Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sony Connect Closing = A Collection Re-Rip

I don't know about any of you, but it kind of irritates me that SONY is being so vague about how the continued use of previously "purchased" Connect files will not work on next-gen SONY devices after their online music store closes next March...To me, this consumer insensitivity is more than just a decision to abandon their proprietary DRM and jump into the drowning Plays-for Sure-camp...I think that the behemoth should come right out and clearly explain what's about to happen to all the DRM'd ATRAC files consumers have "purchased" up to this point...[THAT THEY WON'T WORK SOON] Instead, they just dance around the issue on the FAQ's with 'CAN' instead of
'SHOULD rip to CD'....

IMHO, I think that SONY should clearly let its Connect customers know that previously downloaded OpenMG content will not play with newer SONY players...(In other words, if music fans want to keep their past Connect
purchases relevant moving forward - they have to take off the DRM and burn
the collection to CD and then re-rip everything themselves...LAME !!)

Nice synergy there between the store and the consumer electronics division,
eh....? :-)

(Directly from the site: What can I do with ATRAC content that has DRM Digital Rights Management)?

"For your purchased music from CONNECT, you can burn it to audio CD and re-rip it into MP3 format to continue enjoying it for personal use."

Monday, October 29, 2007

MPAA 2006 Statistics

Here’s a LINK to the MPAA’s most recent MarketStats document.  While the data is from 2006, there’s some really good info in here…


Friday, October 26, 2007

Apple Definitely Not #1

Cellphone Vendor Share: Samsung and Nokia Lead the Way


According to Strategy Analytics, “285 million cellphones were shipped worldwide in Q3 2007, up 12% year-over-year. Demand was strong in emerging markets, particularly Asia and Africa. Nokia sold a record 112 million handsets; its 39% share is more than the next three brands combined. Samsung hung on to 2nd position, as 3G shipments surged. Motorola continued to stabilize, due partly to a ramp-up in Razr 2 volumes. Sony Ericsson lost slight momentum, while LG maintained its recent upward track. As predicted by Strategy Analytics, Apple quadrupled sales, reaching a 0.4% global share. Industry-wide, Strategy Analytics forecasts 330 million units globally for Q4 2007.”

Thursday, October 25, 2007

IPSOS - The Face of the Web

New findings from Ipsos annual global study on digital media trends show that over half of all U.S. Social Networkers have used their mobile device to send/receive text messages (60%), email (59%), browse the Internet for news and info (59%), and send/receive digital images (54%).


Do Music Lovers Still Care About Fidelity?

(or is the battle for Quantity over Quality already won?)


I saw this article today in the New York Times and thought many of you would appreciate hearing about innovative technological solutions that deliver increased fidelity, instead of the current industry trend of distributing less sound quality to save a penny here and a nickel there...Also, I'm not one to make many predictions in such a frothy sea, but I'll go out on a limb and say that this category is about to explode!  


Sign me up :-)

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Future of Radio

The Senate Commerce Committee has announced it will hold a full-committee hearing called "The Future of Radio," this Wednesday. No witnesses have yet been announced. According to the Committee web site, members "will assess the state of innovation and competition in the radio market."

Quote of the Day...

“This increasing market transparency can adversely impact the margins, market share and brand equity of consumer products companies,” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and US consumer products group leader at Deloitte & Touche USA LLP.  “In the past, clever marketers and advertisers shaped brands, but now consumers are increasingly empowered, everyone has a voice, and information and opinions are instantly dispersed. Consumer product companies need to determine how best to capitalize on this new landscape. Clearly, there will be consequences for those who don’t.”

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ford's Next Generation Vehicle = FOCUS??

[Couple of choice nuggets]

"...Though based on the same platform as the current model, the new 2008 Focus features an array of improvements from the interior and powertrain to ride and handling. More importantly, it is the first vehicle to feature Sync -- a new voice-activated onboard computer connectivity system developed with Microsoft Corp. that will allow motorists to fully integrate their cell phones and iPods with their automobiles..."  

