Song

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5953044/the-new-megaupload-has-a-super-clever-way-to-avoid-copyright-infringement-and-getting-raided-again

The New Megaupload Has a Super Clever Way to Avoid Getting Raided AgainFrom the ashes of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom is launching a new file-sharing service: Mega. Mega is like Megaupload but will be safe from raids and government interference because it has “ironclad safe harbors” in place to protect Mega. How does it work?

Though Mega is just like Megaupload once was in that it allows users to store, access and share files, files uploaded to Mega will be encrypted and only the user will have the unique key to decrypt the file. According to Wired:

It will be up to users, and third-party app developers, to control access to any given uploaded file, be it a song, movie, videogame, book, or simple text document. Internet libertarians will surely embrace this new capability.

And because the decryption key is not stored with Mega, the company would have no means to view the uploaded file on its server. It would, Ortmann explains, be impossible for Mega to know, or be responsible for, its users’ uploaded content – a state of affairs engineered to create an ironclad “safe harbor” from liability for Mega, and added piece of mind for the user.

It’s really clever, if the government comes a knockin’ on a data center or if someone hacks it, they’ll get nothing. Dotcom says, “whatever is uploaded to the site, it is going to be remain closed and private without the key.” Basically, the idea is that the law doesn’t have a centralized entity to go after because they can’t come after Mega because Mega has no idea what’s on their servers. Dotcom believes that the only way that this could be illegal would be if the law made encryption illegal.

Check out the full report at Wired. If Mega really works the way Dotcom want it to, Megaupload is going to come back bigger, better and more impossible to take down than ever. [Wired via Torrent Freak]

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Thursday, October 18th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5942873/is-streaming-media-bad-for-the-planet

Is Streaming Media Bad For the Planet?Streaming is fast becoming the way most of us consume media, whether it’s music, TV of film. But caught up by the sheer convenience of it all, it’s easy to forget to question its environmental impacts. Could streaming actually be bad for the planet?

That’s just what a study by Music Tank set out to discover. Some of the results are interesting. How, for instance, does streaming music compare to buying physical media? The report explains:

Streaming or downloading 12 tracks, without compression, just 27 times by one user would, in energy terms, equate to the production and shipping of one physical 12-track CD album.

In other words, repeated streaming of favorite tracks might not be a desirable long-terms media solution. Fortunately some apps—like Spotify—feature a local caching feature, which avoida repeatedly streaming the same song over and over.

But what about the fact that teenagers use YouTube as their main music source these days? The mighty ‘Tube’s rise is seeing it use more and more electricity—and the report speculates that its energy consumption looks set to rise from around 0.1 percent of 2010 global electricity levels to 1 percent by 2013.

The report offers one extremely leftfield solution to the problem: observing Moore’s law, it speculates that a 1 petabyte drive capable of storing all the songs ever recorded could soon cost just $100. Ship that to every user, it suggests, along with some remote server-based player required to access the content, and the planet’s resources won’t be drained as quickly. Convinced? [Music Tank via Paid Content]

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Thursday, September 13th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Google lands patent for automatic object recognition in videos, leaves no stone untagged

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/28/google-lands-patent-for-automatic-object-recognition-in-videos/

Google lands patent for automatic object recognition in videos, leaves no stone untagged

Google has already been working on patents that could pick out faces and song melodies in our YouTube clips. Now, it might just have the ultimate tool: the technique in a just-granted patent could pick out objects in a video, whether they’re living or not. Instead of asking the creator to label objects every time, Google proposes using a database of “feature vectors” such as color, movement, shape and texture to automatically identify subjects in the frame through their common traits — a cat’s ears and fast movement would separate it from the ball of yarn it’s attacking, for example. Movie makers themselves could provide a lot of the underlying material just by naming and tagging enough of their clips, with the more accurate labels helping to separate the wheat from the chaff if an automated visual ranking system falls short. The one mystery is what Google plans to do with its newfound observational skills, if anything, although the most logical step would be to fill in YouTube keywords without any user intervention — a potential time-saver when we’re uploading that twelfth consecutive pet video.

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Google lands patent for automatic object recognition in videos! , leaves no stone untagged originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 28 Aug 2012 17:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook Pay To Promote Feature

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5914226/facebooks-pay+to+promote-posts-feature-has-arrived

Facebook's Pay-to-Promote Posts Feature Has ArrivedWe’ve heard rumblings that Facebook was testing a system called Highlight that would allow people to pay to promote a post, and now obnoxiously enough, it’s starting to show up.

