-- MP3Tunes has launched an initiative called “Buy Anywhere, Listen Anywhere.” This means MP3Tunes will allow its users to buy music from the download store of their choice and play the tracks on MP3Tunes software on any device. So, for example, you could buy MP3s from Amazon.com using an Android device, upload them to your MP3Tunes locker and play them at home on a PC or other device. (Michael’s Minute)


-- At his Digital Noise blog, Matt Rosoff argues Microsoft should include Zune music software in its tablet PCs, which will run Windows 7 operating system. The size of the tablet allows for Zune to showcase its better features. And because it will run on a PC operating system, he argues, it will offer features missing from iTunes on the iPad.

“Music playback on the iPad is adequate, but you don't get many special features,” he writes. “The album art is static, there's no queuing, and Apple only added on-the-fly playlist creation in June. By contrast, the Zune PC software looks beautiful, with things like scrolling images of the currently playing artist and a ‘Mixview’ that builds a slowly changing graphic display of related albums and artists as you listen. And because it's running on a full PC, it's far more functional, as well--you can rip songs, change song data, create playlists, and so forth. If you've never used it, imagine the Windows-based version of iTunes, only more interesting and fun. In other words, the Zune client would be a perfect consumer application for Windows-based slates.” (Digital Noise)


-- UK-based music streaming service We7 now has a partnership with GMG Radio, part of Guardian Media Group, which will add regular audio bulletins created by GMG to We7’s music offerings. We7 claims three million monthly users. In March, the company announced its ad revenues had surpassed the costs of its operations and royalties. (The Guardian)


-- Live Nation Merchandise inked a partnership with Coveroo to include artists such as Shakira, Black Eyed Peas and KISS in the choices for custom mobile phone covers created at Coveroo’s website. Coveroo supports everything from iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, LGs and HTCs. It has over 3,000 designs spanning sports teams, major colleges, television shows, cartoon characters and even President Obama. (Press release)


-- IOUmusic, a new website that allows musicians to accept donations for their projects, is now in public beta. It’s basically an online tip jar with monies earmarked for specific bands. IOUmusic keeps a 10% cut of all donations. It currently accepts donations from people with credit cards billed to a North American or U.K. address.

Other crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Pledge Music raise money for specific projects that have been submitted by artists or, increasingly, record labels. That allows people to see exactly what their donations will be used for and what they will get in return. IOUmusic takes a different path by asking visitors to name both the recipient and the amount of the donation. It does not list projects and recipients get nothing in return for donations. Instead, it encourages people to donate for taking free downloads and for helping artists tour or make new music – even though those donating don’t have a clue whether or not their music will be used for touring or recording.

As for finding musicians that have been given donations, IOUmusic “will be employing musicians,” according to its website, to track down artists that have not signed up. This brings to mind the long list of artists owed royalties by SoundExchange but have not yet signed up with the organization. SoundExchange’s difficulties in distributing all royalties should be a warning sign to startups with a business model that guarantees the existence of unpaid royalties and the expense of finding those artists. (IOUmusic blog)


-- Eleven record labels have sued RK Netmedia and porn site Reality Kings.com for using their music without permission in the companies’ porn videos. According to TMZ.com, the labels are seeking $150,000 per infringement and the complaint includes 18 pages of infringements. (TMZ.com)


-- Sonfile, the Harry Fox Agency’s online licensing service for cover songs, is now offering licenses for interactive streams. The licenses grant a one-cent royalty per interactive stream and are available for 100 to 10,000 streams. (Press release)

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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