Posts filed under ‘entertainment’

Pop Culture Site Partners with Social Radio Network to Market Recording Artists and Drive Music Sales

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Listen Up! PopMatters and Mercora Announce Exclusive Label
Promotion Program

Pop Culture Site Partners with Social Radio Network to Market Recording Artists and Drive Music Sales

Chicago, IL and Santa Clara, CA – February 5, 2007 – PopMatters, the leading independent cultural criticism magazine on the Web, and Mercora, Inc., the world’s largest social radio network, today announced the launch of Listen Up!, an exclusive program for music labels to increase promotion and publicity for their artists at www.popmatters.com and www.mercora.com.

Music labels participating in the launch include Kill Rock Stars, Ninja Tune, Thrill Jockey, Vanguard, Warp, World’s Fair, Sugar Hill, Definitive Jux, Yep Roc, and Record Collection. PopMatters and Mercora are partnering to bring independent music label artists to a global audience.

Under terms of the partnership, PopMatters and Mercora will showcase artists and music labels will receive premier streaming media placements within PopMatters editorial content, in the PopMatters media center, and in Mercora’s music channels that reach over one million users worldwide. Music labels invited to participate will also receive revenue through SoundExchange®.

“We are pleased to join this exclusive program with PopMatters and Mercora,” said Jeff Waye, label manager for Ninja Tune. “By participating in Listen Up!, we can introduce our artists to new music fans and drive revenue growth in online and offline music stores worldwide.” In fact, Mercora partners have demonstrated increases in online music store sales by as much as 30 percent or more.

Music labels participating in the launch feature recording artists such as Aesop Rock, Allison Moorer, Amon Tobin, Blues Traveler, Califone, Coldcut, Deerhoof, Dolly Parton, Edwin McCain, EL-P, Grizzly Bear, Harvey Danger, Herbalizer, Hot Hot Heat, J Dilla, Joan Osborne, Kristin Hersh, Linda Ronstadt, Macromantics, Marah, Midlake, Mindy Smith, Mr. Lif, Mouse on Mars, Murs, Nick Lowe, Nickel Creek, Paul Weller, Roots Manuva, Sloan, Squarepusher, The Apples in Stereo, The Reverend Horton Heat, The Robert Cray Band, The Walkmen, Tortoise, and many more.

“We are delighted to partner with Mercora to drive greater awareness, promotion, and sales for music labels and recording artists,” said Sarah Zupko, editor and publisher, PopMatters. “Through integration with editorial content, PopMatters readers can enjoy a rich user experience with the ability to read reviews and listen to music simultaneously.”

In its more than seven-year history of publishing smart and edgy cultural criticism, PopMatters has become one of the Web’s most prestigious cultural sources and foremost cultural tastemakers, especially within the 18-34 demographic. PopMatters has more than 1.2 million unique monthly readers and more than 15 million monthly pageviews and these figures are increasing each and every month.

Since its inception in 2003, Mercora has been a positive force in the online music space. The social radio network enables new music discovery and drives purchase behavior by providing online users with the ability to search, find, and listen to music from the world’s largest legal catalogue. Music on the Mercora network is 100 percent programmed by users who gain instant access to over 100,000 music channels streamed in CD-quality, over three million unique tracks, and 200,000 individual artists across all music genres. Music fans can discover new music for free and purchase downloads, ringtones, CDs, and tickets from Mercora’s advertising and commerce partners.

About Mercora, Inc.

Mercora’s mission is to create the world’s largest social radio and music network by cataloging and organizing the world’s music and audio content and make it universally searchable and legally listenable for everyone. Mercora (www.mercora.com) is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA.

About PopMatters

Founded in 1999, PopMatters, the #1 independent cultural criticism magazine on the web, is international in scope and dedicated to documenting our times and promoting cultural understanding. PopMatters cultivates smart writers from the world-at-large, recognizing that creative, compassionate intellectuals reside in all levels of society, in all types of societies, and it values their ability to provide intelligent, entertaining cultural criticism in the form of thoughtful essays, interviews, and reviews. PopMatters is content is syndicated both nationally and internationally by McClatchy-Tribune. View PopMatters at www.popmatters.com.

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February 5, 2007 at 3:44 pm Leave a comment

Interview with with Ronen Shilo, CEO of Conduit

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Below is an interview with Ronen Shilo, CEO of Conduit. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out! http://www.conduit.com/


TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?

