Saturday, December 20

Internet Radio/Music: an industry stuggling to find it's audience

So Pandora the music-recommendation engine just hit 20m registered users, with around 5m active uniques per month. This was press-released (via twitter). I am little disappointed with these numbers along with those of other favourites, last.fm and imeem.com. (I love last.fm by the way)

I was a big UK Pandora fan until the RIAA (or whatever they are called) stopped us listening :(

Anything on the internet has to be much bigger or much more targeted than it's offline equivalent to be commercially viable. It's a shame, I'd like to see recommendation-internet radio hit the mainstream and become a whole new industry. Until these guy's get scale, they're just not going to have the power to negotiate decent deals with the copyright holders.


MySpace Music (user playlist recommendation), according to the techcrunch article, are posting 17.8m users) so they seem to have the space for 'broadcast' radio advertisers already. But that's still small beer when one station on old Radio get's >10m concurrent listeners.

This intelligent 'music recommendation' space now seems to be getting superceded by 'user recommendations', like MySpace, in the form of playlists. The playlist is a natural evolution following the ipod craze that's swept the world. So is it too late for the clever guy's and their auto recommendations?

Short of the killer facebook/MySpace app that everyone must have, or getting embedded in Windows Media Player/iTunes, it looks like the "bigger audience" route is not going to happen for a while for auto music-recommendation. Perhaps a strategic partnership with Facebook might do the trick. Without this scale the revenue model for these guy's may be a little strained.

I am sure that Last.fm (etc) have vast amounts of highly detailed info on what our individual music tastes are. They're the perfect 'seeding' network, the perfect place to create a word-of-mouth buzz around a new artist, new celebrity, new music videos, new concerts, events. For a marketeer of any of these things, to be able to place your relevant new artist, gig, etc in-front of 3,000 people who are a perfect match is like gold dust. It is cheaper than finding them offline, cheaper than magazine ads, flyposting... But is it enough to fund the business?

Music-recommendation engine streams needs to be a default tab in music players (WMP, iTunes...) fully integrated, catalogued, peer-rated music... so you just choose and hit 'play'. And, better still, make it a default addition to your social network profile, your iGoogle, netvibes. When it's just like the old-fashioned radio, turn it on and listen, then the numbers will could reach tens of millions.

For me, the web-players need to change the game and start competing with offline Radio rather than each other. The potential audience numbers can be much bigger online, the technologies are there, and users have an added dimension of being able to fine-tune the show to their tastes. Right now we are at the beginning. This can and will be a huge advertising supported industry. This space has room to grow!

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Tuesday, December 9

Spam, spam and more spam

Monty Python invented a monster. Spam, spam and more spam. Luckily in Europe the data-protection laws and enforcement do a fairly good job of protecting us from spam. Most professional companies are well aware of the consequences.

I don't mind the odd miss guided email e.g. when I've registered for something. But in Vietnam email harvesting and spamming is used by legitimate, big professional companies. I just got this from YuMe.vn, blasted out to a temporary email we use for recruitment. Guy's, you do more harm than good, maybe 1% click through, but that's 99% of people you just annoyed.


Hi abc@x.vn,

Nhân mời bạn cùng tham gia chương trình Dự đoán kết quả cuộc thi Vietnam Idol trên YuMe.vn
Với lời nhắn :
Biết tin gì chưa? Giải thưởng vô cùng hấp dẫn! Cùng dự đoán kết quả VietnamIdol trên YuMe.vn để trúng lớn nè!

Để Đồng ý lời mời của Nhân, mời bạn click vào link dưới đây:
Dự đoán trúng thưởng

Tham gia chương trình Mời nhiều Trúng lớn, bạn có cơ hội giành giải thưởng lớn hàng tháng và chung cuộc với tổng giá trị lên đến gần 50,000,000 đồng
Xem chi tiết tại: Mời nhiều trúng lớn
Thân,
YuMe.vn



Strangely, there is a kind of spam I quite like. I quite regularly get emails from various former kings, dictators, presidents and CEO's. Usually they need my help, they've got large sums of money to transfer and need to use my bank-account. Jolly nice people that they are, they will even give me a %. These guy's have got no brand to lose, and a 1% response rate will pay them a tidy sum in scam money.

In terms of email marketing, over the years these guy's have really perfected their emails in to powerful, responsive marketing tools. The use of English is pretty compelling, you almost want to respond :)

Greetings,


Before I start, I must firstly apologize for this unsolicited proposal to
you. I am aware that this is certainly an unconventional approach to
starting a relationship, But as time goes on you will realize the need
formy action.
[it's ok John, i don't want a relationship with you] :)

My name is Mr.John Moore, Audit Manager of National Westminister Bank
and account officer to Late Edward Han,who died with his wife and the
only daughter in an Automobile crash on the 28th January 2001. Before the
death of Late Edward Han, he maintained a fixed deposit account with my
Bank(National Westminister Bank)

Based on this discovery,I now seek your permission and support to have you
stand in as a next of kin to the Late deceased, as all documentations will
be carefully worked out by me for the release of these funds, all amounting
to the tune of (£20,000,000.00 GBP) Twenty Million British Pounds Sterling
Only to any nominated account of your choice.
[Wow]

I propose an offer of 40% of the total amount to be yours after the
transfer has been successfully concluded.Let me have your Full Name,
Confidential Telephone, Fax and Mobile Numbers and also your Contact
Address in response to this proposal if you are interested.
[Dear John, how could i not be interested. But I think you are too generous. I would be happy with 20%;)]

Please reply immediately to my private email address

Thanks and God bless.


Sincerely Yours,
Mr.John Moore
Tel:+447045717278