Shadowy Anonymous group builds social music platform

Monday, April 23, 2012 - 12:35pm

A group of developers claiming to be part of Anonymous have built Anontune, a social music platform that aggregates streams from various Internet sources (e.g. YouTube) to build shareable playlists.

The developers wanted a music player like YouTube, but better organized, and with more obscure music... combining "music websites like Myspace, Yahoo, YouTube and others."

Users register (anonymously, naturally), and set up an account. They can then craft playlists by supplying titles of songs they want to hear, or Anontune can browse a user's iTunes collection. Anontune then finds the songs on the web using the web browser. According to Wired, most of the tracks come from YouTube and SoundCloud, but developers are adding Yahoo Music, Myspace Music, Bandcamp and others.

The service simply finds music already online, and is thus more similar to a search engine or torrent tracker. According to a video released about the project, "Anontune will never host any copyrighted music at any time, nor will it be streaming music. It will not offer for download any copyrighted music or even encourage it... This time, the law will be on our side...

"The state of online music has been sabotaged by the fat hands of corporate involvement..." set on "steal(ing) your freedom and safe-guard(ing) their profits." 

You can read Wired's coverage and see the video here. You can read a whitepaper on it here and get more tech details here.

Video service VEVO adds web radio-like personalization features

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 11:30am

VEVOOnline video service VEVO (the second largest such site after YouTube) has added new features that should sound familiar to fans of personalizable web radio. "It makes the experience more competitive with Spotify and Pandora than before, with the added benefit of videos," in TechCrunch's opinion.

Among the new features:

  • Integration with music intelligence platform The Echo Nest to offer personalized music video recommendations.
  • Integration with Facebook to offer custom playlists based on Facebook likes and activities.
  • Integration with iTunes to create a playlist filled with videos by users' most listened-to artists.
  • VEVO now plays music videos continuously, making it "more of a long-play" service, TechCrunch writes (here).

(We should note that, for whatever reason, RAIN couldn't find or wasn't offered any of the Facebook, Echo Nest or iTunes features on VEVO's website).

Clear Channel CEO Pittman discusses radio, mobile, and social media with AllThingsDigital

Friday, February 10, 2012 - 11:25am

AllThingsDigital's Kara Swisher interviewed Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman last week at D: Dive Into Media. You can see video of the entire half-hour video here.

When talking about Internet radio and iHeartRadio, Pittman mostly stuck to his official stances ("radio" and Pandora are two very different things, personalized streaming is simply a "feature" of iHeartRadio, not a focus, etc.). He did make a few interesting, though perhaps not entirely surprising, points:

  • Most of listening via the iHeartRadio app is to streams of broadcast stations, not the personalized radio.
  • Likewise, by far the most listening to station streams is via the radio stations' websites, not the app.
  • Pittman likened Pandora more to Spotify and iTunes as "music collections" and even "retailing," and though Clear Channel offers personalized streaming, stressed that this is "not what we do... it doesn't play to our core strengths." He also hit on the difficulty the company has had with consumer acceptance of advertising on personalized streams.
  • Finally, Pittman did stress the importance of making their franchises available "wherever our listeners are," and that's the value of iHeartRadio as an aggregator.

Again, see the interview here.

Founder Westergren explains why Pandora cautious on Facebook integration

Friday, January 20, 2012 - 11:00am

Facebook and PandoraIn September 2011, Facebook announced new integration with several music services including Slacker, iHeartRadio, Spotify, MOG and Rdio (RAIN coverage here). Pandora, however, was notably absent.

Pandora founder Tim Westergren explains why in a new Huffington Post article. "Music, on the one hand, is a very social thing," he said. "But I think there's also a very private dimension to it."

Facebook's September integration includes the ability to post what music a user is listening to on partner services to the user's Facebook profile. For example, if I listened to Radiohead's "Kid A" on Spotify, a post would appear by default on my Facebook profile telling my friends that I listened to the track (along with a link to Spotify so they could listen too).

Pandora founder Tim WestergrenWestergren says Pandora surveyed its users and found "a small percentage of them want people to know what they're listening to all the time." Pandora does allow users to share specific songs, channels and other content to Facebook.

Pandora in 2010 tried its own integration with Facebook (RAIN coverage here). Westergren says the "blowback" from that (RAIN coverage here and here) taught the company lessons.

Other music services soon saw blowback of their own after the September announcement. Spotify quickly introduced a "private listening" mode (more here), while iHeartRadio also received criticism (RAIN coverage here).

The former service just recently pulled its Facebook login requirement for listening to personalized stations (RAIN coverage here).

You can find Huffington Post's full article here.


Monday, September 12, 2011 - 12:00pm

Triton Digital has launched a number of new ehancements and services “aimed at expanding radio stations’ abilities to capture audiences across social media and mobile devices.”



Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 12:00pm

The Elvis Duran Group (EDG) has created a new Digital division and appointment Kathleen Heaney as Digital Director. Heaney will oversee the website, which will include a video channel to feature exclusive content from the syndicated “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” (and more).

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