The long struggling eMusic is now being merged with ebook company K-NFB Reading, according to a note sent Monday to label partners (and published by the Wall Street Journal). The combined company, called Media Arc, will offer “a comprehensive source of more than 17 million songs, 40,000 audiobooks and 600,000 eBooks,” though both companies will remain separate entitites.
Veoh was buried long ago, but its DMCA-riddled ghost is now haunting Universal Music Group and the broader music, film, and content industries. In a reaffirming ruling just issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, an earlier, District Court decision heavily favoring Veoh was upheld and supported. The Ninth Circuit concurred that Veoh was playing within the bounds of DMCA protections, despite rather obvious knowledge of infringing activity. The decision could have huge implications for DMCA-related cases ahead, including UMG’s ongoing war with Grooveshark (if they can, unlike Veoh, survive the process).
Heard of Soundsupply (soundsupp.ly)? This Chicago-based startup is focused on smartly-bundled and priced compilations (aka, ‘albums’), and just secured a seed round from VC firm Lightbank. The company confirmed the round to Digital Music News on Monday but didn’t disclose dollar figures; Lightbank previously backed Groupon, and this is the VC’s first foray into music.
Remember, older demos actually buy stuff. Which brings us to David Bowie, whose just-released The Next Day shifted 94,000 first-week units in the UK. Which is enough for a solid, number one chart position. The Official Charts Company published the tally.
And the number one question this week? That would be, ‘are you recovered from SXSW yet?’ Indeed, weekend Sunday sleepoffs were in order, though recovering folk will soon be convening around Canadian Music Week in Toronto. Registration and pre-game festivities are already happening, with the Digital Media Summit now getting underway. That will be followed by a full slate that includes radio, supervision, touring, branding, social networking… more at cmw.net. And, let us know if you’re here! paulr@…
Which brings us to Pledgemusic, which is using the CMW stage to officially launch in Canada. That expands the crowdfunding platform from the US, UK, Europe, and Australia.
There’s money in them beats… Now, EDM-rolling SFX Entertainment has drawn a massive investment from advertising umbrella WPP. The move comes alongside an also-massive buying spree orchestrated by Robert F.X. Sillerman, who envisions a billion-dollar EDM conglomerate that includes nightclubs, promoters, and sites like the just-purchased Beatport. All of which continues to raise the question: where’s Live Nation in all of this?
Also on the massive expansion front is 7digital, which is promising pre-installs across 100 million smartphones in 2013 alone. That includes the Samsung Galaxy S4, which will shift 60 million units alone. 7digital will be powering the Samsung Music Hub.
Can musicians survive on digital tips alone? Maybe: just this morning, Flattr further expanded its micro-tipping platform with integrations into Soundcloud, Twitter, Instagram, and Vimeo. That sounds similar to the just-released Copper, though one key difference is that Flattr requires accounts to be claimed, while Copper makes efforts to find the artist in question.
And, Alex Day can be over-romanticized and over-hyped as a DIY Messiah, especially when things like Universal distribution deal are conveniently ignored. Then again, Day did just beat Justin Timberlake in a first-week album sales runoff in the UK, which speaks volumes.