Conduit: Conduit is the inventor of the community toolbar concept. Community toolbars are a great new way to engage users and drive loyalty as they put the best of any website directly on the users’ browser. Today’s Web savvy organizations are looking for new ways to connect and engage their users, beyond the boundaries of their Web site.

As an example, Major League Baseball launched a ‘Conduit’ for each team in the league so the fans can stay connected with scores, plays, team information, tickets and breaking news on their favorite team, straight from the browser.

Bottom line, a Conduit community toolbar delivers:

  • More Traffic: Drive higher traffic through unprecedented face time, resulting in an average increase of two extra clicks per user, per day
  • Brand Presence: Conduit allows publishers to put their brand directly on the user’s browser
  • Lower Attrition: Retain customers through engaging content, community chat, contests, and more
  • More Revenue per Customer: Monetizing users beyond the boundaries of the Web site. Drive higher spending with more targeted offers and more relevant services delivered via a ‘Conduit’

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TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?

Conduit: There are several things, but most importantly there are three:

1. Hosted turnkey service approach which eliminates all the challenges of traditional software offerings.

Typical off-the-shelf toolbar building software requires technical resources, constant maintenance staff, and presents issues in regard to user support and security, not to mention their limited component offerings. In the past, these challenges have prevented the majority of smaller websites from building and launching their own branded toolbars.

Conduit dramatically changed the model from traditional software to a hosted, global, turnkey service that is very easy to use, and requires no maintenance or technical skills. This has resulted in Conduit’s community toolbars exploding in less than 18 months to over 5 million users in 112 countries, 125k publishers in 22 languages, and over 30,000 downloads a day. For more details, see our recent milestone news release here.

2. Conduit’s business model is powered by search, which enables us to be completely free to the publisher and yet empower the toolbar with the most required functionality – search.

Conduit monetizes user searches via its Google search partnership, thereby delivering superior user experience despite being a free service for organizations.

3. Conduit supports its customers with a full suite of solutions that walks the user through the entire toolbar creation process:

  • Building (Conduit provides easy to use Toolbar Wizards that make building a snap)
  • Promotion (Pre-made templates for toolbar promotion include banners and download pages)
  • Maintenance (Changes made to the toolbar in the hosted environment are automatically reflected in the toolbar field)
  • Analysis (Reports to help optimize the solution for maximum value to publishers and users)

TechAddress: What are some of the main features?

Conduit: Conduit is free, hosted, extremely easy-to-use, completely customizable, ready in minutes, guaranteed to be secure, and available in 22 languages. The Toolbar Wizard is easy to use tool for any publisher, despite their level of programming expertise.

There are several key features that have contributed to our explosive adoption:

  • Pre-defined components including customizable menus, news ticker, RSS reader, radio, chatroom, NEW video window, email notifier, weather button, and more
  • Open environment that allows publishers to develop their own custom components using standard web development technologies
  • A set of customizable search tools, powered by Google
  • Cross-platform solution enabling publishers to provide instant availability in IE & Firefox
  • Pre-packaged marketing templates for deployment and promotion
  • Analytics and reports for management of the community toolbar
  • Hosted solution enables seamless and dynamic updates of content, components, and updates
  • 24/7 free support for publishers and users via email
  • Fully localized by supporting 22 languages for the toolbar and its peripheral pages

TechAddress: Who is your target customer or audience?

Conduit: Any website with a passionate community of online users can benefit from a Conduit community toolbar. Our range of customers represents every industry including entertainment, event planning, music, gaming, non profits, libraries, business, news portals, forums, real-estate, legal enterprise and more. While we have leading brands such as Greenpeace, Major League Baseball and REMAX, the largest segment of Conduit customers are “Long Tail” publishers that come from a diverse cross section.

TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?

Conduit: Our technology teams are working on exciting product releases that will transform user engagement and communication.

The first is the ability for a publisher to extend their presence beyond the current real estate of the toolbar. With an upcoming version, Conduit will transform toolbars from being a single story house to a skyscraper.

The second will empower a user to benefit from multiple toolbars without sacrificing the browser real-estate typically required, and by eliminating the need of multiple downloads. Users will be able to easily manage and control their toolbar library through this new product.

