Joost Invites are open!

February 28, 2007

Let the groveling begin end!

screenhunter_002.jpgJoost just opened up their invites system (called tokens) and I’ve got’em. Basically Joost is an online TV application by the same folks that created Skype and sold it to ebay for billions. They are the talk of the town in media circles and Viacom just signed a deal with them. Some folks are mistakenly comparing them to GooTube and have gone so far as to suggest that Joost may be a GooTube killer. Luddites!

I’ve got two tokens! Since your reading this blog and I’ve got no other friends one of them can be yours Alas, my Tokens are gone but if your really desperate you can buy them on eBay.

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EMI and Last.fm join forces is Pandora Next

February 28, 2007

Last.fm LogoAfter Steve Jobs dropped his anti-DRM bomb on the labels people immediately started talking about which label would be the first to wake up to MP3. Early money was on EMI being the first to buckle, largely because they are in the toughest financial position and Ted Cohen used to run the show. We’ll looks like the early money was wrong as EMI signs a streaming deal with Last.fm.

EMI Home Today EMI announced a deal with Last.fm, giving Last.fm users the ability to stream music from EMI artists including: Corinne Bailey Rae (a damned good album), Norah Jones (a great album), KT Tunstall (damned good for a long drive), Keith Urban (kill yourself) and Robbie Williams (who?). Paid content has a good blurb on this and you can check out the original release here. Rumors are also swirling that Last.fm may fall to Viacom in the coming weeks.

As a Pandora user myself I dont really get the appeal of Last.fm, which seems far more cluttered and confusing then the elegant and simple Pandora. Maybe I dont have enough friends, if your on Last.fm add me as a friend up (in fact I’m friendless on Orkut too…).


Gadget Goodness: Radio with 37GB Harddisk

February 28, 2007

Our friends at Akihabar News ran a blurb on a very interesting product from the folks at Olympus. I have long since given up listening to radio, with its overly repetitiously play list, its canned DJ’s and its monotonous pop drone (can Mos Def get some airplay?). Anyway, while the radio isnt that interesting by itself, the idea of sticking a hard drive in the radio and and allowing it to record in the WMA format, which can easily be ripped to MP3, is interesting. Olympus may be doing this to Radio’s today, but watch for Apex to add harddrives to TV’s tomorrow. Read the hilarious BableFish translation here or the Japanese original here.


The Formula of Web 3.0 (is it Wrong?)

February 20, 2007

Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS)

According to a great post by Sramana Mitra this formula is the future of the web. The four C’s in this formula are content, community, and commerce with a fourth C representing context. The P is for personalization and the VS is for vertical search. Sramana believes that Web 1.0 was all about commerce and Web 2.0 is being built on community but Web 3.0 will evole into a personalized, vertically searchable, contextualized tool for accessing commerce, content and community. I’m not convinced.

While I love the thinking Sramana has put into the formula I cant help but think its wrong. Not in the elements she has put together, but in how she has combined them. Like any good recipe its not enough to have the right ingredients you also have to combine them in the right order and proportion. Sramana provides the shopping list but its left to entrepreneurs to figure out of to make a killer dish.

Read the rest of this entry »


A DRM Primer: Everything you wanted to know.

February 20, 2007

While reading sites that popped up in my Tag Surfer I came across a random post by Steve Seidel thats a pretty damn good primer on DRM. Its long, preachy and a bit one-sided with tons of links and lots of quotes. So if you’ve been wondering what the “DRM issue” was all about, this is a good read.


Sales Down, Profits Up: How movie theaters do it.

February 14, 2007

Do you still go to the movies? Then your one of an ever dwindling number of Americans that still do. A factoid released by the good folks at Kagan Research puts a sunny face on the industries declining fourtunes. In it Kagan helpfully points out that movie theaters making money despite sinking sales by gouging anyone still not using Netflicks, GooTube or Bittorent for the movie needs.

Kagan points out that although sales have declined for the last four years theaters still managed to eek out a profit though higher price and advertising. Since 1997 ticket prices have grown by more then 4% a year which more then makes up for the decline in ticket sales. In Kagans view this news is a reason for the major studios smile. Think of it as an “honesty tax”. . .

Now, I dont have a raft of MBA’s running models for me or hordes of baby-faced analyst like Wade Holden crunching data but I dont think fewer people coming to my business and higher prices for my remaining customers is any reason to smile.


Piracy has No Impact on CD Sales says Report

February 12, 2007

JPE coverA central tenet of the RIAA/IFPI terror campaign against file downloading has been that file downloading causes the industry to loose billion of dollars a year. This point is hotly debated by many who point out that downloading is more like sampling then buying and has probably resulted in net growth for the industry. However, the myopic, luddite brain-dead response of the music industry has been to ignore the mounting evidence of the negligible impact of file-sharing on music sales. Instead they prefer to sue old ladies and children and further poison their relationship with their customers.

Needless to say these arent the brightest folks in business. Fortunately, our good friends in the Ivory covered halls of academia have been busy crunching numbers and running models to see just what is what. Well the latest in a string of reports from some well lettered individuals is in and the numbers show that file-sharing is likely to have negatively impacted just .7% of CD sales. Ars Technica has the full story and its not good for the labels. You cant argue with science man.

Some of the previous research (Price and Piracy, Piracy and Sales, SSRN articles)