Digital Music Trends – Episode 51

This week on the show an interview with Juuso Vermasheinä, CEO and co-founder of Gigswiz.com – a start-up based in Helsinki. In the news: more drama at Myspace as the company loses a co-president, Google my be preparing to roll out a new music service, UK Supermarket giant Tesco rumored to be developing a music locker service due to launch soon, a coalition of publishers sues Limewire to get a seat at the table in case of settlement negotiations, Sonicbids Acquires ArtistData and finally Guvera reveals its latest user figures.

Interview with Juuso Vermasheinä

And now for the news:

- Myspace loses a co-president and with Google’s ad deal about to expire things are looking bleak

On Thursday Myspace confirmed a TechCrunch article that revealed the departure of co-president Jason Hirschhorn – this marks yet another management shake-up in the company’s recently turbulent history. After the departure of CEO Owen Van Natta only four months ago NewsCorp appointed 2 co-presidents at the helm of Myspace – Jason Hirschhorn and Mike Jones. Now, with Hirschhorn’s departure – which was blamed on his desire to get back to New York for personal reasons – Mike Jones is expected to be made CEO of the company sometime soon. Many news outlets including myself on this show had expressed doubts at the time of the appointment of the two co-presidents that having two people at the helm of a company that needed a dramatic change in direction in order to survive may not have been a good choice, as a dual leadership could easily translate to compromise. Now the situation is not looking good at Myspace, with rumors that the network may be spun into a private company to limit News Corp’s losses. Billboard Business makes a really good point when it remarks that Myspace’s main asset now appears to be Myspace Music – but even they have not yet decided what kind of music service they want to become – they are not like Spotify or like Pandora and have lots of social-heavy cool features. But the problem is that with less and less people using the site for social networking purposes how are they going to expand those social features beyond their own users? TechCrunch remarks that Myspace’s lucrative search deal with Google is going to expire in two week’s time and there’s so far nothing that will replace that revenue stream – meaning that the company could soon be haemorrhaging even more money. Billboard’s piece reports that Myspace’s employees remain confident – they view saving Myspace as a great challenge but not something that is altogether unattainable.

- A CNET article by Greg Sandoval got everyone excited this week as he reported on numerous music industry sources that confirmed that Google is working on a new service for downloading and streaming music that could be introduced as early as this fall.
Should Apple be worried? Well yes and no. With Multi-tasking on the iPhone a Google Music app could certainly take off amongst Apple fans if it was introduced before Apple’s own rumoured music locker service, but at the same time we all know that Apple has a knack at presenting the users with the most seamless and simple experience especially when it comes to music. Google has been very successful in promoting music videos via YouTube but it has not yet shown that it’s able to deliver a great content platform purely for music that people will want to use. Should Spotify be worried though? Well – not as far as its established European market goes – but the launch of such a service could seriously derail Spotify’s attempts to break into the US market especially as the launch of the service keeps being postponed presumably due to disagreements with the labels.
Google started experimenting with Music-specific searches late last year – it had partnered with Lala.com and I had spoken to Lala’s CEO Geoff Ralston at the time on how Google was taking this very seriously and had been testing Lala’s infrastructure for a long time before making the partnership official. As we all know though Apple acquired Lala not long after that so the music search feature ended up dead in the waters. Now it seems that a direct partnership with content owners could be the perfect solution as a new service would not rely on a third party company that could disappear anytime but it would be based around Google’s own infrastructure. To top it all off, Google acquired Simplify Media a little while ago – a service that allows users to stream content from their computer to their mobile – so it’ll be very interesting to see whether and how this service or its technology will be brought into play with in the new Google Music venture.
- Tesco set to launch its own music locker service – a chance to reach a mainstream audience?
Apple is always great at exploiting an idea when the market’s ready for it – just look at their success with the smart-phone and tablet markets.   Again this seems to be the case with music locker services. The idea is not new, there have been numerous companies offering this including for example Tunesbag that offers to this day a really good service, but it seems that with the rumored launch of an iTunes music locker the competition in this field is truly heating up. After 7Digital revealed its plans on last week’s Music Week for their own locker, now it looks like Supermarket giant Tesco is getting into this game with a partnership with Blueprint Digital that would be powering the service. Techradar, Cnet and Music week reported that Blueprint Digital’s CEO Richard Bron announced this partnership at the Futuresource Entertainment Summit in London – explaining that their aim is to shift the focus from the format to the content. So how will it work? Simple, just buy a CD in Tesco, swipe your Clubcard at purchase and the album will automatically be added to your music locker and you will be able to authorize up to 12 devices to access that particular content. So a very interesting proposition from Tesco that could become even more mouthwatering if they were to add DVDs to the equation as well. Naturally the big hurdle for Tesco is that it does not have a particularly hip image so I can’t see a huge amount of early adopters wanting to switch from their Spotify or We7 accounts. But if Tesco was able to somehow market this in the right way and hit those consumers who have a computer at home but don’t use it for digital music and are still attached to the physical CD this solution would be the easiest way to get them to enjoy their music from the cloud and join the digital revolution in a fairy seamless way. No word yet as to when and how this will be rolled out or as to whether it will be a free service but apparently Currys, Dixons and PCWorld are on board with the idea.

