Web Radio...vs Online Radio

Report out yesterday suggests that CBS radio's web traffic is up- which made me think of their acquisition of  Which ones are doing better?

Wonder if they are doing anything with these properties purportedly recienving so much traffic?
via mediapost:

CBS Radio's network of radio station Web sites saw its total number of unique visitors increase 30% in December 2008, compared to the same month in 2007, according to Web analytics service, reaching an all-time high for CBS Radio. The online measurement company also noted that unique visitors grew 7% between November and December 2008.

Among the biggest growth stations were KRLD-Dallas, which jumped 133% between December 2007 and 2008; KNX-Los Angeles, up 113%; and WBBM-Chicago, up 104%. Major increases were also seen at WCBS-FM-New York and WPGC-Washington.

To put this in context, I pulled up a compete chart for,, (which some of my twitter peeps seem tp be using although I have not really played with it) and (which I think any of my twitter followers would agree is a favorite of mine).  Since the figures in the article are percentages only, it is not clear if they refer to site visitors or listening traffic. 

Nielsen Netratings puts the CBS radio network at 5.6mm visitors in December 2008, topping a period of significant growth:


Compulsory license for US music- similar to Britain's TV tax?

Interesting way of conceptualizing the search for a way for everyone to pay for music. In a “blanket licensing” scheme, everyone pays some money to their ISP which is then distributed to labels/artists. I think there is a sense that micropayments just aren’t going to work any time soon, so maybe this is a good alternative.

The BBC is funded by a compulsory Television Licence, which according to wikipedia is a kind of "hypothecation tax"  (Note to self: use hypothecation to win at Scrabble some time) which seems to work, though it requires some level of enforcement. 

Ultimately, the argument that

No civilized society, [Warner music consultant Jim Griffin] adds, can endure "purely voluntary payment for art, knowledge, and culture."

Amen to that.  We as a society are so litigious that we only deal in the extremes, it appears.  We've got the pirates vs. the record companies, with the the companies unable as a practical matter to recover from damages from every person with an "infringing use."   The strategy this far has been to sue anyone they can find "making available" files on a files-sharing network. 

In reality, if everyone paid a little, we might have a much better policy than no one (or a minority) paying "some."

Read the story, reported from the PFF's Aspen event, here "Functionally voluntary" music may lead to blanket licenses.

U2 Manager -P2P Culpability On ISPs

Oy vay.  it's so great to know this totally backward thinking is alive and well at Midemnet in France.

He accused the “hippies” and “deadheads” who built technology companies of having, “for far too long, had a completely free ride on clients’ content” and having ”built a multibillion dollar industry on the back of our content without paying for it”. “We all know kids don’t pay $25 a month for broadband just to share their photos and do homework,” he said.

Oy.  Oy!    Seriously- if there were a good alternative I'd gladly pay up.  Just this morning I was listening to a mashup called  "Weapon of the Pig" [Days of the New and Seether] which inluded an iMix link to the source songs.  This was helpful, and I decided I liked both of the the songs enough to buy the iMix. Digital downloads are up even with their hegemonic   

Link: @ Midem: U2 Manager Backs Sticking P2P Culpability On ISPs | paidContent:UK.

Bronfman: Fool me once...

This is almost encourageing-to hear  a major old media executive admit a serious strategic blunder over the direction his company/imndustry chose to follow.  He rightly describes the anti-piracy and anti-digital battles as "wars" with consumers.  In case anyone was wondering: market power, when it decreases features alienates aware consumers, even if it doesn't immediately ruin your revenues.   That took about 7 years.
The power of the net and the digitization of music consumption is that it freed everyone from the anti-competitive power of big music; it amde devils of thre labels and angels of Apple, KaZaa, Limewire and Napster.

So, maybe the studios are listening, or even watching.  Maybe it's time to offer an insanely great version of your product in the digital space, and end the war on content consumption.

MacUser: News: Music boss: we were wrong to go to war with consumers.

"We used to fool ourselves,' he said. "We used to think our content was perfect just exactly as it was. We expected our business would remain blissfully unaffected even as the world of interactivity, constant connection and file sharing was exploding. And of course we were wrong. How were we wrong? By standing still or moving at a glacial pace, we inadvertently went to war with consumers by denying them what they wanted and could otherwise find and as a result of course, consumers won."

