Spotify Has Plans to Go Mobile with Free, Ad-Supported Music

Spotify has plans to launch a free, ad-supported version of its streaming music service on mobile devices, according to people familiar with the matter. The Sweden-based company has reached licensing deals with three of the global music companies to use their recordings on the service. The ad-supported offering will allow nonpaying mobile users to play a limited number of songs on demand, but will mostly serve up music based on user input, similar to services such as Pandora.

Continue reading Spotify Has Plans to Go Mobile with Free, Ad-Supported Music

Beats Music: New Streaming Service Set for January Launch

There has been a great deal of speculation in recent months regarding Beats Music, the new streaming service from the makers of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, that intends to take on Spotify and others. Most reports had indicated the launch date was being pushed beyond 2013, but little was known about the service or its status. Now it looks like the target launch is January. Newspaper ads are appearing that simply read “coming soon” and a blitz of TV ads are expected. Continue reading Beats Music: New Streaming Service Set for January Launch

Apple Goes Social with $200 Million Purchase of Topsy Labs

Apple has reportedly acquired social media analytics firm Topsy Labs for more than $200 million. Topsy is one of four Twitter partners with access to the social network’s full stream of tweets, currently averaging about 500 million messages per day. The firm then analyzes the information and resells it to customers. Topsy markets itself as a global trendspotter and has helped Hollywood studios predict box office demand for movies based on social chatter. Continue reading Apple Goes Social with $200 Million Purchase of Topsy Labs

YouTube Could Launch its On-Demand Music Service This Year

YouTube is reportedly planning to launch its premium on-demand music service later this year, according to sources. The service, similar to Spotify, but including video, is designed for mobile music listeners. It is expected to offer a tiered approach, with an ad-supported free component and a premium option that includes unlimited access to a catalog of songs similar to the All Access subscription service available via Google, YouTube’s parent company. Continue reading YouTube Could Launch its On-Demand Music Service This Year

Twitter Plays it Safe with Modest IPO, Aims to Sway Investors

According to Twitter’s regulatory filing, the company is looking to raise up to $1.4 billion in its initial public offering with a share-price range of $17 to $20. That would value the social network at about $9.4 billion to $11.1 billion, considerably less than earlier estimates that placed it as high as $16 billion. The modest valuation suggests that the company hopes to avoid the backlash Facebook experienced with its aggressive IPO. The approach could help Twitter win investors who are wary of the network’s mobile business model. Continue reading Twitter Plays it Safe with Modest IPO, Aims to Sway Investors

Twitter Now More Popular Than Facebook Amongst Teenagers

According to Piper Jaffray’s 26th semi-annual teen market research report, Twitter is now a more important social network than Facebook for many teens. The report suggests that 26 percent of teenagers call Twitter their most significant social media site, while 23 percent claim their most important site to be Facebook, down from a high of 42 percent. However, Twitter is not without competition; the photo-sharing site Instagram, for example, is also doing well amongst teens. Continue reading Twitter Now More Popular Than Facebook Amongst Teenagers

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

Democratic Congressman Proposes Free Market Royalty Act

Representative Melvin Watt (D – North Carolina) introduced the Free Market Royalty Act this week, which would allow record companies and artists to collect royalties when their songs are played on the radio. The bill would change licensing for broadcast radio and online services, and stations like Pandora would have to negotiate with rights holders. This bill has transformational potential, for while songwriters and music publishers receive compensation on the radio, the artists themselves do not. Continue reading Democratic Congressman Proposes Free Market Royalty Act

Google Chromecast Streaming Media Fob Adds Hulu Plus App

When Google’s $35 Chromecast streaming media player launched in July, it only supported Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies and Google Play Music. Google added support for Hulu Plus yesterday, the first new partner since Chromecast made its debut. Other apps are reportedly going to be supported as well, although formal announcements have not yet been made. Pandora and HBO Go are two services rumored to be integrated in the future. Continue reading Google Chromecast Streaming Media Fob Adds Hulu Plus App

Federal Court Rules Pandora Can License Music for Streaming

Pandora Media, provider of streaming online music, won a legal victory on Tuesday in its ongoing battle with the music industry involving licensing and royalties. A federal court ruled that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers cannot stop Pandora from licensing all the music in their catalog. The service’s attempts to reduce its costs have made it a target in the music industry, but the larger effect of the ruling remains unclear. Continue reading Federal Court Rules Pandora Can License Music for Streaming

Clear Channel-Warner Deal Underlines Digital Licensing Issues

Clear Channel Communications announced a deal late last week with the Warner Music Group through which Warner’s acts will collect royalties when their songs are played on Clear Channel’s 850 stations. This will mark the first time that the music label and its acts — which include Bruno Mars, CeeLo Green, Coldplay and Green Day — will collect payments from Clear Channel. In exchange for the deal and promotion for its acts, Clear Channel will receive a favorable rate for online streaming. Continue reading Clear Channel-Warner Deal Underlines Digital Licensing Issues

Microsoft Now Offers Xbox Music Service on More Devices

Microsoft is now offering its Xbox Music service on more devices and via the Web. This is an expansion of the limited compatibility that the service offered at its initial release about a year ago. It brings familiar digital music services and software into a combined, single service. Xbox Music’s new platform support comes as Google, Apple and others are entering the music-streaming marketplace, with Amazon developing its own music-streaming devices. Continue reading Microsoft Now Offers Xbox Music Service on More Devices

TV Advertising Feels the Heat of Video Ads on Mobile Devices

A recent study from IPG Media Lab and digital advertiser YuMe indicates that consumers remember ads better after viewing them on tablets as compared to smartphones, PCs or TVs. The study suggests that the improved ad recall is because viewers tend to watch videos on tablets when they’re at home and they do not multitask the way they do when watching TV. In an unrelated poll of ad execs, IAB found that a majority plan to shift their budgets from TV to digital video ads. Continue reading TV Advertising Feels the Heat of Video Ads on Mobile Devices

Apple Outlines Advertising Strategy for iTunes Radio Partners

Apple plans to launch iTunes Radio next month along with brand partners including McDonald’s, Nissan, Pepsi, Procter and Gamble, and possibly others. Apple’s new offering plans to compete with current streaming radio services such as Pandora. While the launch partners will benefit from exclusivity until the end of 2013, iTunes Radio will later be available to other advertisers. Apple also hopes to generate revenue by providing users with the option to purchase songs played via the service. Continue reading Apple Outlines Advertising Strategy for iTunes Radio Partners

Pandora Believes Radio Experience Will Beat Jukebox Services

Although the streaming music market is still relatively new, there is considerable consumer demand for a digital radio-style option. While jukebox services such as Spotify and music stores from Apple and Google receive a significant amount of attention, the market for Pandora has been steadily growing. Pandora continues to promote its unique radio-style approach as a great way to enjoy music in spite of growing competition from other online services. Continue reading Pandora Believes Radio Experience Will Beat Jukebox Services

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