Chris Cantalini, who runs a music blog called Gorilla vs. Bear, tweeted that he was posting a track by Holy Balm when he was presented with the above prompt. It asked him if he wanted to pay as much as $100 so that just one post, one song, could reach an estimated 39,000 people. For the record, only 37,000 people already Like Gorilla vs. Bear on Facebook.

This is just one instance, and the feature is supposedly not just for brands, but individuals as well, so it means we might be seeing Highlight in more places soon. Now that Facebook’s IPO has tanked, perhaps it’s looking for some fresh cash. [@GorillavsBear]

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Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 digital No Comments

This Is The Only Reason Album Sales Were Up Last Year

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-may-be-the-only-reason-the-music-industry-survived-last-year-2012-1


adele

For the first time since 2004, album sales are up, and nearly all the credit goes to Adele. Her sophomore album 21 sold nearly 6 million copies, completely dominating the industry and cheering music execs (for once). But given how dependent the industry was on one artist in 2011, is this news really that promising? Here, a guide:

Album sales were up?
Yes, though only slightly. Sales of complete albums in 2011 reached 330.6 million in the U.S., an increase of 1.3 percent over 2010, according to Nielsen. It’s the first uptick in sales since 2004 and Adele deserves much of the credit: Her 21 moved 5.82 million copies — the best one-year sales count since Usher’s Confessions sold 7.98 million in 2004. Her 2009 debut, 19, enjoyed a corresponding bump, selling nearly a million units in 2011 as well.

How significant is this for the music industry?
A one percent increase isn’t exactly something to write home about, says Ben Sisario at at The New York Times.  “Some businesses might call that level of growth flat.” But considering the past decade’s steady downward slide — revenue from recorded music fell 52 percent over the last 10 years — this is a relief. “For the beleaguered music industry, any positive news about sales is cause for celebration.”

How much did Adele dominate?
She sold 3.3 million more albums the year’s second-hi! ghest se ller, Michael Buble’s Christmas, and 3.7 million more than Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. Adele spent 14 weeks atop the Billboard album charts in 2011, says Devon Maloney at Billboard, and 21 is the first album since 2005 to log 30 weeks of 100,000-plus sales. Her song “Rolling in the Deep” was the year’s best-selling single and the most-played song on the radio. Furthermore, 21 is the best-selling digital album of all time. Taken together, her two albums amounted to 2 percent of total record sales, a nearly unprecedented total for one artist. Without her efforts, says Daniel Kreps at SPIN, record sales would actually be down. So while Adele is being hailed as “the savior of music,” says Tyler Coates at Black Book, “the industry is still tanking.”

What about the digital sales?
Digital music sales rose 8.5 percent, says Coates, while sales of complete digital albums rose 20 percent. Though such boosts seem like a good sign for the industry, digital sales offer the lowest profit margin of all music sales. CD sales, which deliver the greatest profit margin, were, unsurprisingly, down six percent.

This post originally appeared at The Week.

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Join the conversation about this story »

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Sunday, January 8th, 2012 news No Comments

How to make a viral video – a 5-step guide

1. select a product that is a low consideration product (e.g. a song) whose primary missing link is awareness

2. create a funny and entertaining video that features that product or a key attribute of the product

3. [ contact us for the “secret sauce” of step 3 ]

4. continue to build the momentum and build further social amplification by real people (won’t happen if the content is not funny, entertaining, useful, or unexpected)

5. use analytics to determine how to further optimize the content itself to match what characteristics actually went viral (based on how people talked about it when they passed it along)

Examples of videos whose viral effects were successfully manufactured over time. Obama Girl; Lonelygirl15 Brea Olson; Notice the shape of the stats curve of the more recent lonelygirl15 video from 2008. It is much flatter, which is a characteristic of non-viral videos. This is after they revealed that the original lonelygirl15 was a fake; now they have to support the view count through traditional paid media and continuous PR to accumulate the views.

obama-girl-viral-video

lonelygirl15-brea-viral-video

lonelygirl15-recent-non-viral-video

How the JKWedding Viral Video was A Manufactured Success

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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 SEO, social networks 2 Comments

How to manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits – Post 2 of 2

Related: The JKWeddingDance video was real; the viral effect was MANUFACTURED – Post 1 of 2

It was originally discovered and reported that while the jkwedding dance video was real, the viral effect was manufactured by Chris Brown and Sony’s marketing and public relations poeple.