- Now the Publishers are going after LimeWire.

It looks like the possibility of the RIAA receiving a big lump sum from LimeWire arose the attention of the publishing industry.  The New York Times reports that a coalition of eight publishers filed a suit against Limewire for copyright infringement. The publishing industry was not really represented in the first lawsuit and they were obviously worried that should there be any settlement talks they would not get a seat at the table. They are demanding, just like the RIAA, the in my opinion insane amount of $150,000 per infringed song – that just like in the RIAA lawsuit could bring the damages to hundreds of millions of dollars. I find this whole thing an interesting legal exercise and I want to see where it ends up. Limewire clearly does not have billions of dollars to give to the recording industry so the only reason why I think they may be pushing for such high damages is to encourage any other service who may be operating in a similar way to shut down before the attention of the copyright holders shifts to them. Limewire still has a few days to make its case to the court or faces closure – they keep re-iterating that they want to launch a legal music service but frankly given all the acrimony between the recording industry and the Limewire executives I doubt they will be able to obtain the licenses they need.

- Sonicbids acquires ArtistData and plans to offer more services to its users.

http://paidcontent.org/article/419-live-music-booking-site-sonicbids-acquires-artistdata/

http://www.artistdata.com/us/sonicbids

So this week Sonicbids announced that is acquired Artist Data and plans to integrate the two services to give the musicians who use the site a complete set of tools not only to get that gig but also to promote it and get their message out there.
Artist Data is a company founded four years ago by Brenden Mulligan, it’s based in Chicago and has evolved to become a one-stop-shop for bands who don’t want to spend hours updating all the social networking sites and promotional sites separately. The company’s aim is to streamline that process so that you only have to enter the information once and it automatically updates everything else. Sonicbids have a strong set of tools for the artists to market themselves and to be chosen for gigs, but up to now everything else had to be sorted out by the band externally. Now with this partnership and I suspect a slow integration of the two platforms the process will be much more streamlined. Both Panos Panay – the founder of Sonicbids – and Brenden Mulligan were very upbeat about the new partnership. In a blog post Brenden announced that he was particularly excited at the prospect of having more resources to develop the Artist Data tool-sets and of being able to help over 245,000 musicians – such is the user base of Sonicbids. He will be joining Sonicbids as VP of  Strategic Development to oversee the ArtistData integration.

- Guvera reveals some figures about its user base.

And finally I’m going to wrap up with the latest figures coming from Guvera – the ad-funded Australian music service that allows users to download free MP3s. The company has announced that it has over 75,000 users, of which 40,000 are from its Australian operation and 35,000 from its US base. Guvera in case you are not familiar with the service allows companies to set up branded channels where they offer free MP3 is in exchange for the user exploring this channel and familiarizing with the brand. Apparently on average Australian users spend 5 to 7 minutes on each branded channels and the are are about 40 channels available so far. The service needs to keep a tight check on the number of users signing up as well as on the number of tracks they are allowed to download since the number of tracks that can be downloaded is directly dependent on how many advertisers are on board in a particular territory. Up to now Guvera has raised over 30 million dollars in investments and it plans to expand soon to other territories such as the UK and Europe. I must admit that the figures they revealed don’t really tell us a great deal about how much money they are making – or losing – but the fact that their catalogue of tracks keeps expanding and that they are looking to expand their operation must be an indicator that things are not going too badly for them. We’ll see whether the maths will work as well once they reach 750,000 users as opposed to 75,0000.
So that’s all for this week – I hope you enjoyed the show. An important announcement is that I’ll be on holiday all through this week and I haven’t figured out yet what kind of content I’ll be able to publish next Monday – but stay assured that I’ll figure something out and don’t be cross if Episode 52 is a little late or shorter than usual.
As always you can write in with any feedback, comment or news story the email is digitalmusictrends@gmail.com. For the feeds, the Soundcloud player, the Digital Music Trends archives go to www.digitalmusictrends.com. Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to the Podcast very simply via the iTunes store to get the latest show synchronized up to your device every single week.