We are also looking to launch a “smart wizard” that will automatically detect community information and will build it into a community toolbar simply from a website URL. This is part of our commitment to making it easier to build and launch a toolbar.

Stay tuned for these and other exciting announcements coming soon.

TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?

Conduit: We envision Conduit evolving into a global leader in marketing platforms for building user-centric applications that drive engagement and loyalty. To that end, we are focused on forging content and product partnerships to deliver the broadest array of content and components to our publishers. From a product perspective, we are focused on being an innovation leader with breakthrough new features regularly added to the roadmap.

TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?

Conduit: Historically, toolbars were perceived as a search device associated with search companies, and as such they raised the question of “Who needs another toolbar?” In addition many have a bad reputation for opening up users to outside threats from adware, spyware and malware. Conduit community toolbars are strongly associated with the communities they serve (vs. being a search device only) and address a wider cross-section of information needs which goes beyond the simple search function. In addition, Conduit, delivers a safe and secure user experience.

TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?

Conduit: Publisher-focused value creation. If we help our publishers be more successful, then we will be successful. So whether it’s product development, marketing, or support, the company is completely focused on what drives a positive outcome for our publishers. We believe that publishers know what’s best for their users and they want to be able to offer them the very best solutions. Conduit provides them with the full-service solution they need to achieve that. As an example, we worked very hard to secure a partnership with Google, as we wanted to provide the ultimate search experience for our publishers’ end users while still enabling our publisher customers with the ability to embed their own site search into the community toolbar and the search page.

Outside of our dedication to products, our overall guiding principles are fairness and integrity. These are the cornerstones of Conduit. We treat everyone who interacts with the company with highest level of integrity.

TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?

Conduit: Our mission is to democratize the building of connected communities, and to enable traditional Web 1.0 companies to become Web 2.0. We aim to provide every publisher with the solutions they need to connect, engage and build online communities quickly and cost effectively.

In terms of innovation, we are the first, completely free service for building a community toolbar, powered by Search. This is a significant value proposition for the market in general but more importantly, for the long tail of the Internet. Conduit is putting a powerful, free marketing platform, previously only available to large companies, in the hands of organizations of every size and capability. This is revolutionary – we are leveling the playing field and doing it with a free, secure service that is backed by a solid business model.

TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?

Conduit: Conduit is currently fully funded and has no plans to raise additional capital at this time.

TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date? If you have already launched, when was your launch date?

Conduit: The company was founded in 2005; however, we just recently launched an official marketing campaign in November, 2006. Incredibly, Conduit has grown virally from 0 to 125,000 website publisher customers and 5,000,000 users in less than two years.

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January 31, 2007 at 5:41 pm 18 comments

SplashCast to launch Tuesday, Jan. 30

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SplashCast is a media syndication service that is in stealth mode until its public beta launch at the DEMO conference on Tuesday, January 30th. Details about the SplashCast service will be released then.

Marshall Kirkpatrick, Director of Content at SplashCast, said, “Splashcast is a multimedia platform that I believe is going to change the web in some important ways. From independent journalism to modern dance performances to photo slide shows of train yard graffiti set to the music of emerging underground hip hop artists – Splashcast is going to be a great way to spin out channels of thematic media content. I’m excited to demonstrate how it can be done by creating and co-ordinating channels like that myself. I hope that many people will want to use the Splashcast media sharing system but I intend to create a premier destination for highlighted User Generated Content that will be worth visiting regularly for anyone online.”

Check out their new website at http://splashcastmedia.com/.

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January 29, 2007 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

Corporate Profile – Piczo

Company: Piczo, Inc.

Company logo:

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Location: San Francisco, CA

Launch Date: Formed in 2004; formally launched in U.S. in September, 2006

In the company’s own words, what is it? Piczo has created a space that gives teens around the world the freedom and tools to express themselves and connect with friends in a safer social networking environment.

Piczo allows its users to create fully customizable personal websites that do not require any understanding of html code. Users share their life stories with friends by designing their sites with multiple pages featuring photos, graphics, guest books, comment boards, music, and more. Each site can be linked to other friends’ sites and users can interact with them and their friends, and meet new people online.

