Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Google Is Set To Transform The Online Video Streaming Industry

 Google Is Set To Transform The Online Video Streaming Industry

Oct 30 2013, 19:47 | about: GOOG, includes: AMZN, DISH, INTC, NFLX

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. (More...)

Google (GOOG) acquired YouTube in 2006 for about $1.6 billion. Since then, the company has been investing heavily to popularize the site and also to improve its content and delivery qualities. It has been trying various ways, like advertisements and paid channels, to monetize YouTube's assets. Launched in May this year the paid channel program is the latest attempt of the company to create a revenue stream beyond advertisements.

Paid channels:

YouTube partner program is the program that enables over a million content creators to earn revenue from their content on YouTube.

On May 9, 2013, YouTube announced a major addition to its YouTube partner program. It introduced a pilot program for paid channels with selected partners. Under paid channels, the content creators can charge a fee from the users who want to access their content. YouTube allowed its initial hand picked partners to charge a subscription fee (starting at $0.99 per month) from its users.

Some of the initial paid channels include: Acorn TV, which offers ad-free British TV programs at $4.99 per month; National Geographic Kids, at $2.99 a month or $30 a year; and PrimeZone Sports, at $2.99 per month.

After the initial success of the program, on October 22, 2013, the company extended this program and allowed most of its partners who have over 10000 existing subscribers to join the program provided that the partner is located in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.

The partner also must meet the following eligibility requirements (as mentioned on
Your account is in good standing.
You meet the general criteria for YouTube partnership.
You have verified your account by phone.
You have an approved AdSense account linked to your YouTube account.
You own a free channel with at least 10,000 active subscribers.

Further, every channel will have to provide a 14-day free trial so that users can get the idea of the content.

By launching this program/service, the company will now give the professional content creators an opportunity to stream their content to their target users in a totally personalized way, as this essentially is a self-service platform. YouTube will provide the content delivery infrastructure and also will act as the link between the partners and the potential subscribers.

As YouTube said in its blog post.

We'll be rolling paid channels out more broadly in the coming weeks as a self-service feature for qualifying partners. And as new channels appear, we'll be making sure you can discover them, just as we've been helping you find and subscribe to all the channels you love across YouTube.

Online video-streaming industry:

The online video-streaming industry is the one of the fastest growing industries. According to the data compiled by comScore: "187 million Americans watched more than 48 billion online content videos in July".

Rising Internet penetration, high data-transfer speed, rapidly growing sales of smartphones and tablets, availability of quality content, anytime on-demand availability are some of the key factors behind this growth.

With about 40 million subscribers, Netflix (NFLX) is the clear leader in the online streaming industry. Companies like Amazon (AMZN), Hulu and YouTube (Google) are well known for their online video-streaming services and are competing in the industry. Some other players also operate in the industry. For example, Comcast offers streaming service by the name of Xfinity Streampix; Dish Network (DISH) is using Blockbuster to enter the streaming business; Intel (INTC), the semiconductor manufacturer, is trying to enter in a big way.


With the full launch of this anytime, anywhere, subscription-based video-streaming program, the company is all set to transform YouTube as well as the online video-streaming industry.

YouTube so far is a video sharing site which allows its users to upload their videos to the site and share them with the other site users. After the launch of this program, the site will transform to a content delivery platform rather than a just a content sharing site. From now on, the site will act as a content delivery platform for the professional content creators. The program in a way will allow every serious content creator to compete with Netflix, Hulu, etc. Now, the content creators can just concentrate on the creativity, and the site will take care of all the content delivery related needs. The partners just need to create and upload their content, and the site will make sure that the content gets delivered to the subscriber on anytime, anywhere basis.

Preferred destination for content creators:

With the launch of this program, YouTube will become a preferred destination for professional content creators. This program will provides multiple benefits to the content creators like:
Readily available infrastructure and users.
Royalty-based revenue stream.
Mobile access.

