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

BBC iPlayer Peak Times Vary Between TV and Mobile Viewers

BBC’s iPlayer streaming service shows that Britain’s TV viewers have different consumption habits than Netflix customers here in the U.S. The iPlayer service, which offers live and on-demand shows for viewing, indicates viewership habits that reflect traditional TV viewing, with varying peak times. The majority of BBC’s viewers still watch traditional television, but the definition of “prime time” changes along with the shift to streaming. Continue reading BBC iPlayer Peak Times Vary Between TV and Mobile Viewers

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

The Return of Cast Commercials: TV Stars Pitching Products

Recalling the golden age of radio and the early years of television, advertisers are once again embracing cast commercials — or advertisements featuring actors in-character promoting products and companies. NBCUniversal is lending its actors to promote the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Likewise, ABC has done the same in the past year for Target commercials. The “editorial-styled” approach is thought to be a softer, more enjoyable sell for viewers. Continue reading The Return of Cast Commercials: TV Stars Pitching Products

Spotify Launches New Online Portal for Musicians and Managers

Spotify launched “Spotify for Artists” this week, a new website designed primarily for musicians and music managers. In an effort to quell industry critics, the site provides details regarding how the Spotify business model works, how the company calculates payouts for musicians, and how much the artists can expect to earn as the company expands. Spotify is also opening up its analytics for free, and has made e-commerce partnerships that incorporate merchandising. Continue reading Spotify Launches New Online Portal for Musicians and Managers

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

Exclusive: Execs Discuss Second Screens at BroadbandTVCon

The BroadbandTVCon broadband TV and multi-screen summit took place at Hollywood & Highland on November 5-6. Executives from a range of companies including AOL, AT&T, CBS, Dijit Media, Omelet, Ooyala, Unicorn Media, Watchwith and Yahoo! gathered to offer their impressions regarding the direction of second screen apps, the impact of mobile devices, the growing influence of millennials and the subsequent changes to content and advertising. Continue reading Exclusive: Execs Discuss Second Screens at BroadbandTVCon

Media Consumption to Average 15.5 Hours Per Day in 2015

Media consumption continues as an integral part of the American lifestyle. According to a USC report released last week, Americans are voraciously consuming media via TV, radio, phone and computer, which led to an average consumption of 63 gigabytes per person per day last year. In 2012, total U.S. media consumption averaged 1.46 trillion hours, an average of 13.6 hours per person per day. By 2015, average media consumption is expected to reach 15.5 hours a day per person. Continue reading Media Consumption to Average 15.5 Hours Per Day in 2015

Sprint Delivers Increased Speed with New 4G LTE Networks

Sprint is bulking up with an enhanced LTE, promising “unprecedented speeds” for its mobile subscribers. The company announced the new 4G service Spark this week, as well as two new LTE networks, which offer a vast improvement upon current speeds. In a lab test, Sprint showed off an LTE link with 1Gbps, promising speeds would continue to go up. With multiple antennas and carrier aggregation, it’s using a full spectrum of frequencies that average 50 to 60Mbps. Continue reading Sprint Delivers Increased Speed with New 4G LTE Networks

NASA Sets Data Transmission Record Between Earth and Moon

NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) uses a pulsed laser beam to transmit data from Earth to the moon. The record-setting laser recently made history by sending data 239,000 miles at a download speed of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). Radio frequency has been the main method of communication, but does not have the data capacity and speed of laser. If the laser program is successful, NASA plans to use it on future missions. Continue reading NASA Sets Data Transmission Record Between Earth and Moon

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

YouTube to Launch New Premium On-Demand Music Service

According to inside sources, YouTube is readying a premium on-demand music service expected to launch later this year. The new YouTube offering, designed with mobile listening in mind, would be similar to a service such as Spotify, but include video. It is expected to be tiered with a free ad-supported option and a premium component that features unlimited access to a full catalog of tracks, similar to what Google offers with its All Access subscription music service. Continue reading YouTube to Launch New Premium On-Demand Music Service

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

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