Right Now: TuneIn Radio, Spotify Discovery, Parting SF Shots, Dupri, Lowery vs. Zisk, Samsung, Zik, Deezer+MINI…

And the latest mega-funding round belongs to TuneIn Radio, which just grabbed a $25 million injection. The round was led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures, and General Catalyst Partners.  TuneIn, no stranger to large financing levels, pointed to an expansion in technology and advertising revenue for broadcast partners.

The industry obsesses about discovery, then obsesses about obsessing about discovery.  And that’s all before 9 am… but do average music fans really care that much?  Enter Spotify, which is now spreading its ‘Discovery’ concept towards its web-based player.  Which means, all users will get a splash of new recommendations on the daily, plus all sorts of fresh catches from Pitchfork, Songkick, and Tunigo.

Back in San Francisco, the techy funtime is now over at SF Musictech Summit, with a few lingering questions n’ drama.  The event grabbed a number of interesting artist celebrities, including Jermaine Dupri, Jack Conte from Pomplamoose (and now, Patreon), not to mention Ben Folds and others.

But one artist definitely not in attendance was David Lowery, thanks to what appears to be a complete relationship meltdown with Summit founder Brian Zisk.  Lowery suddenly has major concerns about this event, particularly giant sponsors like Google who he says are shutting him out.  Zisk notes that nothing of the sort is happening, and has even suggested a third-party review of the email storm between the two; anyway, that rabbit hole is over here.

Meanwhile, Dupri was busy showing off his artist connectivity platform, while discussing all sorts of ideas related to artists and technology (mainly, ’embrace it’).  This is an opinionated, educated, and centered producer with immense savvy and experience, not to mention musical prowess.  All of which raised a critical question among attendees: can artists afford to only focus on their art, to the exclusion of technology (and commerce)?  Or, does ‘art’ now have to thoroughly involve all aspects of creativity and delivery?

Back on the tech/business side, others were wondering why more than a dozen Samsung executives and employees apparently at this not-so-giant SF Musictech shindig, anyway.  Back in South Korea, one dialed-in executive shared tails of a severe hangover following the $50+ million purchase of mSpot, though maybe there’s a serious tech jab in the works…

And, what about Jamendo?  This is a company that gets scant love stateside, but has been quietly building a Creative Commons-based, Long Tail-oriented service for nearly a decade.  And this company’s showing healthy profits, with seven figure revenues nearly doubling year-over-year, according to Paris-based business development director Dan Aufhauser.  The Jamendo model’s pretty darn simple: artists jump aboard, Jamendo seeks premium licenses in areas like film synchronization, then everyone shares the pot!

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Which brings us to another French export, Parrot’s Zik headphones.  Please, bury those earbuds: the Zik is not only Bluetooth-enabled (and it works), but it allows the user to change volume by swiping the side (yeah, like the iPad).  Take them off, and playback stops, with smart noise cancellation that responds to external noise levels.  Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is among the celeb-happy users across the pond, but let’s see how they survive the DMN testing camp: much, much more ahead on these $400+ monsters…

Which brings us to yet another French export, Deezer.  On the heels of announcing its four-millionth subscriber, Deezer has just integrated its offering into MINI dashboards.  Which means svelte steering wheel, entertainment system, and mini-joystick control of over 25 million songs.  And they say texting-while-driving is unsafe…

More ahead…

2 Responses

  1. FifD

    I would test Carla Bruni-Sarkozy’s headphones so hard it would make AKG and BayerDynamic close their R&D the very next day.

  2. danwriter

    “Back in South Korea, one dialed-in executive shared tails of a severe hangover…”

    Please, please, please hire a copy editor.