Judge Rules in Royalty Lawsuit Between Pandora and ASCAP

In somewhat anticlimactic fashion, the lengthy, dramatic battle regarding what digital music service Pandora should pay ASCAP ended Friday when U.S. District Judge Denise Cote ruled that Pandora should continue to pay the performing rights organization what it has been paying through 2015. Pandora had argued that it should pay less than the current 1.85 percent of revenue, while ASCAP had argued for an escalating rate structure that would require Pandora to pay 2.5 percent of revenue for 2013 and 3 percent in 2015. Continue reading Judge Rules in Royalty Lawsuit Between Pandora and ASCAP

Amazon Prime Bumped to $99, Retailer Considers Music Service

Insiders say that Amazon is hoping to introduce an on-demand music-streaming service for its growing number of Amazon Prime customers. While the company has negotiated with record companies and music publishers in regards to licensing, financial terms are said to remain an obstacle. The music service is expected to be one of several new possible features the company may bundle with Prime as it raises the annual membership fee from $79 to as much as $119. Amazon already announced a $20 increase to take effect in April. Continue reading Amazon Prime Bumped to $99, Retailer Considers Music Service

Samsung Enters the Music-Streaming Market with Radio Service

Samsung launched a free radio-streaming service in the U.S. last week, which aims to attract customers for its Galaxy-branded smartphones while taking on the likes of Pandora, Spotify and Apple. The initially ad-free “Milk Music” combines content licensed from Slacker Radio’s catalog of about 13 million songs with music obtained exclusively for Samsung. It differs from other services in that users do not need to log in or even register. The application can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Continue reading Samsung Enters the Music-Streaming Market with Radio Service

Make Your TV Smart: Roku to Ship $50 Streaming Stick in April

Video-streaming set-top box maker Roku is planning to launch its anticipated Streaming Stick with Wi-Fi remote next month for $49.99. The thumb-size media stick plugs into a television’s HDMI port and offers a similar interface available through the Roku set-top boxes with access to a host of online streaming services. A simple solution to make your TV smart, the Roku Streaming Stick will compete with the popular $35 smartphone-controlled Chromecast device from Google. Continue reading Make Your TV Smart: Roku to Ship $50 Streaming Stick in April

Pandora Aims to Build Ad Revenue Based on Voting Patterns

Pandora is starting a new advertising service that would allow political organizations and candidates to target the majority of the Internet radio service’s listeners based on their likely voting preferences. Pandora is doing this by comparing election results with subscribers’ ZIP Codes and musical preferences. Then Pandora is labeling subscribers’ political preferences based on their musical taste, and if an artist is more popular in a largely Republican or Democratic area. Continue reading Pandora Aims to Build Ad Revenue Based on Voting Patterns

Pandora Lawsuit Could Impact Music Industry’s Royalty Model

For the past 73 years, the Justice Department has governed licensing organizations ASCAP and BMI to ensure songwriters receive fair royalty rates when their songs are played. Now Pandora is taking on ASCAP in a trial over royalty payments that is being carefully followed by the publishing industry. Music publishers including Sony/ATV and Universal are calling for an overhaul of the system, while tech firms are claiming that publishers are attempting to skirt federal rules designed to protect them.

Continue reading Pandora Lawsuit Could Impact Music Industry’s Royalty Model

Report Points to Increase in Internet-Connected TVs in U.S.

Connected TV penetration has exceeded the 60 percent mark for broadband households in the U.S., according to new data from The Diffusion Group, indicating that an increasing number of consumers are interested in receiving entertainment services such as Netflix and Pandora. TDG’s January 2014 study found that 63 percent of broadband households have at least one Internet-connected TV, up from 53 percent the same time last year. The numbers reflect smart TVs in addition to devices like game consoles and Internet sticks. Continue reading Report Points to Increase in Internet-Connected TVs in U.S.

Gracenote Plans to Collaborate on Internet Radio Platform

The Tribune Company-owned digital music data service Gracenote is making headway on an Internet radio program that would let other companies and brands use its technology for their own music apps. The technology behind Gracenote — Rhythm — could be used for radio services by consumer brands and car companies, especially those in other countries where Pandora is not available. Tribune acquired Gracenote last month for $170 million. Continue reading Gracenote Plans to Collaborate on Internet Radio Platform

Hola: New App Skirts Copyright Law to Stream TV Shows, Music

A new Web application named Hola is bypassing copyright laws to deliver content to users who otherwise don’t have access to it. The app essentially unlocks international versions of Netflix so U.S. users can watch shows like “True Grit” or “Community” — only available overseas — whenever they want. By changing users’ IP addresses and making their devices act as routers, content is never copied illegally. Since beta testing began, the app has become incredibly popular, and it could alter the way the Internet operates. Continue reading Hola: New App Skirts Copyright Law to Stream TV Shows, Music

New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

What if every radio station was searchable and you could look up a song you wanted to listen to, pick one of the stations it was currently playing on, and listen? Radio Search Engine, a new venture by entrepreneur Michael Robertson, allows just that. The site indexes around 40,000 radio stations in real-time and allows users to tune in from the Web. Currently in beta mode, Radio Search Engine essentially turns thousands of radio stations into a searchable music jukebox. Continue reading New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

Google Music Timeline Helps Visualize Trends in Popular Music

Google has introduced a new way to look at music with its launch of Music Timeline. The tool allows people to see the trends in music through time. Music Timeline draws on the song collections of millions of Google Play users to create a visualization of the popularity of various artists and genres from 1950 to today, through interactive charts. Besides tracking music patterns, it can also chart the careers of individual artists with some accuracy.

Continue reading Google Music Timeline Helps Visualize Trends in Popular Music

Viacom to Launch Personalized, Interactive Kids’ TV Channel

Viacom is planning to launch My Nickelodeon Junior, an interactive children’s TV channel, to Verizon FiOS customers in the upcoming months. The channel uses elements of streaming services such as Pandora and Netflix, and allows parents to program the channel according to their personal taste, while accessing hundreds of old episodes of kids’ shows like “Dora the Explorer.” The channel will appear on the TV menu next to the main Nick Jr. channel.  Continue reading Viacom to Launch Personalized, Interactive Kids’ TV Channel

Beats Creates Playlists Based on Your Mood, Location, Friends

A new streaming service, Beats Music, is hitting the market in a new AT&T subscription model that will bundle it with smartphone data service, and offer it to as many as five users on the same plan. It will also stand alone as an app for smartphones with free and paid versions, available next week. Beats comes at a time when music lovers have the option to stream, download or listen to the radio, and the streaming market in particular is saturated with endless options of services. Continue reading Beats Creates Playlists Based on Your Mood, Location, Friends

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

Google Chromecast: 10 New Streaming Apps for the Holidays

Just in time for the holidays, Google announced on Tuesday that it is supporting 10 new apps for its $35 Chromecast media streaming dongle that plugs directly into a television’s HDMI slot. The new apps come from Avia, BeyondPod, Plex, PostTV, Red Bull.TV, RealPlayer Cloud, Revision 3, Songza, VEVO and Viki. Chromecast, which debuted in July, now has 17 apps available for streaming content. Users can select the video apps on a phone or tablet to view content on their TV. Continue reading Google Chromecast: 10 New Streaming Apps for the Holidays

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