The death is being treated as murder by the Police. We think it was the result of an insurance job gone wrong, though it’s hard to know what happened without the full picture. Everytime we leave the house we have to sign in and out, as we are effectively living inside a crime scene. The burnt building has been stabilised with an impressive amount of scaffolding and forensic work has been ongoing over the last day or so. It’s quite interesting watching it all unfold outside of my window, though the actual fire was quite shocking to watch.
The exam went better than I originally had thought. We spent the whole day messing around in the sun, drinking beer and generally not revising. It was fantastic, and I have the sunburn to prove it! I am now a free man - we have a party planned for Monday night, and might possibly have the best bouncers EVER.]]>
We don’t actually know much about the album, other than it’s meant to contain an epic, 15 minute long ’symphonic monster’. This is meant to close the album in the form of 3 separate tracks.
Muselive is getting mega busy in anticipation of the album, and we’ve got some fun ideas lined up. Firstly, we’re hoping to integrate Spotify into the site, automatically turning references to Muse track names into Spotify URIs. Secondly, and more importantly, we’re going to be creating a live gig feed section of the website. We’ll be using twitter analytics to build up a picture of each gig, allowing our members to view the live setlist, comments, photos etc. from any gig which is in progress. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but I won’t bore you with the nitty gritties!
I’m still in love with Spotify, in fact I am now a subscriber. I get a strange warm, fuzzy feeling when listening to music legally - I highly recommend it! If Spotify enabled you to import local media files and play them using their software, I might die a happy Spotify-joy-induced death.]]>
I’ve done a few sums, based on the current cost of advertising on the Spotify platform. After enquiring with their advertising department, I have learnt that the minimum cost of placing an advert on their system is £15 CPM (price per one thousand impressions). This is a LOT by any standard - in comparison, MuseLive.com currently earns of the order £0.10 CPM. Is this high CPM enough to yield a profit? My initial calculations say no.
I am assuming that an advertiser pays Spotify a set rate of £15 CPM for an audio advert. I am unclear as to what their rates are for traditional banner advertising, however I am lead to believe it is of the same order of magnitude. I will only be taking into account the profits earned due to “free” account holders, therefore the resultant value will be a minimum profit. I have not taken into account the exclusive contracts Spotify may hold with the individual record labels, and am therefore assuming that Spotify pay 1p for each on demand stream (this is an average price, split between the record label and the PRS). I have also noticed recently that two separate adverts are played every 20 minutes - one by Spotify and one by an external advertiser, bringing the total advertising time up to 1 minute, however keeping the same CPM (£15).
Using the above assumptions, let’s assume the average track length on Spotify is 4 minutes long. An advert is played to you once every 20 minutes. Spotify will earn £15 for every 1000 plays of that advert - so that’s 1000 (20-1) minutes of track playing, taking into account the 1 minute total advertising length. In this time you will have played approximately 4750 tracks, at a cost of £47.50 to Spotify. For every 4750 tracks played on Spotify (in the UK), they are theoretically making a LOSS of £32.50.
With an average of 10m tracks played daily, this equates to a daily loss of ~ £69,000. To recoup that much cash, they’d need just over 200,000 premium subscribers, not taking into account the loss of advertising from these customers (Spotify Premium is an ad-free service).
Bear in mind that this is a worst case scenario (using minimum CPM values, taking non exclusive on-demand streaming royalty values and ignoring standard banner advertising). Spotify have a significant number of premium subscribers which will give a healthy boost to their profits, hopefully pushing this figure into the black. It is worth noting, though, that this figure is sufficient enough to assume that free Spotify account holders ARE making a loss for the company. These accounts are obviously brilliant marketing tools, but it makes you wonder how long they can keep this up for.
Good luck, Spotify!
Happy happy smiley smiley!]]>
If you aren’t already aware, U2 are charging up to $250(!) for standard tickets, and hundreds more for VIP packages which include a tour of the backstage area. This isn’t so bad in itself, fans will genuinely want this experience, however the real shocker comes down to the pricing of their (RED) tickets.
The (RED) areas at the 360 degree shows are positioned just around the stage and are, apparently, the best place to “see, and be seen”. They come at a price though. U2 have taken their fans loyalty and sent them competing against each other - the highest bidder gets the ticket (up to $1,000’s). It’s a fantastic business model, yes, but at the cost of anally raping their fans, it’s probably not the best long term plan.
Aha! you think. Why don’t I just get a presale ticket? Well, to be considered a ‘real fan’ these days, you have to pay $50 (or more) for the privilege. $50 gets you access to the third day of the presale - if you want access any earlier then you’ll have to shell out a bit more. That $50 doesn’t even include the cost of a ticket.
I’m not normally one for ranting, but this jolly well takes the biscuit.]]>
So, what have I missed? Well, Obama made an appearance on Jay Lenno (in the States), two planes have crashed, Jade Goody has passed away, Apple have announced the iPhone’s 3.0 software and there has been an amazing episode of Dollhouse (which I highly recommend if you haven’t yet seen it). I think Barack’s appearance on US entertainment TV was a brilliant move, cementing him as an extraordinary speaker and once again confirming his commitment to his country. I haven’t tracked all of the changes he’s made so far, but his closure of Guantanamo and reversal of Bush’s ban on stem cell research is the right way forward. Another 3 years of this is a needed step forward.
More importantly, of course, is what happened in the latest episode of Dollhouse. If you haven’t watched it yet, then you should. It’s about a secret company that caters to the rich and well-connected, providing an exclusive service to make ends meet. The latest episode sees the plot diverge with a number of unexpected twists - with another 15 episodes to go in this season alone, it’s going to make for a fantastic way to procrastinate through exams.
I skied over 270km last week (according to the cool lift pass online tracking thing), so I’m pretty shattered. We went to the Dolomiti Superski area, which has over 1200km of skiable terrain. It’s MASSIVE. We spent a couple of days skiing with some of my Dad’s friends, one of which plays harp for Goldfrapp. My exams start on the 21st April, so the rest of the holiday is going to be full of revision. Blehrr.
I’ll try and blog again soon. I’ve missed a lot of things, but I’m still recovering.
Listening: Goldfrapp - Some People]]>
And then there’s the Muselive side of things. The traffic to the site will increase exponentially as the album launch date draws closer. We’ve already seen a 30% increase in traffic over the last month - and there’s still 6 months to go till D-Day. We’ll be upgrading the server over Easter to prepare for the extra demand, yet more money down the drain. Then there’s the mandatory 18 months of touring - we’ll have to maintain and update the site on an almost hourly basis. I’m going to be working full time in The City, so this is going to prove tricky, but I’ll find a way :-).
On a lighter note, our April Fools plans are gearing up nicely
But now the supper happy funtimes can begin! Starting with… printing, cutting and popping little bits of paper into 100 poster tubes. You wouldn’t believe how time consuming it is… and I think my back may snap at any moment now. The things I do for Muselive, eh ;).
So what’s in store for Easter? I’m going skiing on Sunday to the Dolomites which should be amazo, and then back to Cornwall to revise for my exams in April / May / June. Not fun. I’m hoping to get a bit more PHP experience over the holidays - I have some pretty interesting ideas which might make their way onto ML soon, but I need to better understand the language I’ll be coding in first!
The new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album is pretty good.]]>