Архив метки: IMDB

Pulse Scores Key Spot On Kindle’s Home Shelf; Co-founder Says It May Pass 10M Users This Year

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So the Kindle Fire shipped Monday, and the early reviews are out in full force. The reactions, as per usual, are varied. But, for what it’s worth, The Fire is already the best-selling item on Amazon, and many are now saying that the eCommerce giant could sell 5 million of its new devices by the end of the year. No, it’s not an iPad killer, but people are excited by the Kindle’s touch and Android-based evolution, and at $200 there’s no doubt Amazon is going to sell more than a few.

But what’s more interesting (at least to me) than the potential growth of Amazon’s market cap should the Kindle sell like hot cakes, or Apple looking over its shoulder, is how Kindle sales could be a huge victory for one of the little guys.

Pulse, as many are now familiar, is a suped up RSS-style newsfeed aggregator built for the tablet generation. Thanks to its touch-based interface (easy swiping/scrolling), clean design, and visual appeal, the app has gotten a lot of play on the iPad and on Honeycomb. The startup has also struck a number of strategic partnerships with big media outlets, like ESPN, and with deal sites like Groupon.

Now, Pulse’s prospects are even more bright, as the app has been chosen by Amazon as one of the few native, pre-installed apps to be featured on the Kindle Fire. When a Kindle user visits the device’s home shelf, there are four apps that appear to be native on the device: IMDB, Pulse, Facebook, and the Amazon Store. There are 15 more apps in the tab, ten of which are pre-installed and five of which are “suggested” apps, which users have to actively download. Most of the installed apps are things like Contacts, eMail, Audible, Gallery, Help, for example.

Considering Facebook’s Kindle app is actually just a web app that wasn’t even fully designed by Facebook (clicking on it just takes you to m.facebook.com), and Amazon owns IMDB, and, yes, the Amazon Store, that makes Pulse one of the few native apps on the Kindle Fire — and really the only non-Facebook/Amazon native app on the device.

In its blog post today, Pulse said that it is in fact “the only app to be pre-loaded on the device upon shipping”. Obviously, that’s not exactly true, and the post has since been amended to read “one of the only apps to be pre-loaded on the device upon shipping”, but the point remains.

It’s a somewhat surprising vote of confidence from Amazon, which has basically made Pulse the official news reader for its own device that is, by definition, a reader. Of course, the Kindle Fire has a whole lot of new functionality that takes it beyond the “reader” of old and into multimedia, but it’s still a Kindle.

More importantly, the device’s newsstand is front-and-center, but most of the content therein you’ll have to pay for to consume. This makes Pulse the de facto free option for news reading, and as long as the app’s user experience is strong enough to hold users’ attention, it’s going to get a lot of eyeballs.

Furthermore, when Pulse is juxtaposed with the other front-and-center apps (IMDB, Facebook) and the suggested apps to download (Pandora, Weather Channel, ESPN, to name a few) — one gets a further sense of why this is so huge for Pulse. IMDB rakes in 100 million unique visitors per month, Facebook has 800 million global users, Pandora has a market cap of over $2 billion, and ESPN is, well, ESPN.

Pulse, in comparison, was just debuting on the iPad in May of last year and has only raised about $10 million in outside funding. That’s on the higher side for a startup founded less than two years ago, but against the backdrop of the entire industry and Kindle’s home shelf heroes, that’s peanuts.

So, again, whether or not The Fire truly competes head-to-head with the iPad doesn’t really matter — even if the Kindle’s sales were to stop dead at 1 million, that’s still 1 million potential new Pulse users.

“We started the year with under 1 million users”, Pulse Co-founder Akshay Kothari told Bloomberg on Tuesday, “and we’ll probably end the year with over 10 million users”. In any other circumstances, that kind of statement would cause some serious eye-rolling or jaw dropping, but if the Kindle Fire takes off, that projection may even be modest. (Today, Pulse is at 7 million users.)