Chris Brown and Sony PR made an unconventional, but really really good, decision to promote a home video on YouTube to drive massive increase in sales and also polish Chris Brown’s tarnished image in the process.

See ReadWriteWeb’s initial article — http://bit.ly/KA3HI

The video of JKWeddingDance was funny and it used Chris Brown’s “Forever” song. Instead of suing them and issuing a take-down order, Sony’s PR department promoted it instead and added an overlay ad to purchase the single from Amazon MP3 or iTunes.


jkwedding-video-ad-overlay-itunes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0

jkwedding-video-ad-overlay-amazon

This case reads like a how-to guide to create a successful viral video that drives sales.  They (Chris Brown) did everything right.

By promoting the video (instead of suing to get it taken down), they got the video past the first tipping point of  X thousand views, after which the video remained on the front page of YouTube which gets about 30 million unique users in a day.  Most people don’t look through the ocean of videos on YouTube. Instead, they start with the ones listed on the front page as “most popular, top favorited, or most viewed.”

Then real people continued to amplify the snowball effect — social amplification — and passed along to their friends. This added a viral halo on top of the original promoted views. The viral halo is low to no cost to the advertiser so any profits derived from it is pure viral profit.

For a step-by-step guide to creating a viral video, see

http://go-digital.net/blog/2009/08/how-to-make-a-viral-video-a-5-step-guide

Viral hits can be manufactured. A group which has done this successfully and reproducibly is ImprovEverywhere (see their YouTube channel below). They have MANY YouTube videos which have hundreds of thousands of views, and their latest hit — No Pants Subway Ride – achieved 8 million views in 3 months.

http://www.youtube.com/user/ImprovEverywhere

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Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 digital 4 Comments

The JKWeddingDance video was real; the viral effect was MANUFACTURED – Post 1 of 2

originally investigated and reported on Friday July 31, 2009 by Augustine Fou, with Tugce Esener @tesener

Several friends and colleagues had the same reaction when they found out about this video — that it was at such a high view count already and we were late to the party of finding out.  Then we did some more digging — digital forensics  🙂  And this is a case where a viral hit was indeed successfully manufactured.  There’s something to be learned from all this — how to successfully manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits.

Related: How to manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits – Post 2 of 2

Chris Brown is successfully tapping into the viral halo of a funny video that coincidentally used his song.

ReadWriteWeb article on how rights owners (Sony, Chris Brown) can make viral profits on other people using their work instead of suing them – http://bit.ly/KA3HI

The video was real. But promotional activities (possibly/likely paid) created the initial viral effect (led to the tipping point of the viral effect) which then got carried a further by people thinking they were simply late to the party, including myself (e.g. 440k bit.ly clicks and 3k detectable retweets out of the 13M views). The numbers don’t jive.

The viral halo has added 1 million more views to the video from August 1 – August 2.  (13.1 M to 14.5 M)


Ten ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN proof points to follow, each with screen shot to illustrate.

1a. anyone notice that the “Forever” soundtrack is remarkably consistent throughout the video as if it were dubbed or added in after the original footage was shot. The sound is too consistent in volume and loudness to have come from a built-in, on-camera microphone. At the very end of the video, once it cuts back to the couple at the altar the sound quality goes back to the echo-y, tinny sound of an on-camera mic.

1b. The “TheKHeinz” user on YouTube was registered on July 19, 2009, the day the video was posted. We usually look for clues like this to detect “plants” by PR agencies.  This is an issue of trust — a user “CmdrTaco” on Slashdot has been around the forums for years, made hundreds of posts, and was rated by the community very highly. PR agencies trying to seed stories have to create new user accounts during the PR campaign (recent registration date) and have made no other posts or uploads before (no history).

thekheinz-user-info-on-youtube

2. The social intensity detected in all of the top social venues like Technorai, Delicious, Reddit, Digg, etc. indicate there was not enough organic sharing to support a view count of 13 million views in 11 days (updated: 14.6 million today August 2, 2009).

a) Bit.ly shows only 447k clicks on the shortened URL

bitly-statistics-on-jkwedding-video

“At Fortune’s Brainstorm:Tech conference Ashton Kutcher effectively took credit for boosting the views from – in his words – 12,500 views before he tweeted the link – to some 1.2 million views 12 hours later…”

