Music Business Roundup

Songza

This week Google acquired Songza, a website know for it’s human-curated playlists, for a sum allegedly over $15 million. The site bases playlists on a variety of parameters ranging from activities to the weather. Google currently plans to leave the site intact and retain the site’s fifty employees. This acquisition closely follows Apple’s acquisition of Beats, which has a similar playlist generation system.

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Lollapalooza

This August Lollapalooza debuts its cashless wristband “Lolla Cashless.” The system runs through the admissions wristband using radio frequency identification. Lollapalooza will send wristbands to the attendees before the festival begins, and each person can program a PIN number and payment method that vendors can identify. Lollapalooza is the first festival to use this kind of technology for payment, potentially giving retailers and restaurants insight into mobile payment options.

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SoundCloud

A controversy has broken out about SoundCloud’s copyright infringement and recording removal policy. SoundCloud notified a DJ, who consistently posted a radio show incorporating other artists’ music, that Universal Music Group requested the removal of his account. When asked for clarification, SoundCloud claimed that they had little control or knowledge of the nature of the infringement, implying a “backdoor” system for the major labels to directly remove recordings from the site. SoundCloud claims they have a petition system similar to sites like YouTube, but the company’s lack of transparency regarding the process casts a shadow on their methods.

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Written by Jesse Feister and compiled by Sydney Mathieu.