And put in perspective, Foursquare, which TechCrunch writes about seemingly every other day, just hit 10 million users in June (27 months after launch) and has raised over $70 million.

So, while the Kindle Fire stands to be a money-making machine for Amazon, it seems that for Pulse, it could be pure gold.


Pulse Scores Key Spot On Kindle’s Home Shelf; Co-founder Says It May Pass 10M Users This Year

musiXmatch, The IMDB For Song Lyrics, Comes To iTunes & Spotify; Passes 1M Mobile Downloads

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I don’t know about you, but I’m awful at remembering the lyrics to songs, and I often find myself turning to Google search to answer my lyrical questions — and frequently, to lose arguments. Apparently, I’m not alone, as “lyrics” is one of the most searched-for terms on Google. While a quick search is often all one needs to flick on the light switch, overall, lyric search remains a pretty disappointing (and frustrating) experience. There are tons of lyrics sites out there, but most of them are unofficial, don’t have rights to broadcasting free lyrics, or they’re hiding malware.

Founded in 2010, musiXmatch is a startup trying to solve this very problem by building a database of legal song lyrics on the web in the hopes of becoming the IMDB for legal song lyrics. So far, the site has collected over 5.5 million songs (in 18 languages) and is not only building a database that meets with international rights management standards, but it is also developing an API to distribute its lyrics to music publishers, services, app developers, and hackers. Phew.

Today, musiXmatch is announcing the official launch of its “musiXmatch Lyrics App” for Mac OSX, which is available for $5 on the App Store. The plug-in enables users to automatically view full screen lyrics for the music they’re currently playing and includes support for iTunes and Spotify.

The widget is still in its early stages, and the team said that it will soon be giving music fans the ability to search for lyrics by artist, song name, or keywords, and browse discography info on albums and artists — and share that info with friends through social networks. (Another cool update coming down the pipeline: Enabling listeners to automatically embed the lyrics into the id3 tag of your songs.)

For iTunes and Spotify users like myself, musiXmatch’s widget is a pretty cool little add-on to the existing listening experience, as it automatically matches your iTunes and Spotify libraries (and automatically opens both), works with both platforms’ “radio” features, allows you to share lyrics to Facebook and Twitter, and receive Growl notifications. (And it works with Lion.)

In addition to today’s launch of its iTunes and Spotify compatible iOS plug-in, musiXmatch also shared with us that their mobile applications, which are available on iOS, Android, Symbian, and Windows Mobile, have been downloaded more than 1 million times. Over 50 percent of those users are active on a daily basis.

musiXmatch’s mobile solution allows users to easily find and match lyrics for their entire mobile music library, and with desktop availability, a sweet API that lets developers easily distribute kosher lyrics, the startup is becoming a very appealing service for everything from radio streaming platforms and video services to tablet apps and OEM manufacturers. With partnerships that include BMG, Kobalt, Universal Music Publishing Group, and Sony ATV Music, among others, musiXmatch is becoming a very interesting business and platform.

But, what about competition, you say? Well my friends, look no further than TuneWiki. While musiXmatch is an up-and-comer, the well-funded TuneWiki has been going mobile with its lyric-centric social music player for quite some time now. MusiXmatch is, now, essentially the European equivalent. It will be interesting to see how the two vie for marketshare going forward.

Which would you choose, or both? Check ‘em out.


Company:
musiXmatch
Website:
musixmatch.com
Funding:
$4.4M

musiXmatch is a new challenging start up offering “Lyrics in The Cloud” via a scalable Lyrics API.

musiXmatch is the first fully licensed provider of global lyrics solutions, enabling developers and music fans around the world to quickly and easily harness the power of online lyrics. Featuring the largest lyrics database in the world, musiXmatch is the first and only comprehensive solution for international lyric rights management. musiXmatch’s comprehensive lyrics API allows anyone to easily plugin and distribute authorized lyrics….

Learn more


musiXmatch, The IMDB For Song Lyrics, Comes To iTunes & Spotify; Passes 1M Mobile Downloads