Mar 142013


Twitter acquired the music discovery service We Are Hunted last year and is using its technology to build a standalone music app, CNET has learned.

The app, to be called Twitter Music, could be released on iOS by the end of this month, according to a person familiar with the matter. Twitter Music suggests artists and songs to listen to based on a variety of signals, and is personalized based on which accounts a user follows on Twitter. Songs are streamed to the app via SoundCloud.

Twitter Music, which is set to arrive in the wake of key competitor Facebook overhauling the music section of its News Feed, shows Twitter taking new steps into becoming a full-fledged media company. The app acknowledges the key role music has played in drawing new users to the service — particularly younger, mainstream users. Pop stars have some of Twitter’s most popular accounts, with followings in the tens of millions. The TwitterMusic account has 2.3 million followers — not a bad perch from which to launch an eponymous app.

Twitter and We Are Hunted did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

An app built for discovery

Unlike Vine, the video sharing app that Twitter released in January, the music app carries Twitter branding. The app’s icon consists of a silver “play” button with the familiar blue Twitter bird looking down on it from the corner.

READ MORE:  Twitter acquires We Are Hunted, readies standalone music app | Mobile – CNET News.




Mar 062013


Can’t make it to this year’s South by Southwest (aka SXSW) show in Austin? At least you don’t have to miss out on the music.

As part of its SXSW: Live from Austin series, NPR is offering The Austin 100 — a collection of 100 songs by 100 artists, all in MP3 format, all absolutely free.

And I mean really and truly free: There’s nothing to register for, no form to complete, and not a single Facebook or Twitter sharing requirement.

Just scroll down a bit until you see the Download the Music box on the left, then right-click the Zip file to download the entire batch of songs. You can also scroll down a bit further and download individual tracks if you prefer.

READ MORE:  Get 100 free MP3s from SXSW 2013 | The Cheapskate – CNET News.




Sep 102012

The New York Times yesterday reported that Apple is negotiating with record labels for a Pandora-like service, and calls it a move that “could shake up the growing field of internet radio.” The service would customize music to users’ tastes – like Pandora does. Just like Pandora, Apple’s offering would carry advertising, but through Apple’s iAd platform. Terms of the deal are unclear (e.g., if Apple would share ad revenue with labels or pay them through a licensing fee). Also unclear, whether or not the service will be ad supported and free, or with an ad-free subscription offering (which Pandora offers for $36).

Pandora is probably one of the five biggest mobile ad businesses in the US, asBusinessInsider describes; but still struggles with how to sell ads profitably. As the company said in an investor call earlier this week, “To date, we have not been able to generate additional revenue from our advertising products as rapidly as we have been able to grow our listener hours on mobile.” In short – it has all the listeners it wants, but struggles to monetize that listenership.

But, it tries hard.

MORE:  Apple Plans Pandora Rival (And Why That’s Bad For Advertising) – MarketingVOX.


May 012012

Some musicians and record executives have recently bemoaned the fact that what ends up on a fans iPod or iPhone is of arguably much lower quality than what is laid down on tape or hard drives in the studio. While some players in the industry have pushed for higher resolution downloads, Apples current solution involves adhering to long-recognized—if not always followed—industry best practices, along with an improved compression toolchain that squeezes the most out of high-quality master recordings while still producing a standard 256kbps AAC iTunes Plus file.

Shepard applauded Apples technical guidelines, which encourage mastering engineers to use less dynamic range compression, to refrain from pushing audio levels to the absolute limit, and to submit 24/96 files for direct conversion to 16/44.1 compressed iTunes Plus tracks. However, he doubted that submitting such high quality files would result in much difference in final sound quality. Shepards conclusions led CE Pro to claim that Mastered for iTunes is nothing more than “marketing hype.”

So, we set out to delve deeper into the technical aspects of Mastered for iTunes. We also attempted to do some of our own testing to see if there was any difference—good or bad—to be had from following the example of Masterdisk.

SOURCE: Does “Mastered for iTunes” matter to music? Ars puts it to the test.


Apr 182012

Facebook has implemented a “listen” button on artists’ fan pages that lets users instantly stream songs from an artist’s catalog.

The button, which sits between options to Like and message the page below an artist’s cover photo, plays music using whichever Facebook-connected streaming service a person uses most frequently. Users can play and pause a song with the button, but they have to visit the streaming service to skip to the next song or fast forward through a track.

The feature will help users sample music when they visit an artist page for the first time and could help make Facebook a go-to option for people looking for new music, similar to how many people used MySpace in its heyday. Streaming services will benefit from the traffic and artists will appreciate Facebook linking to legally licensed versions of their work. Page tab application companies like ReverbNation and BandPage could suffer, since one of the key features they offer is music players for artists’ Facebook pages.

SOURCE: Facebook pages for artists now include ‘listen’ button.


Oct 112011

The standard line that Digital Rights Management (DRM) functions as a bulwark against online music piracy is being challenged by a trio of economists from Rice and Duke Universities. Their game theory research sides with a growing sentiment that DRM technologies which restrict music file copying and moving sometimes encourage illegal file sharing instead.

“In many cases, DRM restrictions prevent legal users from doing something as normal as making backup copies of their music,” contends one of the researchers, Dinahy Vernik, assistant professor of marketing at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business. “Because of these inconveniences, some consumers choose to pirate.”

The paper in question is titled “Music Downloads and the Flip Side of Digital Rights Management Protection.”

Under certain conditions, “we find that eliminating DRM restrictions can lead to an increase in sales of legal downloads, a decrease in sales of traditional CDs, and a decrease in piracy,” conclude marketing scholars Vernik and Devavrat Purohit and Preyas Desai of Duke. “This is in stark contrast to the view that removing DRM will unconditionally increase the level of piracy.”

via A game we all win: Dumping DRM can increase sales while reducing piracy.

Oct 072011



Rdio users in the U.S. have just been given a huge gift: free music streaming privileges.

The streaming-music startup announced its free, on-demand music offering Thursday, touting it as the only ad-free, zero-cost plan available in the U.S. market.

Members can now stream any of Rdio’s more then 12 million tracks free of charge — until they cross an undefined threshold for the month. A green meter atop the user profile will track usage and give the user a visual, albeit mostly ambiguous rendering of how much free streaming she has left each month.

via Rdio Starts Free Streaming Music.

Aug 312011



Over the last twelve months, its BandPage application has grown from around 3 million monthly active users and 150,000 daily active users to 32.4 million MAU and 1.56 million DAU, according to our AppData tracking service. On Facebook, it is by far the largest Page app for musicians, and the seventh-largest app overall. By some measures, it is now bigger than long-time leading music fan site MySpace.

via RootMusic Raises $16 Million Second Round, Following Hit BandPage Facebook App for Musicians.