Starting Tuesday, music lovers can sign up for 60 days of free access to music subscription service Rhapsody, thanks to a promotion with MTV.
Usually, trial periods for music subscription services are about seven to 14 days, so this is a pretty big offering — one which will also include tie-ins with MTV Networks programming. Think playlists from Jersey Shore, etc. The service will also be cropping up in the mobile realm, such as in the Tosh.0 app.
This move seems like an attempt on Rhapsody‘s part to draw new users into the fold. The company reports that it has more than 750,000 subscribers, 100,000 of which it says signed up after Rhapsody spun off from RealNetworks and Viacom in April (and, also, cut its price from $15 per month to $10). At that time, according to Business Insider, MTV (whose parent company is Viacom) committed $33 million in free advertising for Rhapsody as part of the service’s move into independence.
Rhapsody was also recently integrated into MTV’s new Music Meter tool.
Since other music subscription services don’t generally release their subscriber numbers — with the exception of Spotify, which reports 10 million subscribers (though it isn’t known if they all pay or use the app) — it’s hard to say how Rhapsody stacks up against its competitors when it comes to user base.
Still, most digital music services have yet to become profitable — both Spotify and Last.fm lost money in 2009 — so we can see why Rhapsody would be making a special effort to bait users with a free trial that will hopefully lead to more paid subscribers. (This is especially in light of comments Rhapsody President Jon Irwin made with regard to the controversial Apple App Store tariff.)
Hulu will hit $500 million in advertising and subscription revenues this year, nearly doubling last year’s take, CEO Jason Kilar said Monday.
Kilar, who spoke at the Internet Advertising Bureau’s 2011 Annual Leadership Meeting in Palm Springs, California, said the site now claims 627 advertisers and 250 content partners, compared with only two advertisers when Hulu launched three years ago, according a report in Adweek. Kilar had previously predicted that Hulu would post about $240 million in ad revenues in 2010. The actual figure was $263 million, up from $108 million in 2009.
In the following video excerpt of the speech, Kilar explains why he thinks overall Internet ad revenues are likely to increase. “Time spent versus the ad dollars spent is incredibly out of whack,” Kilar said. “But that gap will close and I believe it will close in due haste.” Kilar says the Internet accounts for 28% of consumption time but only attracts 13% of U.S. media dollars.
The optimistic outlook comes after a report that Disney and Fox are considering pulling content from Hulu because the company’s business model is at odds with their online sales goals.
Correction: A previous version of this story said Hulu will bring in $500 million in advertising revenue alone, and that Hulu launched 18 months ago. The article has been updated accordingly.
It was a great night for The King’s Speech and Inception at the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday — and a somewhat more disappointing outcome for their main rival, David Fincher’s The Social Network.
Fincher’s movie, a fictionalized account of the rise of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, still won three Oscars. Writer Aaron Sorkin, also known for West Wing and A Few Good Men, won Best Adapted Screenplay (it was based on Ben Mezrich’s book “The Accidental Billionaires”), while Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor won Best Original Score for the movie’s haunting music. The movie also won an award for Best Film Editing.
But The Social Network had been nominated for eight awards — and had been hotly tipped for Best Picture until The King’s Speech started picking up buzz several months ago. It failed to win for Best Cinematography, Best Actor, Best Director or Best Picture. The King’s Speech took home five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Colin Firth. Chris Nolan’s dream-within-a-dream Inception also won five, including Best Special Effects for its stunning computer-generated imagery.
For The Social Network‘s fans, it will be especially disappointing that the movie won awards for sound, vision and script — but apparently was not better than the sum of those parts. And in what seemed almost like a snub, Sorkin’s acceptance speech was one of them that was cut short by the Academy’s “play them out” music.
Still, for a movie that’s all about a nerd who fights to be popular but fails to fit in, it seems an appropriate outcome.
Do you think The Social Network got snubbed in some categories? Or did the right nominees win?
Tonight’s the big night when the Oscars 2011 awards ceremony broadcasts on ABC starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time. But that’s just the ceremony itself — there’s a lot more to see online.
If you’re looking to watch the whole broadcast online, there’s Oscar All Access from Oscar.com, a new premium experience that will cost you $4.99. Starting at 6 p.m. Eastern, it’ll offer an unprecedented amount of coverage with 24 live cameras positioned around the red carpet area, in the Kodak Theater and at the Governors Ball afterward. Some will be shooting in a 360-degree field of view, giving you the ability to pan around the festivities as you wish.
The service promises live views from within the venue during the ceremony, backstage looks, and sneak peeks at the stars during commercials. You’ll even be able to sneak into the director’s control room during the show. Beyond that, there are apps for the iPhone and iPad that give you all that coolness except for that 360 cam, for $.99.
Too rich for you? That same site, Oscar.com, will be showing a more conventional view of festivities starting at 6 p.m. Eastern. You won’t get those multi-camera views of the $4.99 premium service, but according to spokespeople from the site, “Oscar.com will be live streaming content from the awards throughout the evening — from the Red Carpet through the ceremony — which will be in addition to the content airing on television. So fans can actually log on to Oscar.com at any point during the night and see content from the awards show.”
Beyond its streaming video offerings, you can create an account at the Oscar.com site, and there’s an Oscar ballot where you can vote for your favorites and share them with others. There’s also an area showing what the stars are tweeting about during the show.
The AP and Livestream are back again this year with red carpet coverage starting at 6 p.m. Eastern, and if you “Like” AP Live on Facebook you can watch the red carpet coverage there. On the AP Live Facebook page, you can post comments and questions for AP Global Entertainment Editor Alicia Quarles, and she’ll be checking her iPad for those during the show.
Keep an eye on Twitter during the broadcast, especially the Oscars stream where there will be no shortage of comments, information, catcalls and accolades. And, here are 5 apps that can further enhance your Oscar experience.
LivingSocial will break its newest ad campaign Sunday, during this year’s Academy Awards telecast. The campaign outlines the site’s possibilities with quick setting and costume changes reminiscent of Old Spice’s hugely popular “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign of 2010.
LivingSocial’s campaign, from the Martin Agency, features two ads. One shows a couple move from a romantic dinner to a hair salon and then to a dance floor. The other ad features a couple switching go from a seaside dinner to a spa and then to a skydiving session. If the ads seem familiar, it might be because Old Spice used a similar technique with Isaiah Mustafa moving from the shower to a boat and then to a horse, while making a pitch for the brand.
The LivingSocial campaign is a creative departure from the brand’s ad that ran during the Super Bowl pregame show — though both spots are during major televised events. The Super Bowl ad featured a man who was addicted to bargains.
Meanwhile, LivingSocial’s push comes after rival Groupon pulled its controversial Super Bowl ad campaign, which featured celebrities earnestly pitching their causes and then abruptly shifting gears to plug Groupon.