Elsewhere

MySpace Wants To Pivot

I have a hard time imagining it, but the folks that have reanimated the zombie social network, MySpace, are hoping for yet another pivot. Last summer, News Corp sold MySpace to a group of investors for $35M after buying it for $580M a few years earlier and pouring who knows how much into it along the way. MySpace’s owners want to pivot into a Pandora/Spotify music service. 

Ha.

LEAKED: MySpace’s Master Plan To Raise $50 Million And Relaunch As A Spotify Killer - Nicholas Carlson via Business Insider

Since December 2011, MySpace traffic is up 36 percent.

But MySpace continues to flounder commercially. Documents show that it will generate revenues of just $15 million this year, up from a miserable $9 million in 2011. MySpace lost more than $40 million in 2012. Interactive Media expects it to lose another $25 million next year.

Meanwhile, Interactive’s other big property, Specific Media, took a hit as ad buyers turned to real-time bidding solutions over traditional ad networks. Revenues declined from $42 million in 2011 to a projected $35 million in 2012 — both down from a high of $60 million in 2010.

Now, Interactive Media holdings is out looking for another $50 million in funding.

In pitch materials dated from November 16, 2012, Interactive says it plans to use most of the money to re-launch MySpace as an alternative to Pandora and Spotify. Of the $50 million, $10 million will go to marketing, $15–$25 million will go to licensing deals with the music labels, and another $15 to $25 million will be reserved for “general working capital.”

Interactive says it plans to launch a music subscription business for mobile in the second quarter of 2013. 

Somehow, despite all the losses, I have the feeling these folks will get the cash to make this latest effort.  There is a lot of dumb money out there.

Digital Notes: Ben Sisario via NYTimes.com

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/digital-notes-updating-digital-royalties-and-a-peek-under-pandoras-hood/

Ben Sisario via NYTimes.com

Inside Pandora: Ever wonder how Pandora’s gnomes know that if you like Kiss’s “Strutter” you will also probably like Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls”? (Disclosure: That’s from an actual Pandora playlist by this author.) The service has introduced Inside the Music, an audio-visual guide to its Music Genome Project that illustrates the characteristics of musical genres. Rock is first, with its “mild rhythmic syncopation” and “interweaving vocal harmonies.” (R&B, country, electronica, rap and classical will come later, Pandora says.) The project is sponsored by Intel, which appends a 15-second ad to each minute-long audio clip.

I wonder if this will turn out to be obvious, or if there is a deep subtlety to downtempo versus dubstep?

I am happy with my decision not to buy Pandora shares. What might change my view is if they now take their cash and public currency and buy one the emerging services and/or start adding social elements to Pandora. Neither one of these paths is assured success, but the worst case would be to see no social innovation.

- Continuations

Pandora is amazingly asocial, when you look at it. It needs a dose of Last.fm, I think.

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