The Latest! Sirius vs. Pandora, Sirius vs. A2IM, $potify, Facebook Adieu, French Bottoms, Britney, YouTube, Muzak…

Sirius XM Radio has 23.9 million subscribers, with two million added in 2012.  Sounds superb and very ‘out of the woods-ish,’ though now it’s time to accelerate that gain: the company has been publicly beta-testing a Pandora competitor (no, we won’t called it a ‘Pandora killer,’ sorry) called MySXM.  Listeners can custom-tailor stations through a number of methods, including parameters like era and style.  The post-beta version will initially land on the desktop, with the automobile warzone the ultimate arrival goal.

Which is, by the way, exactly the sort of expanded functionality Sirius hopes to obtain through direct label licensing.  And, why the satellite company has been in litigation with both A2IM and SoundExchange.  Actually, it’s now just SoundExchange, thanks to a settlement agreement filed by the parties this week.  Both sides are probably declaring victory on this one, but terms stipulate that A2IM is free to express its disapproval of Sirius direct-licensing overtures, but can’t exact retribution or disadvantages to any label that decides to direct-license.

And, back to Pandora for a moment.  On the advertising front, it now looks like Pandora will be owning its local sales teams, instead of farming them out.  “Nothing really beats having ownership over the training, the narrative and just having sellers that are specifically focused on your product,” Pandora SVP of Sales Steve Kritzman told NetNewsCheck.

They’ll give you top-level numbers, which is better than no numbers.  And, it’s growing, fast: Spotify CEO Daniel Ek now projects total royalty payouts at $500 million in 2013, which equals all earlier years combined.  Major labels, which own a chunk of Spotify, will likely receive a healthy chunk of that.

And the ‘bad romance’ with Facebook continues.  Now, a survey from Pew Research Center shows that a majority (roughly 60 percent) of Facebook users have taken extended breaks from the network, with time, excessive drama, and general headaches cited.  A surprisingly-large 20 percent have checked out for good.

Subscription may be saving Norway and Sweden, but the bottom remains dark and scary in regions like the US and France.  According to details just released by industry group SNEP, French sales slipped another 4.4 percent in 2012, despite a hefty 500,000 streaming subscribers.

So Britney‘s taking residency in Vegas, but which indulgent megaplex will host?  Manager Larry Rudolph has indicated that negotiations have been narrowed to two hotel casinos.

And YouTube continues to plow more money into original programming, including music programming.  The latest is the just-launched Country Now, a Nashville- and country-themed channel.  In TV parlance, that’s over-the-top, or OTT, with definitions varying widely on the acronym.

And, the fabled Muzak name is now getting retired by Mood Media.  Moving forward, Muzak will be folded into a broader, B2B-focused set of services called simply, ‘Mood’.

“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” Linus Pauling.

Written while listening to Holst and Wagner.

5 Responses

  1. Visitor

    “French sales slipped another 4.4 percent in 2012, despite a hefty 500,000 streaming subscribers”

    Despite? 🙂

    • paul

      Good comment, I’ve been soaking in Swedish sales charts for the past 24 hours. I was hoping for a similar story in France.


  2. Visitor

    I don’t see any French Bottoms.

    “There are three things you must never discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” Linus Van Pelt


    • paul

      When’s there’s a French bottom to showl, rest assured, I’ll show it to you.