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Apple's big media event yesterday produced what everyone had been expecting: a tablet device, which as we know now, has been named the iPad.
Apple is promoting the iPad as a "magical and revolutionary device" but there was palpable disappointment amongst many who had been discussing (and speculating) about the device for so long. Living up to the hype was probably impossible, but is some of the disappointment justified? Is the iPad as "revolutionary" as Apple would have us believe?
For those of you following the saga of authentication, rumors from Apple today may bring a refreshing new twist to the effort to bring cable television content online.
According to sources who spoke to AllThingsD, Apple is trying to talk the networks into streaming their content in the iTunes store and charging users $30 a month. The monthly subscription service would not be tied to any hardware like Apple TV, but deliver televiswion programs through iTunes' multimedia software. The news should shake the cable companies in their boots a little.
The number of apps in the App Store now exceeds 80,000, and though it's safe to assume that there is a fair amount of dross there, it is still a daunting task to get your app noticed by users, however good it is.
This makes an appearance in one of the App Store's featured apps lists, or even better in a print or TV ad for the iPhone, all the more valuable. There is no guaranteed way to achieve this, but what can app developers do to maximise their chances?
Could Swedish-based Spotify be making the case for ad supported music online? Perhaps.
While other digital music startups struggle with copyright fees and broadband charges, Spotify is making friends with major music labels — and helping them bring in revenue.
The head of Universal Sweden told a Swedish publication this month that Spotify now makes more money for the label there than iTunes. If those numbers are accurate — and can expand to reach other parts of the world — they could represent the silver lining the music industry's been looking for. And go a long way toward explaining how Spotify sweet talked the labels into giving the company access to stream such extensive catalogs online for free.
Despite the fact that the demand for great music never wanes, record labels have it rough these days. The cause: one part misfortune, one part foolishness.
To survive and thrive in the digital age, record labels need to think beyond their traditional business models.
All too eager to get cut and paste and a few other new features on my iPhone, I downloaded the latest 3.0 upgrade from iTunes not long after it was released.
However, after something like an hour of waiting, and just as the download was about to be completed, I get an error message on iTunes, and my iPhone screen looked like this:
According to new figures released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, total global music sales dropped by more than 8% in 2008. In the US, total sales were down nearly 19%. The drop comes despite double-digit gains in digital music sales, which are still too small to put a dent in the decline of physical music sales.
You can be sure that digital piracy will receive some of the blame for 2008's slide. And to be fair, record labels have every right to be upset about the infringement of their intellectual property rights.
You can't fault them for trying, but a federal jury handed Eminem's former production company defeat in its lawsuit against Universal Music Group (UMG).
The company's lawsuit asked the question: should digital sales of Eminem's music be treated like physical sales or were they part of a licensing agreement?
Less than 6 months after launching, online music streaming upstart Spotify has reached an important milestone: 1m users. Approximately 250,000 of those users are located in the UK.
And Spotify is making progress on the business side too: it has signed up some big ad agencies who are trying out its new ad targeting platform.
Podcasting? That's so 2005, you might say.
With online video, social networking and microblogging remaining social media's most-talked-about technologies, it's easy to forget about podcasting.
Facing the worst financial situation in its history and being challenged to produce more revenue from its increasingly important digital ventures, The New York Times is revisiting a tried and true business model: charging people for content.
Despite the fact that NYT abandoned its TimesSelect subscription service in September 2007, New York Times Editor Bill Keller told the audience at a Q&A panel that "The lesson of that experiment, however, was not that readers won’t pay for content...Really good information, often extracted from reluctant sources, truth-tested, organized and explained — that stuff wants to be paid for."
Swedish startup Spotify launched its online music streaming service in public beta a few months ago, looking to compete with established music sites like Last.fm.
Offering either subscription or ad supported version of its service, Spotify offers the artist and related tracks radio that is a feature of Last.fm, but has also provided a good range of tracks that can be listened to on-demand.