Sony Music sees eye to Loudeye

Loudeye Technologies Inc., which makes video and music content compatible for the Internet, has pacted with Sony Music Entertainment to encode music clips for its Web sites.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Seattle-based Loudeye (formerly called Encoding.com) will convert a library of 30-second music clips for Sony to plant on several dot-coms, including a business site for music retailers that carries information on Sony artists, songs, cover art and posters.

Files will be available on both Microsoft’s Windows Media and RealNetworks’ RealMedia format.

Through the deal, Loudeye becomes the largest encoder of digital music content for the Web. Already-signed clients include BMG Entertainment, EMI-Capitol Music Group and Warner Bros. Records. Loudeye also handles duties for Netcaster AtomFilms and offers Internet consulting services.

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Long criticized for the steep budgets it once devoted to its lineup of original Internet shows, Gen-Y Netcaster Digital Entertainment Network is looking to turn things around and become more frugal.

The dot-com, which recently underwent a management shakeup and deposited a new round of financing, had been known to spend up to $100,000 for a six-minute segment of one of its youth-skewing shows.

The Santa Monica-based company has now teamed up with Play Streaming Media Group, a Silicon Valley-based company that will enable DEN to now spend roughly $400 per hour on the production of one episode of a show using PSMG’s technology and Internet distribution services.

PSMG is the parent company of Play Industries, a tech arm, which created Globecaster, an all-in-one television production studio, complete with editing and graphics capabilities. System is licensed for $680 per month.

PSMG has also signed on to provide production tools and distribution duties for DreamWorks and Imagine’s Pop.com, which is looking to launch before June with 50 hours of programming.

PSMG already has similar pacts with Pseudo.com, Yahoo!, Popcast.com, Webcasts.com and Intervu and soon plans to expand its content syndication business to include advertising sales, as well. Company teams up with other already established players to ease the distribution and sale of content by creators to Netcasters.

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Film and television editing giant Avid Technology Inc. said it plans to ramp up business-to-business site AvidProNet.com this summer to include an option that enables producers of a commercial, film or television show to view video and instantly send comments on portions of the video, complete with tagged timecodes, to editors.

For example, an advertising exec could monitor production and make changes to a spot for a new product all from his desk.

Avid plans to charge for the feature but has yet to decide the exact pricing model.

AvidProNet, launched last November, already features interviews, community sites with features including resumes, classifieds, job postings, chat rooms and message boards for the post production community.

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With attendees crowding any booth that involves the distribution, editing or production of Internet content, “Suddenly NAB is hip,” said Sun Microsystems’ John Gage during a keynote address Tuesday at the “Convergence of Entertainment and Technology: A View From the Year 2010″ discussion at NAB. “Everyone’s realizing the tools available to create new programming.”

But in a world expected to feature the Internet and television in one box in every living room, just what content will be available and which content creators will exist is another issue.

“The Web is the Planet Hollywood of the 21st century, and there will be some Chapter 11s along the way,” said David Grant, prexy of Fox Television Studios, which also oversees the Fox Foundry, an incubator of interactive content for the Web and television.

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“What Hollywood is doing now is counterproductive to how the Web can be used,” said Errol Gerson, head of new media and technology for Creative Artists Agency, in a panel discussion forecasting entertainment in 2010. “He or she who holds the gold makes the rule. The rulemakers are seeing the Web as a secondary tool for distribution. Just using Shockwave.com as another way for Mike Judge to make ‘King of the Hill’ is wrong.”

Gerson said that while television works now, technology is rapidly improving and wireless devices will be the second revolution to hit the content distribution space.

And although Sumner Redstone’s keynote speech on Monday stressed that there was nothing broadcasters had to fear from emerging “dot-communists” and “dot-commandos,” a new study by Internet analyst firm Jupiter Communications this week forecasts that by 2005, television will be dead last, with the Internet as the leader in advertising spending.

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