Shazam appoints new chief exec ahead of IPO (Original)

Shazam logoSecond screen app and media recognition specialist Shazam has appointed former Yahoo! executive Rich Riley as its new CEO, shifting long-term boss Andrew Fisher to the new full-time role of Executive Chairman as it gears up for a planned IPO. 

The hire marks the latest addition to Shazam’s executive team, following the recent appointment of BBC executive Daniel Danker as Chief Product Officer, establishing an executive leadership team that will “accelerate the company’s growth trajectory,” Shazam said.

Fisher, who has lead the firm as CEO since 2005, becomes executive chairman, while John Pearson, who has been chairman of the board since 2006, will become a Non-executive director and remain on the board.

Riley brings more than 17 years of entrepreneurial and internet experience to the CEO role, most recently working as executive vice president, Americas for Yahoo!, where he was responsible for billions of dollars of revenue and managed a team of thousands.

“Rich brings a tremendous amount of experience both as an internet executive where he has rapidly scaled global businesses, to establishing strategic relationships with advertisers and partners, as well as his entrepreneurial approach and skills,” said Fisher.

“Whilst Rich will run our business I will now spend more time focusing on our corporate development and future strategy including our ambitions to deliver a successful IPO for our shareholders as we look to become an increasingly important part of people’s everyday lives, helping them engage with content and brands in the most efficient way possible.”

Shazam started as a music recognition series, branching into TV in 2011 with the launch of Shazam for TV in the United States for advertising and select television programmes.…

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Soundrop Launches Web-Based Listening Rooms That Sync Up Spotify Tracks With YouTube Videos (Original)


Soundrop, the popular social and interactive “listening room” music service that first launched as an app on Spotify, continues to branch out and become ever-more ubiquitous. The latest iteration: a new web version, now out in beta, which lets users tap into existing listening rooms based on artists, genres and moods, using Spotify’s move to the web as a way of building out part of the audio component, and synchronising those tracks with videos from YouTube. The web app is the latest product in a series that also includes a Spotify app and the ability to access rooms via Facebook embeds.

While Spotify is now available in 28 markets (after adding its first territories in Asia and Latin America earlier in April), Soundrop’s web app is global: wherever Spotify does not work, Soundrop reverts to searching and using tracks posted on YouTube and Vevo.

Co-founder and CEO Inge-Andre Sandvik points out that this is not about creating a competing service for Spotify itself on the web. Instead, what it does is introduce both Soundrop’s platform, and the music services it aggregates, to a different audience.

“This is not competing. It’s more targeted to all the YouTube users out there that now can get curated playlists, and piggy back on all the great curation from all the Spotify users,” he notes.…

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Spotify May Need To Be More ‘Asian’ To Dominate Region (Original)

asian woman with headphones

Asia’s fragmented music fanbase and subscription habits may stand between Spotify and its total domination of the region, or at least so its competitors hope.

The music streaming service recently launched in the Asian countries of Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. When we spoke to Spotify’s head of new markets in Asia-Pacific, Sriram Krishnan, he was evasive on how extensive the company’s Asian catalog was, saying that the company is working with labels here and does feature local music, but emphasized that “mainstream” (read: US-originated) music is big here, and that catalog Spotify has plenty of.

But several Asian-originated competitors say that their experiences here have been quite different. Taiwan-based KKBOX was launched in the region in 2005, and is available in its home country, as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, with plans for other Asian countries, said representative, Inman Lin.

“The Asian market is very fragmented in terms of (each country’s) culture and preference in music. In Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, local artists and songs usually (dominate) with over 70 percent to 85 percent market share, and Western artists are the minority,” he said.

Hong Kong carrier, CSL, has a streaming music service called Musicholic. It’s one of the country’s larger telcos, and has over three million subscribers, as at end-2012.…

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Vevo looks to more device expansion (Original)

Vevo TVUS music video service Vevo is planning to expand onto more TV platforms this year and is gearing up for a UK rollout for its recently launched US and Canadian online linear music channel.

Speaking at the FT Digital Media conference on Friday, Vevo president and CEO Rio Caraeff said that in the last 30 days, “51% of our streaming volume in the US happened on a smartphone or a connected TV” – which translates to roughly 500 million streams.

“The majority of streaming volume on TV is coming through games consoles like Xbox, it’s coming through devices like Rokus. This year we’ll launch on maybe 10 more TV platforms, so it’s a big area of investment for us,” said Caraeff.

He added that a quarter of Vevo’s 4 billion worldwide monthly streams are now happening on smartphones. “The future of video for us is very much the reality today, which is mobile and TV. We merged our mobile and TV product teams together, so that way we’re making applications and experiences that are aware of each other,” he added.

