Well... we sold Simple Star! We will be joining the Sonic family.
PhotoShow will become part of their consumer division, Roxio, and bring an online spin to their product portfolio that includes popular desktop applications, Easy Media Creator and Toast.
Things will pretty much be business as usual for us. We will continue to evolve our PhotoShow multimedia sharing platform as well as the PhotoShowTV and PhotoShow DVD services. We will continue to work out of our Brannan Stoffices in soma which beats a commute down to Sonic’s office in Santa Clara or up to the one in Novato!
The Sonic team has been very cool. It is a great group of smart technologists and marketers who we are excited to have the opportunity to work with. Culturally there is a very strong fit. I also like they have also built their business in part through large partnerships with companies like Dell, HP & Sony (so they know how important that part of our business is).
I will be staying on with Sonic, taking on a strategy and corporate development role, which should be good fun. Mike Edmunds, Simple Star’s SVP of Products and Technologies will be partnered with Yann Connan, Sonic’s VPof Web Products and Services to help run web products and services for the Roxio division.
I will keep you posted about the exciting times ahead!
At Simple Star we have always believed that you should be able to enjoy and share your memories however you want. For the last couple years we have let people easily publish PhotoShows to blogs, Facebook, MySpace, Ebay, their personal web sites, etc... now we are taking this one step further!
Last week we launched some cool new video services on PhotoShow.com. You can now easily podcast your favorite PhotoShows to iTunes for synching with iPhones, iPods and Apple TV. We are also allowing you to send PhotoShows out as a video RSS feeds. This can be great for getting your PhotoShows to digital picture frames, connected TVs or to DVRs like Tivo which recently announced that they will support video RSS feeds in March.
We are also enabling PhotoShow.com creators & visitors to download a video file of any PhotoShow. This is great for uploading your personal content to YouTube, importing a PhotoShow into Power Point or a video editing program like iMovie or Movie Maker. You can even easily burn a DVD with this downloaded video file as a quick way to enjoy memories on your TV. For more on these great new PhotoShow video services please visit the PhotoShow News blog.
Okay I have been waiting for this for a while. Eye-Fi has finally released their very cool wireless memory cards. It is only available for SD cards right now so I am actually out of luck but if you use a camera that takes SD cards this product is a must have for photo moms, hobyists and pros will want this in their kit too. The suggested retail is $99. Here is what it does in case the notion of a wireless memory card is not obvious.
1) plug a small dongle into your mac or pc, install some software and choose your online photo storage solution of choice from a very broad selection of popular storage & printing sites
2) put your cool new eye-fi wireless SD card into your camera
3) Take pictures, and they magically end up on your favorite photo storage site
That's it. Pretty cool... They launched this week and are already selling gang busters on Amazon. If you want to learn more or see where you can buy one more info can be found here on the Eye-Fi site.
Inc. Magazine recently published their 2007 list of the 500 fastest growing private companies in America. Simple Star was one of them! There are many silly awards that we have won over the years but since this one is about revenue growth, I love it!
Here is a timely article written by a good friend, Cecily Mak who is Senior Counsel of Music at Real.
A Look at Radio Silence: When Copyright Law Reform Goes Terribly Wrong
By CECILY MAK Monday, Jun. 25, 2007
This Tuesday, June 26, is a "day of silence" on which webcasters will protest the hike in Internet radio royalty rates, scheduled to become effective July 15, and to apply retroactively to January 1, 2006. Webcasters have also asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for an emergency stay of the rates ruling.
The webcasters have an excellent point: Instead of increasing rates enough to properly compensate rights holders and encourage creation, the new rates are so unreasonably high that they are threatening the survival of an entire industry. Unless the new regulations are successfully repealed, the new rates will result in true perpetual "radio silence" for thousands of online radio stations - a loss for rights holders, distributors and consumers alike.
People love to sell stuff! Ebay is one of many manifestations of that. There are many great emerging technologies like PhotoShow, that help enable better commerce experiences. Here is what Entrepreneur Magazine has to say about using PhotoShow to help you sell your wares:
Moving pictures: Another tool that makes e-merchants' multimedia dreams come true is PhotoShow.com, a service from San Francisco-based Simple Star that turns photos into rich, multimedia PhotoShows with credits, captions, special effects and music. "PhotoShows can be used to better showcase products and [make] the online shopping experience more interactive," says Chad Richard, 35, CEO and co-founder with Peter Rice, 33, of Simple Star.
"Entrepreneurs are already using PhotoShows to sell products on eBay or on their own sites." After they're created online, PhotoShows can be sent via e-mail or broadcast on a website, blog or social networking site like MySpace. While the basic service is free, customers can upgrade to the more robust PhotoShow5 for $39.99.
Getting potential customers to your Web shop is just half the battle. The other challenge is delivering compelling content to them once they are there. A bunch of static photos certainly won't do the trick, especially for e-tailers with visually-based products or services, but most small businesses don't have the expertise or resources to deploy a host of interactive Flash-based animations to liven things up.
This is an excerpt from my friend Kent Rutkowski's "Ken Radio" mailing list. Dennis Mudd is on our board of directors and was the founder and CEO of Musicmatch. Dennis is now the CEO of Slacker and has built an incredible team around him. The vision is big and exciting and someone has to take a bite out of Apple's market share!
Lazy Man's MP3 Player Breaking the iPod's stranglehold on the digital-music business would be no mean feat. Apple's supremely simple device has 72% of the $21 billion market, and even Microsoft failed to make a dent. But what if there were an MP3 player that was even easier to use? That's what we could get in June with the launch of the Slacker, a music player that automatically delivers tunes to you. All you have to do is decide whether or not you like them. The Slacker is made by a San Diego startup of the same name, founded three years ago and led by the former CEOs of three of Apple's digital-music rivals: iRiver, Musicmatch and Rio . The first part of its service, 100 customizable Internet radio stations, launched in March. It's from these stations that the device will download songs over Wi-Fi networks or satellite radio. The cheapest Slacker, with a 2-gigabyte flash drive, will cost $150; the largest, expected to have about 12GB, will be $400. The Slacker service comes free with banner ads or costs $7.50 a month without. When listening to a song, a user can press the "Love It" button to get more songs like it or the "Ban It" button to never hear it or its ilk again. Paying subscribers get to keep songs they like for as long as they want.