Digital audio

  1. Morning Fix: Artists Chastise Pandora; Nachsin Leaves Roadrunner; Nine Bidding for Parlophone

    November 15, 2012 8:15 AM EST Head HERE to subscribe to Billboard's Morning Fix email and other free music-business newsletters RIHANNA, KATY PERRY, BILLY JOEL, 122 OTHER ARTISTS TELL PANDORA: 'THAT'S NOT HOW PARTNERS WORK TOGETHER': The battle over webcast ...

  2. Business Matters: As Spotify Adds Ireland and Luxembourg, What To Expect in Emerging Markets

    November 13, 2012 7:44 PM EST Spotify has quietly launched in Ireland and Luxembourg, the company's 16th and 17th countries, giving it markets roughly the size of the state of Louisiana plus the city limits of Tucson, Arizona. What exists beyond these small markets will b ...

  3. Business Matters: A $3 Billion Valuation Brings Spotify Expectations Back to Earth

    November 12, 2012 6:10 PM EST News that Spotify raised money at a $3 billion valuation and generated $200 million in revenue in the first half of 2012 is more like the sound of air being let out of a tire rather than a bursting bubble. The company has been hyped more than any ...

  4. From This Week's Billboard: Kid Rock Rides With iTunes

    November 12, 2012 5:20 PM EST Photo: Darren McCollister/Getty Images) Below is an excerpt from BIllboard's cover story on Kid Rock, who -- as he explains here -- has just broken his longstanding refusal to sell his non-soundtrack music on iTunes. Also in the issue: a spec ...

  5. Spotify Raising $100m for Expansion; Opening in Latin America, Eastern Europe Next Year

    November 11, 2012 9:00 AM EST Spotify is close to wrapping up a $100 million round of funding at a valuation of $3 billion as it prepares for expansion into Latin America and expanding further across Europe in 2013. The latest round of funding, confirmed by a source familiar w ...

  6. Cazzette Teams with Spotify For Debut Album Campaign

    November 09, 2012 4:18 PM EST Chances are, most people have never heard of Cazzette. But if Spotify has its way, the Swedish electronic music duo will soon enjoy plenty of fame. In an experiment to see if it can become a next-generation digital star-making machine, Spotify is ...

  7. GetMixxd, Playground.fm, Swarm.fm, Tixie and Tunezy Announced as Billboard FutureSound Innovators Finalists

    November 05, 2012 10:00 AM EST The next digital-music disruption could come from one of the five finalists in the Innovators Showcase at Billboard's upcoming FutureSound conference . GetMixxd, Playground.fm, Swarm.fm, Tixie and Tunezy were chosen from a group of 67 nominee ...

  8. Unlimited Music Heats Up with Big New Spotify Challengers

    November 01, 2012 2:00 PM EDT It's no simple matter to make music fans happy enough to pay $10 per month, even for unlimited access to most of the music in the world, while also paying royalties to record labels, music publishers, and artists. As another indication of jus ...

  9. Kid Rock Finally Hits iTunes With 'Rebel Soul'

    October 31, 2012 6:38 PM EDT Kid Rock's new album, Rebel Soul , due Nov. 19, is up on iTunes as a pre-order, marking the first time (apart from a soundtrack appearance) that the artist's music has been available in that store. The album, which will bow on a Monday, ...

  10. Business Matters: 7digital, Amazon and Google Selling Taylor Swift's 'Red' at Deep Discounts

    October 30, 2012 7:45 PM EDT Buyers of the digital version of Taylor Swift's "Red" paid the full fare at iTunes last week -- and turned out in great numbers. Great bargains await those who didn't rush out and buy the artist's latest album. Taylor Swif ...

  11. Apple Delays iTunes 11 Release Until November to 'Get it Right'

    October 30, 2012 7:40 PM EDT In an unusual move to postpone a previously announced product launch, Apple on Tuesday said it would not release its new iTunes software until November, a month after the company had earlier promised to deliver the update. Billboard's FutureS ...

  12. The Great Simplifier: Play iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio from One Mac App

    October 26, 2012 2:38 PM EDT Music apps have quote demonstrably given us more ways to access and listen to music than ever before. As cool as that is, it can also be a headache to jump between them - say, Pandora, iTunes, Rdio, and Spotify. Assuming you're a Mac person, ...

