Opinion and analysis of the day's music news.
Harry Fox Inks Deal With IODA
-- Harry Fox has inked a deal with digital distributor IODA for a clearance and royalty digital process. One feature is the ability of IODA clients to clear digital licenses in the U.S. more quickly than before. IODA previously had a deal with Rightsflow to use its Outsourced Music Licensing system for mechanical licensing needs. (Press release)
Smule Launches New 'Glee' App
-- Smule has followed its "Glee" app with a new "Glee Karaoke" app. Users compete for high scores on every song, complete missions to accumulate more fame and sing either alone or with people around the world. The app has pitch correction and three-part harmonies to help you sound good. It costs 99 cents, but songs must be purchased separately. Among the songs available are "Total Eclipse of the Heart," "Like a Virgin," "Loser" and "Poker Face."
Smule is the maker of the smash hit "I Am T-Pain" app as well as "Magic Piano," "Leaf Trombone" and the original "Glee" app. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company was founded in 2008 by CEO Jeff Smith and CTO/CCO Dr. Ge Wang. According to Crunchbase, It has raised $13.5 million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Granite Ventures and Shasta Ventures. (TUAW)
The Future Of Hulu Plus
-- Something to watch on the subscription content front: CBS CEO Les Moonves calls the possibility of putting his network's content Hulu Plus "interesting" and "something that you could see us participate in (in) the future." Hulu has had discussions with CBS to bring the network's content to the premium Hulu Plus service. (paidContent)
MarketWatch Founder Discusses Content Consumers
-- Media veteran Larry Kramer, founder of MarketWatch, has a Q&A with Wall Street Cheat Sheet that is definitely worth reading. Here's an excerpt:
"We're in what I call a 'Gutenberg moment.' This means everything is changing in dramatic fashion. The whole story telling process is changing. We're creating an entirely new platform on which you can use video, audio, text, interactive graphics, and more in a single media, which is very ill formed and just forming.
The habits of content consumers -- news consumers, information consumers, entertainment consumers -- are totally up in the air. So is how much they watch at home, how much they watch in movie theaters, and how much they watch on portable devices. When the iPhone came out it increased usage of the Web on all phones by 30%. Now imagine what's going to happen when the iPad comes out.
So don't make your bets based on what people are doing right now. Pay attention to consumer behavior. Look at how people consume your content. Try to be proactive in how you design content for them ... then see what works." (Wall Street Cheat Sheet)
Blockbuster Files For Bankruptcy
-- As was expected, Blockbuster announced on Thursday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company reached an agreement with bondholders to secure from them $125 million in debtor-in-possession financing (which means the debts carries a priority position among creditors). (Press release)
MP3Tunes Asks Court To File Summary Judgment
-- MP3Tunes has asked the court for permission to file summary judgment in a case brought by Capitol Records over the legality of its music locker service as well as its Sideload search engine. One of the main issues here is the manner in which MP3Tunes creates users online collections in its music locker service. Rather than create a copy on its servers to mirror the copy on the user's hard drive, MP3Tunes uploads the user's actual file. In the Cablevision case, an appeals court ruled that for practical purposes a DVR recording of a television show did not constitute a copy. Thus, the viewing of that copy was deemed not to be a performance of that copy that would require a license from the copyright owner.
Another issue is if MP3Tunes has acted by the guidelines established by the DMCA. "Our defense largely centers around the DMCA -- the same law YouTube used to win their lawsuit against Viacom," writes CEO Michael Robertson at his blog.
Here's an excerpt from the letter sent to the court:
"Summary judgment on plaintiffs' copyright infringement claims is appropriate because Section 512 of the DMCA provides MP3tunes with a safe harbor from liability for monetary relief for any allegedly infringing acts occurring on its sites at the direction of its users. See Viacom Int'l v. Youtube, 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 62829 (S.D.N.Y. June 23, 2010) (awarding summary judgment to internet service provider). The DMCA provides such protection because: 'In the ordinary course of their operations service providers must engage in all kinds of acts that expose them to potential copyright infringement liability.'"
MP3Tunes is an online music locker that uploads files from a user's digital music collection. Users can stream their music locker from any Internet-enabled Web browser. In addition, Sonos, Playstation 3, Wii, Roku, Logitech, Tangent Quattro, Chumby and many more can stream through MP3Tunes lockers. (Michael's Minute)
McCartney's Catalog To Be Delivered Over A Private Cloud
-- HP will work with McCartney Productions Limited to digitize and deliver Paul McCartney's catalog over a private cloud. What does that mean? HP says it will build a "state-of-the-art content management system" to give fans "a personal and unparalleled glimpse into McCartney's work." The exact form of this private cloud is unknown, but this is certainly a unique exclusive arrangement between a technology company and a content owner. HP is getting pretty active in the music space. The company acquired mobile music service Melodeo in June. In September, HP rolled outs its latest laptops with audio technology created by Beats By Dr. Dre, the joint venture between artist/producer Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Records Group. (Press release)
-- Verizon CEO says "cord-cutting" -- dropping cable TV for Internet-only viewing -- is something the company takes "very seriously" because cable TV is"going to get disintermediated over the next several years." (MediaMemo)
-- An open letter to FCC commissioner Julius Genachowski from R.E.M., Moby, Rosanne Cash and other artists. (Digital Music News)
-- Now more integrated with ticketing company Eventbrite, Facebook will now recommend events based on purchases and likes of your social network. (TechCrunch)
-- NBC is a holdout on 99 cent iTunes rentals. (The Apple Blog)
Opinion and analysis of the day's music news.