Imeem Scoops Up Snocap

Remember those old ads for an electric razor that featured a man saying he loved the product so much he bought the company? Social networking site imeem can now say the same about Snocap.

That’s because after using Snocap for identifying music uploads from its users for the past 12 months, imeem decided to acquire the company founded in part by original Napsterman Shawn Fanning in 2002.

Simply put, Snocap maintains a digital signature database of recorded music that it uses to identify songs either uploaded to sites such as imeem, or traded on peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Once Snocap obtains a match it can then determine if the music is licensed for various online distribution methods.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how imeem can benefit from its Snocap acquisition. As with many social networks, music is the glue that brings people together.

But users of networks like imeem or MySpace often upload music that hasn’t been cleared by the content owners for online distributorship, whether by streaming, downloading or sharing.

Imeem’s buying Snocap not only means the company has its own in-house licensing validation technology, but it also acquires technology to help unsigned artists sell and distribute their own music via Snocap MyStore, which is used by more than 110,000 unsigned and indie acts, as well as license that technology to other companies.

Along with Snocap technology, imeem gets an executive in the deal. Snocap’s chief operating officer, Ali Aydar, is imeem’s new VP of Operations.

"The Snocap team built a great technology platform that will be useful to imeem as we continue to grow," said imeem founder and CEO Dalton Caldwell. "Together we’ll build on that work in the coming months, and give labels and independent artists new ways to promote and sell their music through imeem, MySpace and anywhere on the Web."


The Police Do It For Charity

Sting and the boys get behind a good cause as The Police give fans a chance to bid on front-row seats and ticket packages not usually available to the public.

Proceeds from the charity auction, running now through mid-summer, support the band’s nonprofit partner Unitus, which seeks innovative solutions to global poverty.

Ticket packages to be awarded to the highest bidders include front-row tickets and concert tour programs signed by Police-men Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. Select packages also include sound check access and backstage tours.

It all happens at, where fans can bid on 21 North American shows and eight European dates. Additional ticket packages will also be added to the auction block through the end of July.

"When we look at the challenges we face as a planet, we recognize that poverty is at the root of nearly all of them," the band said.

"During the 2008 tour, we chose to work with Unitus – an organization that is boldly tackling theses changes by supporting equality, empowerment, and dignity for the world’s poor. Together with Unitus, we can help foster fundamental changes in the world to help create equal opportunity and to share the wealth and be true global citizens."


StubHub Going To Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo and StubHub have inked a multi-year agreement making the reseller facilitator the official fan-to-fan outlet for the annual music festival near Manchester, Tenn.

The announcement comes at a time when the dividing line between primary and secondary ticket sellers continues to blur, as not only primary sellers but artists, events and venues continue to seek new revenue streams derived from ticket resales.

In addition to connecting sellers with buyers, the StubHub / Bonnaroo deal provides exclusive charity VIP experience packages, which include two VIP tickets to the festival, a chance to view a backstage radio performance, invitations to backstage artist press conferences and an invitation to watch a performance from special side-stage viewing platforms. VIP packages also include all regular VIP ticket amenities, such as access to a hospitality area with catered buffet, beer and soft drinks, private restrooms, "preferred camping area access" and a commemorative Bonnaroo 2008 merchandise package.

Proceeds from the charity VIP packages benefit the Manchester Arts Center, Rock The Earth, Head Count and Common Ground Relief in 2008.

StubHub is also hosting the "Karaoke Bar" at Bonnaroo, a place where festival goers can relax and do what comes naturally in such places. The Karaoke Bar includes a full-service bar and lounge seating that should be THE place for wannabe rock stars looking for a cool one during the four-day festival.

"We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with one of the most revered music festivals in the world," said Chuck La Vallee, StubHub’s head of music development. "StubHub prides itself on accommodating fans from the moment they purchase tickets to the moment they sit in their seats.

"We’ll be taking it one step further at Bonnaroo by providing fans a location to show off their own talents while waiting for the next band or finishing off their evening."


Instincts & Tubes

Ten months after Apple sent its much-ballyhooed iPhone to market, two phone manufactures think they may have the almost-mythical "iPhone killer."

First up is Samsung’s Instinct, which will be available only for Sprint customers. Unveiled a few weeks ago at CTIA Wireless 2008 in Las Vegas, and scheduled to hit store shelves in June, the mobile phone / music / Web device sports a touch-screen interface as Apple’s iPhone. Other features include Web browsing, e-mail, picture sharing and Internet radio at broadband speeds.

Additional features include Visual Voicemail, which gives users the ability to listen to messages in order of preference by simply tapping the screen; a 2.0 megapixel camera with camcorder and not one but two standard 1,000 mAmp batteries, each good for 5.75 hours of continuous talk time.

The crowd at CTIA Wireless went with the Instinct. Samsung’s new mobile was awarded "Best in Show" in the Emerging Technology (E-Tech) award competition.

But the Instinct is only one of two possible contenders gunning for iPhone-like sales. Nokia is reportedly coming out with a gadget called Tube, which is supposed to do everything the iPhone does, plus more.

Supposedly, Tube will include features from Nokia’s next-generation phones such as GPS, Java support and wireless Web browsing. However, it’s the device’s touch-screen interface that makes it look as if it could be Nokia’s answer to the iPhone, according to Forbes.

No one seems sure if the actual name for the device is "Tube," although that’s how a Nokia VP referred to the handset during a presentation.

But if the name is "Tube," then you gotta wonder if this is going to be one of those great product names that will signify brand loyalty for years to come, or be an unmitigated branding disaster. With society’s penchant for turning nouns into verbs, the idea that someone might refer to phoning you as "Tubing you," may not have that nice a ring to it.

Nevertheless, Nokia hasn’t said much more about its "Tube," and has yet to set a release date. But with both Nokia and Samsung coming out with phones clearly inspired by Apple’s iPhone, it’s almost a sure bet that other manufacturers are developing their own "iPhone killers."

Although other mobile phone manufacturers might match Apple’s iPhone feature-for-feature, whether those companies can match the hype and hoopla Apple used in rolling out the most recognizable new gadget of 2007 might be the ultimate test for any outfit looking to best Steve Jobs and his wonderful toys.