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Summary:

One of the most over-rated and over-hyped jobs in the digital music industry has finally been filled: After months of drib-drab leaks (you w…

imageOne of the most over-rated and over-hyped jobs in the digital music industry has finally been filled: After months of drib-drab leaks (you would have thought negotiating the contract of the MySpace (NSDQ: NWS) Music head was more complex and important than renewing the contract for Peter Chernin), MTV executive Courtney Holt has officially been named as president of MySpace Music. Holt, who previously worked at MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) as EVP of digital music for the Music & Logo Group, was considered the leading candidate for the past several weeks. A few months ago we mentioned that former MTV exec Andy Schuon and former Facebook chief revenue officer Owen Van Natta had been among the likeliest to be hired for the spot, which MySpace Music had been looking to fill since late spring.

Billboard puts the issues in perspective, on why this took so long: The rather unique org structure of MySpace Music was a sticking point. The labels have equity stake in return for licensing their songs, and they share in overall revs made from the service. It is also a separate company, and labels have seats on the board. Candidates said they were uneasy heading a company that would have so many masters, likening the role to more of a general manager than that of a true president or CEO.

Holt will now head up MySpace

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  1. YAWN…..Hype is what the Music "Industry" is all about. Myspace, I'm an Indie musician, with no aspirations to be the darling next big thing, and I'm over 18 so that means I'm out..sure it gets you exposure and there are plenty of industry sharks trolling form little pieces of clay to mold into instant tellers, that don't require a lot of maintainance and spit money out at them like a fountain, by gullible people who still believe that mp3s are going to kill CD's, but in The Real Music world, innovation continues, We The DIY Producers, Artist and Studios, have no intention of caring what happens on MTV. It hasn't been a source of any useful music insight since, well since the beginning, and myspace, another useless vitual wasteland Industy controlled. I'm Glad it bored me half to death, because I ended up findin REAL MUSIC ON real Sites, and Get Real distro, and never play live, and the people who see it and hear my music are Real Musicoians, we keep breeding like rabbits and ain't a one of us give a crap about Billboard, Capitol, Or any of the BIG BOY"S most of us are too busy to watch MTV or log onto MYSpace Busy creating Cds or other physical formats, mp3's in terms of numbers don't stand up to what DIY's sell online at shows out of their garages etc. Wonmdering why Vynil has made a "Comeback?" better sound fidelity than mp3's. So good luck to the old men and drones in the media towers, Newspapers, analog recordings, cd's and books are never going to be replace by cyber-crap, with a physical object, you actually have to CARE about what you're doing, with the mp3, digital crowd, it's all a soundtrack to their virtual live and they will never know the joy of a bar brawl, being sweated on by an awesome band in a tiny shackstacked with too many people, It's safe and sanitary and bland…It's like a trip to the mall…So To the big Studios,: Keep pumping out prefab-plastic digital sound stuffs: To The BIG record companys keep sinking you're cash into 90 day shelf life child/products:The BIG Producers: Keep using all that compression and Comping, and voice processing, because you know how to make REAL MUSIC STAND OUT< AND SEPERATE REAL ARTISTS FROM JOKERS> I'll lend you a chamoise for that dung so you can polish it. Because ARTIST DO NOT TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY, AND WE DON'T HAVE TOO!

  2. I hope that Mr. Holt will be allowed to be innovative, because currently my biggest disappointment with Myspace Music is their utter lack of vision – both in the music and for advertisers. Who really cares if you have a player that streams music and allows people to buy music. I hardly think that’s enough to launch a major music initiative. I can buy music from a number of places – that’s never been an issue. Myspace Music needs to focus on improving the way it connects its bands with the users of Myspace. That will add value for the users, and allow sponsors to infuse their messaging in a way that is organic, not forced. What Myspace Music has ignored is the fact that the users of social media hate to be advertised to, so promotions like “Toyota Tuesday” seem extremely off the mark. What Myspace Music should be offering Toyota is opportunities that are more in line with the lifestyle marketing that made the Scion promotions a success, only ramped up by social media. Myspace Music would be much better off by integrating sponsorships of radio streams, webcasts of live concerts, etc. There are amazing bands on Myspace that I will never hear about unless I hear about them through my friends, but that’s a horrible approach. I may not want to add a gazillion friends hoping to find out about great new bands. Myspace should be driving my awareness of finding new music, which they aren’t doing now in a meaningful way. They should offer radio streams – a major label stream (by genre), an indie music stream, and an unsigned/Myspace bands stream, etc. They should also offer TV-like music programs on a video streaming channel. And for God’s sake let people know that they can search for live music by genre based on their zip code (it’s a big deal!).

  3. These two studies – the first regarding the resistance of social media users to advertising, and the second describing the fact that CMOs believe that sponsoring webcasts is a more effective way of reaching their target audience than the low click-through rates banner ads provide – only underscore my point about the potential possibilities for Myspace Music if they adopt some of the strategies that I mentioned in my previous post.

    Social Network Users Less Receptive To Advertising, IDC Survey finds

    24 Nov 2008

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass., November 24, 2008 – More than half of U.S. consumers with Internet access use social networking services (SNS), such as Facebook and MySpace, and penetration will continue to grow. According to a new study from IDC, consumers are also spending ever-greater amounts of time on SNS, a fact that has advertisers drooling over the opportunity represented by SNS.

