Business Matters is a daily column that offers insight, analysis and opinion on the day's news. Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn.

-- On Wednesday, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski discussed some points in the National Broadband Plan that will be presented to Congress next month. One of the plan's top goals is to provide speeds of 100 megabytes per second to 100 million households by 2020. Such speeds would obviously usher in a new generation of Internet entertainment products and services that can hardly be imagined today. One thing is assured: far more than music files will be easily downloaded (through P2P or other means) at that speed. What is the current average broadband speed in the U.S.? A mere 3.9 Mbps. That speed ranked the U.S. 18th in the world in Q3 2009, according to Akamai. Japan, Hong Kong, Romania, Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland are among the countries above the U.S. on the list. (CNET)

-- Apple Corps Ltd., the Beatles' label and management company, is occasionally called a backward-thinking organization due to its continued holdout from iTunes and other download stores. The only legal way to buy the music of the Beatles is on CD. So, it is ironic that Fast Company magazine has honored Apple Corp as an Innovative All-Star. The magazine was impressed by "The Beatles: Rock Band," the Las Vegas stage production of LOVE by Cirque de Soleil and the release of 30,000 apple-shaped USB drives containing the band's re-mastered titles. "The group may have broken up 40 years ago," says a blurb at the Most Innovative Music Companies page, "but it sold 3.28 million albums in 2009 -- without digital downloads." Spotify ranked as Fast Company's most innovative music company, Man Made Music was third and Vevo was fourth. (Press release)

-- EMI has inked a distribution deal with Indian production house Eros International. Outside of India, EMI will market the Bollywood songs of Eros. Within India, Eros will market EMI's songs. (Financial Times)

-- Songkick is a London-based Web site that acts as a database of concerts. The company says the site now has information on over 100,000 upcoming music events with over 2,500 new events being added daily. That puts Songkick ahead of Pollstar, which currently lists about 79,000 upcoming events. Songkick, which makes revenue on affiliate ticket sales, allows users to add past concerts and add items such as set lists and pictures. For example, the site lists over 2,300 Bob Dylan shows and over 900 by Radiohead. In a sense, Songkick is similar to iLike in that it allows users to track their favorite bands and builds in social networking features. But Songkick offers a deeper experience suitable for more serious live music fans. The site can admittedly get a bit overwhelming when a user's local listings offer dozens - if not hundreds - of events on a single day. Currently, Songkick does not offer recommendations based on either past concert history or which events friends plan to attend. (TechCrunch Europe)

-- A few items of note on a CNNMoney.com article on Internet radio company Pandora. First, the company took in $50 million in revenue in 2009. Second, royalties to rights holders amounted to $30 million. That was enough of a margin for Pandora to achieve a profitable quarter in late 2009. If you read the article, though, you may come across something strange. Pandora, we're told, suffers from a double-edged sword: More traffic equals more royalties. Well, yes, that's exactly what a variable cost structure will do to a company. But with more traffic comes more opportunities for revenue. (Webcasters' 2009 settlement with SoundExchange allows them to pay either a fixed, per-play rate or a percent of revenue. The percent-of-revenue option is preferable for a small webcaster that does not want to get saddled with per-play royalties during its cash-strapped formative period.) What has set Pandora apart has been its ability to generate revenue. As many of its digital music peers have discovered, it's easier to attract users than revenue. So, the company really suffers from a double-edged sword only to the extent it is not able to monetize incremental traffic. Now that it's turning a profit, that doesn't seem to be much of a problem. (CNNMoney.com)

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