Monthly Archives: July 2011

Spanish piracy law draws U.S. investments: minister

By Tracy Rucinski and Iciar Reinlein
MADRID | Fri Jul 22, 2011

MADRID (Reuters) – Major U.S. and Spanish companies are preparing to invest in online music and movie services in Spain once a controversial new law to fight piracy takes effect next month, the country’s culture minister said.

Intellectual property watchdogs have targeted Spain as one of the world’s largest copyright violators with a piracy rate of nearly 80 percent, and are closely watching the implementation of the new law.

“There are Spanish companies developing large websites and U.S. companies that are seriously studying how to enter the European market,” Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde told Reuters in an interview.

“Until now U.S. companies were considering abandoning our country, closing their headquarters and even their delegations because it wasn’t worth it,” she said.

The 46 year-old Sinde — who was a screenwriter, director and president of Spain’s film academy before taking on the role of culture minister two years ago — is behind the new anti-piracy law that bears her name. (more…)

The Emerging Startup Culture In Cairo Will Blow You Away

Business Insider
Aimee Groth
| Jul. 20, 2011,

It’s small, but there’s a burgeoning start-up culture in Cairo.

The International Finance Corporation reported that in 2011, out of 183 economies, Egypt’s “Starting a Business” ranking rose to 18 from 23 in 2010. More than half the Egyptian population is under the age of 30 — and these are the people who leveraged Facebook and Twitter during the revolution. Now they’re starting businesses.

Scott Gerber

In June, the U.S. State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Program sent a team of American entrepreneurs to survey the start-up scene. The trip, officially called “NextGenIT Boot Camp,” was also sponsored by the Danish and Egyptian governments.

We spoke with one of the American delegates, Scott Gerber, president of the Young Entrepreneur Council, about his recent trip to Cairo. (more…)

Older Latinos: An Underestimated Marketing Opportunity.

July 30, 2011
By Felipe Korzenny, Ph.D.

I have been thinking that for the last 20 years the marketing industry keeps talking about Hispanic youth as the promised land of opportunity. No question that Latinos are fundamentally characterized by their youth because their median age is 10 years younger than that of the overall US population. Still, there are older Latinos, and surprisingly they are a fast growing subpopulation of people 50 and over in the United States. That is not hard to understand since everyone ages and Hispanics are the fastest growing cultural group in the United States.

The cult of youth among marketers is understandable, but looking at some data from the Florida State University DMS Insights Multicultural Marketing Research Project of 2011 suggests that there is ample opportunity to capitalize on 50+ Latinos because their aspirations are high.

For example, among those who are online who do not currently have a blog, one can see that those who prefer to communicate in Spanish are more likely than anyone else to say they are planning to have a blog within the next year, and those 50+ are the most ambitious in this respect than anyone else in their age group. (more…)

Did You Know? 2010 Was the Worst Decline EVER for the Concert Industry…

Friday, July 22, 2011

It’s worse than you think. “2010… was the single largest year-over-year decline in the history of the live event business, straight up, in the 35 year history of Ticketmaster and I think anywhere else,” said Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard in a weekend interview with Topspin head Ian Rogers.  ”You have to take a step back and say, ‘why? what is the fan telling us that isn’t right about the business?’”

Is this simply becoming a broken model?  Indeed, a look at Live Nation’s financials shows the dramatic plunge, with 2008 also offering a catastrophic free-fall (left axis in millions).

In the interview, Hubbard pointed to a number of sticky problems.  ”We’ve got a fan experience problem, first and foremost. There are things about buying the ticket that suck.  There are things about going to the show that suck.”

But pricing may be the bigger – and primary – culprit.  ”The compound annual growth rate for ticket prices has been 5-8 percent, since the beginning of time – so it’s just continued to inch up, and the decline in recorded music sales accelerated that for sure,” Hubbard continued.  ”Price is still an issue for fans.”

Don’t Cede Control: Why You Need to Cut out Middle Men in Negotiations

Both Sides of the Table
by Mark Suster on July 19, 2011

Middle Men. Middle People?

They exist in all forms of work and life. They’re essential in helping us get our jobs done because they specialize in something we do not. They do a routine task over-and-over again all year long that we do only periodically.

Lawyers. Recruiters. Bankers. Real Estate professionals. PR firms. You name it. And yes, VC’s, too.

