Sony Has Agreed To Acquire Gracenote

Gracenote

It has been reported that Sony has agreed to acquire Gracenote for approx $260M. Gracenote provides a range of music-related solutions including MusicID, which detects which song is currently being played by an application and loads track information for the user (such as artist and album names). MusicID leverages a database of over 6M CDs and 80M tracks. Its technology has been in development since 1995 (previously under the name CDDB).

Consumer music app services such as Apple iTunes, Yahoo! Music Jukebox, and Winamp use Gracenote for their music detection capabilities. It is reported that Gracenote will continue to operate separately from Sony after the deal closes, but I still think this is a bit of a major blow to other major labels. Gracenote has technology that is leading the industry and now allows Sony to produce more tech startups in the music industry without having to worry about music recognition.

The Official RouteNote Facebook Group

RouteNote now has a Facebook group! The RouteNote Facebook group will be showcasing some of the best bands on the sites as well as showing picture and videos. On the Facebook group we will be focusing on discussions about what you would like to see on RouteNote. Therefore, if you have any thoughts about what features we should have, who we should partner with and even if you think our site is charging too much of a cut. Then please get in touch via our Facebook group.

RouteNote Profiled on Profy

RouteNote has been profiled on Profy. Profy is a technology news weblog that profiles tech news, reviews and opinions. Leslie Poston writes a very interesting review with is definitely worth the read.

Route Note is providing a gateway to more than just distribution services like iTunes or eMusic. Route Note is also giving artists a way to license their music for use in film, television, radio and downloading.

Click here to read the full article

RouteNote Launches To The Public: Welcome!

Welcome to RouteNote. RouteNote has launched today into public beta, with its distribution offering.

What RouteNote offers:

  • Retain 100% Ownership of your tracks
  • Non-exclusive
  • Worldwide Exposure
  • No Signup Fees
  • Receive 90% from all download sales
  • It wont stop you from signing up to a record label in the future
  • Forward looking partnerships and marketing expertise

It only takes about 5 min to sign up and you can have all your music heading over to some of the worlds largest online stores.

Scandinavian Experimentation – TDC Denmark in ISP funded music model

TDC Denmark Logo

The whole industry is aware that traditional, physical music sales are threatened by new mobile and internet methods of music consumption, and lot of suggestions for the way that music will be paid for in the future have been discussed. One such is the idea that ISP’s and other big service providers could be made responsible for the music that their clients download, charging a flat premium on their service contracts to be passed on to the music copyright owners.

Danish company TDC have teamed up with Warner, Sony/BMG and EMI to take a step in this direction with their new Play package delivered in co-operation with multi platform cable provider YouSee (Danish language). Their ‘Nordic’ users can make unlimited, DRM protected downloads from a catalogue of approximately 1 million tracks, including REM, James Blunt and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“When our customers wake up tomorrow, we will have changed their everyday lives. They will experience that through PLAY they are suddenly able to download all the music they wish as a part of their subscription from TDC or YouSee, legally and without extra charges,” says Jens Alder, President and CEO of TDC. (from TDC press release).

I’ll be very interested to see how this innovation works out, and I think that it’s only by a process of learning from what users do and don’t adopt from new packages like this that the new model of paid-for music consumption will evolve (obviously with RouteNote at the forefront of development:).

Music Licensing Income

Bob Kohn, the founder of eMusic (which he has since sold) hosted this session, in which he shamelessly plugged his new enterprise, RoyaltyShare.com. This is a site that deals with splitting the revenue from performances, digital sales and the licensing of music between the parties with an interest in the work. They’re aimed mainly at bigger record labels who have a lot of content to manage and can’t keep up with the millions of small transactions that their catalogue generates through ecommerce.

As well as promoting himself, Kohn discussed the increasingly popular view of music as a service, something like satellite or cable TV, saying that this was his favoured model for the future, and that providers would essentially be competing on user experience and content availability as much as on price. His opinion is that the bigger infrastructures involved in the industry will continue to fall away as the market value of music drops, but that more of the revenue will end up in the hands of the people who make the music, as more direct links between artists and retailers are made, as by CD Baby, Snocap etc.

Press and Publicity

Nick Bailey (Shore Fire Media) and Kandia Crazy Horse (Bluegum journalist) dropped a short intro before opening up to questions – top tips for artists starting out were to consider getting a booking agent before anything else and play gigs as much as possible (but remember to tour smart!), and to realise that the press guys want to hear your stuff. Be brief, friendly and don’t hassle them too much. If they like your stuff they’ll write about you, if they don’t then pestering them is only going to piss them off.

The Best Online Resources

This was a great panel: Brad King of Northern Kentucky University kept a tight leash on some big names from web innovators Bebo (Angel Gambino), Last.fm (Matt Ogle), Sonicbids (Panos Panay – who looks like Roger Federer, btw), iLike (Ali Partovi), and Myspace Records (Jon Pikus).

The consensus from this panel was that ubiquity is a good thing, bands should get themselves up everywhere they can on the web, but remember to try and get maximum return on their investment of time. iLike is a site that offers syndication of your gig schedule and other updates across other platforms like myspace and facebook, and seems like a great time saving tool for self promoters, as it also has a facility for sharing music with friends with particular tastes in music quickly.

The panel recommended that self promotional material strike a balance between viral entertainment value and a marketing or promotional message – creativity is always key in this area, as is frequency of updates for whatever material you’re putting out; keep the momentum up. Make sure that tracks posted to the web have proper ID3 tagging, so you can see when and where they’re being played. For the rest – remember that everyone else is trying to get online too, learning some search engine optimization basics and apply them to the content you’re putting out will help you stand out from the clutter that web 2.0 stuff generates, and just like touring, plan your attack on the web carefully; don’t just splurge stuff randomly onto the web and hope it will get attention.