Digital Music Trends – Episode 51

This week on the show an interview with Juuso Vermasheinä, CEO and co-founder of Gigswiz.com – a start-up based in Helsinki. In the news: more drama at Myspace as the company loses a co-president, Google my be preparing to roll out a new music service, UK Supermarket giant Tesco rumored to be developing a music locker service due to launch soon, a coalition of publishers sues Limewire to get a seat at the table in case of settlement negotiations, Sonicbids Acquires ArtistData and finally Guvera reveals its latest user figures.

Episode 51 by digitalmusictrends


Interview with Juuso Vermasheinä

www.gigswiz.com

And now for the news: 
- Myspace loses a co-president and with Google’s ad deal about to expire things are looking bleak
 


On Thursday Myspace confirmed a TechCrunch article that revealed the departure of co-president Jason Hirschhorn – this marks yet another management shake-up in the company’s recently turbulent history. After the departure of CEO Owen Van Natta only four months ago NewsCorp appointed 2 co-presidents at the helm of Myspace – Jason Hirschhorn and Mike Jones. Now, with Hirschhorn’s departure – which was blamed on his desire to get back to New York for personal reasons – Mike Jones is expected to be made CEO of the company sometime soon. Many news outlets including myself on this show had expressed doubts at the time of the appointment of the two co-presidents that having two people at the helm of a company that needed a dramatic change in direction in order to survive may not have been a good choice, as a dual leadership could easily translate to compromise. Now the situation is not looking good at Myspace, with rumors that the network may be spun into a private company to limit News Corp’s losses. Billboard Business makes a really good point when it remarks that Myspace’s main asset now appears to be Myspace Music – but even they have not yet decided what kind of music service they want to become – they are not like Spotify or like Pandora and have lots of social-heavy cool features. But the problem is that with less and less people using the site for social networking purposes how are they going to expand those social features beyond their own users? TechCrunch remarks that Myspace’s lucrative search deal with Google is going to expire in two week’s time and there’s so far nothing that will replace that revenue stream – meaning that the company could soon be haemorrhaging even more money. Billboard’s piece reports that Myspace’s employees remain confident – they view saving Myspace as a great challenge but not something that is altogether unattainable. 

 

- A CNET article by Greg Sandoval got everyone excited this week as he reported on numerous music industry sources that confirmed that Google is working on a new service for downloading and streaming music that could be introduced as early as this fall.

 

 

Should Apple be worried? Well yes and no. With Multi-tasking on the iPhone a Google Music app could certainly take off amongst Apple fans if it was introduced before Apple’s own rumoured music locker service, but at the same time we all know that Apple has a knack at presenting the users with the most seamless and simple experience especially when it comes to music. Google has been very successful in promoting music videos via YouTube but it has not yet shown that it’s able to deliver a great content platform purely for music that people will want to use. Should Spotify be worried though? Well – not as far as its established European market goes – but the launch of such a service could seriously derail Spotify’s attempts to break into the US market especially as the launch of the service keeps being postponed presumably due to disagreements with the labels. 
Google started experimenting with Music-specific searches late last year – it had partnered with Lala.com and I had spoken to Lala’s CEO Geoff Ralston at the time on how Google was taking this very seriously and had been testing Lala’s infrastructure for a long time before making the partnership official. As we all know though Apple acquired Lala not long after that so the music search feature ended up dead in the waters. Now it seems that a direct partnership with content owners could be the perfect solution as a new service would not rely on a third party company that could disappear anytime but it would be based around Google’s own infrastructure. To top it all off, Google acquired Simplify Media a little while ago – a service that allows users to stream content from their computer to their mobile – so it’ll be very interesting to see whether and how this service or its technology will be brought into play with in the new Google Music venture.  

 

- Tesco set to launch its own music locker service – a chance to reach a mainstream audience? 

 


Apple is always great at exploiting an idea when the market’s ready for it – just look at their success with the smart-phone and tablet markets.   Again this seems to be the case with music locker services. The idea is not new, there have been numerous companies offering this including for example Tunesbag that offers to this day a really good service, but it seems that with the rumored launch of an iTunes music locker the competition in this field is truly heating up. After 7Digital revealed its plans on last week’s Music Week for their own locker, now it looks like Supermarket giant Tesco is getting into this game with a partnership with Blueprint Digital that would be powering the service. Techradar, Cnet and Music week reported that Blueprint Digital’s CEO Richard Bron announced this partnership at the Futuresource Entertainment Summit in London – explaining that their aim is to shift the focus from the format to the content. So how will it work? Simple, just buy a CD in Tesco, swipe your Clubcard at purchase and the album will automatically be added to your music locker and you will be able to authorize up to 12 devices to access that particular content. So a very interesting proposition from Tesco that could become even more mouthwatering if they were to add DVDs to the equation as well. Naturally the big hurdle for Tesco is that it does not have a particularly hip image so I can’t see a huge amount of early adopters wanting to switch from their Spotify or We7 accounts. But if Tesco was able to somehow market this in the right way and hit those consumers who have a computer at home but don’t use it for digital music and are still attached to the physical CD this solution would be the easiest way to get them to enjoy their music from the cloud and join the digital revolution in a fairy seamless way. No word yet as to when and how this will be rolled out or as to whether it will be a free service but apparently Currys, Dixons and PCWorld are on board with the idea. 