Well, unfortunately he used a bit.ly link which provides public analytics on how many people clicked. Most tweets result in immediate traffic, which then tails off immediately after the tweet falls off the first page. In his case, look at the following bit.ly stats URL and click “past month” to see the peak clicks on July 23. All he can actually claim is that his tweet drove a peak of about 100,000 clicks on that day not 1.2 million 🙁

http://bit.ly/info/Z7vMw

too bad Ashton. next time you make a BMOC claim, be sure to use a non trackable method, so analytics won’t “out” you so easily.

august-21-bitly-intensity-update

after only 3.5 days of retweets the twitter intensity died off to next-to-nothing; if this were a truly viral video, carried forth by real people (and not by paid PR support and paid media) the retweet intensity would remain high. As of August 21, there are over 21M views on the video and the 505k retweets does not show actual organic support for that number.

ashton-kutcher-promote-viral-video


b) Twitturly shows only 3 thousand retweets on the YouTube URL itself

updated-twitturly-stats-for-video

c) Delicious shows only 447 bookmarks of the video itself

delicious-bookmarks-jkwedding

delicious-bookmarks-jkweddingdance

d) Reddit only shows 673 thumbs up for the video itself

reddit-results-for-jkweddingvideo

e) Technorati shows only 277 blog mentions of the video itself — this could be undercounting if blogs used URL shorteners. But if you look at the blog intensity results (below) sorted by blogs with most authority the blogs have very little authority (i.e. influence or size of audience).

technorati-blog-posts-on-jkwedding

— these are real indications of interest by real people. The social intensity of the passalong for this video does not substantiate the huge number of views in 11 days.

What we are seeing now is the additional viral halo, as the momentum is sustained by large media outlets reporting on the story — even Google Blog blogged about it (boasting about the success of YouTube advertising in driving revenues). Of course TechCrunch is right that viral videos can be monetized: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/30/youtube-viral-wedding-videos-are-great-for-advertising/ )


3. Twitter shows nothing in the top “trending topics” related to this video – indicating few people are actually tweeting about it — if this video is SO viral (13M views in 11 days) then it has GOT to show up on a scan of social intensity. (see screen capture below)

July 31 (Friday)                 August 2 (Sunday)

twitter-trending-topics-455pm-july-31-2009August-2-trending-twitter-topics

4. The original video was posted July 19, 2009. The people from the video appeared on NBC’s Today Show and danced around Rockerfeller Center on July 25th (6 calendar days after posting). Today Show staff may be great at spotting news, but to get all the wedding party from the wedding to re-enact the dance on the Today Show in 6 calendar days — too good to be true?  Hmm…

today-show-appearance


5. Out of all the wedding videos on YouTube, how did Chris Brown detect this particular one that used his song. @glenngabe noted that there are song detection mechanisms  – ContentID – which detect the pattern of the copyrighted song and report that to the rights owners. We know there are hundreds, if not thousaands, or really funny wedding home videos — America’s Funniest Videos has been running for years and years on TV showing funny wedding blooper videos that people submitted to them.


6. ALL TEN of the top viral videos on AdAge’s Viral Video Chart took around 3 – 6 months to achieve full viral effect — not 6 days.  See all 10 videos’ stats, as reported by YouTube at the following link. This video has not shown up at all on the list of Adage viral videos.

AdAge Top Viral Videos all take 3 – 6 months to reach full viral effect



7. From @RedW0rm – YouTube Declares Wedding Video a Financial Success http://bit.ly/9ZUtu


8. also check the velocity of this http://twitter.com/#search?q=jkwedding or this http://twitter.com/#search?q=jkweddingdance notice the tweets are not seconds apart but hours apart. Something that achieved 13M views in the 11 days since posting would show far higher velocity or twitter intensity.

twitter-1-jkwedding

twitter-1-jkwedding

9.  For a top-trending topic on twitter, there is usually correspondingly high search volume that is detectable.  At first glance, terms related to this viral video like “jkwedding” or “jk wedding dance” all seem to spike.  But if you put it against even “Corazon Aquino” (one of the top trending topics NOW on Twitter) those JK wedding search volumes are dwarfed.  (see chart below).

corazon-aquino-search-volume

10.  Google only reports 366 links to the video and most of them are not even important websites (see Alexa blue bar)

google-in-links-for-jkwedding-video

11.  The video itself has no honors and no stats (yet); YouTube stats are conveniently turned off. Other videos have their stats graphs publicly available.