"...Mark Fields, president of Ford's Americas division, said Sync will be the first system in the country that connects the car to the Internet. It will allow drivers to control their cell phones and MP3 players with voice commands, read incoming e-mail and allow them to send and receive text messages, all without taking their hands off the wheel..."

Also, from Mark Ramsey's blog....(make sure to watch the 5 minute video too...The voice recognition and the TTS looks pretty decent!)

"Ford has announced that its new 2008 Focus will be the first small and relatively inexpensive car aimed at younger buyers to feature their Sync Audio Technology that essentially puts the Internet and complete audio control in your car. It will be an option on the Focus (it's actually standard in Ford's more expensive lines), and it will run about $400 (or, in other words, about a hundred dollars more than a pre-installed HD or Satellite Radio)."

OK, this is getting pretty cool for accessing internet radio in the car with the built-in USB connection/battery charger......and hopefully it will save some accidents and lives....but what I really want to know is who's Sync's main competition?

Who's Watching Sports Online?

According to recent information from the Center for Media Research, I was kind of surprised to see Yahoo ahead of ESPN in the Top 10 Online Sports Destinations (although Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance reporting data reflects advertising activity served on pages accessible via the World Wide Web and not within AOL's proprietary service)


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Best Buy Jettisons Analog TVs

Home Media Magazine:  “Best Buy has pulled all remaining analog TVs off its shelves and will sell only digital TVs from now on. The move comes in anticipation of the Feb. 17, 2009, nationwide switchover from analog to digital for all TV content providers.”

Interesting Research...THE BEDROOM PROJECT

“Arbitron and Jacobs Media conducted groundbreaking research to observe young Americans interacting with technology and media in their natural habitats—their homes, dorm rooms, cars and, yes, their bedrooms.”   In case you haven't seen the results of "The Bedroom Project," give these 15 minutes a listen, courtesy of hear 2.0…...




Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Audiovox to Buy AV Rights to RCA Brand From Thomson

Yesterday afternoon, French electronics maker Thomson SA announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its consumer electronics Audio-Video (AV) activities to Audiovox Corporation  as part of the process of shifting its focus to providing services and technologies to the media and entertainment industries.

Here are the key points:

  • Completion of the sale is expected to take place on December 31, 2007.
  • Purchase price is $19.7 million, plus a net asset payment, plus a five- year fee related to the RCA brand in the consumer electronics audio video product field.
  • Proposed acquisition to add approximately $150 million in annual sales as well as the ability to generate royalty income and should positively impact fiscal 2009 results.
  • Company to acquire the rights to the RCA brand for consumer electronics audio video products.
  • Thomson also plans to close its European audio-video and accessories business, except for its German Skymaster unit, which is in talks with potential buyers.

NOTE: Thomson's AV business has 65 employees at its U.S. headquarters in Carmel, Ind., and about another 150 in Hong Kong, a Thomson spokesman said. Audiovox has "expressed interest" in hiring "some" employees, although how many will be involved is still being finalized, the Thomson spokesman said. Audiovox will likely choose the employees it hires based on "skill sets" and "the markets they want to serve," he said.



Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Location-Based Services Key Revenue Generator

According to the latest Telephia research, location-based services (LBS) such as navigation, represented 51 percent of the $118 million in revenue that downloadable mobile applications (such as LBS, weather applications, chat/community, and personal organization tools) generated during Q2 2007.  According to the report, many consumers may not realize the utility of a navigation application on their mobile phone until they use it.

While location-based services deliver highly personalized offerings such as friend-finding and other location-aware features, navigation represents the lion's share of revenue. The report on mobile applications also stated:

  • Approximately 13 million mobile consumers downloaded a mobile application on their phone.
  • Of the $118 million in revenue that these downloadable mobile applications generated during Q2 2007, LBS represented 51 percent.


Friday, October 12, 2007


New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that over one in every five households in the United States now have a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) – up from about one in every thirteen households just two years ago. Fueled by a continued push from cable and DBS providers offering combination HD/DVR set-top boxes, the study says that the number of US households with DVRs will grow to over 60 million by the end of 2011.