Since its launch less than two years ago, Piczo has grown to over 10 million monthly unique visitors and 2.5 billion monthly page views solely through the viral efforts of its loyal members. Rave reviews from these users claim that Piczo is unmatched in the control it offers over their sites, ease-of-use, and ‘walled-garden’ approach with no searching for users.

Outside quote about company: “We are attracted to Piczo‘s approach for a safer online environment in the social networking space. The demographic that Piczo has attracted, the younger teen audience, is quickly claiming the web as their own medium. Marketers and media companies covet this demographic and we are pleased to be part of Piczo’s continued growth,” said Paul Matteucci, general partner, U.S. Venture Partners.

Features:
* create your own website and web address
* manage your homepage and page list
* upload pictures and music videos
* create a guestbook, comment board and journal
* it’s free and easy

Screen Shots:

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Management/Directors:
Jeremy Verba, CEO
Jim Conning, Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Jeanine LeFlore, Vice President of Products
Michael J. Sherf, Vice President of Technical Operations
Paul Remer, Vice President of Business Development
Peter J. van Pruissen, Vice President of Finance
Geoff Judge, Chief Revenue Officer
Chris Seth, UK Managing Director

Relevant Links:
http://www.piczoinc.com/piczoFunding.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2095-2496035.html
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21024303-7582,00.html

http://www.dmwmedia.com/news/2007/01/18/teen-focused-online-social-network-piczo-raises-11-million

January 19, 2007 at 3:18 pm 10 comments

Corporate Profile – Baaima NV, creator of Joost

Company: Baaima NV, creator of Joost™ (formerly The Venice Project)

Company logo:

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Location: Luxembourg-based

Launch Date: Not officially launched

In the company’s own words, what is it? Joost™ is a new way to watch TV, free of the schedules and restrictions that come with traditional television. Combining the best of TV with the best of the internet, Joost™ gives you more control and freedom than ever before – control over what you watch, and freedom to watch it whenever you like. We’re providing a platform for the best television content on the planet – a platform that will bring you the biggest and best shows from the TV studios, as well as the specialist programs created by professionals and enthusiasts. It’s all overlaid with a raft of nifty features that help you find the shows you love, watch and chat with friends, and even create your own TV channels.

Outside quote about company: Greg Sandoval of CNET News says, “Joost‘s nifty technology may be enough to sway the entertainment industry to place a bet on proven winners in Friis and Zennstrom.

A menu allows users to switch channels with a click of a link. Users will also have TiVo-like control of the content and access to any show offered regardless of time of day. They can also can skip ahead or backward within a show.

The Luxembourg-based company will support itself with advertising, specifically Internet ads that behave just like TV commercials.”

Features:
* first global TV distribution platform
* interactive, community-driven environment
* viewable anytime, anywhere with a broadband Internet connection
* broadcast-quality content
* free
* secure

Screen Shots:

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Management/Directors:

Fredrik de Wahl, CEO
Janus Friis, Co-founder
Niklas Zennström, Co-founder
Dirk-Willem van Gulik, CTO

Relevant Links:
http://joost.com/press/2007/01/the-venice-project-code-named-no-more.html
http://blogs.business2.com/business2blog/2007/01/venice_project_.html
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2085227,00.asp
http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/8689/1103/

January 18, 2007 at 1:57 pm 4 comments

Interview with Brandon Watson, CEO and Founder of IMSafer

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Below is an interview with Brandon Watson, CEO and Founder of IMSafer. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out! http://www.imsafer.com/


TechAddress:
Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?

IMSafer:
IMSafer helps parents protect kids and teens from predators that approach online while still giving them the privacy they crave.

TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?

IMSafer: The products for protecting children online are overwhelming for parents, hard to use, and require too much work on the part of the parents. IMSafer is “simple,” “easy to use” and “effective.” The basis of what we do is built on the perception of trust and communication. We don’t allow parents to spy on every conversation their child has online, if our language analysis identifies a threat, we let parents see that threat and enough of the conversation to give them proper context.

TechAddress: What are some of the main features?

IMSafer: Our language analysis notes text that may be inappropriate or may be indicative of predatory behavior and gives parents a notification with a ‘snapshot of the conversation’ along with a ‘rating’ of that screen name that is generated by other parents. They can then vote themselves on that person to help other parents make informed decisions. Users of our IMSafer Social Networking Service can also be notified when their children receive links to social networking sites.

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TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?

