Stanford VLAB event redux

Great event at Stanford VLAB Tues eve. Packed room with 250 plus people at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. On the panel on Music Models online, moderated by Paul Bonanos, MC Hammer, Jessica Kahn of Tapulous, Jordan Kurland who manages Death Cab For Cutie among others, Dorrian Porter of Mozes and Jeff Yasuda of I was pleased with the feedback to private beta of a new music search and ID product that will be coming out from Melodis. After asking the audience to let me know if they wanted to beta test it, I got over 50 cards handed to me.

MC Hammer has a new show called Hammertime coming out on A&E. The camera crews were there in full force. He has over 150k people following him on Twitter, underscoring how powerful the artist fan connection can be. Twitter is clearly gaining a lot of momentum with its "real time web" experience.

Among the interesting data-points were that Tapulous has had over 6 million downloads of its free app with hundreds of thousands of paid purchases of it's artist centric apps at $5 each. Nice people. great app and glad they are doing so nicely.

I highlighted that music is a true passion point for users. It's how they want to spend leisure time and get joy in spite of the economy. That time translates to money in terms of commerce and advertising. Figuring out how to be at the heart of discovery, search and / or listening are the power centers. Notable that 2 of the top 3 apps on the iPhone are music (Pandora at #1 and Shazam at 3).

The mobile phone market feels like the Internet in the mid 90's on DOS and dial up. Crappy and slow. The iPhone on 3G is a crucial platform to get a glimpse of the future. In a broadband mobile world (and we all know that 3G is still "mid band" speed at best), time spent goes way up, as does commerce and advertising. iPhone sales at 14 mm units or so last year is just a remarkable validation of consumer demand for a next gen mobile experience and the app store. Finally a way for third parties to market their products directly to consumers on mobile. Every major phone maker and service provider is rushing to replicate the app store model.

Looking forward to the app store enabling recurring revenue models / subscription and easier in product commerce.