Thursday, May 22, 2008

Alexa Users Watch Al Jazeera

There are a few web-tracking companies out there, most of them don't exactly agree on which sites are ranked highest or how many visitors they get. Indeed, you only have to look at compete's claim that imeem was the most popular internet music site to see the complaints from other sites on the list pointing at other sites to question imeem's claim to the top spot. Jed Carlson from Reverbnation posted to Wired's music blog pointing out that Quantcast's network tracking showed his site had almost 20 million users - roughly the total of compete's measure of imeem and yahoo together. Of course, some other smart bod pointed out that Quantcast's network score for imeem was almost 40million users.

Regardless I wondered what each of these tracking sites would say about each other, on Alexa you can't ask for stats on Alexa, but compete and quantcast have now such limits.

Compere shows Quantcast in first place and alexa in last.

Alexa shows both compete and quantcast have about 2/3 of their visits from the US, and again Quantcast is the more popular of the two ranking #1134 vs compete's rank of #3691.

But Quantcast is the site that offers the greatest riches in terms of audience details. (Rank 3,460) is a top 5,000 site that reaches over 745K U.S. monthly uniques. The site attracts a slightly male slanted crowd. The typical visitor reads Techcrunch and watches Al Jazeera. (Rank 9,101) is a top 10,000 site that reaches over 263K U.S. monthly uniques. The site appeals to a slightly male slanted crowd.The typical visitor reads Techcrunch and buys from (Rank 899) Neatly removes any demographic information, nothing to see here, move along.

All 3 sites point to quantcast having the biggest audience, but quantcast and compete both disagree as to which site is in second place.

There are other sites which do this, but many of them provide only limited data to free users, Hitwise, Comscore, Nielsen etc I can't get data from these sites but here's what quantcast says.... (Rank 146,251) This site reaches approximately 10,512 U.S. monthly uniques. The site caters to a slightly female slanted, more educated audience.The typical visitor reads Business Week. (Rank 101,681) This site reaches approximately 16,467 U.S. monthly uniques. The site appeals to a more educated, very slightly male biased following.The typical visitor reads and uses

Apparently conservatives prefer comscore while liberal minded people prefer hitwise.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Napster Goes DRM Free

I would have posted this yesterday, but I wasn't around. All the major record labels are supporting Napster's new DRM free record store, probably in some vain attempt to weaken apple's dominant position.

Really, this isn't about being DRM free, it's all about being iPod compatible, since music stores need to be able to support the iPod. Which is why apple's DRM free store only has limited label support, but, it still has the advantage of seamless integration into the iTunes library which is how most iPod owners get their music onto their device. I don't think most mainstream users really care about DRM sufficiently to care, they only really notice when it goes wrong - like the recent end of line on MSN music store content.

Ultimately, this doesn't make the Napster subscription service any more attractive, the subscription content is still DRM controlled so that it self destructs when accounts get terminated. It's unlikely to help their subscription numbers, and unlikley to convert existing iTMS users, but it does make Napster a little closer to what it once was.

Muxtape Muxed Up

I can't help but laugh, someone managed to screw up their DB and replaced every track on the site with "Aim - Good Disease", some people suggested it was haxxored, but the muxtape blog makes it sound like it was merely an accident. Whatever it was it's unlikely that this was some underground promotion for the track designed to put some money in muxtape's coffers, because the site is down right now as they reload the database.

If you want to know that the track sounds like you can of course find it on imeem...

Good Disease - Aim

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Red Herring Evicted From Offices

Red Herring survived Bust 1.0, but it's struggled to remain relevant in recent years and today they were kicked out of their office space for not paying their bills.
Usually this happens after Bankrupcy, and the employees aren't usually running out the back door with laptops to stop them getting impounded by debt collectors....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yahoo Music No Longer Top Music Site

Back in the boom days of Web 1.0 Yahoo spent something like $160 million buying Musicmatch and more on other sites like Broadcast and Launch Media in an effort to become the biggest thing in online music. They stayed top of the tree for quite a while, but, as of March 2008 they're now playing in second place behind - at least according to Compete who published a list of top music sites today.

Many of the top music sites lost traffic in the last 12 months - yahoo, aol, myspace and msn all lost users while imeem grew by 58%. Many other Web 2.0 sites also grew, or appeared on the list for the first time, including Muxtape which squeaked in at #20 despite beig launched less than a week before the survey window closed. Projectplaylist was the only Web 2.0 property to lose users in the last 12 months, not a good sign for the company which is now getting sued by the record industry.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Project Playlist Gets Sued - First Step To Becoming Legal?

OK, I've been away and this is old-ish news. Project Playlist is now on the receiving end of a lawsuit initiated by 9 record labels brought together by the RIAA, sending out a notice that they don't like PP's contributions to the world of copyright infringement.

Odds are, this is just the first step to making PP into a legal site, but, maybe not, maybe PP could make a semi convincing case for, or at least maybe they think they have a case. It's known that they have been talking to the major labels, and not everyone is suing them, sony is a notable exception.

Here's how I see it playing out, Sony will force PP to use their newly acquired audio filtering technology (from Gracenote) to ensure that unlicensed music does not appear on the site, and in return it'll license its catalog on similar terms to those agreed to by other ad supported sites like imeem/ Over time other labels will follow, but many of the users will jump ship in this period when they find their music options limited. Some will go to imeem with it's more complete catalog and embeddable player, others might try to stay ahead of the legal stormfront and move to muxtape where pre-release tunes and the beatles are still not blocked.

In the end PP will join imeem and as a legal site, it'll probably lose a lot of users during the transition to legality, so imeem will probably re-establish its top position in the US, leaving PP as the 2nd ranked site in the US and 3rd worldwide. And to pay for all those plays it'll start to host millions of ads, but that will mainly be a cosmetic change to the site, on the back end of things I predict that PP will start serving its own content once it gets licenses, while they might get some legal deal that protects their right to manipulate and serve references to other files, those other sites which are hosting the files will still have no such right.

So changes are a coming.

Maybe a lawsuit will still happen, but I doubt it, PP launched very soon after imeem's embedded playlists got popular, their implementation was designed to save them money on server costs and limit their legal liability, but I believe they want to become a legal site and there wont's be any drawn out legal proceedings.

If you're looking for a lawsuit, I believe seeqpod is the place you should be looking.