Business Matters is a daily column that offers insight, analysis and opinion on the day's news.

-- Global consumer confidence inched up in Q4 2009, according to Nielsen. Opinions, however, were quite varied. Eight of the ten most confident markets in the quarter were in the Asia Pacific region - lead by Indonesia. Two developed nations, South Korea and Japan, were the least confident. A majority of consumers in China, Hong Kong and Singapore felt their countries came out of their recessions in Q4. In the U.S., U.K., Spain and Mexico, 90% of consumers felt their countries were still in a recession. Bad news for U.S. companies: the U.S. ranked as the most concerned about its economy. Who knows? Maybe the new slew of gadgets at this year's CES will change their likelihood of spending a few dollars. (Nielsen press release)

-- Jamendo, a European music site that offers free music with Creative Commons licenses, is reportedly running out of money and needs either a merger partner or a buyer. The site's latest service is a licensing service for businesses and multimedia projects. Its aim is to give businesses (like restaurants and shops) an alternative to licenses from performing rights organizations and offer simple licenses to creators of films, television shows, websites, etc. While Jamendo marks a significant attempt to monetize songs licensed under Creative Commons, it shows the difficult position a startup puts itself in when its catalog consists almost entirely of low-demand, unknown artists. (TechCrunch)

-- Visual Economics has an interesting graph that depicts consumer spending in census years going back to 1901. The most noticeable trend is the drop in percentage of income is spent on food - from over 40% in 1901 to nearly 10% in 2002/2003. Entertainment spending has stayed relatively stable while transportation has consumed an increasingly large percent of income. (Visual Economics, via Chart Porn)

-- Britain's Digital Economy bill, which could impose strict anti-piracy laws on ISPs and broadband users, is moving through the committee stage and has some proposed amendments (changes in wording, additions, etc.) that reflect concerns on the law's unintended impacts. One proposed amendment asks that content owners who report a suspected infringement also put a dollar value on that infringement. The proposal appears to be a reaction to ISPs' claims that the cost of complying with anti-piracy laws would outweigh the losses being suffered by content owners. Again, this is only a proposed amendment. Nevertheless, it appears that ISPs' complaints about the costs of compliance were heard. Another proposed amendment worth noting requires that "any technical obligations imposed must be accompanied by an assessment on their impact on individuals, copyright holders and Internet service providers." (TorrentFreak)

- Gerd Leonhard shares his predictions for mobile trends for the next decade. In order:
- mobile advertising will surpass computer-centric advertising;
- tablet devices will become the way many of us read (books, magazines, newspapers) and attend live concerts;
- many makers of smart phones will make their devices available for free;
- quite a few mobile phones will not run on any particular network;
- and content will be bundled into mobile service contracts (starting with music).
Tablets certainly do hold a lot of promise as a new way to interact with music (entirely new formats, such as interactive albums, could benefit from being freed from an immobile computer screen). As for mobile content, it is a direction content owners must take but we're not there yet. Services aren't there yet. Hardware isn't there yet. Consumers aren't there yet. But a lot can happen in ten years. And given the scant growth in digital downloads, bundled content could offer much-needed growth. (MediaFuturist)

-- Video Business magazine has gone out of business. (Video Business)

-- Music-related stocks on Thursday, January 7 (closing prices and percent change): Warner Music Group (WMG): $5.89 (+3.51%); Vivendi (VIV): €21.11 (-0.31%); Sony Corp. (SNE): $29.80 (-0.17%); Live Nation (LYV): $9.70 (-2.51%); Ticketmaster (TKTM): $14.08 (+1.61%); Trans World (TWMC): $1.48 (-2.63%); Sirius XM Radio (SIRI): $0.673 (-2.22%); Cumulus Media (CMLS): $2.47 (+4.22%); Citadel Broadcasting Corp. (CTDB): $0.036 (+33.33%); RealNetworks (RNWK): $3.78 (-2.33%); Apple (AAPL): $210.58 (-0.18%); Dow Jones Industrial (DJI): 10,606.86 (+0.31%); NASDAQ Composite (IXIC): 2,300.05 (-0.05%).

Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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