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RAIN 2/10: SoundExchange appoints Michael Huppe new president

Posted on: 02/10/2011

HUPPE FORMERLY SX EXECUTIVE VP, GENERAL COUNSEL

Royalty collection agency SoundExchange has announced that its executive VP and general counsel Michael Huppe will take over as president. He succeeds John Simson, who stepped down at the end of 2010 (RAIN coverage here).

Huppe takes the helm at a time when SoundExchange is collecting ever more royalties from webcasters and Sirius XM — $204.2 million in 2009 — and faces criticism about slow payouts (RAIN coverage here and here).

“It’s a good problem to have,” Huppe told Billboard (here).“Unbelievable growth leading to the need to scale up.” A major component of that will be sorting out data/metadata problems, Huppe said. “There is no single, authoritative place to go and find out everything you need to know about a sound recording. That causes problems for us and every other collecting society… I think there needs to be a coordinated effort across the industry to fix this problem.”

Huppe also told Politico that the collection agency will continue to participate in the MusicFirst coalition, which advocates for the establishment of an AM/FM performance royalty. “SoundExchange can serve as a loud voice for the music industry,” he said.

OBAMA TO UNVEIL PLAN FOR NATIONWIDE WIRELESS BROADBAND

President Obama is expected today to unveil a plan to bring nationwide wireless broadband access to 98% of Americans over the next five years. “Rural stakeholders see this as a critical piece to participate in the 21st-century economy,” said White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra. The Washington Post has more coverage here.

SONOS TO OFFER FREE SYSTEM REMOTE CONTROL FOR ANDROID PHONES

Sonos today announced it will offer a free app for Android phones that serves as a remote control for their wireless network digital music systems. Sonos users can already use free apps for the Apple iPhone and iPad, a dedicated touchscreen controller that Sonos sells, or the free controller software for Mac or PC.

Interestingly, the app allows “music voice search” — owners can simply speak into their phone to search their stored music collection by artist, album, or track (the press release didn’t make clear whether voice search was available to navigate the “more than 100,000” Internet radio stations available for streaming).

Free iPhone, iPad, and Android remote control apps are available free for Sonos competitor the Logitech Squeezebox. As an “open” platform, the Squeezebox has a community of hobbyist developers that offer a large range of tweaks and plugins, with the smartphone remote apps among the most popular.

The Sonos Controller for Android will be released in late March. Sonos will demonstrate it next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Read the press release, and AllThingsDigital coverage by Kara Swisher, here.



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