- Now the Publishers are going after LimeWire. 

 

It looks like the possibility of the RIAA receiving a big lump sum from LimeWire arose the attention of the publishing industry.  The New York Times reports that a coalition of eight publishers filed a suit against Limewire for copyright infringement. The publishing industry was not really represented in the first lawsuit and they were obviously worried that should there be any settlement talks they would not get a seat at the table. They are demanding, just like the RIAA, the in my opinion insane amount of $150,000 per infringed song – that just like in the RIAA lawsuit could bring the damages to hundreds of millions of dollars. I find this whole thing an interesting legal exercise and I want to see where it ends up. Limewire clearly does not have billions of dollars to give to the recording industry so the only reason why I think they may be pushing for such high damages is to encourage any other service who may be operating in a similar way to shut down before the attention of the copyright holders shifts to them. Limewire still has a few days to make its case to the court or faces closure – they keep re-iterating that they want to launch a legal music service but frankly given all the acrimony between the recording industry and the Limewire executives I doubt they will be able to obtain the licenses they need. 

- Sonicbids acquires ArtistData and plans to offer more services to its users. 

http://paidcontent.org/article/419-live-music-booking-site-sonicbids-acquires-artistdata/

http://www.artistdata.com/us/sonicbids

So this week Sonicbids announced that is acquired Artist Data and plans to integrate the two services to give the musicians who use the site a complete set of tools not only to get that gig but also to promote it and get their message out there. 
Artist Data is a company founded four years ago by Brenden Mulligan, it’s based in Chicago and has evolved to become a one-stop-shop for bands who don’t want to spend hours updating all the social networking sites and promotional sites separately. The company’s aim is to streamline that process so that you only have to enter the information once and it automatically updates everything else. Sonicbids have a strong set of tools for the artists to market themselves and to be chosen for gigs, but up to now everything else had to be sorted out by the band externally. Now with this partnership and I suspect a slow integration of the two platforms the process will be much more streamlined. Both Panos Panay – the founder of Sonicbids – and Brenden Mulligan were very upbeat about the new partnership. In a blog post Brenden announced that he was particularly excited at the prospect of having more resources to develop the Artist Data tool-sets and of being able to help over 245,000 musicians – such is the user base of Sonicbids. He will be joining Sonicbids as VP of  Strategic Development to oversee the ArtistData integration. 

- Guvera reveals some figures about its user base. 

 

 And finally I’m going to wrap up with the latest figures coming from Guvera – the ad-funded Australian music service that allows users to download free MP3s. The company has announced that it has over 75,000 users, of which 40,000 are from its Australian operation and 35,000 from its US base. Guvera in case you are not familiar with the service allows companies to set up branded channels where they offer free MP3 is in exchange for the user exploring this channel and familiarizing with the brand. Apparently on average Australian users spend 5 to 7 minutes on each branded channels and the are are about 40 channels available so far. The service needs to keep a tight check on the number of users signing up as well as on the number of tracks they are allowed to download since the number of tracks that can be downloaded is directly dependent on how many advertisers are on board in a particular territory. Up to now Guvera has raised over 30 million dollars in investments and it plans to expand soon to other territories such as the UK and Europe. I must admit that the figures they revealed don’t really tell us a great deal about how much money they are making – or losing – but the fact that their catalogue of tracks keeps expanding and that they are looking to expand their operation must be an indicator that things are not going too badly for them. We’ll see whether the maths will work as well once they reach 750,000 users as opposed to 75,0000.

 

So that’s all for this week – I hope you enjoyed the show. An important announcement is that I’ll be on holiday all through this week and I haven’t figured out yet what kind of content I’ll be able to publish next Monday – but stay assured that I’ll figure something out and don’t be cross if Episode 52 is a little late or shorter than usual.  
As always you can write in with any feedback, comment or news story the email is digitalmusictrends@gmail.com. For the feeds, the Soundcloud player, the Digital Music Trends archives go to www.digitalmusictrends.com. Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to the Podcast very simply via the iTunes store to get the latest show synchronized up to your device every single week. 

