It has been a month of major announcements, changes and acquisitions for the new music industry and in this guest post, Scott Perry of the always informative NewMusicTipSheet.com does a great job of chronicling them:
I haven't seen a land-grab like this since 1999. Call it a land-grab, call it an explosion of innovation, but the steady trickle of new developments in online music consumption and communication has turned into a flood as of late.
Let's pull out our dance card, folks: in the past month alone, Pitchfork and Stereogum have both launched video destinations, and PluggedIn went public with their music-based HD video community site. Universal has made strategic investments i n PluggedIn (which is also partially funded by Welk Music Group founder Kevin Welk), online distributor InGrooves, and music-based social net Buzznet. Buzznet has purchased the music blogs Stereogum and Idolator, which raised question by other blogs about their future unbiased-ness. Tommy Hilfiger has launched a video destination via SonyBMG, SonyBMG's myplay is growing as an ad-monetized social net, all the labels continue to monetize their sites' traffic with ads, and Music.com has quietly transformed...
itself into a music video
destination site. SonyBMG, Warner Music Group, and Universal all have ownership
stakes in the upcoming MySpace Music (to the howls of questions pertaining to
equity for the likes of Ioda (congrats, Ted!) and The Orchard), which will go head-to-head with Imeem (which has also granted ownership stakes to the big
dist co's). And TuneCore has paid out over $1 million to the artists that
use their service to sell music.
Yahoo-owned photo site Flickr just added video-posting capabilities, throwing down the gauntlet against the Google-owned YouTube about two years too late.
Facebook Music has emerged from beta, Last.fm continues to seamlessly integrate community into their celestial jukebox, ilike helps fans find other fans (and buy tickets and music) via their iTunes history, Twitter is helping people communicate via broad-blasting text messages, and Ning is helping artists make and grow their own social nets. And still in its infancy, ConcertAttack is helping fans find each other by posting pictures & videos from recent concerts.
Muxtape came out of nowhere and has totally won the online mixtape space before it was even a category (with a fellow fan developing a badass plug-in that lets you view Muxtapes like you would use Coverflow for your iTunes). Although for the record, Mixwit has won my heart with easy loading via SeeqPod & Skreemr, customizable mixtape covers, rolling spools, and instant syndication to a couple dozen communities. Now whether or not either of these two services are legal remains to be seen, but I do hope that something can be worked out.
WMG has hired Jim Griffin to turn his ten-year-old ISP-based music consumption fee speech into a reality, which has been greeted by skepticism to those new to this idea in the blog community.
Indie retail just threw a helluva party with Record Store Day, which started amongst a handful of retailers less than six months ago and blossomed into a worldwide event this past Saturday.
And if you missed the news on this last week, check out MiShare, this $99 device which can be used to transfer tracks between iPods (ruh roh). And AT&T just launched a Mother's Day commercial featuring "Daydream" by iMonster & Jill Scott from Lupe Fiasco's debut -- a mighty fine reason to stop your Tivo and let the ad play.
Take a breath and let this dizzying deluge of data soak in for a moment -- ALL of the above has happened in the past MONTH, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Who wins? We all win. As music evolves from an object-based acquisition to an experiential event that is either monetized by advertising or licensing, the opportunities to discover and share new music has never been bigger. It's just a matter of attaching a fraction of a penny to each transaction in order to make sure the rights holders get paid.