Daily Marauder



The concept of building a Digg for music has been tried before (see Contrastream or iJigg), but a music streaming site called thesixtyone is the closest Techcrunch has seen so far to getting the formula right. It features only about 50,000 tracks self-uploaded by indie artists and music labels, but visitors can listen to the full stream of each track and vote their favorites up the rankings by hitting the “heart” button. The results are highly listenable playlists by genre, tag, or just what’s hot right now. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/09/thesixtyone-is-building-a-digg-for-indie-music 3/9)

I just listened to a great track by William Fitzsimmons and a very odd cover of Soul Asylum’s Runaway Train.  I approve.  Very interesting but listenable selections.


With Yelp still responding to charges by San Francisco businesses that it manipulates the prominence of positive and negative reviews, some Chicago merchants are adding to the heat. They allege that the user-review site is offering to rearrange reviews for companies that advertise. (Iwantmedia 3/9, http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/technology/chi-0309-yelpmar09,0,3536868.story 3/9)

I don’t know if this is true or not but if so, way to destroy some major credibility overnight.


Twitter CEO Evan Williams says that the microblogging site could add an extension that would notify users of events taking place in their immediate vicinities. For example, he says, Twitter could ping users, in real-time, to a tweet about a fire burning in their neighborhood. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/07/twitter-to-start-serving-local-news-to-users 3/7)


YouTube, New York Times, BBC News and CNN top the list of mainstream media Web sites with the highest number of blogs linking to them in the past 30 days, according to a survey by blog search site Technorati. Other top sites include MSN, Guardian and Washington Post. (Iwantmedia 3/9, http://technorati.com/weblog/2009/03/482.html 3/9)

Even as Google is cancelling its experiment with newspaper advertising, Yahoo is expanding its newspaper consortium. Today, Yahoo is announcing that it is adding two new members: The Boston Globe and the St. Petersburg Times. That brings the consortium up to 38 media companies, representing 793 total newspapers, up from 635 newspaper partners a year ago, and 176 at launch in November, 2006.  Yahoo’s newspaper strategy has seen success because, unlike Google, it never tried to get into the business of selling print ads. Instead, Yahoo focused on helping newspapers get more traffic to their Websites. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/09/yahoos-newspaper-consortium-keeps-growing 3/9)


Yahoo is getting a judge’s approval of a settlement mandating changes to the Internet company’s severance plan that investors contend will make it easier for Microsoft or other potential suitors to buy it. The settlement amounts to “an extraordinary victory” for investors. (Iwantmedia 3/9, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a.DE9DltWO7w 3/7)

In a privacy error that underscores some of the biggest problems surrounding cloud-based services, Google has sent a notice to a number of users of its Document and Spreadsheets products stating that it may have inadvertently shared some of their documents with contacts who were never granted access to them. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/07/huge-google-privacy-blunder-shares-your-docs-without-permission 3/7)


A federal jury says that Universal Music doesn’t have to pay Mark and Jeff Bass, the producers behind rapper Eminem, royalties for songs sold online, upholding the music industry’s business model. The decision could have greatly damaged the record industry. (Iwantmedia 3/9, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cotown-eminem7-2009mar07,0,5160214.story 3/7)


Microsoft, Google and eBay are among the “10 great stocks to stash away for five years or longer,” according to Barron’s. The News Corp. financial newspaper cites Google for its growth opportunities of advertising on the Internet and the company’s lack of debt. (Iwantmedia 3/9, http://online.barrons.com/article/SB123639063818058979.html 3/9)

The mass media may be enamored of the rags-to-riches stories of developers on Apple’s App Store, but it isn’t the only game in town for indie developers to strike it rich. Techcrunch has gotten word from SocialMedia, a popular ad platform for social network applications, that one of the company’s clients pulled in over $700,000 in advertising revenues from their Facebook apps in December alone. Granted, this was spread over 30+ of the client’s applications, but the company only consists of a handful of (very prolific) developers. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/06/some-indie-facebook-developers-pulling-in-over-700000-a-month 3/6)


When it comes to promoting new music, pay-for-play schemes are generally frowned upon. The practice, which involves music labels or artists paying radio stations to play their songs in heavy rotation, dates back to the beginnings of terrestrial radio. It got so bad in the 1950s that Congress had to intervene, but it keeps rearing its head in new forms.  Now, pay-for-play has hit online radio. Jango, a music streaming service which claims 6 million monthly listeners, is selling paid placement to labels and artists through a program it launched last week called Jango Airplay. For as little as $30, a band can buy 1,000 plays on Jango. Each song has links to buy the song at Amazon or iTunes. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/08/pay-for-play-comes-to-online-radio-is-that-a-bad-thing 3/8)


Following up on a comment made last week by Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz about the central importance of Yahoo! Mail, Hitwise identified the Mail product as the portal’s most trafficked property receiving more than a third (36.71%) of visits to a custom category of 80 leading Yahoo! properties in February. Yahoo! held 56.46% market share of US visits among Email Services websites. MSN’s Windows Live Mail was #2 with 19.14% and Gmail was #3 with 10.82%. Yahoo Maps, which Bartz admitted she didn’t use, failed to make the top 10. (Cynopsis 3/9)

Top 10 Yahoo! Properties in Feb. as % of overall visits to the portal’s sites
Website (80 returned)         Visits

  1. Yahoo! Mail             36.71%
  2. Yahoo!                    25.48%
  3. Yahoo! Search         11.75%
  4. My Yahoo!                 3.08%
  5. Yahoo! News             2.61%
  6. Yahoo! Address Book 2.16%
  7. Yahoo! Finance         2.10%
  8. Yahoo! Games          1.04%
  9. Yahoo! Answers        1.03%
  10. Yahoo Groups             .76%

Source: Hitwise

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