Just a numbers game? SoundExchange is now trumpeting cumulative artist and label payouts of $1 billion, a hefty number indeed. That includes a current quarterly payout rate of more than $100 million, but how much is still sitting in SoundExchange's bank account, unmatched or otherwise unpaid? The New York Times says $132 million in unpaid cash was floating on the books as of 2010; IRS forms suggest more than $305 million for that year. When we asked for up-to-date figures, SoundExchange president Michael Huppe said 'thank you for your interest' (seriously) before dumping us onto a press person. Who then told us we'd get the information later...
Are you connected? We've been testing Qualcomm Atheros' Skifta system over the past few days with some frustrating results. The mobile- and app-based entertainment control system unifies PCs, Sonos, and IPTVs into one uber-app interface, though the theoretical niceties quickly crash into practical roadblocks. We'll keep testing; an updated version is on the way.
Speaking of Sonos, the company has just landed a monstrous, $135 million funding round. KKR, Redpoint Ventures and Elevation Partners are leading, with $45 million earmarked for product development and $90 million apparently designated for various executives and stakeholders to cash out their positions. Separately, the company is showcasing its latest zone peripheral, the SUB, at its LA-based 'Sonos Studio' on La Brea in Los Angeles.
But wait: this is some fly hi-fi hardware, but are you getting walled in with your Sonos? AOL defined the early 'walled garden' of the internet, but it seems like a similar situation is emerging with networked stereo and entertainment systems. A lingering gripe about the svelte WiFi-connected Sonos system is that it refuses to amplify your own laptop speakers - which means that the vast range of audio coming from the interwebs can't be ported throughout those home 'zones'.
Spotify is now layering a free, new-and-improved radio experience into its iPhone and iPad apps. That includes very Pandora-like thumbs up and thumbs down functionality; we're awaiting word on whether this is still the Echo Nest powering.
Oh, there's another 'billion' floating around, this time for Eventbrite. The ticketing disruptor has now sold one billion tickets since inception, according to details shared today.
Sean Parker was a no-show for New Music Seminar (#NMS2012) in New York on Monday, though big names like Lyor Cohen, Bob Pittman, and John Sykes made the gig. Cohen urged labels to support one another, defended the 360-degree deal, and pointed to the CD as a format that kept executives 'sleepy and retarded'...
A few hundred miles south, the Library of Congress is now ingesting a massive 'treasure trove' of artist and industry executive interviews. The voluminous audio collection of over 200 interviews, compiled by retired music executive Joe Smith, includes chit-chats with Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, Little Richard, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney... you get the idea.
Blame electronica? Electric Daisy Carnival is now on the defensive after two Carnivalers died in Vegas last week. But both happened outside of the event walls itself: one involved a drunken run-in with a truck (guess who won); the other an ecstacy-inspired freefall from the 27th floor of a Strip hotel. Separately, Pasquale Rotella, head of EDC promoter Insomniac, faces a raft of charges in Los Angeles loosely related to the overdose of a teenage attendee.
Songza is enjoying quite the moment, but will it last? The well-curated playlister scored a million iOS installations in just 10 days; now the media is starting to gush over their newfound upstart. Actually, these are some pretty good playlists, hype-bubbles aside...
Thomas Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The Sonos Play:5 has an input jack.
VJayee Tuesday, June 19, 2012
And the point of that is.....? That means it's a speaker.
Sonos the software should let you play anything not jsut their menu.
paul Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Personally, I was a little disappointed with the 5, simply because it's tethered to my WiFi box. I was hoping to create an easy, speaker 'island' in the kitchen that connected independently to the WiFi connection, similar to what I've done with the Logitech Boombox. Maybe I wasn't reading the instructions carefully enough, but it didn't seem possible.
Thomas Wednesday, June 20, 2012
You need a Bridge that connects directly to your WiFi box and then the Sonos can be wherever you want.