Speaking about Vevo’s linear music channel, which is available now in North America, Caraeff said that the “full multi-cast, programmed, linear experience” was designed to compliment its VoD offering.…

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Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ breaks Spotify record (Original)

After its official debut last week, the comeback track from French electronica duo Daft Punk quickly went on to break records in both the United States and United Kingdom - at least via Spotify.…

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Grooveshark Introduces Broadcast To Let Anyone To Become Their Own Online DJ (Original)


Years and years ago, back at the dawn of the Internet age, there was this thing called Winamp.* Once upon a time, it was the best way to listen to MP3 files, before iTunes swallowed all music sales and Pandora and Spotify convinced us to stream, rather than download, our favorite music. But the best part of Winamp was Shoutcast, which was a plugin that allowed regular users to create playlists and broadcast them to other listeners.**

I was one of those early Internet broadcasters, using an always-on desktop PC and a crappy cable broadband connection in the early aughts to enable others to listen to my crappy taste in music. Those were the days.

Anyways, a lot has changed since then, and there aren’t that many great apps for creating human-curated broadcasts of all their favorite music. Sure, you can make a Spotify-type playlist and share it with friends. But a lot of people shuffle that shit, so they don’t really realize how painstakingly you crafted it to ensure just the right transitions between songs and mood. Also, there’s no way for you to add your own voice or commentary, or fake commercial breaks.

Well now there’s a solution.…

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Films and TV trail software and music in French internet consumption satisfaction (Original)

While three out of five French internet consumers aware of legal internet-based content are “satisfied” with the offerings, consumers of TV series and films are significantly less happy, according to the latest study by the Hadopi, the organization charged with combating illicit downloading of content in France.

While 61% of consumers that knew of the availability of legal offerings were satisfied, that number fell to 56% for consumers of TV series and 52% for film consumers. Users in younger age groups were more likely to be dissatisfied.

The main source of complaint was price, with 82% of consumers judging films and software offerings to be expensive.

Eighty per cent of internet consumers rated music and video clips, video games and software easy to find on the web, but this number fell to 64% for films and 62% for TV series. Films and TV series also fared less well than video games, software and music and video clips for the richness and variety of offers, and for the availability of new and recent content.

Seventy per cent of internet consumers said they knew of the existence of legal offerings in at least one category of “cultural goods”, with younger consumers being more aware than older internet users.…

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Why Twitter Music Is Totally Going to Work (Original)

At first glance, Twitter?s entry into the music business today may be a bit of a head-scratcher. The service had barely launched before people were questioning why Twitter would even want its own music app. But really, it?s simple: Twitter Music is all about getting you to spend more quality time with Twitter. It?s about everybody?s favorite buzzword: engagement.

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BBC America & Twitter Announce Content-Sharing Partnership (Original)

BBC America Doctor Who

BBC America has announced via a tweet that it will partner with Twitter to offer the “first in-Tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series.” News of the deal comes after a few days after a report that Twitter is in talks with Viacom and NBCUniversal to host TV clips and sell advertising on the site.

BBC America’s tweet didn’t offer any specific information about the deal or which of its TV shows would be involved, but it did namecheck hit series Doctor Who and Top Gear.

This has been a busy week for Twitter as it seeks to move beyond being a microblogging platform.In addition to the TV network tie-ups, the company also just launched Twitter Music on Good Morning America.

As Jordan Crook notes, the decision to debut the standalone app on network television is a sign that Twitter is aiming directly for a mainstream audience, instead of seeking to first build an audience of early-adopters.

The company has been building out its site as a multimedia platform with a series of acquisition: Twitter Music was built by startup We Are Hunted, while video-sharing service Vine was launched in January after Twitter bought it in a low-profile buy out.…

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Where’s Twitter Music For Android? Why Today’s Tech Companies Are Still Going iOS First (Original)


Where is Twitter Music for Android? With today’s launch of Twitter’s new music discovery platform, the company has again made a move to sideline the install base of around half of the U.S.’s smartphone audience by failing to deliver a native application for users of non-Apple devices. It’s a strategy that still remains prevalent among tech companies today, both large and small. The companies’ reasons vary: for many smaller startups, there simply aren’t enough developers to build for iOS and Android simultaneously. Meanwhile for others, the iOS-first decision is more of a strategic play.

Twitter Music is now the second major new mobile application that Twitter has brought to Apple device owners first. The company previously launched its Vine video-sharing application as iOS-only in January, and it still remains exclusive to that platform today.

The interesting thing about Music’s launch – a move announced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” –  is that Twitter is attempting to reach a mainstream audience with the app. In the U.S., that audience is just as likely to be on Android as iOS – if not more so, in fact. Google’s Android platform now accounts for 51.7 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers, while Apple’s iOS reaches 38.9 percent.…

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