Readily available infrastructure and users:

For any content creator who wants to join the online video-streaming industry, the biggest problems are the lack of delivery infrastructure and users. With the launch of this program, the company provides the solution for the both problems. Now, any serious content creator can use the YouTube's delivery platform to deliver its content to its users on a subscription basis. Moreover, YouTube's one-billion users are larger enough for any quality content creator to get the required subscribers.

Royalty-based revenue stream:

This program will allow the content creators to earn royalty revenue along with the advertisement revenues. Royalty-based revenue stream is preferred by the big content creators, as it normally gives better returns. Moreover, it's up to the content owner to decide how much fee it wants to charge.

Mobile access:

YouTube has a significant mobile presence. Its 40% traffic originates from both phones and tablets.

As mentioned in its Q3 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript:

We've also making great progress across devices with Youtube. Almost 40% of Youtube's traffic now comes from mobile, up from 6% two years ago.

This significant presence of YouTube in the mobile segment along with the program will attract much more content creators because the growth of online video-streaming industry almost correlates with the growth in the use of mobile devices, as the mobile devices are the most preferred platform for the on-demand viewing.

Benefits for the company:

For the company this program will bring multiple benefits like:
Another revenue stream.
Rapid build-up of content

Another revenue stream:

This program will open another revenue stream for the company that is also without any copyright issues because the content owners will have full control over their content.

Rapid build-up of content:

The company is not only trying to monetize its existing assets, but also is trying to build-up the content more rapidly by making YouTube a preferred destination for the content creators (explained above).

Effect on the industry and competitors:

The industry and customers will see the entry of many new players with lots of original and exclusive content. For competitors, the program comes as the worst possible news, as it will immensely increase the competition. The only positive for the competitors is the fact that now Google/YouTube is least expected to come with its own exclusive content in the market. Taking everything into account, the program will make the industry more competitive and the existing players more worried.

All in all, an excellent development for the company and its investors.

Disclaimer: Investments in stock markets carry significant risk, stock prices can rise or fall without any understandable or fundamental reasons. Enter only if one has the appetite to take risk and heart to withstand the volatile nature of the stock markets.This article reflects the personal views of the author about the company and one must consult its financial adviser before making any decision.

KDTN BlogTalk Radio

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What Do Apple's iRadio Numbers Mean To Pandora?

On October 22, Apple (AAPL) unveiled the much anticipated new iPad, but more importantly for Pandora (P), preliminary numbers for iTunes Radio were also released. Tim Cook announced some 20 M iOS 7 users have listened to iTunes Radio and to 1B songs since inception. Considering iTunes Radio was launched just a month ago, I thought the numbers were impressive.
Many experts think Apple's new iRadio service is not intended to be a revenue driver, but rather more of a catalyst for users to ultimately buy more music from iTunes. Who knows, maybe iRadio will catalyze more social user engagement, much like Spotify promotes song and playlistsharing via Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR).
Apple's ultimate intentions for iRadio are uncertain, but it's tough to deny the fact it could add a whole new dynamic to their ecosystem. A stickyuser experience is definitely worth the investment, since many would argue this engaging ecosystem is why consumers pay the premium they do for new devices.
Following Apple's Tuesday announcement, Pandora shares actually moved into positive territory in response. Admittedly, I was unsure how Pandora shares would react to an Apple announcement, so, perhaps, I luckily soldmy Pandora put options the day before the unveiling. Was the market's reaction justified? When Apple announced iRadio had 20 M listeners, my jaw dropped. Knowing Pandora had 72.7 M active listeners in September, I figured iRadio already has 25%+ the listeners Pandora has; but boy was I wrong.
Let's start off by using Cook's "1 B songs played" number. If we assume some songs were skipped over or cut short (as I do with Spotify by the way) we could go with 2-3 minutes per song as a rough number. That brings us to 2-3 B minutes, or about 33.3 M hours on the low end and 50 M hours on the high end.
Now compared to Pandora's Audience Metrics announcement of 1.36 B hours for September, we can now see why the stock rallied after hearing Apple's statistics. Apple's seemingly large 20 M listeners equaled just 50 M listener hours by my estimates, or just 3.6% of Pandora's 1.36 B hours. It turns out that all users are not created equal. Even more impressive perhaps was Pandora's ability to grow their listened hours number by 18% year-over-year, despite the iRadio launch. However, iRadio just launched and Pandora is many years perfected; so is it too early to tell?
Pandora still seems to be steadily increasing their user base and listening hours despite stiff competition from Apple and Spotify. More importantly, the stock seems to trade off of these statistics alone, and not so much in regards to profit. This is great for Pandora, considering content costs may not change until 2015 (covered here), and may leave them unable to make a reasonable profit until a change is made. Because of how the stock trades, if Pandora can continue to grow revenue, users, and listening hours in the face of Apple's ecosystem, the stock is going higher. Therefore, the true test for Pandora in the coming months is if Pandora is "stickier" than Apple's iRadio. What do you think?
Additional disclosure: I may go long or short P via options at any time. I have owned P put options in the past week.

