Posts Tagged ‘Last.Fm’

iTunes Dominates the Market

October 9, 2008

A survey of 1,148 Internet users in the summer of 2008  revealed 58% of people believe iTunes is the top fee-based digital music service or download store according to a report from market research firm Ipsos.


By far the best known brand is also iTunes with an unaided awareness of 39%. (Second is Napster with just 13%).
Hopefully this dominance won`t be a problem for the music industry to establish or improve their business or pricing models. These figures show that most people still think there is just one brand out there. And if you know just one brand, you won`t know the business or pricing models of other brands…  right?
Best example: Last.fm. Maybe one of the most innovative music services out there at the moment, but it faces incredibly low unaided (0%) and aided (6%) awareness.
And the time it takes to get a high awareness, even when you are a “mainstream brand” is a long journey. This is shown by the Amazon example, who get just 5% unaided awareness in their first year in the music download business.
So in the near future iTunes will show us the way…if we like it or not…

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Music Access as Product Bundle

September 24, 2008

Sony Ericsson announced today more details to their new unlimited mobile music service. PlayNow Plus will launch in Sweden by the end of the year and will be available globally next year. Reuters reports, the service will cost 99 Swedish crowns (US $15.24) a month. Subscribers can download an unlimited number of tracks to the handset or to a PC. The handset will sync with the PC using broadband and 3G/HSDPA connectivity.

So here we go. After Nokia, Sony Ericsson is now the second big player in the game. We are just waiting on the iPod subscription bundle and then the transition is officially started. We are on the way to the “music age of access”.

Subscription services didn`t get a huge success on their own yet (like Rhapsody and Napster). But maybe they can find success with a device bundle. Of course there is the second big business model “Free”  with ad supported versions like Last.Fm or MySpace Music and there will always be the illegal “darknet” p2p version of music download, but getting your adored “high end” device subsidized is a big lure for many people to make a subscription contract. I´m sure there will be some devices exclusive with the subscription bundle comparable to the iPhone & mobile provider deals at the moment. If you`ve signed a contract and the music service is great, you wouldn`t want to loose it, because it`s “so convenient”. And most important, the service will “feel like it`s free” after a while.  At the moment, the price per month is still a little bit high, but when the price falls to 5 or 7 Dollars per month, many people really won´t care about this addition to their monthly mobile/internet bill.
And at this point there always comes the obligatory question: Do you know how much money you spend for water usage at home every month? Did you ever care about water costs standing under the shower?

Joost Goes Browser

September 18, 2008

Today Joost released a browser version of it`s p2p service (just a plug-in download is needed). Next month, according to CEO Mike Volpi to TechChrunch, Joost will offer a version of the service that doesn’t require any download at all.

In addition to the browser version, they created a video based social network complete with Facebook-style activity streams that show your friends what content you are watching and gives you the chance of commenting or “shouting” about the program (Watch the Demo Video of TechCrunch below.).

TV is and always has been a “social experience” and so I think there is big potential in these features. Imagine watching a soccer game with all your mates… even when you are in a hotel on the other side of the world…

So Joost goes a little bit in the direction of what Last.Fm does for music….  integrating “social” components… there is only a good recommendation system missing … maybe coming soon … and of course, the biggest problem of all,  the “big blockbuster” content is missing. Last.Fm made it cause they lived in the “grey” area of copyright usage… Joost is in the green area… and there is no chance to compete… it’s too expensive to finance great video content with full copyrights … we will see…

But anyway, I think this model is a very interesting perspective for the television industry…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Unlimited Free Jukebox In Your Pocket

July 19, 2008

A dream a few years ago… and now we are nearer than we think.

Just found this Mediaweek article:

“Internet radio upstart Pandora has streamed 3.3 million songs to iPhone users since the launch of its new mobile application, making it the third most popular such app for the red-hot device”

Using a data flat rate on the iPhone, you can enjoy all the big music streaming platforms (not just Pandora, Last.Fm works already too – see the userinterface in the pic) for free…

Well, not  everybody has an iPhone or something equivalent in his pocket yet… but soon.

The Filter – The Perfect Filter?

April 19, 2008

Recommendation systems are great and very important for media consume in the future (I wrote about it a while ago here and here). Most of the content providers and services in the online world are currently based on concepts which use/need the “lean forward mode” of media consumers. But consumers love the “lean backward mode” a lot in a age of information overflow (the burden of choice). In the music area we have already one great product: Last.Fm.

Now there is the launch of a new online service:

The Filter, a new media recommendation and discovery service, announced on Tuesday the launch of an invite-only private beta. But not like last.fm which just recommends and personalizes your music programme, the filter also includes movies, TV and other media, and considers past purchases, websites viewed, searches performed, friends’ picks and critics’ opinions into its recommendations

I`m quite excited about that… I was looking for such a service for a while… can`t wait to see how it will doing..

Here some more informations from The Filter website

“The Filter is powered by an engine that provides a holistic approach to recommendations – filtering out irrelevant content and only filtering in content that reflects an individual’s tastes and moods through unique algorithms.

