Streaming Audio Gets Better with Free Lossless Audio Codec

The quality of digital audio has waxed and waned since storage migrated from physical media to files stored on devices or in the cloud. Up until now, large technology companies such as Apple have been the ones making audio developments, such as taking MP3 mainstream with the iTunes Music Store in 2003. Increases in bandwidth have helped improve the quality of streaming audio. Consumers have pushed for better audio, and now some music services have adopted FLAC, a Free Lossless Audio Codec that is changing the game. Continue reading Streaming Audio Gets Better with Free Lossless Audio Codec

Jay-Z in Negotiations to Acquire Tidal and WiMP Music Services

Media mogul and entertainer Jay-Z is in closing negotiations to acquire Swedish company Aspiro AB, which owns music streaming services WiMP Music and Tidal. The deal, reportedly valued at $56 million, is being handled by Jay-Z’s S. Carter Enterprises. Tidal is the American and U.K. version of WiMP Music, a streaming service that offers CD-quality music files. Once the deal closes, Jay-Z may join the ranks of Dr. Dre who sold his Beats Music streaming service to Apple last year.  Continue reading Jay-Z in Negotiations to Acquire Tidal and WiMP Music Services

Technics to Launch Hi-Res Music Download Service in Europe

Technics announced it plans to launch Technics Tracks, a high-resolution music download service, in the U.K. and Germany starting in January. In addition to tens of thousands of 24-bit FLAC tracks, the service will also carry CD-quality tracks up to 16-bit/44.1kHz. All purchases will be stored in a cloud locker, available for download to multiple devices. The service, custom built by platform operator 7digital, will be accessible from Macs, PCs, and apps for Android and iOS. Continue reading Technics to Launch Hi-Res Music Download Service in Europe

Spotify Chief Exec Responds to Taylor Swift Pulling Her Music

Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Ek defended his streaming service in a statement released Tuesday in response to Taylor Swift’s decision to pull her entire collection of songs from Spotify. Swift, whose latest album “1989” sold almost 1.3 million copies in its first week, pulled her collection from Spotify because she believes the company does not fairly compensate music creators. Ek, however, pointed out that his company has now paid $2 billion in royalties and helps prevent piracy. Continue reading Spotify Chief Exec Responds to Taylor Swift Pulling Her Music

Taylor Swift Joins the Ranks of Musical Artists Not on Spotify

Taylor Swift abruptly pulled her entire collection of music from the world’s most popular music streaming service Spotify earlier this week. The move comes just as her “1989” album went platinum, which has become almost unheard of in the music industry as album and digital download sales plummet. Swift has the money and exposure to sustain her brand without streaming, so like the Beatles, Beyoncé, and Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich of Radiohead, she has snubbed Spotify. Continue reading Taylor Swift Joins the Ranks of Musical Artists Not on Spotify

Amazon in Talks with Hollywood Studios to Join UltraViolet

Amazon is reportedly in talks with at least three Hollywood studios to join the UltraViolet digital locker consortium. According to people with knowledge of the matter, Amazon has been in talks with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. The retail giant is currently ranked No. 2 behind Apple in digital movie sales and rentals. If Amazon were to implement UltraViolet, it could help jumpstart efforts to expand the $2 billion online movie-sales business and make it a greater threat to Apple. Continue reading Amazon in Talks with Hollywood Studios to Join UltraViolet

Yahoo and Live Nation Partner to Live-Stream Music Concerts

Tonight’s performance by the Dave Matthews Band in Jacksonville, Florida will mark the first in a partnership between Yahoo and Live Nation to provide free, live streams of a different concert every day for a year. The idea is to draw attention to Yahoo’s video site Screen, which the company sees as an eventual competitor to Google’s YouTube. For Live Nation, and the music industry, the effort could lead to a new franchise for online concerts, which have yet to catch on with consumers. Continue reading Yahoo and Live Nation Partner to Live-Stream Music Concerts