  13. Business Matters: Why Taylor Swift's 'Red' is Absent From Subscription Services

    October 23, 2012 6:07 PM EDT Taylor Swift has joined a litany of artists in holding back a new release from subscription services. Her new album Red is conspicuously absent from Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Mog and Xbox Music this week. The album's absence from subscription ...

  14. Rara Adds iOS Support, Expands Music Catalog and Partners with Lenovo

    October 23, 2012 5:00 AM EDT Rara, an on-demand subscription music company based in the U.K., has launched its service on Apple's iPad and iPhones, as well devices running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. Billboard's FutureSound Conference, takes place N ...

  15. 7digital Snags $10 million in Funding, Inks New Deal for BlackBerry 10

    October 18, 2012 9:22 PM EDT digital, a London-based technology company that operates digital music stores and services for companies like Samsung and Hewlett-Packard, said on Thursday it had secured $10 million in financing from undisclosed corporate investors. Billboard� ...

  16. Spotify Exec Gerrit Meier Leaves

    October 17, 2012 11:33 AM EDT Gerrit Meier has left Spotify after joining in October 2011 to become its General Manager, Distribution & Partnerships, a company spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. The news was first reported at All Things D . Billboard's FutureSound Conf ...

  17. Billboard Insight: Music Business Stays in Apple's Shadow

    October 17, 2012 9:00 AM EDT The late Steve Jobs. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Ed. Note: The full version of this story appeared in the 10/20/2012 issue of Billboard Magazine, which can be purchased here . Apple, famous for its obsession over creating user-friendly p ...

  18. Music Plays On For Apple

    October 15, 2012 9:27 AM EDT A year after Steve Jobs' death, Apple still has music in its DNA but may have lost some of its passion. That may be a good thing. Apple, famous for its obsession over creating user-friendly products, may have itself become more user-friendl ...

  19. Spotify Planning Launches in Italy, Poland and (Reportedly) Japan: What Are the Challenges?

    October 12, 2012 1:31 PM EDT Spotify is planning launches in Italy and Poland, judging from job postings at its web site, and according to a report Friday it's considering a launch in Japan in early 2013. The company has recently posted job openings for growth managers i ...

  20. Coca-Cola in Investment Talks With Spotify

    October 11, 2012 11:47 AM EDT Coca-Cola is in discussions with Spotify to make a small investment in the digital music company. Sources tell Billboard the two companies are in negotiations, but a deal is far from being reached. Sky News first reported on Thursday that the two ...

  21. Business Matters: Spotify UK Shows That the Freemium Model Is Not 'Unsustainable'

    October 09, 2012 6:11 PM EDT A business model that pays rights holders nearly every dollar, euro or pound generated is clearly not sustainable. This fact is obvious to Billboard readers as well as a digital service's management and the company's investors. Last week ...

  22. Spotify Nabs Will Page, Former PRS for Music Chief Economist

    October 09, 2012 3:14 PM EDT Will Page, the former chief economist for PRS For Music, has joined Spotify in a senior economics role, a source has confirmed to Billboard.biz. Page left the UK copyright collection society in July. Billboard's FutureSound Conference, takes ...

  23. Business Matters: Deezer's New Funding Puts It In A Coke/Pepsi Race With Spotify

    October 08, 2012 4:36 PM EDT When music subscription service Deezer confirmed Monday it raised $130 million in a round led by Warner Music Group owner Access Industries , the subscription music market suddenly had two well-funded frontrunners putting their support behind a si ...

  24. MySpace's Third Act: Why The Social Network Is Doubling Down On Music For Its Latest Incarnation

    October 08, 2012 1:33 PM EDT Below is an excerpt from the Up Front story "Myspace's Third Act" from this week's edition of Billboard Magazine, which also includes our cover story on Mumford & Sons' massive sophomore album Babel , features on Dr. L ...

  25. Deezer Raises $130 Million: Report

    October 06, 2012 7:40 PM EDT The oft-criticized freemium business model still has the support of investors. Paris-based music subscription service Deezer has raised $130 million from Access Industries, parent company of Warner Music Group, and previous investor Idinvest, acco ...

