Friday, February 24, 2006

Google Web Page Creator

100 megs of storage and the ability to build pages with a web-based tool — the name says it all.


Malcolm Gladwell's blogging

Not sure if this is new news to anyone else, but it is to me.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sprint reports 1 million song downloads

Ok, at $2.50 per song, I find it a little hard to believe that Sprint users have already downloaded 1 million songs to their phones.

Check out the article on cellular-news through the link below.



Podbop is a service that brings together upcoming concert events with available MP3s from bands that are performing.  All of the information is organized by city, and once you’ve done a city search, Podbop provides a RSS feed that you can subscribe to for each particular city search.  What’s cool about the RSS feed is that any available MP3 files from bands that are performing are included within the RSS feed so that you do not have to click through a bunch of links to get at them.  The cities that I have looked at seem to include information not only for national touring acts, but also for local bands performing at smaller venues, which is really cool.

Check it out.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

I'll be at CIC on Moday

I’m flying in tomorrow morning and leaving tomorrow night, but I’ll be around most of the day tomorrow.  If you’re going to be there to and want to chat, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll do my best to meet up with you.

Friday, February 10, 2006


I bet that you’ve never heard of Beatport.  Beatport is a local Colorado company serving paid downloads to the somewhat niche market of dance music.  You will find remixes of popular artist tunes and original content all available for sale.  It used to be that you couldn’t get a lot of the great dance music and DJ remixes in an easy way, but Beatport has changed all that.

No special software downloads required, everything works directly in the browser and works perfectly with Firefox.  As you would expect with any digital music store, you can play track samples, some songs are available as singles, and some songs are only available as part of an album purchase.

I was checking out “Their Low The Singles 1990–2005” Parts I & II by The Prodigy, a band I still enjoy listening to — haven’t seen those albums on iTunes.

Beatport offers a variety of delivery methods: instant delivery (mp3 or mp4 tracks), mail delivery (mp3, mp4, or wav CDs).

Oh, and Beatport averages something like 75,000 downloads per week.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Job Opening -- Accounting Clerk

Accounting clerk will assist the Business Manager in day to day tasks that include journal entries, general ledger account analysis, weekly deposit preparation, account payable duties and administrative support.

Strong excel skills are a must. Previous accounting experience a plus but not required. Candidate must be detailed oriented. Degree in or pursing degree in accounting preferred.

Please visit the link below for the full description and the e-mail address to which you can submit a resume.


Seasonal job opening -- Assistant Ticket Manager

House of Blues Concerts Denver seeks an Assistant Ticket Manager. Responsibilities include but are not limited to managing event day and seasonal Box Office staff; creating and/or updating daily, monthly and annual accounting reports; creating and/or maintaining event ticketing system information; filling house ticket requests; document organization management.


1-2 years Box Office experience required. Ticket system (Ticketmaster preferred) and intermediate Excel knowledge required. Successful candidate must have basic accounting principles, be comfortable handling cash, and have the ability to provide excellent customer service while working in a fast-paced environment. Must be able to work Night and Weekend hours. This position is seasonal full time from March 1 - October 1.
Part-time opportunities possible the rest of the year.

Please visit the link below for the full description and the e-mail address to which you can submit a resume.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bob Lefsetz and I agree that Apple is not killing the record business

I wrote my original post on this topic last month on Strategize.  Here’s what my post boiled down to:

Here’s the simple fact of the matter: if record labels were scouting talent and investing in and backing artists that could produce more than 1 good song, people would do the math and probably buy a CD.

Here’s what’s going to happen: the record labels are going to cause me to turn into a consumer of singles rather than a consumer of full albums.  Sure it will be a little difficult for me to change my buying behavior, but I bet it won’t take too long — chances are good that I’ll probably even wind up saving a bunch of money over the course of a year.  Oh, and by the way, I haven’t heard a single in a long time that was worth $2.99.

Bob Lefsetz has this to say in his 2 posts today:

Sometime in the nineties it became about the track, not the act.  THAT’S what’s killing the labels, not the purchase of single hits at the iTunes Music Store.

Suddenly, the labels are gonna wake up, and I mean SUDDENLY, and they’re barely going to be able to give away a CD.  THEN what are they going to do?  Sell singles on iTunes and DECIMATE their bottom line?

It’s a little eerie isn’t it?  Especially when you consider that Bob and I have never talked, let alone met each other.  Sure, you can say that we both see it the same way because we’re both in the industry, but at the end of the day, everyone else is smart enough to see it too.

Link — Lefsetz “The iTunes Fiasco”

Link — Lefsetz “The Album”


Check out artistShare — it’s an interesting concept for a potential future of the record business.


Sunday, February 05, 2006


I just read a post by Bob Lefsetz and feel like I need to address my feelings about Pandora.  In August of 2005 I stumbled across Pandora and posted about it on Strategize because I thought it was a really cool service.  To be honest I was so busy with the summer season that I did not revisit Pandora — last August they were only giving 10 hours free and then you had to pay for the service or it would no longer provide you with service.

