This week in New York, television network executives are presenting their offerings for the fall season – and pitching those shows to press and major advertisers. The goal? To allow marketers to buy commercial airtime “up front,” before the fall season begins. About $9 billion in advertising revenue is expected to be raised at the Upfronts. Kim Masters hosts KCRW’s “The Business” and spoke with KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis from Lincoln Center in New York.
Source: SoundCloud / KCRW
“ We really view YouTube as a technology platform that gives all content creators a voice.
We speak with Matthew GLOTZBACH, Managing Director YouTube EMEA, as he comes off stage at medienwoche in Berlin.
As there was some confusion in the audience about the difference between Google TV vs YouTube (apparently a common mix-up) he sets the facts straight, explaining that Google TV is an internet tv operating system whereas YouTube is a technology platform for content creators.
YouTube’s goal is to attract a wide range of video makers from companies to individuals, and help them create a content business with the audience reach and engagement tools that YouTube provides.
One successful German showcase he gave to the crowd in Berlin: Sami Slimani, better known as ‘Herr Tutorial’, who turned his beauty & lifestyle video endeavours into a fully fledged business on YouTube.
At MIPCOM, Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s Global Head of Content Partnerships, will focus on a new breed of original content creators and financiers — and how they collaborate to create and distribute great content. Content strategies of these ‘Original Creators’ will be unveiled at MIPCOM.
“This is NOW” rides the real-time-wave | Live Instagram Feed tunes into London / Sydney / New York / Tokyo
Remember the awesome CitySounds.fm? Hacked together by Henrik Berggren & Eric Wahlforss at a Music Hackday back in 2009, the simple and genius idea was to cluster SoundCloud tracks into City Channels, match it with pictures from Flickr and assemble all into a simple and beautiful layout. All was build in 48 hours and it even came with an iPhone app. Back in January we talked with Henrik & Eric about their love for hacks and early DJ encounters.
“This is NOW” is equally straight forward: Instagram images are grouped by cities into a live feed and dramatized with a ticking local time clock. Currently on display: London / Sydney / New York / Tokyo. The ‘Made in Sydney’ project picks up the real-time location trend and shows that simple data filters can do wonders. Berlin-based photo sharing and discovery app EyeEm started from the beginning with an album feature that let’s you easily choose different city streams - from Berlin to Buenos Aires, Copenhagen to Cape Town.
We’re looking forward to more of these real-time visualization projects to put method to the picture madness.
//IS THIS THE NEW MIXTAPE? SoundCloud teams up with Pinterest//
Another match made in heaven: You can now pin your sounds directly from SoundCloud to Pinterest, effectively creating an Audio Wall. (This collaboration is part of a slew of deep integrations with Pinterest that also include Etsy, Flickr, Vimeo and YouTube).
And it is a smart move as the fast growing Pinterest has emerged as a great discovery and distribution platform for content and products. (Although I would also love to see a combination of Fancy x SoundCloud - which seems to be an even better audience fit.)
SoundCloud also has more and more high profile artists pre-releasing their albums to the influential music-loving SoundCloud audience, Metric and Smashing Pumpkins being some of the very recent ones. With more commercial content on SoundCloud, are there additional revenue streams ‘in the baking’ beyond SoundCloud’s current subscription model?
Fact is, the #NextSoundCloud and the new features and design that come with it are awesome. Alex Ljung, Co-Founder and CEO of SoundCloud admitted his ‘borderline addiction’ with his own re-designed product on stage today at LeWeb. It is really beautiful in form and function and leaves room for exactly these kind of tie-ins with other partners — without messing up the product design. There are a number of recently announced feature collaborations between major platforms that will make a big difference given their sheer volume of users:
Twitter x SoundCloud = Audio Tweets // SoundCloud files will appear directly in your ‘extended tweets’
SongKick x SoundCloud = SoundCloud TourBox // SongKick’s TourBox Widget can be integrated by artists directly on their SoundCloud site
and now Pinterest x SoundCloud = Audio Wall.
These partnerships will surely drive further traffic to SoundClouds current 15 million user and sound-creator base. In an earlier interview, SoundCloud Co-Founder & CTO Eric Wahlforss mentioned how the launch of the record button had fuelled growth - and why they strongly believe that audio will eventually become bigger than video. All of these steps form part of SoundCloud’s bigger vision of Unmuting the Web.
Tune it up!
//INTERVIEW: Edial Dekker / Steve Jang// — We just kicked off a new series over at global City Guide Unlike, where founders give us the inside scoop on their local hangouts. First up is Edial Dekker, Co-Founder and CEO of Gidsy. Originally from Amsterdam, the ex-cook takes us through the hidden gems of tulip fields and locally produced food across his current home-base of Berlin.