Indie Labels Adjust to Growing Popularity of Music Streaming

To battle the increasing challenges that music labels have experienced with selling albums, some independent labels and their artists have decided to embrace streaming. Drip.fm, a two-year-old subscription streaming and download service, has partnered with Sub Pop Records to provide subscribers with the label’s albums, singles and special exclusives for $10 per month. The idea is to cultivate and monetize the most loyal fans as streaming continues to popularize. Continue reading Indie Labels Adjust to Growing Popularity of Music Streaming

Mobile App eBay Valet Handles the Selling Process for You

Auction and shopping site eBay is taking its Sell For Me service mobile with the launch of eBay Valet, an app that lets eBay handle every step of the selling process. The new iPhone app, designed and developed by the Israel Innovation Center, helps to determine an item’s value and list it online, and even handle the shipping once it is sold. Both the Web-based eBay Sell For Me and mobile eBay Valet are designed to make the online selling process more approachable for buyers and sellers. Continue reading Mobile App eBay Valet Handles the Selling Process for You

ASCAP and BMI Push For More Flexibility in Music Licensing

The Justice Department announced this week that it will review the regulatory agreements created in 1941 that govern ASCAP and BMI. It is likely that, as a result, a lobbying fight will surge between technology giants like Pandora and Google against music companies and songwriter groups. If changes to the regulatory agreements are not made, major music publishers, including Sony/ATV and Universal, may withdraw from ASCAP and BMI.  Continue reading ASCAP and BMI Push For More Flexibility in Music Licensing

Apple Reportedly Getting Ready to Spend $3.2 Billion on Beats

Insiders say Apple is in talks for a proposed $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, which would provide Apple with Beats’ headphone business and recently-launched subscription music service. Although Apple disrupted the music business when it launched iTunes in 2003, it has recently faced declining download sales as consumers increasingly turn to subscription services. If the Beats deal goes through, it would be Apple CEO Tim Cook’s boldest and most expensive acquisition to date. Continue reading Apple Reportedly Getting Ready to Spend $3.2 Billion on Beats

Digital Music and File Sharing Addressed at DEW Conference

At Digital Entertainment World, Jake Katz and Amrit Singh of Revolt TV discussed how they are reaching their millennial peers. Curation is key, said Amrit. For news, his goal is to be first, right, and “identify the relevant narrative.” Although they call themselves a cable network, they have a large bicoastal (LA, NYC) staff working on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and other social media in real time during the broadcasts. Millennials prefer phones and tablets; 34 percent of the Revolt TV audience won’t watch a television screen. Continue reading Digital Music and File Sharing Addressed at DEW Conference

Streaming Music Services Struggle to Recruit Paid Subscribers

Similar to how CD sales gave way to download sales, digital downloads are now giving way to on-demand music streaming. But despite their surging popularity, streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify are having a difficult time getting their listeners to pay for subscriptions. The overwhelming majority of subscribers would rather put up with ads for the free version than shell out money for unlimited, uninterrupted music. Continue reading Streaming Music Services Struggle to Recruit Paid Subscribers

Music Downloads on the Decline Thanks to Streaming Services

Music downloads are on the decline, and many music executives agree that streaming services like Pandora and Spotify are likely a major cause. So far, 2013 has seen 1.01 billion track downloads in the U.S. — four percent less than this time last year. Album downloads are up two percent, however, bringing the total downfall to one percent. Streaming services, meanwhile, have seen a revenue increase of 59 percent since last year. Continue reading Music Downloads on the Decline Thanks to Streaming Services

Microsoft’s Mundie Sees DRM as Protection for Personal Data

Craig Mundie, senior advisor to Microsoft’s CEO, is proposing that a form of digital rights management can be used to secure personal data. He believes it is vital, since people do not currently have a method to ensure that the data they share will not be misused. However, DRM has been ineffective at preventing some illegal copying of media files. And many companies may oppose the idea as they require access to personal data for their businesses. Continue reading Microsoft’s Mundie Sees DRM as Protection for Personal Data

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