Covering Microsoft for the last eight years, I've seen this pattern time and time again. Internet trend comes along. Microsoft watches. Trend picks up steam. Microsoft watches. Some other company--usually a start-up--creates a site that perfectly crystallizes the trend and achieves a surprising spike in traffic. Microsoft creates a product team somewhere in the bowels of its online organization to come up with an answer. Six to eighteen months later, the imitation launches to general yawns in the press and perhaps some temporary spikes in traffic thanks to Microsoft's massive online reach. (400 million-plus registered users--that's the … Read more
In case you're just awakening from a coma, today's election day in the United States, and turnout's expected to set records.
But what about tomorrow? After the polling places have closed and the results are in, what can you do if you still hanker to cast a ballot and make your opinion count? OurStage offers you the chance to make or break thousands of independent artists by listening to and rating their songs.
OurStage, a service that allows you to discover new, alternative, and underground music, has launched a version of its service for the iPhone. OurStage Radio for the iPhone can be found now at the App Store for free.
Users are able to select different music, categorized in a surprising number of genres, like hip-hop, alternative hip-hop, and rap. There's also a Guitar Solo genre that actually has a huge number of artists available. Once you've listened, you'… Read more
I wrote about OurStage a couple weeks ago: it's a battle-of-the-bands site that's actually worth looking at, as it requires no up-front payments to participate, seems very hard to "game" by stuffing the ballot box for your own or your friend's bands, and offers prizes of actual value.
On Wednesday, the company signed a deal with concert giant Live Nation, which owns many top concert venues in the U.S. and has been signing so-called comprehensive record-plus-touring ("360") deals with acts such as Madonna and Nickelback. Under the terms of the deal, Live … Read more
I tend to be skeptical of "battle of the bands" contests in the physical world. There's often an entry fee to participate, which basically means bands are paying to play in some sort of showdown showcase. Often there's no quality gate--if you can afford the entry fee, you're in, and that means that the only people in the audience are other participating bands. The prizes tend to be loaded with catches, like a "recording contract" that forces you to sign over your publishing rights to the organization sponsoring the contest.
But it appears … Read more