By Andrea Leonelli 21/06/2010

www.digitalmusictrends.com ?
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Digital Music Trends – Episode 50

This week on the show an interview with James Clarke, CEO of MusicMetric. In the news, the launch of the iPhone 4 is used as an opportunity to cap “unlimited” data plans both in the US and in the UK, an update on the Limewire case from the courts, an interesting piece on the rise and fall of the RIAA, Spotify doubled its daily number of new premium subscribers with the new social media features, Believe digital opens and office in the UK and a Spanish court ruled that P2P networks are like lending libraries.

Make sure you check out this week’s featured site www.musicmetric.com for some great music stats!

Episode 50 by digitalmusictrends


The launch of iPhone 4 is used as an opportunity to cap “unlimited” data plans for mobile both in the US and in the UK. How will this affect music services like Pandora? 

http://www.maclife.com/article/feature/infographic_iphone_data_plans_exposed

http://www.theipadguide.com/faq/how-much-data-does-pandora-streaming-radio-use-ipad-3g

So last Monday the iPhone 4 was unveiled, and I have to admit that it’s a pretty cool phone. But behind the scenes the operators both in the US and in the UK are planning to use to launch of the new iPhone to change their stance on  unlimited data plans that were in my opinion a very compelling reason to buy into the iPhone platform in the first place. AT&T – still the only carrier to offer the iPhone in the US although many are expecting a Verizon phone by the fall –  effectively changed its data rates from $30 for unlimited data to $25 for a 2gb cap. The company says that only 2 or 3 per cent of its users go above that consumption every month and that therefore this should not affect the vast majority of its users, who actually will see a reduction in their monthly bills, since they also introduced a $15 rate for users who stay below 200 megabytes per month. Similarly a few days after the iPhone launch the UK operator O2 and now it seems also Orange announced changes to their data consumption policies. O2 is going further than At&t in the sense that their cap is going to be 500 megabytes from a previous unlimited plan – which is only a fourth of hat At&t offers with the option of paying an extra 5 pounds per 500 mb consumed every month. Orange is going as far as saying that their customers don’t generally use more than 200 megabytes so will they place their caps that low? 

Well, the individual figures are not the main problem here, and i can actually see the Operator’s argument for not wanting to fund the small majority that uses gigabytes and gigabytes of data (probably from jailbroken and tethered iPhone anways) – but how will this affect people’s perception of music streaming via 3g and how much does that streaming effectively consume in terms of bandwidth? 

Well, on the site Ipadguide.com I found post where they detailed Pandora’s’ streaming data consumption on the iPad, and I assume that figure will be similar for the iPhone, in one hour of continuous streaming the data used was 38.9 megabytes. 

This is consistent with Maclife’s report that the average Pandora song stream uses just over 2 megabytes. this really put things into perspective for me in terms of how much streaming services will be affected by the new charges, especially in light of the multitasking features on the new iPhone. Currently, I’m a low data user, i use lots of email, Twitter, Facebook, maps throughout the day but no music streaming because of the lack of multitastking and my data consumption is between 150 and 200 MB per month. but one of the reasons I was looking forward to iPhone 4 was exactly the ability to play Spotify, We7 and company in the background even via 3g, the snag being that that uses over 30 megs per hour it would take less then half an hour per day of use to reach the cap established by O2, although with At&T things look a bit more relaxed in that respect. So what is happening here? Are operators clamping down on data use just when it’s about to explode via multi-tasking? are streaming music services going to be forced to use more caching within the phone in order to retain their customer base? How is Apple going to roll out a cloud-based music locker service when these new caps are in place? This is certainly an interesting and as of yet unexplored area. with faster phones, 3g-enabled Skype, streaming services, Youtube, gps, maps and virtual goggles it’s very likely that we’ll be using lots more data this year and I wonder just how much we’re going to have to pay for it. 

- An update on the Limewire case from the courts

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/bentley/riaa-asks-court-to-shut-down-limewire/?cs=41600

PcWorld, CNET and itBusinessedge reported this week on the news from the Limewire’s trial front. As expected, this week the RIAA asked the court to shut down Limewire immediately, arguing that for each day the site stays open the recording industry is losing millions of dollars in revenues. The judge Kimba Wood actually gave Limewire 2 week of extra life in order to prepare a response to the RIAA’s request, after that there’s a high probability that the service will be shut down unless they can come up with an extremely good argument for their survival. In the meantime it looks like the RIAA together with a number of record labels will be asking for billions in damages from Limewire, a sum that they are unlikely to obtain naturally. 13 Record labels reportedly filed a suit last week to freeze Limewire’s assets including those of the founder Mark Gorton – although it may take a few months for the damages trial to take place. 

