More To Like at iLike

It was a busy day for the folks at iLike. That’s because the social Web site that builds a community based upon users’ music preferences had not one, but three, major items rolled into one announcement July 21.

First up is iLike’s user base. The company announced it has reached 30 million users, a 100 percent increase within the last nine months. In other words, the site that asks you what you like and dislike must be doing something right.

But the 30 mil mark is just for starters. ILike also announced a deal with RealNetworks’ Rhapsody that brings full-length song previews to the company’s users. It will soon be available on Facebook via iLike’s music application already in use on the social Web site.

Now, if you’re wondering what’s to keep people from using those full-length previews as their own private CD players, think again. The Rhapsody previews limit users to 25 plays per month, after which users can either sign up for the Rhapsody service or continue to go through life with 30-second song samples.

But as they say on those late-night infommercials, "But wait! There’s more."

Along with reaching the 30 million benchmark, and in addition to the Rhapsody deal, iLike also announced a new ad platform that gives promoters, venue owners, booking agents and indie bands advertising tools to reach specific target audiences.

"The reason why we picked to announce these things on the day we announced our user milestone is the combination of them is so broad-reaching," iLike President Hadi Partovi told Pollstar. "It somewhat transforms our company … to touch more players in the music industry in a deeper way.

"The consumers get to listen to full songs. The artists and their labels get to earn royalties when consumers play the music. Promoters and venue owners now have a self-service tool for promoting concerts," Partovi said. "And for Web site developers, who we’ve never really had a relationship with in the past, we’re going to build a system that helps us syndicate our existence beyond the social networks and offer it to mom-and-pop Web sites."

ILike’s new ad platform allows promoters, venue owners, or anyone presenting a concert to create a multimedia advertisement targeting potential ticket customers based on location and music tastes. When constructing an ad, the user picks the music to play with the message, when the ad runs, and even the rate for the ad from a drop-down rate card.

"Most people, I think, don’t buy advertising on the Internet," Partovi said. "Particularly, in the concert promotion business, the vast majority of the dollars are spent on newspapers, particularly local weeklies and on radio. And the reason for that is other venues of advertising haven’t had the type of targeting that a newspaper or radio provides.

"And venue owners and promoters are well aware that the newspaper isn’t getting read nearly as much. But they’ve not had a good outlet for doing the same kind of promotion because the targeting and the tools haven’t been as easy or as accessible."

And who sees the finished advertisement? Think about those 30 million users. And then think of the friends those users might share those ads with.

Yes, July 21 was a busy day for iLike, what with 30 million users, the Rhapsody connection providing full-length song previews and the new ad platform. But what excites Partovi the most?

"Me, personally?" answered Partovi. "The 30 million user part."


AT&T Gets Blue At Lollapalooza

Concert fans who can’t make it to the Windy City for this year’s Lollapalooza, scheduled for August 1-3 at Chicago’s Grant Park can snag a front-row seat by checking out AT&T’s Blue Room at

Along with the exclusive webcast of the three-day festival, AT&T will also archive individual performances for a limited time. AT&T will also post a complete schedule of events on the Blue Room site.

Lollapalooza isn’t the only mult-day festival on AT&T’s Blue Room agenda. The telecom will also exclusively webcast the Austin City Limits Music Festival September 26-28 and more are expected.

"Lollapalooza brings some of the biggest names in music together with fans from coast to coast for an exciting weekend of live performances," said Jamie Butcher, AT&T’s VP of brand sponsorship. "We’re thrilled to be able to share the sights and sounds of Lollapalooza to even more music lovers throughout the country via our exclusive webcast on the Blue Room."


Dialing On The Sly

It’s being touted as the painless way to break up a relationship, but new phone service Slydial just might be useful in the business world as well.

The premise behind Slydial is simple. It sends a call directly to voice mail, thereby circumventing a person’s cell phone. It’s for when you need to tell somebody something, but you don’t want to speak directly to the recipient. You can always leave a message with Slydial.

"Everybody has gone through the scenario where they’ve called somebody and just hoped they got voice mail so they didn’t have to have a conversation," said Gavin Macomber, co-founder of MobileSphere Ltd., the company behind Slydial.

Slydial users have a choice of listening to a 15-second ad before leaving a message or paying 15 cents to skip the commercial and get right down to the nitty-gritty.

While breaking off relationships is one area Slydial excels in, there are many obvious uses for music business professionals as well as music artists themselves.

Or, for that matter, artist endorsements would seem a natural for Slydial. Hmmm … Does Courtney Love know about this?