Digital Music Trends – Episode 53

This week on the show is the first of a series of features on piracy and anti-piracy that are aimed at creating a conversation around a subject that is certainly still very much at the centre of the debate and still very controversial. I am hoping that interviewing private companies working in this domain as well as music industry organizations like the IFPI will help shed some light on the phenomenon.

First guest for this series of features is Ben Rush, the CEO of AudioLock is an online service that offers protection for digital and physical promos as well as digital download stores by automatically tracking illegal downloads through a proprietary watermarking system. Its low access cost makes prevention accessible even to individual producers and small labels.  

This week has been pretty quiet on the news front probably due to the usual summer slowdown but I’m going to cover the new Forrester research on music and the cloud and the UK ISPs legal challenge to the digital economy act.

Episode 53 by digitalmusictrends

But as usual let’s start with this week’s interview and first feature of this summer’s piracy debate.

And thanks again to Ben for taking part in the show – I really am impressed with Audiolock’s technology but also by the way in which they are trying to change the mindset of the public in a less confrontational way. Oh and as promised in the interview Here’s a short sample of a  mastered audio file which was watermarked > then downloaded as a 128K mp3 > then turned to an 80Kbps ogg file > then to real media > then to an 80Kbps mp3. And from this they still were able to pull the watermark which is pretty impressive.

And now for the news:

Forrester research piece on cloud computing:

Music Week and Billboard business reported this week on a new study published by Forrester Research entitled “360-Degree Music Experiences: Use The Cloud To Target Device Use Orbits”. This work, written by researcher Mark Mulligan, explores user’s needs when it comes to cloud access to content and has revealed some pretty surprising statistics that shed some doubts on the idea of multiple access points as the consumer’s ultimate dream. In fact the research showed that the vast majority of users do not listen to music from more than one device and those who do are a very small niche.
Interestingly Mulligan notes that he believes the Tablet will really help in advancing the consumption of music streaming on mobile devices as it constitutes a bridge between a phone and PC, but this is interesting as many have touted the iPad as a large brick when they listen to Pandora because of its current inability to multitask. the research is entirely based on the US market and shows that whilst the PC is still the most popular device to listen to digital music from, the mobile phone is becoming increasingly popular for a younger audience that prefers to load it with MP3 rather than using a streaming app. The research was conducted at the end of 2009 when some of the newest streaming apps like MSpot and Moog had not yet launched in the US but it clearly shows that there isn’t a huge appetite for on-demand streaming services. I wonder what kind of results the same research would have produced in the UK, where streaming services like Spotify and We7 really have millions of users. Also something to bear in mind is that streaming music requires a solid data plan and those in the US are pretty expensive and pretty much impossible for most teenagers, which is another reason why they prefer to load their phones with MP3s.

ISPs legal challange to UK anti-piracy laws

The BBC this week reported on the new challenge facing the Digital Economy Act in the UK. After running the risk of being repealed by the new government since liberal democrat Nick Clegg was fiercely opposed to its implementation the Digital Economy act is now being challenged by UK ISPs BT and TalkTalk who want the High Court to clarify the legality of the act before it is implemented. Large ISPs have a number of reasons to be against the new act. first of all it only targets ISPs with more than 400,000 customers, which they say puts them in a situation of competitive disadvantage and makes it likely for people to switch service just to avoid detection. Second they maintain that some parts of the bill may not be in compliance with EU regulation, and given the number of iterations that the Hadopi had to go through to be compliant in France I would not be surprised by that. The Digital Economy Act was rushed through Parliament just before it was dissolved by the Queen prior to the general election and this has prompted many to say that there had not been enough time to iron out the creases in the law. As i had mentioned at the time when the Act was passed this was a shame as a great deal of research had gone into the process and much of it was not even considered because of time restraints. It will be interesting to see how the High Court rules in this case.

Well that’s all for this week – I really hope you enjoyed the show. Next week the series on piracy and anti-piracy continues with a feature on the IFPI so stay tuned for that. I will also be attending Music Ally’s debate on Music and the Cloud on Wednesday so there willl be a report on that. If you are in London and would like to attend the event make sure you visit
You can find links to the iTunes and RSS feeds on and the podcast is also featured on The Music Void at

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Have a great week and ‘till next time. ?

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