Grooveshark CEO Sam Tarantino has a case of the Mondays, only this one’s lasted every single day for over a year. Between 2011 and 2012, both Google and Apple pulled Grooveshark, a music streaming service, from their respective app stores. Then Spotify launched with star-studded support and millions in funding and Pandora, another Grooveshark competitor, successfully IPO’d. Oh, and this was all before the lawsuit. By the end of 2012, Universal Music Group had filed against Grooveshark and its employees for allegedly uploading copyrighted music.
Looks like hardware may finally be getting its chance in the sun at SXSW. [New York Times]
TechCrunch spoke to sources who were in the same fraternity with Reggie Brown and Evan Spiegel at Stanford and they corroborated the notion that Mr. Brown came up with the original idea for Snapchat. Winklevii’d. [TechCrunch]
Hey FYI, all those “free gift cards!” texts you were getting were actually spam (just in case you’ve never used a cell phone before). Luckily, the FTC is cracking down on 29 scam artists sending them out. [The Next Web]
Anita Sarkeesian, who became the target of trolls after daring to speak about women in video games, debuted her first episode of “Tropes vs. Women.” [The Daily Dot]
Pandora’s fourth quarter results were better than expected, but its CEO is still stepping down. [AllThingsD]
So much for a rosy outlook: Pandora stock plummeted 18 percent in trading after markets closed, as the digital music service projected increased losses for the current fiscal year.
Shares fell despite a strong fiscal third quarter for the company, in which revenue increased 60 percent to $120 million from the same period of 2011, and total listening hours grew by 67 percent.
Earlier today, the Verge reported that Spotify, the music player that ratted you out to Facebook that one time you listened to Kenny G holiday hits, is rolling out a beta version of a browser-based web app. The feature was in high demand and should give the company a boost against competitors like Rdio.
At least one artist, however, has a few questions about how this whole streaming music business is supposed to work in the long run.
When Spotify landed in the competitive U.S. digital music marketplace last summer, it was boosted by a cresting wave of good publicity, strong track record in Europe and a $100 million investment funding round that valued the company at $1 billion.
That wasn’t all: Given the strong demand for Pandora and LinkedIn IPOs (and even stronger anticipation for the eventual Facebook offering), Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s timing for a U.S. launch seemed spot on.
Well, things have changed: Share prices for high profile tech IPOs such as Facebook, Zynga and Groupon have tanked, and as Spotify readies to close its latest round of fund-raising, the company looks likely to fall short of its goal. Instead of the $4 billion valuation that Spotify initially sought, the company will likely settle for something “slightly more than $3 billion,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
A lot of startups are letting their employees work from home for the next few days because of hurricane Sandy. That’s all swell news, but those members of New York’s tech scene who were supposed to go out and party or sit through conferences are screwed. Tech events are getting cancelled left and right, though some scene luminaries don’t seem to mind.
AllThingsD’s “D: Dive Into Mobile” conference has been postponed until a later date that will be announced as soon as possible. The event had originally been set for tomorrow and Tuesday in New York City. If you booked a room at the Ritz Carlton (looking at you, VC’s), the hotel is apparently giving full refunds and waiving cancellation fees. Speakers like Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy and Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, will just have to wait until another day to make their speeches.
If you went to Hulu or NBC.com this morning to catch up on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live–the highest-rated episode of the season–you could find Bruno Mars as a sad mouse mascot, Bruno Mars as a 17-year-old dropout in drag, Bruno Mars doing a monologue, and even Bruno Mars singing his own songs. The one clip you couldn’t find is Bruno Mars playing a very versatile Pandora intern–one of the better-rated sketches from the evening.
“The very, very obvious culprit here are music licenses, which are almost always the culprit behind missing SNL sketches,” reports AllThingsD.
Bjorking Your Bachelor Party As a sign of just how many bachelor parties an up-and-coming venture bro is obligated to attend, during a recent PandoMonthly panel, Thrillist Ben Lerer said if he had to pick a totally ordinary superpower, it would be making sure his wife was cool with him going to bachelor parties. (To be fair, it took him a long time to come up with it, so it might not be that high on his list.) Hopefully his better half was understanding about a recent trip Mr. Lerer took to Iceland celebrate the end of singledom for Spark Capital’s Mo Koyfman.
The recently promoted general partner invited a number of other techies for the festivities, including Eater.com cofounder Ben Leventhal and what looks an awful lot like Jakob Lodwick and Ricky Van Veen, who Mr. Koyfman would know from his days as an IAC executive “adult supervising” College Humor. Definitely present? Author and MSNBC cohost Touré! Mr. Koyfman tested hashtags for Instagramming his international excursion, trying out #koyfops before settling on #icemomo, although NYC yoga instructor Heather Lilleston also suggested #mochella.
Does it ever seem like Pandora’s sourcing is a little… off? You’ll hear a golden oldie, only to look and see it’s been pulled from some random soundtrack to a forgotten, shitty movie. “That’s weird,” you’ll think, before diving back into your workday.
Well, the trend appears to have reached ludicrous new heights. Spotted today, by romance book blogger Sarah Wendell:
Thanks to Loosecubes, you can now work in a cutely outfitting shipping container, in Downtown Brooklyn. [Curbed]
Apple loves Daring Fireball. [Businessweek]
Mr. Ohanian goes to Washington, talks about “awesomeness.” [Washington Post]
Apple has no intention of ceding any musical ground to Internet radio, and so the company is apparently building a Pandora challenger. [New York Times]
Turns out Kansas City was very helpful with the process of building Google Fiber. [Ars Technica]