Helsinki-based Playmysong is seeing some traction in the US after partnering with NSM music to bring paid song requests to bars and other venues around the states.
The NSN app is a little different than what Playmysong has been doing in Europe with their own app and commercial music supplier, Mood Media, which locations pay for in exchange for patron enjoyment and sharing options for advertising. With the NSM partnership, customers get a limited number of free songs for checking in with Facebook, Foursquare, or tweeting about the place on Twitter. After that, customers have to pay for each song request.
Europe’s most popular music streaming service, Spotify is finally edging closer to cross the ocean and land into the US market with rumors of it attempting to sign deals with major labels in the US market. Last week Peter Kafka hinted that it might have struck the cords with Sony US. This will be a distribution deal and wouldn’t necessarily steer clear Spotify to invade the US market.
On Thursday, TechCrunch wrote about Spotify having 30 000 users in the US and questioning why it hasn't launched there yet. The post is highly controversial compared to what Spotify has to say officially. Spotify has stated (at the end of the post) that they don't have 30 000 users in the US and they have good relations to all their partners. TechCrunch stated otherwise referring to their well placed sources, close to the company.
For those who have not found this resource yet, I'd like to turn your attention to the wonderful list compiled by Larry Cheng on international Venture Capitalists who blog. He has compiled a list of the top international VC bloggers. The figures are interesting as the lists are created by average monthly uniques. On top of the list is not suprisingly, Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures with about 100 000 uniques a month visiting his blog.
Larry has also compiled the RSS feeds of the bloggers into Google Reader bundles/OPML files that help faster subscriptions to the blogs.
- Top VC Blogs: Top 10, Top 25, Top 50, Top 100
- US VC Blogs: California, Massachusetts, New York
- Global VC Blogs: Europe, Canada, Israel
- Entire Directory: The Global VC Blog Directory
Here's the link to Global Venture Capital Blog Directory
Photo by Kris Taeleman
We wrote earlier that the Finnish Internet Agency Valve was up to something in the social gaming arena. Now we have found out that they are setting up a new firm that produces end-to-end social gaming solutions for large brands. The new company is called Tweehouse (Pronounced as a little kid would pronounce 'tree house'). The games, described as more game like with a storyline than for example Habbo, are aimed at the younger end of the gaming market.
Tweehouse will be set up in partnership with Snap TV, a Santa Monica-based game company that "produces and develops interactive games for media-savvy kids". Valve will own 50 percent of the venture while Snap TV owns the other half. There are no third party investors involved at this point.
Tweehouse will target purely US market in the beginning. For this Snap TV is an ideal partner to handle the Sales and PR and leave the game development and pipeline management to the Helsinki office. Snap TV prides itself for having a dedicated sales force that calls on all classes of retail and ships products to over 20,000 storefronts across the United States and Canada, thus enabling quick access to market when the product is ready. This is where many other services coming from Europe have fallen short when trying to enter the US market with only a PR agency or a two man office talking to the market.
Tweehouse was born when Valve and Snap TV realized they could actually build a product out of what was initially only a single project. This is a great way for any digital agency to test the market and see what works. I hope we will see more of this type of 'spin-offs' coming from the Nordic and Baltic countries.
The business model will build on the end-to-end solution. The service covers everything from design, development and marketing all the way to running the platform and moderation of the games themselves. In essence Tweehouse is aiming to build and sell solid gaming platforms to their customers. In addition to a fixed price element, the company also aims to always build an upside to the products they sell. This could mean for example a revenue share model that will be a percentage of each game sold.
Tweehouse has so far only one full time employee, but their first project will soon see around 10 people working on it coming partly through Valve and partly as new hires. Paavo Perttula is currently running the company as its Chairman of the Board. Tweehouse should have their first game out after a year, but they are looking into getting another client project in as soon as late spring 2009.
The Internet Agency Valve has been all quiet about its plans, but there is something going on about its operations abroad. The agency is a famous flash house in Finland, that has hogged numerous awards from many different competitions. It seems like they have something going on in the US at the moment, more specifically San Francisco.
Valve is recruiting game developers and game designers with the work being located either in Helsinki, Finland or San Francisco, US. A guess is that they are looking towards some sort of Flash based social game as they emphasize the need for "good up-to-date understanding of social networks and web-trends".
I've heard from an industry insider that the person pulling together team is a former Sulake employee. Sulake is the house behind the world famous Habbo Hotel. An educated guess is that Valve is planning something similar, with a different target market perhaps?