  26. Will Neil Young's 'Pono' Player Really Make Music Sound Better?

    October 05, 2012 11:11 AM EDT Since the dawn of the digital age, some audiophiles have maintained that new formats from the CD to the MP3 and beyond have degraded sound quality. Ever since we left vinyl, music has sounded like crap, they say. Some of the down-with-digital crew ...

  27. Business Matters: Microsoft and Rdio? That Would Make Sense

    October 04, 2012 8:15 PM EDT Microsoft is in acquisitions talks with music subscription service Rdio, according to various reports. First reported by the Next Web , the rumors bring together two companies connected by a recent acquisition. Rdio co-founders Friis Niklas and Ze ...

  28. Business Matters: Mumford & Sons' 'Babel' Smashes Spotify Streaming Record

    October 02, 2012 8:35 PM EDT The argument that subscription services cannibalize sales hit a bit of a snag last week. Mumford & Sons' sophomore release, "Babel," blew past Spotify's record for streams from an album in a single week. Spotify users in th ...

  29. Rdio Embarks on Experiment to Gain Subscribers Through Artists

    October 02, 2012 9:24 AM EDT Music subscription service Rdio has launched a program Tuesday that pays artists directly for the new subscribers they bring to the service. The program is a creative attempt to solve two of subscription service's biggest problems: lack of su ...

  30. Morning Fix: Lucian Grainge's 'Call To Action'; Rdio's $10 Bounties; Death Grips' Gripes

    October 02, 2012 7:30 AM EDT Head HERE to subscribe to Billboard's free music-business newsletters UNIVERSAL MUSIC CEO LUCIAN GRAINGE'S MEMO/CALL TO ACTION: UMG CEO Lucian Grainge sent a memo to staff following the company's acquisition of EMI Music. The note , ...

  31. One Direction's 'Live While We're Young' Single Accidentally Sold for 99 Cents

    October 01, 2012 9:36 PM EDT A processing error gave One Direction fans a surprising deal in the U.S. iTunes Store on Monday (Oct. 1). Early Monday, One Direction -- which is signed to SYCO/Columbia in the U.S. -- commercially released its fast selling new single "Live W ...

  32. Yes, Twitter Is an Apple iTunes Affiliate

    September 27, 2012 4:10 PM EDT Twitter has been adding special iTunes preview panes to every tweet on Twitter.com for nearly two years. However, when the company first announced that it would be working with Apple's now-defunct social network iTunes Ping, it didn't me ...

  33. Spotify U.K. Reports Revenue Growth; Operating Losses Narrow Dramatically To $3.4 Million

    September 27, 2012 3:42 PM EDT Strong growth in subscriptions helped Spotify's U.K. operation generate £95.5 million ($154.9 million) in total revenue in 2011, up from £63.2 million ($102.5 million) the previous year, according to its latest financial statement, as reporte ...

  34. Is iTunes Launching In Russia?

    September 26, 2012 10:09 AM EDT MOSCOW - A local Russian newspaper has reported that an iTunes store is coming to the European country in late 2012 or early 2013. vThe business daily Vedomosti quoted anonymous sources in the online and publishing businesses who claimed Apple is ...

  35. Spotify Now Paying SoundExchange for Mobile Radio Streams in U.S., Lowers Royalty Bill

    September 24, 2012 12:34 PM EDT Spotify is lowering its royalty obligation in the U.S. The digital service is now paying webcasting royalties to SoundExchange for the streams on the free Internet radio service on its mobile app it launched in June . A company spokesperson confir ...

  36. Bits and Briefs

    September 20, 2012 4:45 PM EDT Survey: Tablet Usage Gaining on Hours Spent at the Computer A J.D. Powers and Associates survey found tablet owners spend 7.5 hours per week on their devices watching videos, listening to music or reading books, compared with spending 9.6 hours pe ...

  37. Business Matters: Topspin Media the Latest to Embrace APIs

    September 18, 2012 7:40 PM EDT Topspin Media has launched a product called ArtistLink that allows developers to tap into the metadata of Topspin GoDirect artists. GoDirect is TopSpin's direct-to-fan platform that's free for users of Artist.MTV or $9.99 for artists who ...

  38. Inside Blue Note Records' Dazzling Spotify App

    September 13, 2012 6:01 PM EDT Blue Note Records, the renowned American Jazz record label that since 1939 has developed and released the work of some of the genre's most important icons - including John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancoc ...