IMSafer: Parents of kids and teens that go online who respect their children’s privacy as well as their duty to protect their kids should check out IMSafer and give it a try.

TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?

IMSafer: We are constantly improving our language analysis engine. We think of it like an anti-virus database, people are always trying to figure out new ways to do harm, and we’re trying to stay a few steps ahead of them.

TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?

IMSafer: We’re going to stay a few steps ahead of the predators. For example if kids start moving away from social networks and into something new like mobile group chat, that’s where we’ll be.

TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?

IMSafer: Criticism comes for the most part from people that don’t understand how our service works. A parent’s first job is to protect their child. We give the parents a tool to help them do that while giving the child as much freedom and privacy as we can to still be effective. Once kids see that we aren’t spying and that their parents only get alerts on clearly bad language, they are generally in support of the program.

TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?

IMSafer: Each of us had at least one conversation with a guidance counselor who said, “If only you could use your powers for good.” This is our chance.

TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?

IMSafer: We started with a simple plan: to rethink the problem of protecting kids online. “Simple,” “easy to use” and “effective” are our guiding principles. The products for protecting children online are overwhelming for parents, hard to use, and require too much work on the part of the parents. IMSafer is simple, easy to use and effective.

TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?

IMSafer: IMSafer does not disclose current funding.

TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date? If you have already launched, when was your launch date?

IMSafer: We launched IMSafer on October 3rd, 2006 and added IMSafer Social Networking Service on October 18th, 2006. Today, 1/17, we announced support for Microsoft Vista and the Mac. We’ve tied in to Vista’s Parental Control API’s to build on the great work that Microsoft has done and created a Wizard to make it as easy as possible for parents to protect their kids online. Our complete announcement is up at http://www.imsafer.com/splash/press

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January 17, 2007 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

Pixsy Launches PixsyPower and PhotoSense

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Pixsy Launches PixsyPower and PhotoSense
Media Search Technology Now Available to all Websites; Unveils Search Engine Ad Unit
San Francisco, CA — Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pixsy Corporation, a next-generation media search platform that powers private label image and video search engines, today announced PixsyPower, a suite of media search tools and widgets for website publishers of all sizes. PixsyPower tools enable website publishers to increase their site traffic by offering unique content and media search functionality to their visitors.

PixsyPower enables bloggers, social networking sites, or any website to run private label photo and video search engines and widgets on their sites by simply signing up for free at PixsyPower.com. Image and video search are the fastest growing search verticals on the web and PixsyPower enables any website publisher to tap into this popular consumer activity within their own site. With three easy steps, Pixsy’s image and video search engine and widgets can be deployed on any website with content customized to the specific topic of their site. The service also provides a set of reporting tools to track visitor activities and search patterns.

“Pixsy’s business model of using media search tools to create search traffic on websites is a unique and effective way of generating new targeted advertising inventory across the web,” said Jack Klues, Chairman, Publicis Groupe Media. “We believe that Pixsy is well positioned to significantly exploit this growing market.”

Pixsy PhotoSense
The PixsyPower service features the new Pixsy PhotoSense tool, allowing publishers to select a category or specific provider and create an advertising unit that can be dropped into their site. This ad unit changes dynamically to deliver fresh and interesting visual content, changing all the time. Whether the topic is news, sports, celebrities or entertainment, PhotoSense enables publishers to customize their images and videos, as well as select their content providers and categories. PhotoSense is available in all major IAB size ad units.

With the new Pixsy PhotoSense Search Widget, website publishers can run a full blown media search engine inside their site. Photo and video searches can be performed and viewed directly inside the widget. For example, a travel website can have a travel photo and video search engine directly inside their site, with photo and video results showing up inside the widget on the site.

PixsyPower is the next breakthrough in the evolution of our media search distribution business,” said Chase Norlin, CEO, Pixsy Corporation. “Media search should be in the hands of all website operators, not just the big search portals.”

About Pixsy
Pixsy Corporation is a next-generation media search platform that powers private label image and video search engines for online publishers. Pixsy has offices in San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA and was founded by a team of engineers and business leaders hailing from Microsoft, Sony, and ValueClick.

Contact:
Pixsy Corporation
Lauren Karp
415.533.4000
lauren[at]pixsy.com

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January 16, 2007 at 7:47 pm Leave a comment

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