Tag Archives: Sony

Sony Will Stream Music Unlimited

Sony has announced that they will launch an online cloud based music service called Music Unlimited before the end of the year. The service will stream music to Sony’s TVs, Blu-ray players, and connected mobile devices, which will also be able to cache and store songs for offline listening as well.

Sony released the news on the same day that Apple announced its iTV and new version of iTunes, indicating their intention to compete head-on with the leader in the online music marketplace.

Cloud based music services that store music online and stream it on demand are the next coming for the digital music industry. Google is reportedly planning to release its own version before the end of the year, Apple purchased Lala with a similar intent, and several other services are already available.

Sony’s version, Music Unlimited, will include common playlist building features along with Sony’s SenseMe technology which can detect personal music preferences and suggest music based on those criteria. Music Unlimited is based on the Qriocity platform, Sony’s cloud based streaming delivery platform.

Best Buy’s New Internet Radio Device

I’m a fan of Chumby – mainly because of its name. Chumbys are tabletop internet radios and a lot more – they’re actually tabletop internet ready devices, designed to be a digital photo frame and alarm clock that also allows you to listen online, check news and weather, watch videos, play games.

Last year Sony licensed their unique dashboard for its Sony Dash. Now Best Buy has a new device – the Infocast – which uses the Chumby dashboard as well. Its on Best Buy’s house label Insignia, sells for $169, and would make a downright smart conversation starter on the desks of Internet radio executives. It looks more than a little like an iPad if you ask me.

The Infocast has an 8 inch touchscreen that is larger than the Chumby or Sony Dash screens. It has access to Pandora and Shoutcast, New York Times, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Photobucket. It even has a sharing feature that enables folks to share apps, photos and more with friends that have similar devices.

CNET calls it a best of breed, and I’m thinking it sounds like a winner for tech savvy family members this Christmas.

CES Revs Up Buzz About Pandora

There’s a lot of buzz about Internet radio in cars at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Pandora is in the middle of most of it. They have announced a deal with Pioneer that will make it easier for Pandora listeners to use their iPhones to listen in their cars. Pioneer will market a Pandora enabled navigation system that will detect iPhones and iTouches and put the user’s Pandora settings on the nav screen. The system will cost about $1200.

Ford announced several new apps for its Sync connected in-car communication system. Openbeak will read twitter messages while you drive (and enable steering wheel controls like skipping forward or going back). Stitcher “allows listeners to create personalized, on-demand Internet radio stations with news, talk and entertainment programming. Within the Stitcher app, users choose the programs they want “stitched” together, and the app then streams that content to the user’s mobile device. Pandora, according to the press release, is ” the most popular Internet radio service in the world. Users simply enter a favorite song or artist into Pandora and the app quickly creates personalized radio stations, based on that musical style.”

Pandora Founder Tim Westergren told WSJ.com “Maybe a year ago people would have said Pandora is a computer thing, Now, “they’re beginning to realize that Internet radio is an anytime, anywhere thing.”

Good news about Pandora at CES wasn’t just about the car though. Sony is debuting a personal Internet viewer called the Dash, which resembles the Chumby, and enables more than 1000 Chumby apps as well as Youtube and Pandora.

Music Video Site Vevo Launches

Vevo, the music video site powered by Youtube launches today. The site will feature videos from three of the four major record labels – Sony, Universal and EMI. Warner Music Group is the only one not working with Vevo, although they are working with YouTube.

Professionally produced music videos are the most popular content viewed on YouTube. Now Vevo will offer music fans music video content, along with an online music store offering music downloads, merchandise created by artists, concert tickets and more. In the future a music video subscription service, offering both short videos as well as streamed concerts is likely to be added.

Vevo has announced a pre-launch partnership with CBS Interactive and will offer extensive music programming from the vaults of the CBS Interactive Music Group’s properties including Last.fm and more than 90 CBS RADIO music stations beginning next year. “Last.fm and CBS RADIO’s stations are producing a tremendous amount of unique video content every day – from long form concerts such as the “Live on Letterman” webcast series and annual special events, to acoustic performances and one on one interviews,” says David Goodman, President of CBS Interactive Music Group. “We’re excited to be part of the next generation of music video services, and look forward to all the benefits that go along with Vevo’s massive audience and reach including increased awareness of our efforts in this space to new revenue generating opportunities.”

The combination of high quality video along with lyrics and access to lots of information on favorite artists is expected to appeal to advertisers and command top dollars. The site will launch with partnerships with AT&T, McDonalds and Mastercard.

BigChampagne Knows Who’s Listening

big champagneMusic tracking, both online and offline, legit and not so, is big business for BigChampagne. The company, which recently announced a measurement deal with Universal, has done well in recent years by specializing in tracking music consumption across multiple platforms. As consumer listening behavior has shifted, this service has become more and more valuable.

According to Wired’s Epicenter blog, “BigChampagne gets real-time data feeds deeper than what is surfaced to consumers on various services: iTunes, broadcast radio, Last.fm, retail outlets, Rhapsody, and file-sharing networks. It collates this data so that music and marketing people from interns to executives can see what we’re listening to on various networks, allowing them to plan tours, choose singles, and figure out where to advertise.”

Since the company’s launch in 2000, BigChampagne has become an increasingly bigger source of intelligence for record companies about who’s listening to their music, what music they’re listening to and where they are listening. They also have partial IP and zipcode data on illegal filesharing. BigChampagne holds limited partnerships with Warner Music Group, Sony and BMI as well.

As part of the deal with Universal, BigChampagne will provide with an analysis of songs and listening patterns from millions of users of social networks, including Twitter and Facebook, and online music services from iTunes to Amazon.

BigChampagne is definitely looking to eat into Nielsen’s share of measurement of the entertainment sector, and has been quicker to adapt to measuring new platforms. To date, all the reporting is focused on song and artist data – BigChampagne does not provide info that compares services to anyone – so there’s no info on how MySpace Music compares to other services or how iTunes is doing versus Amazon. But make no mistake, they’re watching…

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