Friday, October 18, 2013

International Acoustic Music Awards‏ Actions

I would like to invite you to enter the 10th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards). This is seen in Music Connection magazine. Note: IAMA is separate and different from USA Songwriting Competition.

IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) promotes excellence in Acoustic Music Performance and Artistry. Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and web exposure through this competition. Participating sponsors include D'Addario Strings, New Music Weekly, Loggins Promotion, Airplay Access, NoisyPlanet, Sirius XM Radio, Acoustic Café Radio Show, Kari Estrin Management & Consulting, SongU, Broadjam, and Sonicbids.
IAMA is open to all independent artists and labels. Unlike other music industry competitions, IAMA focuses on developing new markets for Acoustic artists, labels and CD releases. Past winners include: Wes Carr (Australian Idol, Australia), Charlie Dore (Billboard Top 10 Hit Artist, United Kingdom), David Francey (Juno Award winner, Canada), AJ Croce (USA), Maddy Rodriguez (Canada), etc.

Win prizes in 8 different categories: Folk, Americana/Roots/AAA, Instrumental, Open (any musical style or genre), Bluegrass/Country, Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group/Duo. There will also be an Overall Grand Prize winner awarded to the top winner worth over US$11,000, which includes radio promotion to over 250 radio stations in US and Canada!

*DEADLINE APPROACHING: Enter by November 8, 2013 or earlier, Hurry! Enter here:

Why Enter Acoustic Music Awards?
Great Exposure: Radio Airplay & Music Industry A&R Judging
Winning music on Acoustic Music Compilation CD
Get featured in "Artists of The Month"
Easy to enter: online or by mail

Enter the Acoustic Music Awards NOW...

Thank you & looking forward to your participation,

Karen Randle
© USA Songwriting Competition
2881 E Oakland Pl Blvd, Suite 414
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33306

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Special Show: An Art Blakely Anniversary

