Playlistmag.com welcomes Glenn Peoples to its growing roster of writers. Glenn has worked in the world of physical music for seven years. Now located in New York City, he writes about music and the music industry in his blog,
Coolfer. Insight Out fuses the worlds of the traditional music marketplace with the emerging digital music scene, all from the point of view of a guy who’s both an avid consumer and cog in the industry machine. For Playlist Glenn will write about the developments that matter to music fans and the digital music world.
Sony Shifts Gears
Remember the Walkman? It’s a product of a bygone era, and Sony knows it’s no longer a leader in personal audio. But give them a few points for working on it. Just having the hardware and software isn’t enough to dent the market share of iTunes and the iPod, so Sony is planning a cross-company effort to improve its digital media strategy—especially its Connect online music store. One of the first orders of business will be the improvement of the SonicStage music management software. Interoperability, one of the main initiatives in the race to catch Apple, will be a key goal of the U.S. unit.
MPAA Flexes Its Lawyers, Muscles
The peer-to-peer wars continue and for once the RIAA is sitting out an inning. The Motion Picture Association of America filed suit last week against
LokiTorrent, a website that lists index files for the BitTorrent file-sharing technology. BitTorrent, an extremely efficient way to share files, is the latest technology to come under attack by trade groups. Its website will hire lawyers based on a “good Samaritan” business model: it’s taking donations for the legal battle that will ensue. Estimates place the monthly tab at a cool $30,000, and those crafty “MPAA tactics” may require more donations.
Who said Americans are stingy? Linkin Park is doing its part to assist the recovery of the Southeast Asia tsunami disaster by donating $100,000 to its new
Music For Relief charity. All money goes to the American Red Cross. They were the only musicians making a donation. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra donated $136,000 to the relief effort—twice the amount it normally donates to a humanitarian cause on New Year’s Day.
More Hype Than Franz Ferdinand
The next big thing for music retailers is the music kiosk. Well, it’ll be the next thing—whether they’ll be big has yet to be determined. Kiosks are starting to pop up at stores around the country, and the wheeling and dealing is in high gear. The Denver Post had a feature recently that focused on local powerhouse Twist & Shout. A few weeks ago,
Warner Music made a deal with MediaPort that will expand Warner’s catalog on the machines. MediaPort kiosks let consumers browse music and create playlists, then burn the playlist to CD or transfer it to a WMA-compatible portable player. Starbucks is testing them as well. Lots of press, lots of attention, but kiosks are still in the “too early to tell” phase.
Digital Pocket Change
What does the digital revolution need to succeed? Lots of small credit card charges, which has lead to the rise of the micropayments. The very concept of small payments via credit cards, which are usually used for larger purchases, is an important trend for both merchants and consumers. The NY Times article
“The Penny-Wise Aren’t Foolish Anymore” looks at how micropayments helped shape 2004 and peers into the future.
Who Needs Radio Play?
Don’t doubt the power of
Pitchfork, the trend-setting music website that has become a powerhouse in indie music circles. The Chicago Sun-Times’ Mike Thomas
wrote about the rise of Pitchfork and its ability to influence the sales of the albums it reviews. With 115,000 daily readers, a label hoping to sell 10,000 copies of a relatively unknown band can get a shot in the arm by a favorable review.
Glenn works in the music industry in New York City. He writes about the industry and music in general at his blog,