Amazon MP3's Buzz-Building Plan: Pay Affiliates 4X What Apple Does

Apple is not in the business to make money selling digital music.  Amazon can afford to lose money, but by all accounts, Apple loses money on some of its 99 cent songs anyway. 

This does not change the fundamental truth that people do not pay for music.  So, have fun, Amazon. 

Link: Amazon MP3's Buzz-Building Plan: Pay Affiliates 4X What Apple Does - Silicon Alley Insider.

One of Amazon's biggest potential weapons as it takes on Apple's market-dominating iTunes music store: a huge cadre of affiliates which it pays commissions to refer sales. In an email sent to affiliates this morning, Amazon said it would pay a 20% retail commission for MP3 sales through Dec. 31, and a 10% rate thereafter. Apple, meanwhile, offers a 5% commission -- which we don't see changing anytime soon. By linking visitors to Amazon's store, affiliates make about 18 cents per 89-cent download referral, while they would make about 5 cents for referring a sale to iTunes.

Poseur of the Month: Microsoft

Can you believe this?  I read a quick announcement in the FierceMobile newsletter that Microsoft was in talks to allow labels to sell DRM-free music for use on the Zune.  Never mind that if you share such tracks with another Zune user they expire in three days.  This PCPro article is pretty light on details also, but does include the following gem:

'Consumers have made it clear that unprotected music is something they want,' Microsoft spokeswoman Katy Asher said. 'We plan on offering it to them as soon as our label partners are comfortable with it.'

So let me understand this: no consumers were making it clear that DRM-free music was something they wanted a year ago?  Way to do your research.  Microsoft is trailing the indicators big time.  Microsoft is trailing every sentient person on the Internet who ever said- "but I bought it- how come it won't work on my XX device?"  Poseurs.


Ruckus Goes to Yale! (is music on ipod the ultimate goal?)

Ruckus Goes to Yale!

In the article it said that Ruckus was giving away the service to anyone with a working “.edu” address. I registered as an alum and gave my class year, as opposed to saying I was a current student (I don’t know why I took them at face value).


I clicked on the registration link sent to my school address and was shown two really enormous and annoying ads. First there was a “free ringtones” service sign up (cancel anytime etc) as the landing page, on which I clicked “No thanks”- marveling at how much customer goodwill they just wasted.


Then they showed me an ITT tech ad! This seemed moronic-surely there is an advertiser out there who would pay more that ITT to show ads to people who went to actual 4-year universities. Besides, I have this thing about ITT Tech that looking at their ads is inherently bad luck (silly superstition that dates to when I was applying to college).


I bet Ruckus could have made this service, with the no-downloading to iPod, available to anyone with a college e-mail address (that would be a huge potential audience right there- 80% of the 142 million US adults in the online population have at least “some college” education). I bet that would have been an interesting play, but that’s not what they did. I thought, I’m not giving them my credit card info, I thought, but I still want to explore.

So after all this clicking…all they offered me was a free 3-day trial. 


Another thing I turned up last week was that technically, you can use rhapsody with an iPod if you are willing to forego the fact that it’s an iPod and let Rhapsody manage your collection of songs purchased  from Rhapsody, as well as MP3 and aac files.


To set up your iPod to work with compatible Rhapsody files:


- Update Rhapsody

- Install the iPod software and iTunes

- Update iTunes

- Activate your iPod

- Turn off automatic song updating and podcast updating in iTunes

- Enable disk use in iTunes

- Attach the iPod and open Rhapsody


These steps are not supported, that this would be way way too complex for the average user, and as likely as not to stop working unexpectedly.

The commercial logic for legal DRM free access to content on the web

This post at The Equity Kicker is an interesting follow-on to the news of major labels considering sales of DRM-free mp3s.  For aspiring artists, I wonder about the revenue model for their business (imagine the artist as a business).  If a large enough share of your revenue comes from concerts and merchandise sales, how much legitimate (DRM or no) online revenue would you give up to increase your local bookings/merchandise/touring.  Some people call that marketing.

“Mega stars have all the exposure they can handle and sell out their gigs in minutes, so there is little marginal benefit to them in a few extra fans having a copy of their music.  They will be better off with one extra CD sale.”

The blog quotes Cory Doctorow (scifi writer and editor of the BoingBoing blog) that some authors would be rather be pirated than unknown.  They would rather have an audience, a fanbase, a source of ongoing and loyal paying customers.