Special Show: An Art Blakely Anniversary would like to invite you to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of one of the greatest albums in Hard Bop, Moanin'from Art Blakely. In the minds of most jazz fans, the classic Blue Note albums of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers define the Hard Bop era of the 1950s and 60s. And more than any other single album, Moanin', recorded 55 years ago this month, would become the seminal work of that era, setting a standard for jazz musicians for decades thereafter, and ensuring Blakey's place among the most influential bandleaders in jazz.
Building on the innovations of the music known as Bebop, Hard Bop took the harmonic complexities of the earlier style and infused them with elements of R&B, Blues, and Gospel, creating a sound that continues to resonate with listeners to this day. Drummer Art Blakey was a part of it from the beginning. He co-founded the Jazz Messengers in the early 1950s with Horace Silver, and appeared on many of the important early Hard Bop sessions of musicians like Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, and Kenny Dorham.
On October 30th, 1958, when Blakey entered the studio to make a record with a group of relative unknowns, he had been away from the Blue Note label for several years. Moanin', as the album would eventually become known, was Blakey's return to Blue Note, and the debut of his new band. The front line featured a 20-year-old trumpeter named Lee Morgan, then only just beginning to emerge from the shadow of Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown, and saxophonist Benny Golson, who would soon establish himself as one of the most important composers and arrangers of the period. Blakey's rhythm section included bassist Jymie Merritt, and pianist Bobby Timmons, who's original work "Moanin'" quickly became Blakey's signature tune and one of the most recognizable standards in jazz. Two other compositions penned by Golson and included on that day, "Blues March" and "Along Came Betty", would remain in the band's book and continue to be performed by succeeding generations of the Jazz Messengers until 1990.
Blakey went on to record dozens of albums, and help launch the careers of such heavyweights as Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Curtis Fuller, and Cedar Walton. Moanin' forever encapsulates the essence of the Jazz Messengers, and most fully represents sound and style of the Hard Bop era. 

Join's Music Director Scott Willis as we celebrate the 55th Anniversary of Moanin' by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers on the Hard Bop channel with a special one hour show. Tune in to the Hard Bop Channel on Wednesday October 16 at 6pm (Pacific), Thursday October 17 at 9pm (Pacific), Friday October 18 at 12 noon (Pacific), & Saturday October 19 at 8am (Pacific).

Get to Know Modern Talent on Current Jazz
The Current Jazz channel on features the best modern-day jazz artists and plenty of up-and-coming stars that you won't hear anywhere else. We've recently added hours of new music to the channel playlist to bring you the best new sounds of today's jazz world. Learn more about some of the featured artists and albums below:

Adam Brenner
Adam Brenner - The Long Way Home
A veteran of the bands of Mel Torme and Dizzy Gillespie, the debut recording by saxophonist Adam Brenner features a stellar New York based rhythm section led by pianist David Hazeltine. Brenner's thoughtfully constructed improvisations bring to mind the best work of his former teacher George Coleman, while his sturdy original compositions incorporate the most accessible and engaging elements of the hard bop and post-bop styles. Among the album's highlights are "Feelin' Good", "Blues for Yardbird", "Ballad for Donna", and "Adam's Latin", which also includes percussionist Daniel Sadownick. Learn more about Adam on his website.

Dave Bennett - Don't Be That Way

On his initial release for Mack Avenue Records, clarinetist Dave Bennett and his quintet put a uniquely modern spin on a set of standards long associated with Swing-Era bandleaders Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Woody Herman. An original member of the Hot Club of Detroit, Bennett finds inspiration in the melodic clarity of a tune like "Don't Be That Way", and the rhythmic sophistication of "Slipped Disc", without relying on imitation, or simply serving up a sentimental tribute to the period. Along with the work of talented arranger Shelly Berger, Bennett has successfully re-imagined a collection of music for modern audiences. Visit Dave Bennet's website tolearn more.
Dave Bennett
Bill OConnell

Bill O'Connell - Zócalo

For something with more of a latin flavor, tune-in for music from "Zócalo", the new release from Bill O'Connell + The Latin Jazz All-Stars, which successfully combines the complex harmonic language of modern jazz with rhythmic drive of Afro-Cuban and Salsa music. The pianist, who's been associated with the bands of Mongo Santamaria, Dave Valentin, and Steve Berrios, leads his group through a powerful program of mostly original compositions, plus two standards, and an outstanding re-working of the well-known Victor Feldman tune "Joshua". Learn more about Bill onhis website.

Listen to Current Jazz on to hear all the artists mentioned above and more!

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National Endowment for the Arts 2014 Jazz Masters

National Endowment for the Arts 2014 Jazz Masters

NEA Jazz MastersEvery year the National Endowment for the Arts honors a select group of living jazz musicians who have made significant contributions to the art form by awarding them an NEA Jazz Fellowship. The title of NEA Jazz Master is the nation’s highest honor in jazz, and total of 128 artists have been chosen to receive the award since 1982, including Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Burrell, and Nancy Wilson. 