Other key findings include:

  • The mean household income of DVR owners is 33% above average
  • 53% of DVR owners say that they have an HDTV set
  • 45% of DVR owners record five or fewer programs per week
  • While 84% of DVR owners rate the ability to skip commercials as very important, just 8% of DVR owners say it is the greatest benefit of having a DVR

Based on a survey of 1,300 households throughout the United States, LRG says the growth of DVRs does not mean that the era of live TV viewing has ended. They estimate that 95% of all TV viewing in the US is still of live TV.

Taking Stock With Teens' National Study

According to Digital Music News, Piper Jaffray & Co. recently announced the results of its 14th biannual proprietary research survey, "Taking Stock With Teens," a national study on teen spending habits and retail brand perceptions. After conducting mall research field trips in 10 cities across the United States and surveying approximately 980 students, the Piper Jaffray retail research team published key findings for teens' purchasing behaviors and preferences in the categories of: fashion, apparel brands and retailers, beauty and personal care, home furnishings, video games, digital entertainment and restaurants.


“When asked about buying habits of MP3 players and online music, 82 percent of the students who own an MP3 player indicated that they also own some form of an iPod, which is up from 79 percent in fall 2006. Purchasing online music is becoming more main stream as 64 percent of the students surveyed indicated they download music illegally, compared to 72 percent at this time last year. iTunes continues to dominate market share at 79 percent. In addition, after only three months of availability, 3 percent of the students own an Apple iPhone, and 9 percent expect to buy an iPhone in the next six months”.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday's Quote

“Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC Universal, said the U.S. Justice Department should increase its antipiracy efforts and in comments before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Zucker cited data from conservative think tank, Institute for Policy Innovation, that said piracy of intellectual property, including movie DVDs and music CDs, has cost the U.S. economy $58 billion in lost output and more than 370,000 jobs.”

Does anyone else besides me want to know how they measured that….?

Very Dangerous Precedents Being Set In Favor of the Music Industry...

  1. “In proving liability, the industry did not have to demonstrate that
    the defendant's computer had a file-sharing program installed at the
    time that they inspected her hard drive.

  2. The RIAA did not have to show that the defendant was at the keyboard
    when RIAA investigators accessed the defendant’s shared folder.

  3. “Also, the judge in the case ruled that jurors may find copyright
    infringement liability against somebody solely for sharing files on
    the internet. The RIAA did not have to prove that others downloaded
    the files.”




Common Webcast Metrics

According to Ando Media’s website, “One of the primary benefits the internet provides is the ability to know how many people are listening to any given station. No longer do radio stations or advertisers need to rely on an estimate based on surveys or panel behavior.”  Wow!  I couldn’t agree moreNow if only the PRO’s of the music industry could follow their lead and pay musicians based on tangible quantifiable data J

  • TSL - time spent listening
  • ATL - average time spent listening
  • AQH - average quarter hour audience (The average number of persons who listened to a station for a minimum of five minutes within a reported daypart)
  • CUME - the number of different persons who listened to a station for a minimum of five minutes within a reported time period

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday's Quote of the Day...

“2008 will be the year of BOLD, CREATIVE, operational acumen. Companies will need to be run by smart content oriented people with ideas, vision, and B--LS!”

- Bill Figenshu, Regional President of Citadel Broadcasting, and Senior Vice President of Infinity Broadcasting

U.S. Copy-Protected CD Penetration Rate...?

Does anyone out there want to take a guess at how many copy-protected audio CD's have been cumulatively released in the U.S.?

I know there's a big difference between 'units shipped' and 'units sold', but I'm most interested [percentage terms] in the overall number of commercially available protected titles, rather than the actual number of CD's.  In other words, what's the actual marketshare?  Intuitively, I know it's pretty low and most likely shrinking, but I'm thinking it's probably somewhere between 1-3%?

Thanks in advance!