- An interesting article on the rise and fall of the RIAA from TECHDIRT

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100611/0203309776.shtml

This week there was an interesting article posted on TechDirt on the rise and fall of the RIAA – more specifically a graphic representation of the revenues of the labels that are represented by the RIAA in relation to the RIAA’s actions in terms of  anti-piracy efforts and the customer-oriented lawsuits between 2003 and 2007. Well the result is a mixed picture, and whilst there are many, many other factors to the revenue of the record industry other than the RIAA’s direct actions i have to say that whilst during the four years of lawsuits the intakes of the RIAA represented labels had stabilized they dropped very quickly after the end of the mass-lawsuit policy. Is that related or is it just the natural evolution of the market? Well it’s up to you to decide I guess… but in any case go and explore this interesting graph, the link is in the shownotes! 

- Spotify apparently doubled its subscriptions after introducing social features and partners with Scandinavian Telco to reach TVs. 

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i2b61a0dd47969d0f0b677818addccd85

http://musically.com/blog/2010/06/10/social-and-local-features-have-doubled-spotifys-subscription-rate/

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_25/b4183032378514.htm

Quite a few bits of Spotify News this week. Let’s start with Music Ally’s blog report that Spotify’s new social features have caused the company’s daily subscription rates to double. This revelation was made by Spotify’s UK Managing Director Paul Brown in an interview with Music Ally. This is a really interesting figure because Spotify didn’t actually limit the social features to the paid option, but the fact that people could share music with their friends must have tipped them over the edge and convinced them that the service was worth paying for. There are no recent official figures as to how many paying subscribers Spotify has in the UK so keep your eyes peeled for any future figures that may reveal whether Spotify’s bet on premium was accurate or not! 

On Billboard business I found an article dedicated to Spotify’s latest partnership with Scandinavian telco Tellasonera to add its service to the company’s digital TV offering in Sweden and Finland. Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify stated that “Introducing Spotify into the living room is a major step forward in our continued efforts to make Spotify available wherever you are”. For now the service will only be available to that portion of Tellasonera’s 120,000 customers who already pay for Spotify’s premium subscription, but who knows maybe in the future they’ll decide to give all the other customers a little free taster of what it’s like to have all the music you want at the tip of your fingers, and maybe already connected via the TV to a great-sounding surround system! 

And finally Business Week on the 10th of June published a lengthy feature on why Spotify has not yet launched in the US.  It’s well worth a read and the link is in the shownotes, but basically the piece focuses on the Major Label’s resistance to having a free Spotify service launch in the US in the same way in which it was rolled out in the UK and the rest of Europe. They want to make real money from it and i guess there are worries that it may cannibalize the a’ la carte download market that in the US is stronger than in Europe.

- Believe Digital launch office in the UK

http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=130874

The Music Industry News Network reported this week on the expansion of Digital Distributor Believe digital into the UK. Believe is not simply a digital distributor but it also also integrates marketing and strategic support options for labels and artists – the company in fact has offices in a number of countries now and the official launch of the London base will certainly bring a few more UK acts into the Believe fold. The new managing director for the UK will be artist manager Stephen King – who has guided the careers of The Libertines, The Hives, The Lighthouse Family and many others. I’ve been familiar with Believe’s work in the UK for a couple of years now so it does not come as a surprise that they decided to make a more permanent base here, but for me it’s interesting to see how a company like believe can start taking on some of the burden that was traditionally left to the record label in order to steer the careers of independent artists. for more information go to www.believedigital.com 

- Spanish judge compares P2P to lending libraries?

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i773194c18528fcf799301bfa7252e13f

And finally, in what is without a doubt another defeat for the anti-piracy front in Spain. Three judges ruled the site CVCDGO.COM whose headquarters in Madrid, Malaga and Seville were raided by police in 2005 not guilty of a crime since it did not host the actual copyright files and generated no profit directly from any infringements of copyright, they also maintained that the presence of advertising on the site was legitimate. The three judges went as far as saying that the exchange of digital files was comparable to the exchange, loan or sale of books and other mediums that has been happening since ancient times. In their view the internet only makes this exchange faster and of a higher quality. In Spain the music sales are crashing quickly and there are fears that many labels are going to stop developing acts in the country because of the widespread use of P2P networks and the politician’s aversion to taking a strong stance in that regard. 

www.digitalmusictrends.com ?
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?by Andrea Leonelli

Digital Music Trends – Episode 50

This week on the show an interview with James Clarke, CEO of Musicmetric.com. In the news, the launch of the iPhone 4 is used as an opportunity to cap “unlimited” data plans both in the US and in the UK, an update on the Limewire case from the courts, an interesting piece on the rise and fall of the RIAA, Spotify doubled its daily number of new premium subscribers with the new social media features, Believe digital opens and office in the UK and a Spanish court ruled that P2P networks are like lending libraries.

