MP3 Pioneers Reveal Future Of Digital Music: MusicDNA
The successor to the MP3, the MusicDNA media extension enables music fans to access the wide range of music-related content they want alongside the music itself – from lyrics, artwork and tour dates to blog posts, videos and twitter feeds.
This additional content appears alongside the MP3 in a convenient and fully customisable App-driven player that is freely available to download. The content automatically updates whenever the player is connected to the internet, ensuring fans always receive the most up to date information alongside their music.
Crucially, only legitimately purchased tracks will dynamically update, and pirated versions will remain as static files, giving fans a tangible benefit in purchasing MusicDNA files. A first for digital music, this will provide the expanding download market with a much welcome boost.
Best of all, fans can customise their MusicDNA files after purchase, further enriching their music experience and making plain old MP3 feel decidedly last decade.
A recent report by Forrester Research, Inc. argued that the future of the recordings business lies in allowing fans greater interaction and customisability with their music files. If the likes of iTunes LP represent the first small step along this path, then MusicDNA – incorporating unrivalled user-customisability and inter-platform compatibility – represents a giant leap.
Already proving a hit with the music business, MusicDNA enables rights holders to up-sell concert tickets, merchandise, music videos and other exclusive content – either purchasable alongside the track itself or at any future point.
MusicDNA launches with support from across the value chain, from rights holders, and distributors through to digital service providers and retailers. Partners on board for the Beta launch this spring include:
• Independent labels including Beggars Group (UK), Tommy Boy Entertainment (US), Delta Records (US) and Amiata Records (Italy)
• R2G (China), operators of Wawawa, China’s largest online independent music store, and featured store for Microsoft’s Windows Media Player in China
• Recast Media (Canada), the personalised digital news and entertainment service
• InProdicon (Sweden) Scandinavia’s largest distributor and service provider
• REBEAT Digital (Germany) digital music distributor to more than 300 download stores
• PeoplesMusicStore (UK), the UK’s unique, user-curated music download service.
• CatchMedia (US) whose ‘cloud’ music service allows users to access and play their music across multiple devices.
BACH is in the midst of talks with potential partners from across all sectors of the business, including the major labels and leading digital service providers such as 24-7 Entertainment, with further announcements expected shortly.
Rollout will be staggered over 2010, with the first beta versions available around Easter and the full commercial rollout expected over summer.
Said Tom Silverman, Founder and CEO, Tommy Boy Entertainment: “MusicDNA will be a boon for artists and fans as it dynamically connects them long after purchase. It is a boon for fans as it can offer multiple levels of artist stuff based on the fan’s passion level. Now they can have immediate access to all of an artist’s offerings easily and in one place…the place of purchase.
“It’s a boon for labels because this high-value consumer experience is not cloneable yet highly viral and gives them full content and pricing flexibility. Their imagination is their only limit… If MP3’s were the cassette, MusicDNA will be the CD. What took you so long?”
Commented Simon Wheeler, Director of Digital, Beggars Group: “Beggars is supportive of any new initiative that looks to add value to our music and deliver more value and information to the fans who support us, being based on open standards the Bach implementation of MPEG-7 gives us an exciting opportunity to deliver a far richer experience to fans that goes well beyond the dumb file.”
Said Charles Webster, Director of Product & Marketing, Delta Leisure Group PLC: “This innovative development from Bach Technology is a gateway to the future, and the Delta Leisure Group is proud to be associated with it.”
Commented Matteo Silva, CEO of Amiata Records and Skeye: “MusicDNA is a wonderful human touch in this cold digital world and an important step towards full integration of legality and uniqueness of information, leaving piracy behind.”
Said Inge Severin, Founder and Partner, InProdicon: “We at InProdicon are grateful for having the opportunity to work with Bach Technology – especially as they posses a unique combination of the highest technological knowledge and a broad, deep, understanding of music and its dynamics; This guarantees that not only will MusicDNA be reliable technology wise, but most importantly it will also be a great experience for the Consumers.”
