The internet has popularized the freemium model like no other channel,
but building a successful business on this model can be quite a
One company that has succeeded: Spotify, the Swedish company that has become Europe's most popular music streaming service.
Should eBay be liable for trademark infringement when its vendors offer counterfeit goods for sale? Famous jeweler Tiffany & Co. has been arguing since 2004 that it should.
The case finally reached the Supreme Court, which rejected Tiffany & Co.'s appear on Monday. That leaves a lower court ruling, which went in eBay's favor, as the final word on the matter in the United States.
Last month, beleaguered video rental chain Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy. While the company's demise can be blamed on a number of factors, it's hard to ignore one: the rise of Netflix.
Netflix, which is now an $8bn corporation trading at just over $153 per share, looks poised to capture a big part of the nascent streaming business.
The music business isn't as easy as it once was, and record labels often blame the internet for that. After all, the internet has enabled piracy on a scale never seen before, which is often cited as a major reason CD sales have declined so much.
While the internet did usher in an era of digital piracy, the truth of the matter is that industries change over time, and the strongest players in them find ways to adapt.
The business model of the recording industry is broken. Just about everyone knows it, including record label executives. But the industry collectively still seems to have a hard time admitting it.
So it's really no surprise that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which has gone so far as to sue grandmothers for illegal music downloads, is singing a new heartbreaker: copyright law is broken.
The Hurt Locker won six Oscars earlier this year, and if its producers have their way, it will also be a big winner in court.
U.S. Copyright Group, a company operated by a group of intellectual
property attorneys, has been retained by Voltage Pictures, which
financed The Hurt Locker, to file a lawsuit targeting potentially tens
of thousands of individuals who downloaded the film via BitTorrent.
Popular European music streaming startup Spotify has been able to survive and thrive in a tough market that has seen its fair share of startup casualties. In an effort to maintain its growth, it has announced the largest upgrade since it first launched in 2008.
The goal: turn Spotify into a "total music management platform". The means: a hefty dose of social features.
Ken Fisher, the founder and editor-in-chief of popular online tech
publisher Ars Technica has a message to readers who use ad blockers:
you're killing us.
In an effort to defeat ad blockers, last Friday Ars experimented with a technique
designed to prevent Ars readers with ad blockers from viewing Ars
content. According to Fisher, the experiment was a success
"technologically" but not surprisingly, a "mixed bag" socially.
Swedish startup Spotify has taken Europe by storm. The ad-supported music streaming service, which also offers an ad-free and mobile-enabled paid offering, has more than 6m registered users across Europe, with more than 2.5m in the UK. Expansion into the US is planned for 2010.
Spotify's popularity has attracted investment from major record labels and recent reports suggest that Spotify may be Sweden's biggest contribution to the music business since Abba.
Google pretty much has its bases covered. Looking for an image? There's Google Images. Looking for a video? Video results appear in search. As do products.
But one thing has been noticeably absent: music. Which is not an insignificant fact given that two of the top 10 search queries in the United States are music-related. But Google being Google, it has a plan for music.