Digital Spending Grows Amongst Nation’s Biggest Marketers

According to new figures released from Kantar Media this week, the country’s largest marketers are cutting their advertising budgets as part of the transition toward increased spending on digital ads. Kantar reports that the top 10 advertisers reduced spending by 4.2 percent last year to $15.3 billion, as compared to 2013. Top advertiser Procter & Gamble, for example, cut its ad spending by 14.4 percent in 2014. Much of the spending is shifting to digital segments including video and mobile. Continue reading Digital Spending Grows Amongst Nation’s Biggest Marketers

MagicBand Offers Seamless Experience for Theme Park Guests

Visitors of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando can now enter the theme park, check in at FastPass entrances, and buy food and merchandise without ever having to reach for their wallets. That is because Disney recently introduced the MagicBand, a tech enabled wristband that transmits signals to various sensors throughout the theme park so that the consumer experience can be completely hassle-free. Each wristband is personalized and designed to anticipate the needs of anyone visiting the park.  Continue reading MagicBand Offers Seamless Experience for Theme Park Guests

Beats Music Gets Star Power with Newly Hired Host Zane Lowe

Apple has hired popular BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe to give its streaming service Beats Music a new personality. From the beginning, Beats Music was different from other music streaming services because it featured real humans with knowledge of specific genres to curate the playlists, rather than relying upon an algorithm or its other employees. However, Lowe with his name recognition and experience as a radio host may finally give Beats the star power it needs to appeal to the mainstream. Continue reading Beats Music Gets Star Power with Newly Hired Host Zane Lowe

“This” Social Network Takes New Approach to Selective Sharing

The new invite-only social network “This” lets users share one link per day of a stand-out Internet post, such as a compelling article or a podcast episode or a video. Rather than inundating the community with a flood of posts (a common model of other social networks), users on This only get the best-of-the-best on the Web. As a result, tech types and news junkies are clamoring for an invite. The new social network is a project of Atlantic Media and Andrew Golis. It is less than three months old and currently has about 4,500 users. Continue reading “This” Social Network Takes New Approach to Selective Sharing

Milestone: iHeartRadio Exceeds 60 Million Registered Users

Last week, iHeartRadio announced that it had reached over 60 million registered users. The streaming service is distinct from its competitors such as Pandora and Spotify in that it also allows users to access stations for free without the need to register. Only those who opt for listening to playlists and accessing more personalized features need to register with the service. This unique model makes it difficult to compare to Spotify’s 60 million active monthly users or Pandora’s registered 250 million users. Continue reading Milestone: iHeartRadio Exceeds 60 Million Registered Users

Research Points to Mobile Revenue Reaching Box Office Totals

According to a recent study by SNL Kagan, mobile entertainment revenue is poised to match that of box office totals. Last year in the U.S., revenue generated by mobile games, videos, music and location-based services topped $9.14 billion (and has grown at a combined annual rate of 50 percent the last three years, notes the research). The 2014 total is getting close to the estimated $10.35 billion consumers spent on movie tickets in the U.S. Mobile games led the charge by far, earning more than $5.2 billion last year. Continue reading Research Points to Mobile Revenue Reaching Box Office Totals

Studies Show Listeners Still Turn to Radio for Music Discovery

Despite the rise of online streaming music services, the “local nature” of radio makes it the most popular platform for music discovery. According to Nielsen, some 243 million people still tune in to radio each week and 51 percent of listeners use radio to discover new music. That’s more than the number of people that find new music on services like YouTube or Spotify, but many music consumers use a combination of both traditional radio and online services to listen to their favorite tunes. Continue reading Studies Show Listeners Still Turn to Radio for Music Discovery

CEA Economist Outlines ‘Post-Smartphone Era’ at ETC Event

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and director of research for the Consumer Electronics Association, set the stage for the upcoming 2015 CES with a special briefing on December 4 for ETC members. DuBravac placed his remarks within the context of more than a century of innovation beginning with the inventions of recording, radio and telephone transmission. “Five key pillars drive innovation today,” he said. “Ubiquitous computing, an explosion of devices, universal connectivity, access to storage, and embedded sensors.” Continue reading CEA Economist Outlines ‘Post-Smartphone Era’ at ETC Event

Warner Music Group Partners with SoundCloud for Digital Edge

With about 175 million current users, SoundCloud far exceeds Spotify and Pandora, which combine for a total of about 116 million users. And while SoundCloud has yet to build any sort of real business with these numbers, it recently agreed to partner with a major record label. Rather than taking a traditional licensing route with its new Warner Music Group deal, the music-streaming site will offer WMG the option to advertise on some of its songs and share revenue with SoundCloud. Continue reading Warner Music Group Partners with SoundCloud for Digital Edge

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 Expands Entertainment Offerings with Comedy Service

As part of its continued media and digital content expansion to take on companies such as Netflix, Amazon is set to acquire online comedy service Rooftop Media. The service gives viewers access to live and on demand recorded content from comedy acts across the country. While specifics of the deal remain undisclosed, the 10-person company will be acquired by Audible, a growing seller of online audiobooks that Amazon purchased in 2008 for $300 million. Continue reading Amazon Expands Entertainment Offerings with Comedy Service

New Study: The Mystery Behind the Way Teens Listen to Music

According to a recent Piper Jaffray study, contrary to popular belief, teenagers have yet to abandon the MP3 as the traditional way to listen to music. Given a sample of about 7,200 teens, Piper Jaffray concluded that nearly 42 percent preferred an MP3 player to Pandora, local radio, CDs, Sirius XM and other streaming services. This data however, omits key trends, including the use of Spotify and YouTube, and may not be the best interpretation of how teenagers listen to music today. Continue reading New Study: The Mystery Behind the Way Teens Listen to Music

Pandora Introduces AMP, Brings Listener Data to its Musicians

Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform will now offer listener data to the artists whose music is featured on the Internet radio service. This data will include number of plays and thumbs up for each song, how many fans have created stations for the artist, along with the listeners’ geographic and demographic breakdowns. Co-founder Tim Westergren uses his experience as a musician to detail how the service will eliminate guesswork and allow musicians to more effectively target their audience. Continue reading Pandora Introduces AMP, Brings Listener Data to its Musicians

YouTube Personalities Try Out New Markets, Including Books

YouTube personalities are venturing into the world of books as publishers continue to seek the next popular authors. These content creators explain that they do not make much from YouTube, which takes 45 percent of advertising revenue, and see publishing as a new market to earn income. For instance, U.K. video blogger Alfie Deyes released “The Pointless Book” in Britain last month, and it rapidly became a bestseller. Meanwhile, others are looking into television shows, radio gigs, and even movie deals. Continue reading YouTube Personalities Try Out New Markets, Including Books

Music Industry: Rulings Could Have Long-Term Consequences

In a 57-page decision issued this week, a New York federal judge ruled against music streaming service Grooveshark in a copyright infringement case. The judge ruled that the service’s parent company, Escape Media Group, and co-founders Samuel Tarantino and Josh Greenberg, had uploaded almost 6,000 songs without licenses, and urged their employees to do the same. Meanwhile, a California judge ruled in favor of musicians Flo & Eddie in a suit against SiriusXM, and now the duo is taking on Pandora. Continue reading Music Industry: Rulings Could Have Long-Term Consequences

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