Citibank’s sale of EMI -- its recorded-music division to Universal Music Group and its music publishing expected to go to Sony -- will need the approval of regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. And each buyer faces different chances of coming out the other end unscathed.
Music discovery is alive and well, according to a new NPD Group/NARM study released Thursday. But there are some concerns that digital platforms too easily provide free content without doing more to convert consumers’ attention into sales... Amazon has purchased Yap, the developer of speech recognition software... Spotify is coming to Roku, possibly in mid-January.
Buyers of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the upcoming 7” color-screen tablet, will be able to download some of the most popular music and video apps. Combined with a low $199 price and integration with Amazon’s cloud services, the Kindle Fire will become an affordable entrant to a market dominated by the more expensive Apple iPad.
As if people didn’t spend enough time on Facebook, the catalogs of numerous music services can now be searched directly within the social network’s interface. Which service will appear varies by song, but Billboard.biz has spotted in search results links to Spotify, Rhapsody, Mog, Rdio, Slacker, Songza, Earbits and Vevo... FreeAllMusic, an ad-supported download service, has raised $650,000 in private equity bridge funding and says it’s on its way to a Series A capital round... and more.
The integrations with music services that Facebook unveiled at its f8 developers conference in September were expected to boost consumer adoption and usage. In the two months since, Facebook users have shared their listening activity more than 1.5 billion times using the services that integrated with Facebook’s Open Graph.
Contrary to some recent reports claiming labels will phase out the compact disc at the end of 2012, a new study predicts a slow, graceful demise for the CD. Also, Shuffler.fm debuts its new iPad app, and Schematic Labs raises $4.75 million in funding.
We may live in the playlist era, but digital consumers are buying more albums than ever buoyed by record-setting digital album sales by artists like Adele and Coldplay. In the U.K., digital album sales have already surpassed their 2010 total; and last year’s 86.3 million U.S. digital album sales could be surpassed by next week.