www.musicmetric.com

- The launch of iPhone 4 is used as an opportunity to cap “unlimited” data plans for mobile both in the US and in the UK. How will this affect music services like Pandora?

http://www.maclife.com/article/feature/infographic_iphone_data_plans_exposed http://www.theipadguide.com/faq/how-much-data-does-pandora-streaming-radio-use-ipad-3g

So last Monday the iPhone 4 was unveiled, and I have to admit that it’s a pretty cool phone. But behind the scenes the operators both in the US and in the UK are planning to use to launch of the new iPhone to change their stance on unlimited data plans that were in my opinion a very compelling reason to buy into the iPhone platform in the first place. AT&T – still the only carrier to offer the iPhone in the US although many are expecting a Verizon phone by the fall – effectively changed its data rates from $30 for unlimited data to $25 for a 2gb cap. The company says that only 2 or 3 per cent of its users go above that consumption every month and that therefore this should not affect the vast majority of its users, who actually will see a reduction in their monthly bills, since they also introduced a $15 rate for users who stay below 200 megabytes per month. Similarly a few days after the iPhone launch the UK operator O2 and now it seems also Orange announced changes to their data consumption policies. O2 is going further than At&t in the sense that their cap is going to be 500 megabytes from a previous unlimited plan – which is only a fourth of hat At&t offers with the option of paying an extra 5 pounds per 500 mb consumed every month. Orange is going as far as saying that their customers don’t generally use more than 200 megabytes so will they place their caps that low? Well, the individual figures are not the main problem here, and i can actually see the Operator’s argument for not wanting to fund the small majority that uses gigabytes and gigabytes of data (probably from jailbroken and tethered iPhone anways) – but how will this affect people’s perception of music streaming via 3g and how much does that streaming effectively consume in terms of bandwidth?

Well, on the site Ipadguide.com I found post where they detailed Pandora’s’ streaming data consumption on the iPad, and I assume that figure will be similar for the iPhone, in one hour of continuous streaming the data used was 38.9 megabytes. This is consistent with Maclife’s report that the average Pandora song stream uses just over 2 megabytes. this really put things into perspective for me in terms of how much streaming services will be affected by the new charges, especially in light of the multitasking features on the new iPhone. Currently, I’m a low data user, i use lots of email, Twitter, Facebook, maps throughout the day but no music streaming because of the lack of multitastking and my data consumption is between 150 and 200 MB per month. but one of the reasons I was looking forward to iPhone 4 was exactly the ability to play Spotify, We7 and company in the background even via 3g, the snag being that that uses over 30 megs per hour it would take less then half an hour per day of use to reach the cap established by O2, although with At&T things look a bit more relaxed in that respect. So what is happening here? Are operators clamping down on data use just when it’s about to explode via multi-tasking? are streaming music services going to be forced to use more caching within the phone in order to retain their customer base? How is Apple going to roll out a cloud-based music locker service when these new caps are in place? This is certainly an interesting and as of yet unexplored area. with faster phones, 3g-enabled Skype, streaming services, Youtube, gps, maps and virtual goggles it’s very likely that we’ll be using lots more data this year and I wonder just how much we’re going to have to pay for it.

- An update on the Limewire case from the courts

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/bentley/riaa-asks-court-to-shut-down-limewire/?cs=41600

PcWorld, CNET and itBusinessedge reported this week on the news from the Limewire’s trial front. As expected, this week the RIAA asked the court to shut down Limewire immediately, arguing that for each day the site stays open the recording industry is losing millions of dollars in revenues. The judge Kimba Wood actually gave Limewire 2 week of extra life in order to prepare a response to the RIAA’s request, after that there’s a high probability that the service will be shut down unless they can come up with an extremely good argument for their survival. In the meantime it looks like the RIAA together with a number of record labels will be asking for billions in damages from Limewire, a sum that they are unlikely to obtain naturally. 13 Record labels reportedly filed a suit last week to freeze Limewire’s assets including those of the founder Mark Gorton – although it may take a few months for the damages trial to take place.

- An interesting article on the rise and fall of the RIAA from TECHDIRT

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100611/0203309776.shtml

This week there was an interesting article posted on TechDirt on the rise and fall of the RIAA – more specifically a graphic representation of the revenues of the labels that are represented by the RIAA in relation to the RIAA’s actions in terms of anti-piracy efforts and the customer-oriented lawsuits between 2003 and 2007. Well the result is a mixed picture, and whilst there are many, many other factors to the revenue of the record industry other than the RIAA’s direct actions i have to say that whilst during the four years of lawsuits the intakes of the RIAA represented labels had stabilized they dropped very quickly after the end of the mass-lawsuit policy. Is that related or is it just the natural evolution of the market? Well it’s up to you to decide I guess… but in any case go and explore this interesting graph, the link is in the shownotes!

