About Benjamin Blachère

French Online Marketer previously based in Sydney. Launched a Web Marketing Agency in Paris, SLAP digital where we help our clients to increase their traffic, the size of their membership databases as well as their revenues. Passionate about web marketing, I have previously launched my own website, a community for people in Long Distance Relationships.

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  • Music

    25
    May

    Music websites

    There are a large number of options to listen to music online at the moment, mostly illegal though. I thought I would do a quick review of what’s out there (I won’t bother reviewing Itunes, which everyone is familiar with), breaking it down between downloads and streaming:

    Please note that this is a very brief review and I will not doubt have missed on key features for some of these websites.

    Downloads

    Qtrax
    Free and Legal music downloads. Music lovers can discover new music and legally download full-length, high-quality versions of their favorite songs while compensating both the artists and the record labels through non-intrusive and relevant advertising. The only downside to it is that you need to download a software.

    emusic
    emusic claims to be the online corner music store where you can download music at a limited cost ($0.25 by song), that provides a customised experience and stands out from their ‘one size fits all’ competitors. They currently have a free trial where the first 25 songs are free to download. My initial feedback is that it seems that the range of songs/artists available is not huge (but yet again I haven’t used it long enough).
    “The indie iTunes — Hardcore music fans are migrating to eMusic, the iTunes Music Store’s cheaper, cooler cousin.” Rolling Stone

    And I recently heard about a new player that might revolutionise this industry: Guvera

    Streaming
    Mymojo
    MyMojo is a Mobile Social Networkfor mobiles, with a focus on Music, Ringtones, Wall papers, Videos… . What makes them special is that you can create your own media and potentially earn some cash if it becomes popular. I am not sure about this website, I couldn’t find artists I liked and just the word ‘ringtone’ makes me want to switch website.

    Napster
    The original player in the music industry. It was the enemy of the majors for many years but it now is a money-making business itself it has a deal to listen to unlimited music for $5/month.
    Massive downside: Only US residents can play full length songs.

    MySpace Music
    Not much explanation needed here. It allows you to surf through myspace pages of thousands of brands and listen to music they make available to you. It is quite content rich and might give you the opportunity to discover the next artic monkeys, however it lacks the ability to create playlists mixing a number of different artists together.

    Rhapsody
    A very nice looking website, which could be great if it was not accessible from the US only… Rhapsody’s main point of differentiation is that for a fee ($14.99 / month) they allow you to stream as much music as you want online and on your MP3 player ( I still have to work out how this all works).

    We7
    A very nice website overall, it however incredibly frustrating not to be able to listen to a song for more than 30 seconds. Not all songs are available for purchase. Those that you can purchase cost about $0.75 – still cheaper than Itunes $0.99.
    Interesting feature: once you have been a member long enough you will be entitled to a day without ads on the website.

    Pandora
    One of the websites that generated a lot of interest a couple of years ago being one of the very first to create playlists of artists based on entering an artist’s name. It is unfortunately not accessible from outside the US.

    LastFM
    UK based website that recommends you music based on what you listen. There is also a great community element to the website.

    When you recommend some music to a friend, or you tag it, or you write about it – even just listening to it – you shift the song’s importance on the site. It’ll be recommended to different people, because you’ve listened to it. It’ll move up our music charts and maybe more people will hear it because you thought it was good.
    They are now charging $3/ month for unlimited radio streaming, ad-free browsing and streaming and the ability to know who are your recent visitors to your profile.

    Deezer
    French website that used to be really good, however a few months ago it seems that they lost the rights to most of the songs so the choice is now quite limited. It’s not the most user friendly of websites either. The ability of creating playlists and the social networking options are quite nice.

    Jango
    Very nice straight forward website, similar to Pandora in the sense that you enter the name of the artist you would like to listen and it then creates a playlist or radio of artists that have a similar style. Not all the songs for each artist are available. And when you listen to music for a while than an annoying pop up appears inviting to click on an ad to finance the website and stops the music until you close the window.

    Grooveshark
    The best of online streaming! Huge range of choice, possibility to add to queue or listen to recommendations, fast and always up – Do check it NOW!

    Songza
    Very nice website which main difference is that it also shows you the video of the song you are playing.

    It sources the songs from YouTube.com and imeem, which in turns pay the sound recording owners. I haven’t used it a lot and am not sure if you can find every songs or not.

    Hope you liked it.

    14
    May

    Producing an Artist – My Major Company

    I thought I would let you a know of a website that I think has a great concept (and it’s French :) ): My Major Company.

    Launched about a year ago in France, MMC aims to reveal and produce unsigned artists thanks to the help of their visitors / members.

    As a visitor you can browse through a list of artists selected by MMC’s staff (they are about to release a new batch of unisgned artist), you can listen to some of their songs, see videos, etc. And if you like what you see you can choose to become their producer.

    If all the producers manage to reach a total of 70,000 Euros, then MMC will chip in another 70,000 Euros, to produce this artist. Then the artist will receive 20% on all sales, MMC 50% and the producers 30% (then divided at pro-rata). Proceeds are paid at the end of each calendar year.

    There are a few things I am not 100% accross:
    - What happens if you invest and the total never reaches 70,000 Euros?
    - What if the total invested is higher than 70,000 Euros, does the revenue share for online producers increase?
    - Could you sell back your investment?

    Competitors
    Sellaband (the first website using this model)
    Grooveshark
    Spidart
    Nomajormusik
    Fancorps

    How this model could apply to larger websites
    This model could be perfect for Youtube, Myspace, Lastfm or any other website where unsigned artists try to get some exposure – this could become one of their revenue lines.
    Anyway, it definitely is an initiative to follow.

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