The Latest! Fund This, WiMP, Corsair+Simple Audio, Beats, Facebook, Ticketmaster, Slacker…

Dude, where’s my financing?  The month has bestowed music startups with about $4.4 million so far, which sounds soft but is actually on pace with the month for 2012 and 2011.  And the latest round shows a smarter approach: it comes from discovery app Timbre, which pulled a modest, $360,000 injection.

One day, we woke up to seemingly-infinite, cheap bandwidth, and happily adjusted.  So, is amazing sound quality quietly happening next, without us even noticing?  Everyone seems to be upgrading in the background, including Spotify competitor WiMP, which offers a dual quality choice.  The more regional, Norwegian company is now moving its ‘standard’ streaming quality from AAC+ 64 to AAC+ 96 and its ‘high quality’ from AAC 256 to AAC 320.  As a baseline, the entire, 20 million-strong catalog is being replaced with CD-quality content.

On the financial side, WiMP parent Aspiro has just disclosed its year-2012 results, which shows – surprise – quickly ramping revenues and growing losses as well.  This looks like a bigger issue with streaming models in general; more details and breakdowns ahead.

This has mainly been a European concern, but maybe this will change that.  Simple Audio, a Scottish company focused on networked devices for handling music across computers, TVs, iPods, iPhones, and the broader range of peripherals, has just been acquired by US-based computer component manufacturer Corsair.  This was a ‘multi-million dollar deal,’ according to the companies.

Yamaha is highly-skilled when it comes to copying stuff, but how close did they tread on the Beats Electronics portfolio of headphones?  Pretty darn close, according to visual comparisons and illustrations in legal paperwork now surfacing.  The similarities are a bit stunning, but let’s see how legally defensible these design patents are.

Separately, Beats is now planning a summertime launch of its hyped-up music service, according to word from Jimmy Iovine.  Speaking at the D:Dive Into Media conference, Iovine outlined a recommendation approach that sounds extremely similar to Songza, while praising the infrastructure of the otherwise ‘failed utility’ MOG.  The planned service remains code-named Daisy, with incoming CEO Ian Rogers now faced with a mere multi-month runway (and one very tough boss).

Yes, the revolution will be ticketed.  Which brings us to Facebook, which is now adding ‘Buy Tickets’ button functionality to its Event Pages.  This is half-cosmetic, but highly-visible and disruptive, with any ticketing partner available to fulfill.

All of which is a slow-moving tsunami that continues to approach the doorstep of Ticketmaster, a company that finally appears to be adapting.  Just this week, the company announced ticketless transfer capabilities, and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino further disclosed plans to better incorporate post-sale exchanges.  “We have to be… always available,” Rapino also told attendees at D.

Slacker has been utterly dwarfed by the likes of Pandora and iHeartRadio, but the company is now totally revamping its app and spending millions on Pandora attack ads.  Slacker, which now has 560,000 paying subs, is aiming to court a more mainstream music listener instead of the aficionado.

Written while listening to the Gaslight Anthem on womp.in.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Verify Your Humanity *