Friday, December 13, 2013

Beyonce's "visual album" and Bitcoin Spice Girls (link round-up 12/13/13)

The iTunes exclusive "visual" album, retailing for $15.99 contains 14 tracks -- not available for a la carte purchases until Dec. 20 -- and 14 accompanying videos, along with other bonus video content. As of this morning, no set date has been announced for the CD release to physical retailers or of its availability on other digital download sites.

In just a three-hour sales window (closing at midnight Friday PT), "Beyonce" reportedly sold over 80,000 copies, according to industry sources. It's still too early to judge what the set will do over the full three days left in the sales tracking week (which ends Sunday night), but with prior projected leader, "Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences" by Garth Brooks, estimated to shift 150,000-160,000 units, Beyonce is already halfway to that sum. And in the time it would take someone to fly from New York to Miami.
Unlike Snoop Dogg, former Spice Girl selling new music via Bitcoin
Alas, representatives of the singer said it was a joke. The second-half of the tweet kind of gives it away, because while it’s not outlandish to imagine Snoop Dogg embracing bitcoin, it’s hard to imagine his record label has.

But, there is a singer who is planning to accept bitcoin. Who, you ask? Melanie Brown, aka Mel B, aka Scary Spice, who said she will be selling her new song, “For Once in My Life,” on Christmas Day, and will accept bitcoin as payment on her website.
Matthew Yglesias: why it's hard to charge for music
The problem here is one of supply and demand. It's not that people won't pay for Pandora because they don't see any value in Pandora's service. It's that Pandora's paid service has to compete with Pandora's ad-supported service. Pandora could solve that problem by eliminating its ad-supported service, but it's pretty clear that there's a robust market for an ad-supported music-streaming service so then Pandora would need to compete with a new player. Personally, I really do enjoy an ad-free music streaming experience so I have a paid Rdio subscription which works on my computer, on my mobile phone, and on my home Sonos setup.

So good for me. But if I was a teenager with no money or ran into financial difficulty as an adult and needed to cut back, this would be an easy call to chop. Not because music isn't valuable but because the margin of convenience offered by a paid service versus a free one just isn't that big.
Netflix Generation? Americans Love Binge-Watching TV
"Our viewing data shows that the majority of streamers would actually prefer to have a whole season of a show available to watch at their own pace,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

It was that demand that encouraged Netflix to create its own original programming this year, including the hit shows Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Netflix shares finally recovered from the 2011 pricing debacle this year, soaring 302% in 2013 to record highs.

The company may be able to use the positive data from the survey as leverage in its negotiations with cable providers as Netflix seeks to increase its licensing portfolio or as fodder to grow its own original programming.
Scarecrow Video: the world's largest video rental store



PS: you can stream/buy my band's latest album here.

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