Sirius XM is getting into streaming radio, but not because it's a profitable or even decent business. "The companies that can grow their users and provide good customer service usually have the worst business models," exiting Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin told investors, an obvious jab at Pandora. "It's a sinkhole in terms of its business model," Karmazin continued, while noting that profitability is hard to achieve without running lots of commercials and considerably eroding the experience.
Speaking of sinkholes, what about satellite radio itself? Sirius XM, a merger of necessity with lots of debt, is actually showing some gains. During the broader quarterly announcement, the company showed continued revenue and earnings strength, with notable progress paying down its debt tranche.
What, are these music tech Super Bowls now? Looks like SF MusicTech Summit XII is already on the map for February 19th, 2013, with the successfully scrappy Brian Zisk squeezing things in ahead of SXSW. Zisk says this one will absolutely 'rage,' see you there.
Rovi just got a bump on Wall Street, despite a substantial third quarter loss. Revenue dropped 7 percent while losses topped $13.3 million, apparently still enough to beat expectations.
MU:CON continues in Seoul, with discussions heavily focused on K-Pop's impact and export potential. That includes a focus on what future ground, if any, PSY has broken in markets like the US. Back home, the stats show that Koreans are increasingly consuming their own stars, instead of foreign artists.
The National Association of Recording Industry Professionals (NARIP) has just announced its Alfred Schlesinger Scholarship Fund, inspired by the longtime songwriter, producer, publisher, label owner and professor. For more info on the fund, contact NARIP at (818) 769-7007or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, let the games begin. Pandora is getting packaged ad-free into Windows 8 for a year, according to Microsoft, though the bigger question is what impact 8 will have on Spotify, Rhapsody, and the broader streaming sector. An 8-embedded Xbox Music competitor is certainly daunting, though Microsoft's history in music isn't exactly the most decorated.
Not sure why, exactly, they signed the contract in the first place? Sony Music-owned Epic Records has now dropped Death Grips, the end to a string of disagreements, unauthorized self-releases, and f-yous by the hip-hop duo. "Unfortunately, when marketing and publicity stunts trump the actual music, we must remind ourselves of our core values," an Epic executive told Pitchfork. "To that end, effective immediately, we are working to dissolve our relationship with Death Grips. We wish them well."
And the next Megaupload? Get ready for Me.Ga, which according to Kim Dotcom resurfaces January 20th.