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Archive for June, 2014

Earbits online radio shuts down on June 16th and RETURNS!

Earbits ends and artists have lost a major resource

 

Earbits banner

An artist resource ends

If you are any kind of artist or label owner; you know the value of radio airplay and the exposure it potentially brings. Most artists are chasing that elusive record deal so that they will have a dedicated vehicle to get their music in some kind of rotation. – Because, once you get that, everything else flows. If you are doing it independently then you have already noticed that the major sites with a streaming service are still rolling with the biggest acts. Yes, you may have music on Pandora or iTunes, but listeners gotta do some deep searching to find you.

 

Jango, now called Radio Airplay, was the first streaming site that I discovered – where you can invest in ‘spins’ by buying a monthly subscription. You targeted fans by listing known acts you sound similar to and fans of their music hear some of yours sprinkled in. Listeners can choose spin more or spin less and data supplied by the site helps you track your music’s popularity. Very cool.

 

Dynamica Music supports Earbits

Dynamica Music supports Earbits

Earbits worked more like a traditional terrestrial station, where you simply chose your genre and the streaming jukebox did all the rest. You could Facebook like a band, subscribe to their releases or bookmark them for the future. For the independent artist or label owner, it was simple to manage your releases and once you passed a quality filter, you were on your way. In a time when everybody makes music, it’s exposure, like Earbits supplied, that could help makes one – someone.

 

Earbits was more than a service. It was a statement about returning control to the artists. It was for us, by us. At this point, all I can do is thank CEO Joey Flores and Manager Randy Goss for giving independent artists and labels an opportunity to expand their fan bases and realize their dreams of sharing music. In closing, I would ask all my fellow Earbits bands to send a letter of support to their diligent staff and owners. joey@earbits.com

 

-Griffin Avid, Account Manager Dynamica Music

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Letter from Earbits CEO Joey Flores:

To our Earbits Listeners, Artists, and Labels,

It is with heavy hearts that we must announce the shutting down of the Earbits service on June 16th.
Shutting down a company after 4.5 years is going to be painful for anybody but is particularly painful for us here at Earbits.  Most startups validate over the course of a few years that their concept is inherently flawed, or that the economics of it would not work out at scale.  For Earbits, nothing could be further from the truth.  We proved to ourselves and a substantial number of artists and listeners that our concept does work, that our vision is what the industry and larger streaming providers need to be doing in order to create more value, but that we simply needed a lot more capital to pursue such an aggressive mission properly.  In trying to build a digital media, two sided marketplace in an already tough industry, it appears we bit off more than we could chew.

That being said, for over four years our team worked tirelessly toward the goal of turning streaming music into a true creator of value for the content community.  By showcasing features that allowed our listeners to connect with our artists, we generated for them hundreds of thousands of new mailing list signups and Facebook fans across a relatively small audience.  The revenue and other value that our partners generated from these new connections was often ten or twenty times higher than what they receive from ad-supported royalties on major services, and it provides concrete evidence that there is more streaming companies can do to provide the content community with a return for their hard work.

If there is anything that we want to impart on the industry about our experience it’s this.  If today’s streaming companies truly care about the creators of their product, they’re going to have to do more than talk about wanting to drive more value.  It takes ingenuity and sacrifice to change an industry like the one we are all so passionate about.  At Earbits, we have helped to shine a light on new and innovative ways that streaming can bring value to artists and content owners, and to provide an example of the sort of short term sacrifices it takes to begin to truly solve this problem.  Though we are hopeful about the future of streaming, two things are clear to us through our conversations throughout the industry.  Most companies understand that the types of solutions we built at Earbits are an inevitability for any successful and sustainable streaming provider, but those companies are just not prepared to make those sacrifices today.

We want to take an opportunity to thank every supporter, listener, artist, label and even naysayer who helped to shape the Earbits journey since we started the company in 2010.  And more than anything, we want to thank our team and investors who took this risk alongside us.  All of you helped us to accomplish more than anyone thought possible and our team is eternally grateful to have been given the chance to pursue this vision and impact artists and music lovers for four great years.

We hope that the connections we enabled between music lovers and our artists will continue long after the Earbits service is gone, so we encourage our listeners to take the next few days to note the bands and songs they bookmarked on the Earbits service.

 

Thank you again to everybody who played a part in this incredible journey.  We are eternally grateful and look forward to staying in touch.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at joey@earbits.com.

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So after this post NEW INFORMATION has arrived!!!!!!

