Google's Android Smartphone On Way To Surpassing iPhone & Blackberry Sales

-- We're getting closer to the day when Google is the preferred company of the music fan. The smartphone market is practically in a three-way dead heat, according to the latest figures released by Nielsen. Apple leads in overall market share with a 28.6% share. Blackberry and Android follow with shares of 26.1% and 25.8%, respectively.

Android has dominated purchases in the last six months, however. Android has a 40.8% share of smartphones acquired in the last six months. That's nearly 14 percentage points ahead of Apple, which is second at 26.9%. Blackberry is a distant third at 19.2%.

What's most dramatic is Android's quick rise to its current dominant share. In June 2010, Android's 27.5% was the second best share of recent acquisitions to Blackberry's 35%. Since then, Android has soared and Blackberry has consistently fallen each month. Apple's market share of new acquisitions has been pretty much flat for the last three months.

What does this mean for the music business? App developers will need to weigh the importance of releasing products for Apple's iOS operating system versus the Android. Much has been said of the relative ease of creating apps for iOS. Some developers have stated that they will continue to focus on iOS because of the difficulty of creating apps that work well across the wide range of devices that use the Android operating system.

When Android overtakes Apple in smartphone market share, however, developers may conclude that the size of the Android market makes up for the extra effort and expense needed to develop for that market. To see developers favor Android over iOS would be an extraordinary change in events for music, a market Apple has dominated since the iPod was released. (NielsenWire)

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/apple-leads-smartphone-race-while-android-attracts-most-recent-customers/

TechCrunch Calls Zap Tunes Return As A Non-Licensed 'Music Social Network' A 'Scam'

-- ZapTunes has returned as a "music social network," according to a press release issued Tuesday. The company is best known for offering Beatles MP3s without permission from the copyright owners. In an email to Hypebot, a Zaptunes spokesperson claimed the company had obtained for proper licenses from Sony/ATV. Zaptunes executives must not have realized there are two copyrights in recorded music. The site shut down just a few months after it launched.

Now ZapTunes is offering free downloads from a catalog it claims to be eight million tracks in size. The $25-per-month fee is currently being waived. The same no-fee offer was in place when the previous incarnation of the site launched in August of last year.

Consumers need to be aware that Zaptunes does not have licenses for the music is offers. In fact, the company admits this fact. At the bottom of the home page is some fine print: "ZapTunes.com does not own any copyrights or license to any music/artist/album/art work mentioned anywhere on this website. In addition, ZapTunes.com does not offer any free or paid downloads from its servers, nor does it provide any links to any websites providing illegal downloads…ZapTunes is a free music discovery website, that enables its members to find free or paid music legally."

Why pay $25 a month for music that has not been licensed? That's a good question. Consumers are being lured to a site that acts as a search engine for MP3 files - which may or may not be legal copies of copyrighted material. And consumers need to understand that rights owners are probably not sharing in the revenue generated from the banner ads placed on the site.

TechCrunch, which in the past has taken on virtual goods scams offered by online gaming companies, minces no words when it calls this latest incarnation of ZapTunes "a gigantic scam."

( Press release, via TechCrunch)

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