- Spotify apparently doubled its subscriptions after introducing social features and partners with Scandinavian Telco to reach TVs.

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i2b61a0dd47969d0f0b677818addccd85

http://musically.com/blog/2010/06/10/social-and-local-features-have-doubled-spotifys-subscription-rate/

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_25/b4183032378514.htm

Quite a few bits of Spotify News this week. Let’s start with Music Ally’s blog report that Spotify’s new social features have caused the company’s daily subscription rates to double. This revelation was made by Spotify’s UK Managing Director Paul Brown in an interview with Music Ally. This is a really interesting figure because Spotify didn’t actually limit the social features to the paid option, but the fact that people could share music with their friends must have tipped them over the edge and convinced them that the service was worth paying for. There are no recent official figures as to how many paying subscribers Spotify has in the UK so keep your eyes peeled for any future figures that may reveal whether Spotify’s bet on premium was accurate or not!

On Billboard business I found an article dedicated to Spotify’s latest partnership with Scandinavian telco Tellasonera to add its service to the company’s digital TV offering in Sweden and Finland. Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify stated that “Introducing Spotify into the living room is a major step forward in our continued efforts to make Spotify available wherever you are”. For now the service will only be available to that portion of Tellasonera’s 120,000 customers who already pay for Spotify’s premium subscription, but who knows maybe in the future they’ll decide to give all the other customers a little free taster of what it’s like to have all the music you want at the tip of your fingers, and maybe already connected via the TV to a great-sounding surround system!

And finally Business Week on the 10th of June published a lengthy feature on why Spotify has not yet launched in the US. It’s well worth a read and the link is in the shownotes, but basically the piece focuses on the Major Label’s resistance to having a free Spotify service launch in the US in the same way in which it was rolled out in the UK and the rest of Europe. They want to make real money from it and i guess there are worries that it may cannibalize the a’ la carte download market that in the US is stronger than in Europe.

- Believe Digital launche office in the UK

http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=130874

The Music Industry News Network reported this week on the expansion of Digital Distributor Believe digital into the UK. Believe is not simply a digital distributor but it also also integrates marketing and strategic support options for labels and artists – the company in fact has offices in a number of countries now and the official launch of the London base will certainly bring a few more UK acts into the Believe fold. The new managing director for the UK will be artist manager Stephen King – who has guided the careers of The Libertines, The Hives, The Lighthouse Family and many others. I’ve been familiar with Believe’s work in the UK for a couple of years now so it does not come as a surprise that they decided to make a more permanent base here, but for me it’s interesting to see how a company like believe can start taking on some of the burden that was traditionally left to the record label in order to steer the careers of independent artists. for more information go to www.believedigital.com

- Spanish judge compares P2P to lending libraries?

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i773194c18528fcf799301bfa7252e13f

And finally, in what is without a doubt another defeat for the anti-piracy front in Spain. Three judges ruled the site CVCDGO.COM whose headquarters in Madrid, Malaga and Seville were raided by police in 2005 not guilty of a crime since it did not host the actual copyright files and generated no profit directly from any infringements of copyright, they also maintained that the presence of advertising on the site was legitimate. The three judges went as far as saying that the exchange of digital files was comparable to the exchange, loan or sale of books and other mediums that has been happening since ancient times. In their view the internet only makes this exchange faster and of a higher quality. In Spain the music sales are crashing quickly and there are fears that many labels are going to stop developing acts in the country because of the widespread use of P2P networks and the politician’s aversion to taking a strong stance in that regard.

Digital Music Trends – Episode 49

This week on the show an interview with Nikhil Shah, co-founder of Mixcloud www.mixcloud.com. In the interview we talked about the future of online radio, Mixcloud’s listening base, music filtering, content partnerships, the Chinese market, the power of the widget, the relevance of Myspace and the importance of mobile integration.

Episode 49 by digitalmusictrends

Unfortunately no news round-up this week as things have been a little hectic but at least I can say that Apple did not launch a music streaming service, the WWDC keynote was purely about the iPhone platform. So the Lala based service many are expecting from Apple has not materialized.

Well thanks again to Nikhil for a really interesting interview with some great stats. As i mentioned earlier the show ends here today, check out www.digitalmusictrends.com for links to the feeds, Digital Music Trends will also be featuring on Mixcloud from now on as they’ve implemented RSS integration and you can also catch the show on the Music void. If you’d like to email the address is digitalmusictrends@gmail.com Have a great wee and ’till next time!

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?by Andrea Leonelli