 

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Dear friends, listeners, artists and labels,
It has been one hell of a week, and we could not be more excited to bring you some truly unbelievable news.
On Friday, we announced that we had run out of funding and would be shutting down the Earbits service.  We received countless emails from artists and listeners showing their support for the Earbits vision, and they spoke up on Twitter and across the web.  Unfortunately, we had no choice but to go offline two days ago.
The sentiment of the community did not go unnoticed.  Since then, a strategic partner has stepped forward and provided the necessary funding to bring Earbits back online indefinitely.  The web service and mobile apps have been relaunched, effective immediately.  Seriously…go look!!  —>  www.earbits.com

As is the nature of these things, I can’t provide much more information at this time. What we can say is that we feel truly blessed by the support that we received this week. With the help of our strategic partners, we look forward to not only continuing the services that our fans and artists have come to love but positioning ourselves at the center of a music industry revolution.
We will be sharing any further details with our partners, users and the community just as soon as we can.
Thank you to everyone who came out in support of Earbits and our team.  It was the most heartwarming show of support anyone could have asked for. Thanks to you, our future is now looking brighter than ever.
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Great news for all of us.

 

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Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

What if it was Neo inside that Armored Personnel Unit?

The Matrix Revolutions meets Groundhog Day

Edge Tomorrow movie poster

Fighting Today’s war yesterday

Who and What? Tom Cruise plays a reluctant soldier, accidentally gifted with the ability to leap backwards in time. This allows him to fight against an alien invasion and repeat the most important battle over and over again until he gets it right.

Well, yeah, it’s a Tom Cruise movie so you know to expect a couple of things. One; he will be special, the greatest or the last and two; the movie will be about him and there won’t be many scenes without him in front of the camera. Thankfully, Tom Cruise still has his mojo maverick and shines in a movie whose premise affords us tons of action. Is it any good? Hells yeah.

The original story is based on a Japanese short story called All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. His property has the proper props and is propped with more profitable and palatable protagonists. Yes, this is the big screen western realization of his concept(s). And it’s a wonderful plot that allows us to witness the intense action of a futuristic war without any of that boring stuff like plot or character development. As movies and video games merge closer and closer together, it’s movies like this that blur the lines between CGI cut scenes and twitch-flicks. The movie does pause in a few places to add humor, wit and a bit of cleverness. A lot of it will be familiar, but fun and enjoyable.

The Angel needs you

The Angel needs you

Repeating Appearances

 

With so little time and focus to develop side characters, it’s important (Really, it’s the main reason) to cast deep into the actor pool and get characters that are familiar to you already. Emily Blunt plays Rita “The Angel of Versailles” or the Full Metal — eh, you’ll see in the movie. A friend asked “Is she hot?”, well no, she’s not playing for sexy (thank goodness), but has a character worthy of a starring role (no, we can’t show a woman saving the day in the cinema yet) and her story would make the perfect material for a video game. It’s Lara levels of lethal. Bill Paxton supports the war effort as Sergeant Farell -so imagine private Hudson from Aliens making it back home. It’s as if screenplay writers, Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth [I wonder if that’s a pseudonym] got the casting choices right from their sidebar notes.

Emily Blunt image

The Angel of Versailles

Director Doug Liman: Bourne Identity, Ultimatum and Supremacy shoots an epic combat theater and war, but keeps the focus up close and personal. It’s the Normandy invasion from Saving Private Ryan, but toned down to video game levels of visual violence. The aliens are mostly depicted as blurry masses of tentacles and we are never given that science and biology class of alien anatomy to fully figure out what we are fighting. The whys behind the war isn’t really explored either. Has it ever been done satisfactorily in a movie yet? Anyhow, Edge of Tomorrow uses the sci-fi trope of a singular consciousness, hive-mind species. I like the swarming horde visual, but really, earthling soldiers pouring over a hill would look just as swarmy to any opposing force. It’s the cheap exit point of ‘kill the one and you kill them all’ that would allow one special man {guess who} to defeat an ENTIRE war machine by himself. That aside, Edge of Tomorrow is a great spectacle with enough Cruise special-ness to keep you engaged for the entire run. You’ll actually wish for more. I know I did. Here’s to Tom Cruise sticking with the sci-fi genre and giving us another one for the shelves. I’m not a movie critic, I’m just critiquing a movie. Check out my review of Oblivion and a run down the list of all the movies I’ve reviewed. Thanks for reading. What did you think?