A couple of weeks ago, we interviewed Edial in London together with Steve Jang, CEO of SF-based Soundtracking. Turns out, the 2 are friends from Edial’s Amsterdam days at The Next Web Conference. So we asked the two: “What would be the best ever local experience in San Francisco and Amsterdam?” — Hint: It includes Surfing, Snowboarding, Food, Red Light Districts and Skateboards. (Sorry for the busy background noise.)
Gidsy now offers local experiences and invites you to ‘do something different’ in 7 cities - more international expansion is on the plan. Here’s is a snapshot selection of the eclectic mix of Gidsy tours and maker workshops:
AMSTERDAM: This is Piet’s infamous ‘Policetour Redlight district ‘1980’ that Edial mentioned in our interview. Piet was a policeman in the 80ies at ‘Bureau Warmoesstraat’ and the Redlight District was his Kiez. Be prepared for a trip “back in time, into the world of drugs, prostitution, gambling and corruption.”
SAN FRANCISCO: Like Cheese? Then this one is for you. During the ‘Cheese Workshop’ you learn to make butter, ricotta, yogurt and cheddar all at once in a splash course on home cheese-making. One hundred percent of proceeds go towards community clinics in Haiti.
NEW YORK: The ‘Long Walks in Downtown NYC’ are a great opportunity to take a deeper dive into the city that never sleeps. Tour guide Deirdre knows all the hidden gems from The Village (East and West) to Tribeca, The Battery, Nolita, The Lower East Side and Brooklyn.
BERLIN: Betahaus offers hands-on workshops to Build your own design classics. In June you create Jean Prouvé’s lamp Potence, a classic from 1950 in 6 hours from easily available materials.
“TO SUCCEED SPECTACULARLY, YOU NEED TO BE WILLING TO FAIL SPECTACULARLY” — Biz Stone
At SXSW12, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone takes to Wim Wender’s “Wings of Desire” (not the Hollywood version ‘City of Angels’ as he points out) for a very valuable lesson for start-ups: Stop hedging and ‘go all in’. Listen. It’s brilliant.
He also remembers the birth hours of Twitter. Originally he had planned together with Evan Williams to become the “Kings of Podcasting” with Odeo - until they realized other people were doing it and Apple put podcasts into iTunes (which made sense).
Another (bigger) reason not to go down the podcasting road was that they weren’t really motivated to use it themselves. It didn’t “light their fire”. — Enter Jack Dorsey, an engineer who was writing dispatch software at the time and had an obsession with the idea to visualize the real-time pulse of a city. So, they married their ideas and built an early Twitter prototype to socialize and broadcast short (dispatch) messages. The rest is history.
However, the loudest initial critique was “Twitter is not useful” - to which Evan Williams once responded “Neither is ice cream. So should we ban ice cream?” Point taken. Florian Weber, one of the early Twitter developers and now a co-founder and CTO at Amen, told us in a previous interview about even harsher critique while he was helping to build Twitter from his German home-base. “Most people in Germany just thought it was plain stupid,” Weber mentioned. A good example that mass-popular services first and foremost need to be simple - and the users will find a way to make them valuable for themselves.
What Twitter really represents is power of free communication in the hands of people. Stone recalls an early anecdote when students in Moldavia took to Twitter to organize a student revolt and he was questioned about his involvement. By now Twitter is recognized as THE people powered tool for free speech to make the world aware of political protests all over the globe.
Stones biggest learning? “Change is not a triumph of technology, it’s a triumph of humanity.” Technology is only an enabler.
//INTERVIEW x SOUNDCLOUD// — At the DLD conference in Munich SoundCloud Co-Founder Alex Ljung just announced that they hit the mark of 10 MILLION REGISTERED USERS, 7 million of those have only joined over the last year. The recent financing round in January - which is believed to have pumped another 50 million into the Berlin-based company - was already a testament to the expected dimension of growth.
In this excerpt from our interview, SoundCloud Co-Founder Eric Wahlforss talks to us about the “inevitable trajectory” towards building SoundCloud, why sound will be bigger than video and how launching the ‘record button’ has fueled the vision of unmuting the web everywhere.
//DARE TO ASK: Henrik Berggren / Eric Wahlforss// — We meet the 2 “Swedish Imports” (and good friends) at the Readmill HQ in Berlin where they talk about Stockholm clubbing days, advice for young entrepreneurs, favourite sounds and (social) trust issues.