  39. Morning Fix: Google's Cloud Negotiations, Adios Apple Ping, Dave Matthews' Record, Bonnaroo 2013

    September 13, 2012 7:42 AM EDT Head HERE to subscribe to Billboard's free music-business newsletters. DAVE MATTHEWS BAND HEADING FOR RECORD SIXTH STRAIGHT NO. 1 ALBUM ON THE BILLBOARD 200 Dave Matthews Band should become the first group to score six consecutive No. 1-debut ...

  40. Omnifone, Powers Music For Sony, BlackBerry, Rara.com, Turns Profit

    September 11, 2012 12:58 PM EDT Profits of any kind are rare in digital music, but there's money to be made powering other company's services. White-label service Omnifone announced Tuesday its first annual operating profit in the company's nine-year history. The ...

  41. Spotify Pricing Staying Put

    September 10, 2012 8:03 PM EDT Spotify is set on its current prices as reports circulate its working on a browser-based version of its subscription service. Well, for the most part. Sources tell Billboard.biz there is no indication Spotify plans to deviate from the industry sta ...

  42. Business Matters: If Smartphone Is Stepping Stone to Subscription Growth, U.S. Doing Well

    September 10, 2012 5:53 PM EDT If the smartphone is the gateway to digital music growth, the United States has got a ton of potential. Data from mobile analytics company Flurry show 165 million iOS and Android devices in the U.S. in July. The country's 78% smartphone penet ...

  43. Why Would Spotify Launch a Web Version? Here Are Five Reasons

    September 10, 2012 4:59 PM EDT Right now, Spotify.com promotes the desktop version and various features. Could it transform into a music service in and of itself?" A Saturday TechCrunch report about a browser-based version of Spotify led to thousands of posts over the week ...

  44. Spotify Preparing Browser-Based Version: Report

    September 09, 2012 10:12 AM EDT Spotify may be following its competitors to the Web. The company is planning on launching a browser-based version of its subscription streaming service, according to a report at TechCrunch . A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment when reached ...

  45. Business Matters: Why More Artists Will Follow Lady Gaga Into Premium Apps

    September 06, 2012 5:58 PM EDT Labels are always looking for something to fill the void left by declining album sales. Next up: premium artist apps. Lady Gaga is planning a computer application she says will integrate extra content, chats, games, fashion and films along with he ...

  46. Morning Fix: Bankers Big Winners in EMI-UMG Deal; SEO B.S.; VMAs Relevance; Matchbox 20 Aim For No. 1

    September 06, 2012 7:50 AM EDT Head HERE to subscribe to Billboard's free music-business newsletters. MATCHBOX TWENTY AIMING FOR FIRST NO. 1 ALBUM ON NEXT WEEK'S BILLBOARD 200: Watch for Matchbox Twenty to nab its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week. Also heade ...

  47. Business Matters: How to Detect Search Engine-Optimized, Bullsh-- Headlines

    September 05, 2012 6:05 PM EDT Writing a good headline is part art, part science and very important. In the age of online news, articles tend to be optimized for maximum traffic from search engines. Keywords, such as Apple or iPhone, are used in the headlines based on the likel ...

  48. How Spotify and Rdio Are De-Socializing Music Streaming

    September 05, 2012 1:30 PM EDT In Rdio's advanced settings, users can now choose a privacy setting that will require approval before other users can view their collection, playlists, activity and full user profile. Streaming music is inherently more social than downloading ...

  49. Sony Introduces Inexpensive Tier for Music Unlimited Service

    August 29, 2012 4:22 PM EDT On Wednesday Sony Network Entertainment International announced a €4.99/US $4.99 per month tier, called "Access," to its Music Unlimited subscription service. Sony is employing a familiar marketing strategy by placing a premium on mobili ...

  50. Spotify Grew Fast, Lost Money in 2011 -- No Surprises

    August 23, 2012 2:07 PM EDT Two bits of unsurprising news could be found in a Wall Street Journal report containing Spotify's 2011 financials: Spotify grew fast and lost money. To no surprise, Spotify's losses mounted as it expanded in the U.S. and elsewhere in 201 ...

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