    IDC found that consumers who use SNS also tend to visit the services often and spend a lot of time per visit. More than three quarters of SNS users visit at least once a week, and no less than 57% visit at least once a day. During each session, 61% of SNS users spend at least 30 minutes on the respective site or stay logged in permanently, and 38% spend at least one full hour per session (or stay logged in).

    There are four major reasons why consumers use SNS: to connect and communicate; in response to peer-pressure; for entertainment; and for work-related purposes. Advertising does not factor into consumer motivations. In fact, users are less tolerant of SNA advertising than the best tolerated forms of online advertising. Ads on SNS have lower click-through rates than traditional online ads (on the Web at large, 79% of all users clicked on at least one ad in the past year, whereas only 57% of SNS users did), and they also lead to fewer purchases (Web: 23%; SNS 11%).

    "The thinking has been that the popularity of SNS will attract a big audience and generate a lot of traffic, which in turn will produce enormous amounts of user-generated content (UGC) and therefore advertising inventory – without any expenses for editorial staff or content distribution deals," said Karsten Weide, program director, Digital Marketplace: Media and Advertising. "All of the above has proven true – except that almost invariably, SNS have had a hard time selling this inventory."

    One of the potential benefits of SNS that the advertising industry has discussed is whether peoples’ connections (i.e., whom a user knows or is linked to) could be used for advertising. For instance, publishers could show a car manufacturer's ads to a user's contacts because that user's online behavior has indicated that she is interested in a particular brand of cars. Anecdotally, there has been some indication that this "social advertising" might be more effective than behavioral targeting. However, that idea is stillborn. Of all U.S. Internet users, only 3% would allow publishers to use contact information for advertising.

    IDC expects that lower-than-average ad effectiveness on SNS will continue to contribute to slow ad sales unless publishers get users to do something beyond just communicating with others. If the major services succeed in doing so, they will become more like portals, such as Yahoo! or MSN, and they will come closer to the audience reach of the top services. If that happened, publishers would be better able to monetize their SNS.

    The recently released IDC report, U.S. Consumer Online Attitudes Survey Results Part III (IDC #214899), examines SNS audience reach compared to mainstream services, such as Google and Yahoo!, the demographics of SNS users, and consumer tolerance for SNS advertising compared to online advertising in general.

    Continued –

  4. DALLAS, TX — November 20, 2008 — Despite the cultural phenomenon that Facebook and MySpace have become in five years’ time, 55% of the chief marketing officers at leading brands surveyed by Epsilon said they’re not too interested (22%), or not interested at all (33%), in incorporating the social networking sites into their marketing strategies.

    Though dialogue marketing is a bonafide trend in the industry, just 10% percent of CMO survey respondents said they already are using these social sites in their marketing plans.

    Internet forums (52%), webcasts and podcasts (47%), email (47%), blogs (37%) and webinars (52%) outscored Facebook and MySpace (35%), in terms of being social media elements that marketing executives said they are very interested or somewhat interested in using.

    “These sites narrowly appeal to college and high school students, providing a challenge as far as measuring results and yielding a limited amount of actionable data,” said Steve Cone, Chief Marketing Officer of Epsilon.

    Somewhat quixotically, 27% of marketing executives identified social networking and word of mouth as the tool they most want to introduce to their marketing mix to compensate for anticipated budget cuts — ahead of all other elements of traditional or digital marketing.

    Epsilon is a leading marketing services firm providing comprehensive online and offline marketing services to some of the most-recognized brands in the world. Its late-October online survey was completed by top consumer and business-to-business marketing executives at 180 brands whose annual revenues range from $250 million to over $10 billion. The survey was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media, of New York.

    Other key results from the CMO survey provide a peek into top marketers’ playbooks for the coming year:

    • CMOs bracing for budget reductions identified email as the channel they are least likely to cut back on versus any other tool in the traditional or digital marketing mix.
    • While just over half of the companies surveyed already use consumer data mining, 23% more said that they plan to utilize the technology in the next 12 months.
    • 55% of those not already employing web analytics plan to do so in the next 12 months.
    • Customer loyalty and rewards programs remain polarizing, with 33% of companies already using the strategy and 17% planning to use in the next year, but 50% not using or planning to use.
    Kevin Mabley, Senior Vice President, Epsilon Strategic Services, noted the value that marketers place on email. “According to our latest benchmark statistics, retailers see 20 cents in e-commerce revenue for every email delivered, showing the measurability and profitability of the email channel in times when people are seeking those two attributes.”
    The CMO survey results strongly indicate the economic crisis will diminish marketing spending in 2009. No less than 93% of marketing executives said the current state of the economy will have a moderate or significant impact on their marketing efforts in the next few months. Regarding advertising expenditures specifically, 70% said they’ll decrease spending.
    Epsilon released the results of their first CMO survey in early September 2008. The report and press release “Survey Records Shift in Blue Chip Marketing Spend” can be found at http://www.epsilon.com/modules/Press-Releases-9808/p62-l3.

  5. Starting home businesses Monday, February 16, 2009

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