no-honors-for-jk-wedding-video

12. see the fine print in the YouTube description — For more information or to make a donation towards violence prevention please visit our website: http://www.jkweddingdance.com/ — why would a normal wedding video ask people to make a donation towards violence prevention? (see screen capture below), the WHOIS record shows the domain jkweddingdance.com was created 29-Jul-09 — today is 31-Jul-09

Updated: This was circumstantial evidence. A source confirmed that Jill is studying patterns of violence propagation for her PhD. Their choice of charity was their own choice. And the site was set up to help that cause.

violence-prevention-chris-brown

whois-jkweddingdance-part1

whois-jkweddingdance-part2

Conclusion?  The video itself is real, made by those nice people in the wedding. They may not even realize why or how their wedding video went viral (and the tens of thousands of other wedding videos on YouTube did not). On the Today Show, “The couple told Lauer they were surprised at the video’s popularity” (also see NY Daily News article – http://bit.ly/OA3iG )

Related articles:

ReadWriteWeb – Build Profit Not DMCA Suits

WSJ – YouTube Declares Wedding Video a Financial Success

PSFK – Co-opting Viral Hits to Sell More Music

TechCrunch – YouTube: Viral Wedding Videos Are Great For Advertising

Huffington Post – Viral Wedding on YouTube Drives Buyers to Chris Brown Music

ClickZ –http://blog.clickz.com/090805-160921.html

What Viral Videos Look Like

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Friday, July 31st, 2009 analytics, viral videos 40 Comments

Branding is still a useful activity? Reach and frequency is still a useful metric?

Source: http://community.microsoftadvertising.com/blogs/analytics/archive/2009/07/06/getting-back-to-basics-why-web-advertising-needs-traditional-media-metrics.aspx

Getting Back to Basics – Why Web Advertising Needs Traditional Media Metrics

posted Mon, Jul 06 2009

by Young Bean Song MSFT

Trying to build a brand marketing campaign without traditional target reach and Gross Rating Points (GRP) estimates is like trying to diet without the concept of calories. The analogy of dieting and advertising works on many levels.

continue reading Young Bean Song…

My response…

RE: “Patty Wakeling, an industry veteran who leads Unilever’s Global Media Insights Group, recently reminded me that in today’s retail environment, the choice between the branded versus the generic option are separated by less than an inch on the shelf. It was a sobering reminder of the power of branding, and why so many companies are willing to spend so much to build their brand equity.” But in the case of Whole Foods’ own store brand, 365, many people perceive it to be better than branded options (or at least equivalent). So they tend to choose to buy the 365 product instead. In other cases, what used to be brand equity/value is now perceived as an undesirable premium. Take another example — the rise and popularity of Trader Joe’s where 80% of the products sold are house brands. Consumers care about the product and its quality and value; consumers no longer care (as much) about the brand that is slapped on the package if the contents inside suck.

A brand used to be a mark or symbol burned onto a cow’s butt to signify what ranch it came from. And if people knew the ranch had a good reputation for raising healthy cows, they would buy the cow. The brand helped simplify the purchase decision. These days, advertisers carefully manicure “brand messages” and shout them at target consumers using various one-way channels such as TV, print, radio, and banner ads. But like Scott Cook, Intuit, said, “A brand is no longer wht we tell the consumer its – its what the consumers tell each other it is.” So branding as we know it (advertisers shouting claims at target customers) is less relevant or even unwanted entirely by modern consumers. And brand equity, which used to be a large, fungible item on the balance sheet (technically known as “good will”) may be far less valuable today. Consumers don’t just take the advertisers’ word for it; they will do their own research and buy what is actually valuable and useful.

Companies that actually develop useful and valueable products or services that consistently deliver on their promise — Apple, Drobo, Zappos, JetBlue, etc. — can even cut out their brand advertsing entirely because their brand IS their consistent delivery on the promise of value and usefulness. For example, has Apple EVER claimed they have awesome design and are easy to use? NEVER! But their products consistently deliver on those 2 attributes. So that’s how modern users would describe Apple’s brand to their friends.

A “brand” is earned over time. “Branding” is no longer a useful activity (and furthermore it is damned expensive — media costs — and ineffective — because it is the advertiser making claims that modern consumers don’t believe, assuming they saw the ad in the first place).

From AdAge — people buying private label, generics, or store brands (quality of which are pretty comparable to name brands)

Private Labels winning the battle of the brands
http://adage.com/article?article_id=134791

What do you think?

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Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 digital 3 Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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