Can Ian Rogers — who left grad school to tour with The Beastie Boys, and then later helped to run the company behind Winamp — turn Yahoo Music into something worth paying attention to? A tough assignment, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed, based on the presentation he gave at a music-industry confab in Aspen. The Yahoo Music executive has already made it clear that he has big ideas, and Mike Arrington says that he thinks something big could be coming from Yahoo.
If you read the entire post, however — and I encourage you to do so if you care about music online, even though it is fairly long — it becomes obvious that Rogers is talking about something more than just making Yahoo Music suck a little less (something he wrote about fairly eloquently in an earlier post, also based on a presentation he gave). It’s clear that he envisions a kind of open-source approach to music standards online, and that means not just doing away with DRM, but making it easier for music to be found and identified — and sold — wherever it exists.
In that context, Ian mentions a guy I have recently gotten to know: David Gratton, a Vancouver entrepreneur who founded Project Opus, a social-media venture that is working on an open music-identification standard called JAMM. (David is also the guy behind the MixxMaker music-sharing app for Facebook, which I wrote about yesterday). David’s vision seems to be the same as Ian’s: in a nutshell, make music of all kinds easier to find, tag and share online. Here’s hoping that one or the other (or both) of them succeed.