We need them all. Yet a critical mistake I see many entrepreneurs make is that they hand over too much control to their third-parties. They outsource the critical negotiations and “trust their advisors to handle the details.” Middle Men need to be led by you, not the other way around. And a key point is that when it comes down to “negotiations” you need to turn up your personal heat and dial back the middle man. (more…)

UPDATE 1-Talpa must sell asset to clear joint bid for SBS

* Talpa to sell stake in RTL Nederland within three years

* To hear from RTL Group next week on its intentions to buy

* Also has option to float stake in 2014

(Adds detail)

AMSTERDAM, July 22 (Reuters) – Finnish media group Sanoma (SAA1V.HE) and Dutch firm Talpa, owned by media tycoon John de Mol, won clearance from the Dutch authorities to buy free-to-air TV company SBS provided Talpa sells a rival Dutch media asset.

German broadcaster ProSieben (PSMG_p.DE) agreed to sell its Belgian and Dutch assets in SBS for 1.23 billion euros in April to Sanoma and Talpa which, as the junior partner, will acquire a 33 percent stake. [ID:nLDE73J02Z] (more…)

Music Subscription Faceoff: How Does Spotify Measure Up? [INFOGRAPHIC]

July 2011

When Spotify moored its boatload of music to U.S. shores last week, music lovers were faced with a conundrum: Should I switch to Spotify, or stick with my current music subscription service of choice? Or, for the non-early adopter set: Should I check out this Spotify thing at all?

Well, as invites to Spotify’s free, introductory service roll out to curious users, and music subscription vets sit poised, their fingers hovering over “subscribe,” we’ve taken the liberty to condense all the key details about the top on-demand services on the market into one helpful infographic: Spotify, Rdio, MOG, Slacker Radio, Rhapsody and Grooveshark (streaming-only services like Pandora were not included because they do not have an on-demand offering).

Check out the chart below and let us know in the comments: Which service will you choose?

Reporting by: Brenna Ehrlich, Christina Warren and Jennifer Van Grove

What’s The Most Difficult CEO Skill? Managing Your Own Psychology.

posted March 31st, 2011

It’s fucked up when your mind’s playin’ tricks on ya” —The Geto Boys

By far the most difficult skill for me to learn as CEO was the ability to manage my own psychology. Organizational design, process design, metrics, hiring and firing were all relatively straightforward skills to master compared to keeping my mind in check. Over the years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of CEOs all with the same experience. Nonetheless, very few people talk about it, and I have never read anything on the topic. It’s like the fight club of management: The first rule of the CEO psychological meltdown is don’t talk about the psychological meltdown.

At risk of violating the sacred rule, I will attempt to describe the condition and prescribe some techniques that helped me. In the end, this is the most personal and important battle that any CEO will face.

If I’m Doing a Good Job, Why Do I Feel So Bad?

Generally, someone doesn’t become CEOs unless she has a high sense of purpose and cares deeply about the work she does. In addition, a CEO must be accomplished enough or smart enough that people will want to work for her. Nobody sets out to be a bad CEO, run a dysfunctional organization, or create a massive bureaucracy that grinds her company to a screeching halt. Yet no CEO ever has a smooth path to a great company. Along the way, many things go wrong and all of them could have and should have been avoided. (more…)

Is Metadata Music’s Next Financial Frontier? SXSW Panel Suggests It Might Be
Re post July 2011

By Sandira Calviac, Austin, TX

The “Information is Key, Data is King” saying seems to have finally found its roots at a number of SxSW’s panels and events. Strong usage of metadata has proven not only to directly impact consumers’ discovery, increase sales and nurture fan relationships, but also help with copyright and royalty redistribution.

Industries such as finance or publishing have long understood the importance of gathering and aggregating data sources in order to mine through and monetize them. The music industry is now obsessing over it, with lawyers, academics and industry players attempting to address the topic at this year’s SxSW. (more…)

The Tire Iron and the Tamale

Re-Post July 2011
Published: March 4, 2011

During this past year I’ve had three instances of car trouble: a blowout on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out-of-gas situation. They all happened while I was driving other people’s cars, which for some reason makes it worse on an emotional level. And on a practical level as well, what with the fact that I carry things like a jack and extra fuses in my own car, and know enough not to park on a steep incline with less than a gallon of fuel.

Holly Wales

Each time, when these things happened, I was disgusted with the way people didn’t bother to help. I was stuck on the side of the freeway hoping my friend’s roadside service would show, just watching tow trucks cruise past me. The people at the gas stations where I asked for a gas can told me that they couldn’t lend them out “for safety reasons,” but that I could buy a really crappy one-gallon can, with no cap, for $15. It was enough to make me say stuff like “this country is going to hell in a handbasket,” which I actually said.

But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke any English. (more…)