Commented Boaz Ben-Yaacov, CTO Catch Media “Bach’s MusicDNA will help create a seamless quality experience for consumers to listen to their music collection across the cloud as their technology increases accuracy and allows consumers to discover new music similar to their own collection”
Said Stefan Kohlmeyer, Bach Technology CEO: “Twenty years on from the initial development of the MP3, it is time for digital audio to once again evolve. Just as vinyl gave way to the CD and the CD to MP3, it is time for the MP3 to pass the baton onto MusicDNA.
“If we can look beyond the MP3 then consumers, forward thinking artists, labels, device manufacturers, digital music services and even brands all stand to benefit from a music format purpose built for our digital age.”
– MusicDNA… Music For The 21st Century –
Frequently Asked Questions
Are MusicDNA Downloads Albums Or Singles?
The technology is there for selling singles or albums, whatever the label or retailer prefer.
How Can Fans Get Hold Of The MusicDNA Player?
MusicDNA retail partners will all receive free white label players to skin as they please, and offer free to fans. This modular, App-driven player will also be available from the MusicDNA website, at www.musicdna.com.
What If I Want To Play MusicDNA Tunes On My iPod Or MP3 Player?
MusicDNA enabled files are fully backwards compatible, so will play on any MP3 player.
Isn’t Some Of This Content Already Available On The Internet?
While much of the content can be found dispersed across the internet, never before has it been packaged together alongside the music in such a convenient format.
How Much Will MusicDNA Files Cost?
Pricing will be fixed by and at the discretion of artists, labels and retailers.
How Does Bach Expect MusicDNA Files To Compete With The Rise Of Streaming?
Like many in the industry BACH are of the view that there is no one Silver Bullet to suit all types of consumer, rather a variety of services will serve different fans with different needs.
There are many occasions when a download is preferable to a stream, and MusicDNA files have the advantage of customised, at your fingertips, rich media available on- and offline. And that is before considering the impact of streaming on growing bandwidth and energy requirements.
Are There Plans To Launch Any Other MusicDNA-Related Products?
MusicDNA files include extensive audio analysis information, textual and multimedia metadata and business intelligence. BACH has already developed a range of applications to take advantage of the more complete picture that MusicDNA provides, from sophisticated search and recommendation engines to playlist generators and social networking tools.
Can Other Software Developers Join The Party?
Yes. Software Development Kits will be made available to all manufacturers and Bach will enable the building of bespoke apps and new content to populate the MusicDNA player.
About Bach Technology
BACH Technology is the leading provider of technology and applications for the digital music market. A fast growing music technology company with offices in Norway, Germany and China, BACH’s successes stem from a team who have been involved with the development of digital music since 1986.
Company president Dagfinn Bach is one of digital music’s early pioneers, while CEO Stefan Kohlmeyer is a veteran of German media giant Bertelsmann. Bach’s technology partner is Germany’s Fraunhofer IDMT (Institute for Digital Media Technology), where the MP3 was developed.
Investors include Karlheinz Brandenburg, the inventor of the MP3 algorythm, and 247 Inc., the company of Shigeo Maruyama, former CEO of Sony Music Entertainment.
Online music services already signed up to use BACH technology include Catch Media, 1Boss, People’s Music Store, Aceways, R2G, Beeku, and Cloud China. Agreements with more major international music services are set to be announced soon.
For more information on BACH please refer to www.bachtechnology.com
MusicDNA technology enables a large amount of rich media to be packaged alongside an MP3, from lyrics and images through to dynamically updated content such as a band’s Twitter stream, concert alerts and latest news.
The files also include extensive metadata including analysis of a track’s mood, tempo, density, instrumentation and even ‘colour’. This enables sophisticated offline search and recommendation and playlist generation, also social networking.
Unlike older technology, MusicDNA is entirely based on the open standards MPEG-7 and XML. BACH is the only company offering full end-to-end MPEG-7 integration, ensuring seamless interoperability and compatibility with external programs and systems, so that MusicDNA files will play on any digital audio device.