the VOD offerings from cable and satellite operators. All these legitimate companies have obtained licenses from the copyright owners."

Zediva promises consumers they can rent or watch new movies as soon as they're available on DVD. Movies cost $1.99 apiece or $10 for a bundle of ten and can be viewed on any device with Adobe Flash (PC, Mac and Google TV). According to the injunction, Zediva operates its sevice by placing DVDs into "hundreds of DVD players" and streaming the feed from one DVD player to one specific viewer. Zediva unsuccessfully argued it was merely operating a DVD rental service. And even though the injunction was a clear statement on the illegality of its business model, the company does not intend to give up. "Zediva intends to appeal, and will keep fighting for consumers' right to watch a DVD they've rented, whether that rental is at the corner store or by mail or over the Internet," the company said in a statement.
( Ars Technica, GigaOm)

Avatar Costumes Optional:'ers form Groups
-- One positive sign for a startup is when its users begin actively participating without direction from the company. For example, Twitter users created the now-standard methods of tagging a word or phrase with the # hash tag. Spotify users created web sites where people can share Spotify playlists.

So it can only be seen as a positive sign that now some Los Angeles-based users have created a meetup group at to help locals meet one another. "We'll have both a virtual and physical space set-up for you to come and enjoy," the page promises. It's reminiscent of the many "town hall" meetings led by Pandora founder Tim Westergren around the country. Before, no digital music service had such fanatical followers.

Instagram: Insta-sensation
-- Are you using Instagram, the iPhone app for photo sharing? The popular app, which also acts as a sort of social network, is used by the likes of Foo Fighters, Snoop Dogg, the Deftones, Soulja Boy and even Billboard.

Here are some numbers that indicate how popular it has become. Instagram now has over seven million users (up from five million in June) sharing 150 million photos. Instagram users like to use the filters that alter the look of the photo - 80% of those 150 million photos have filters applied to them. Since the app is not yet available for the Android platform, all those photos have been uploaded from Apple devices.