Posted by MediaNet Public Relations | February 1, 2010 12:16 pm | No Comments
Monday February 1, 2010 | MusicWeek.com
By Eamonn Forde
Digital specialist MediaNet is launching its MN Open API and web components, which enable users to turn their websites into self-contained download stores, in Europe after debuting the tools in the US last year.MediaNet CEO Alan McGlade describes his company as offering websites a “content concierge” service. It currently powers the technology behind a range of US sites including MOG, iLike and Fox.
“One of our earliest API integrations was on iLike,” McGlade says. “It originally had a buy button that sent you to either iTunes or Amazon. What happened was that customers were sent off on the Amazon purchase path and Amazon would try and sell them headphones and other products.”
MN Open was designed to keep users within a site’s pages and thereby increase the commerce opportunities. “Most users did not like being sent off from the site they were on,” explains McGlade. “This would result in a 90% abandonment rate.”
Because the MN Open technology contains the transaction steps within the same page, users just need to input their credit card information once.
The sites themselves only need to copy and paste sections of code into their site and the technology automates the process for them, meaning there is no need to manually create links. If a site such as Fox writes an entertainment story about a particular artist, MediaNet’s web components scan the article, turning the act’s name into a clickable link automatically. This can link the user to biographies and reviews as well as letting them purchase tracks.
“The good thing for a site such as Fox is that it keeps people on their site, it keeps them active and they get more page views,” says McGlade. “The minute someone reads about something, they can link to other content and go as deep into that as they want. They never have to leave the Fox site. They never even have to leave the article.”
MediaNet’s client base includes mobile application developers and online retailers such as major supermarkets and social networks.
“The other big customer base is record labels and aggregators,” adds McGlade. “One of our major clients is EMI. In partnership with us, it is looking to enable commerce on its own artist websites.”
With sites being measured on their dwell time and page impressions, MN Open claims to improve sites’ performance significantly.
“The benefit for sites is that they can create a richer experience for their users, ensure they stay on the site longer and generate more page views,” explains McGlade. “Increased time on site and increased page views result in increased advertising. Then, if the user transacts and buys an album, they share in that as well.”
MediaNet’s business model is based around taking a cut of transactions that its technology facilitates on sites.
The MediaNet platform supports other media types beyond music and the company is preparing to launch e-books. “We have a number of clients in both the US and the UK who are interested in providing music and e-books,” says McGlade of the service’s future.
Taking the example of how the iPhone led to an explosion in third-party app developers, McGlade believes MN Open has “the potential to significantly diversify the business beyond a few online retailers. Create a platform like this and the marketplace innovates. All sorts of new products and services will come to the market.”
Blair Schooff is returning to the company to look after its European expansion. He previously worked at BMG and AOL Music as well as launching music download stores for HMV, Virgin and Tesco among others.
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