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Foursquare’s ‘Arrivals’ App Takes Tips from Airport Terminals

January 27, 2012 Industry Trends 1 Comment

Foursquare is constantly looking for ways to innovate their popular social media platform and may have struck another milestone. ‘Arrivals’ is a Foursquare app which allows users to see friends’ locations displayed on a separate screen. Its design, inspired by airport arrival boards, was created to be informative without being intrusive.

The screen updates with the locations of your friends, allowing for constant awareness of where they are all day. Developer Dan Williams created ‘Arrivals’ based on a concept by Toby Barnes, creator of ‘Where’s Dad,’ a small display for his son that shows his current location when he travels.

‘Arrivals’ keeps privacy first. There is no timestamp, name of the person or other private information; just the name of the venue and a profile picture. While a small addition to the Foursquare universe,  ‘Arrivals’ may strike a chord with veteran users looking for another way to check out their friends’ daily activities.

For more information on this development, go to the app website or check out “Arrivals for Foursquare” on Dan William’s blog.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user ‘iamdanw’.

Shall We Learn from Piracy and Listen to Users?

January 26, 2012 Industry Trends 2 Comments

To start with, let me state that I am not a piracy advocate. I do however believe that things are not always as obvious as we would like them to be, and the case of MegaUpload has many lessons we can learn from.

Without a doubt, MegaUpload‘s closing-down is good news for the content industry. I still can’t understand how some people can defend MegaUpload, when its business model was making money — a lot of money — on the back of producers and rightful beneficiaries. It’s not about freedom of the Internet, it’s about robbery. This said, MegaUpload shutting down won’t be the end of piracy; there are already 10 new MegaUploads-copycats ready to go, and new technologies and piracy models will always be around the corner… an endless fight, you might say.

So what can we do? Continue to spend billions of dollars for this fight? Continue to upset Internet users and make them more and more distrustful of content industries?

I don’t think that the Internet user’s request is “We want content for free.” I think it’s closer to  “we want a great user experience and maximum choice for an affordable price.”

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Newsflash: People to Pay for Digital Music; But What Does “Pay” Mean?

January 26, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

Evolution Sketch by Charles Darwin“Give people a choice, and they might pay for digital music, after all.”
— Peter Kafka, All Things D, January 23, 2012.

Damn, that Peter Kafka at the Wall Street Journal is fast. He beat me to the much-anticipated IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) 2012 report on the state of digital, er, phonographic music. Sorry IFPI. But, phonographic? Really?

Kafka’s thoughtful piece is titled Digital Music Sales Grow Worldwide, but Big Music Still Frets About Pirates and is about, well, that. I decided to avoid a re-hash and use his piece as a jumping off point…

His opening line struck me. “Give people a choice, and they might pay for digital music, after all.” Not to get all Bill Clinton but it depends on what your definition of “pay” is. As an industry, we spend a lot of time slicing up pie charts, demonstrating how much of the digital business is represented by download for pay, streaming music services, hybrid outlets such as YouTube and other models. Always lurking just off-slide from the aforementioned pie chart are the pirates. Ahhh, the pirates. Big week for them last week…

… Continue Reading

150 German Companies at MIDEM, The World’s Largest Music Industry Trade Fair

January 24, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

It’s not just 150 German music companies, but also advertising agencies and digital music marketers which are presenting themselves on January 28-31, 2012 at the world’s largest music industry trade fair MIDEM in Cannes. The midem committee is expecting 8,000 trade visitors from 80 countries at the Palais des Festivals on the Côte d’Azur. The repertoire of music offered ranges from pop and rock to jazz and classical.

Over the past few years, midem has seen a significant change in its customers. The midem festival used to be the place where artists met record labels, publishers and producers. Now, technology is the driving force that pushes music into the future. midem 2012 is packed with the tech industry’s leaders, teachers, and rising stars, and this year, Germany has a prominent place among them.

Dr. Heinz Stroh, CEO of the Germany Music Publishers Association (DMV) in Bonn, said: “Visitors to midem get to know the latest developments in digital music. Never before has the interest in German Music been so big.”

This might be thanks to the new licensing agreement between Bitkom and GEMA, which has lifted the ban on music services like YouTube and Spotify. The digital world in Germany promises much growth as the industry become more favorable to services like Spotify, including Simfy, Deezer, Apple’s iTunes Match, Nokia Music, Mix Music, Google Music, and more.

I’m looking forward to seeing what midem has in store for labels and digital music companies this year.

DO STUFF! with Schemer – Google’s Answer to “I Just Don’t Know What to Do”

January 23, 2012 Industry Trends No Comments

Are you bored? Do you ever think “Man, I love activities, but I need inspiration! I don’t know what to do! I want to do STUFF!”? Do you ever think “Wow, that action adventure movie was 2 hours of my life I will never get back. I like rom coms. I wish someone had suggested a rom com. Preferably a Ryan Gosling rom com”? Well then, look no further! We have just the thing for you.

Google’s answer to all these questions and more is Schemer – a new service (launched into private beta) that suggests things for you to do. All you need is a Google+ account, then you can go to Schemer and enter your location. Your Schemer profile will populate with suggestions of things to do in your area like “Try the 102-foot slide at The New Museum” and those you select will fill out your profile as “schemes.” You can also add your own schemes as well, like “Jump out of a plane” or “fall in love and throw pottery Ghost style.” The more you use it, the more your suggested schemes will fit things YOU like to do.

But, wait, there’s more! Artists can get involved as well and suggest folks check out a track, download an album or see them live at a venue. The possibilities are an endless bucket list!

And now, for the low cost of $19.95 nothing, you can get crackin’ on DOING STUFF with this one of a kind invite! So click here! Shed the boredom and DO STUFF right now with Schemer.

Note that although Schemer is available worldwide (and our invite code will work!), it is not yet officially supported by the site outside of the United States. 

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