When I read the post by Lefsetz, I checked the service out again.  Instead of having a trial period and then requiring paid subscription, Pandora now has an ad-supported free site and an ad-free paid subscription plan.  There are a lot of web companies out there that provide free services in return for the ability to run ads — one of the biggest is Google.  Lefsetz seems to have a problem with this model:

It’s not about turning you on to new music, it’s about selling ADVERTISING!  Oh, you can avoid ads by paying three bucks a month.

Exactly correct, Bob, if you choose not to pay for the service, you have to look at ads.  Lefsetz goes on to complain about the programming and matching capabilities of the Pandora service.  I have to admit that if I was paying for the service, I wouldn’t be 100% happy about the content that Pandora provides, but the fact that I can now use the service, albeit with ads, for free makes me feel a little better about investing my time to listen.

I spent much of the day listening to a station that I created with Counting Crows as the base artist — Pandora was open and running in a tab and I was doing other stuff on the web and writing blog posts.  Maybe half a dozen times I clicked over to the Pandora tab to skip a song, but on the whole, I didn’t think the content was too bad; once or twice I even clicked over to Pandora to check out who was singing a song that I had never heard before.  With regard to the ads: they seem to be mostly ads for content on iTunes and I was not aware that some of the content advertised was available on iTunes, so I didn’t mind it so much.

Here’s my take on Pandora, which differs greatly from Bob’s:

  • Pandora does help you discover new music — you may not like the music and you may not totally understand why some music is matched to the artist that you pick, but that’s why you have the ability to skip stuff you don’t like.
  • I like that Pandora offers a free, ad-supported service.  Had I not read Bob’s rant about it, I’m not sure when I would have gotten back around to checking Pandora out again.  Most people are used to ad-supported services these days and don’t generally have problems with it.
  • The ads on Pandora are relevant to music and don’t really bother me at all.
  • If you’re looking for perfect content that is exactly what you want to hear, buy an iPod and author your own playlists.  Pandora doesn’t do a perfect job, XM and Sirius don’t do a perfect job (and you can’t skip the stuff you don’t want to hear), and traditional radio does a worse job than XM and Sirius combined.

Link — Pandora

Link — Bob Lefsetz post

Friday, February 03, 2006

Perspective on the digital music download business

Here are some figures from my original post on Strategize that extracted some information from the MacWorld 2006 keynote:

  • 14 million iPods sold in the holiday quarter (that’s more than 100 every minute, if you’re trying to do the math); over 42 million iPods sold worldwide to date
  • 850 million songs sold to date on iTMS with the expectation of hitting 1 billion in the next few days (maybe they’ll run a 1 billionth song promotion)
  • iTMS has an 83% market share
  • 8 million videos sold since launch on Oct. 12, 2005

The business2blog puts this in perspective (because the numbers above seem damn impressive at first blush):

  • Number of songs sold on iTunes in the past three years: 850 million.
  • Number of songs traded on P2P file-sharing networks during the same time: 90 billion
  • 850 million iTunes songs/ 42 million iPods = 20 songs/ iPod.
  • Over three years that comes to people spending an average of $7 a year on music at the iTunes store.

The numbers that Business 2.0 are reporting come from a company called Big Champagne, which is a service that tracks P2P music volumes — it’s a service that lots of us in the music business subscribe to and that we pay a lot of attention to.

Here’s a quote from Eric Garland at Big Champagne regarding the stats on the Business 2.0 post:

People do not buy music from Steve Jobs. That is fine with Steve Jobs.  He is not in the music business.

How easy it is to forget that Jobs is not in the music business.  If you had just read the stats from his MacWorld keynote, you would forget that Jobs is not in business to sell music, he’s in business to sell hardware, namely to sell iPods.  It’s important not to forget that.


HOB Ones to Watch update

Ok, so I have to be honest that I was a little bummed when I went to our Ones to Watch page and couldn’t get it to auto-discover in Bloglines.  I’m not sure if it was a Bloglines problem or a HOB problem or a me problem, but I finally got the page to auto-discover this morning.

As I am a heavy user of iTunes, I generally don’t subscribe to podcasts using Bloglines, but I did want to check to see if you could because I know that not everyone out there uses or likes using iTunes.  For those that do use iTunes, I’ve included a link below so that you can find and subscribe to our podcasts through the Music Store — they are available free of charge.

I did notice that we added the universal RSS/ATOM symbol to the Ones To Watch logo on the House of Blues main page:

However, there is no RSS/ATOM symbol on the Ones to Watch page, which is certainly an oversight on our part.

Link — Subscribe via RSS to Ones to Watch

Link — HOB Ones to Watch on iTunes Music Store (note that this will call for the iTunes application to open)