In addition to the consumer entertainment experience here at TheFilter.com, The Filter can also provide white label and co-branded solutions for content partners seeking to better match their inventory of content to their visitors’ tastes.

The Filter’s core is a recommendation and discovery engine derived from a branch of Artificial Intelligence, called Bayesian mathematics. Simplistically, the engine uses an evidence model (which includes purchase, consumption and browsing data) to derive the similarity of items. When The Filter’s engine is supplied with one or more items of interest it delivers a pick-list of items that are statistically relevant by order of probability.”

Your Personalized Music Products

March 3, 2008

A few days ago I wrote about the new build.last.fm website.

There I found this:  Idiomag

idiomag_logo.jpg

A website that uses your last.fm profile data and makes your personalized online music magazine. Simple. A few months ago I wrote about this last.tv website. Same idea, just with music videos. Perfect music consuming in the lean backward mode. StumbleUpon is doing something similar for websites. Great, but maybe at the beginning a little bit complex. Anyway I like the service.

Getting personalized content in the “lean backward mode” (read my post here) can be the next big step. The value for the user is big, but there is still the trade off with “the worrying about someone tracks your data”.  Actually I forgot about that using last.fm, but it´s a very sensitive issue that has to be solved.

build.last.fm

February 29, 2008

Sorry for not posting a while, some other projects took my my mind off things…
I found this today on Last.Fm.

Last.Fm is a great music service! They have a great basic concept idea, but more important they improve their site and their concept continually. At the moment they are going step by step the way to a social network, but also the way to a full service music platform. And yesterday they did something right again:

buildlastfm.jpg

“Today we’re pleased to introduce build.last.fm, a gallery of apps and services that take slices of the Last.fm experience into tons of cool new directions. We’ve only just started adding to it, but — with your help, of course — we expect it to grow quickly! (In features too; stay tuned for search, RSS feeds, user comments, and more.)

This is just a small piece of our much larger goal for 2008, which will include a re-launch of our developer site, along with new and improved APIs for some of our most important functionality.

We hope you enjoy checking out all the things you can do with a Last.fm profile. But we’re even more excited to see where you’ll take the music next. ”

Pushing traffic and especially customer loyality through mashups, widgets, and services that leverage Last.fm data is a great next step, not least for the brand.

With actions like this Last.Fm still stays on the side of the “good guys”. On the side of the open source and gift economy and on the other side of the “commercial”, “DRM”, “user sueing” “cooperations”. It gives the brand authenticity and credibility and on top the tools do great promotion.

Last.Fm Offers Full Subscription Service Soon

February 7, 2008

A short update to my post a few days ago:

I just saw it on my Last.fm account: There will be soon the option to subscribe to an on demand subscription service on Last.Fm. For just 2,50€ per month you will get unlimited on demand access to the complete Last.fm music library. The price is awesome. We have to wait, how exactly the package will look like, where you can use your songs… but that`s a price that looks good. Problem anyway: Music for your mobile device… not included. So it`s still not the “one stop shop” solution.

Update: Sorry guys, the price up there wasn´t right. I confused the subscription price with the “old” subscription package with just better user rights and features. So there are no infos about the new music on demand subscription price, yet.

Last.Fm makes the deal!

January 29, 2008

lastfm-shirt.jpg

Sorry, i was out skiing for a few days and missed nearly a really big thing.

Last Fm  signed a big deal with the majors (see WIRED blog). Now you can play songs in full length three times for free “outside of your customized last.fm internet radio station”. all majors are in.

that`s great! that’s huge.

For me last.fm was already the paradise. You get “your kind of music” customized for free . The perfect radio! Perfect when you are in the “lean back” mode. But then there were some of these moments you want to hear a special song, a special artist- when you are in the “lean forward” mode – well, then it was time to change to itunes. The problem was – a new song, a song you got recommended often isn`t there in your library yet … – Now you even don’t have to change to itunes… you can stay at last.fm.

Well, the last.fm library isn`t complete either yet, but they are working on that.

The ultimative jukebox. We are one step closer to it.

Commenting on this new last.fm deal Gerd Leonhard had a nice thought about making a new business model running in these times.

“if you want to succeed in next-gen music ventures, do this:

a) just use the labels’ music in any way that you see fit (provided that is in some sort of way legally defensible, at least in some instances, sometimes, somewhere)

b) build your audience based on that attractive ‘free music’ availability (remember… that’s the idea behind radio!) and make the best of any and all those gray-zone licenses.

c) get a huge company to either buy or back you, and

d) THEN do a deal to get the rights to use the music in the way that you wanted to, to begin with. “

He is right. That’s the way you will get it running.
Why? Cause most of the copright holders would like to stay in “good old world”. They don`t want to take any risks. They don`t want to accept that content – their content – in the information age is “nearly” a public good now.
So it seems it’s impossible to build a revolutionizing business model with a “legal” deal from the beginning. The conditions would be insane.
So… you have to develop in the “grey zone”.