The 2014 NEA Jazz Masters are pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Richard Davis, saxophonist and composer Anthony Braxton, and educator Jamey Abersold. This year’s recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony and concert on January 14, 2014 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. 

The celebration will be webcast live on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s website. You can read more about the music and careers of past and present NEA Jazz Masters by visiting the National Endowment for the Arts website.

Before They Were Jazz Stars
Many jazz artists have focused on the genre their whole lives, but here are a few who worked in other fields before diving into the wonderful world of jazz.
Louis Armstrong
Daniel Louis Armstrong was born in 1900 in a two-room shack that was rented for 50 cents a month in New Orleans. His grandmother was a first-generation free African American and clearly remembered the days when her parents were slaves on southern plantations. He ended up in a Waif’s Home in 1913 for a year of discipline after firing a pistol into the air to celebrate New Year’s, and that’s where the home’s drill instructor taught him how to play the bugle. Between the time of his release and the time his career began to soar in the 1920’s, young Louis delivered coal and milk, served beer, sold newspapers and bananas, and even moonlighted as a garbage picker. He became known as one of the greatest jazz legends even during his lifetime and can be heard on our Classic Jazz channel.
Louis Armstrong

Molly Ringwald
It surprises some that actress Molly Ringwald’s first forays into performing were as a singer in her dad’s jazz band when she was just three years old. But her debut album, Except Sometimes, shows that Ringwald isn’t just an actress who wants to sing — she’s an actress who can sing. She knows her way around the American Songbook with renditions of “The Very Thought of You” and “I Get Along Without You Very Well.” Add the sassy assurance she displays on “Sooner or Later” and you’ll love her even more than you did when you watched The Breakfast Club. For fans of ‘80’s nostalgia, she includes a version of “Don’t You Forget About Me.” You can hear Molly on our Contemporary Vocals channel.

Hugh Laurie
You might know actor Hugh Laurie as the title character on the medical drama House. Before that, he was famous as a funnyman as part of Fry & Laurie and the BBC’s Black Adder. However, his times as a bluesman should be taken more seriously. On his album Let Them Talk, his English accent disappears in hard-swinging renditions of “Buddy Bolden’s Blues" and “Battle of Jericho.” 

He’s a lifelong fan of New Orleans blues and it shows in his track selections and guest collaborators (including one of Laurie’s favorites, Dr. John). The album is a perfect companion to a wooden stool at the bar and a cold drink in your hand. A few of Hugh’s tracks can be found on our Blues channel.

andre previn
André Previn
Many classical conductors play piano, but how many can swing a jazzy rendition of “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered?” André Previn has led the world’s most prestigious orchestras and is well-versed in the classical canon, even contributing some of his own works as a composer. 

At the same time, he’s just as comfortable with the intimacy of sitting alone in a studio with a piano and his favorite jazz tunes. He cites Bill Evans and Count Basie as favorite musicians, and according to a questionnaire on his website, says his favorite bird is Charlier Parker. Hear André Previn’s work on our Straight-Ahead and Piano Jazz channels.

Montreal International Jazz Festival

Montreal SkylineGuinness World Records ranked the Montréal International Jazz Festival as the largest in the world, with an estimated 2 million attendees in 2013! This year’s festival was from June 27 to July 6, offering 10 days of jazz-centric celebrations for fans of all types of jazz music, whether casual listeners or committed aficionados of the genre. 

The Festival attracts a global crowd including fans from some 30 countries, 3,000 musicians and public entertainers, 1,000 concerts and activities—two-thirds of them free – in 15 concert halls and on 8 outdoor stages, from noon to midnight! This year, partnered with hotels throughout Montréal to offer listeners special rates on their stay. To learn more about the festival and related events that continue throughout the year, visit the Montreal International Jazz Festival website.

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