-- As part of their effort to turn a profit by next year , Pandora has introduced a premium service tier called Pandora One , which charges users $36 a year in return for an ad-free experience. This includes a specialized desktop Pandora music player that acts like a widget so users don't need to keep a Web browser open to stream music, personalized skins, unlimited song skipping (currently users are limited to 12 per day) and other elements.
-- On June 1, Amazon will add a TuneCore-branded digital music store on its existing digital retail service, allowing artists using TuneCore for digital distribution to sell MP3s in a dedicated section. Additionally, TuneCore has partnered with CreateSpace to sell physical CDs via Amazon as well. The TuneCore-branded section of the Amazon store is designed to help participating artists get noticed. Most TuneCore customers are unsigned, DIY artists who can easily get lost amid the broader Amazon catalog.
-- First it was iTunes. Now, it's Rock Band. Pepsi and MTV Games have teamed up to give away free Rock Band music tracks for fans who redeem promotional codes found on 20-ounce and 1-liter bottles of various Pepsi products. The codes can be redeemed at pepsirockband.com , for a chance to win either a free song download or a copy of the game, as well as get entered into a sweepstakes good for a trip to a Harrah's casino, Xbox 360 console and other prizes.
Additionally, Pepsi is sponsoring a contest that asks aspiring artists to film themselves performing selected songs and upload the resulting video to the site for the chance to win an MTV Moonman trophy at the MTV Music Video Awards.
-- Sony reportedly is looking into adding music downloads for the PlayStation Portable, according to a report at CNET. The PSP is a WiFi enabled handheld gaming device that connects to the same PlayStation Network as its console big-brother the PlayStation3 does. According to the story, Sony is discussing making music available on the PlayStation Network. There are rumors that Sony is planning to introduce a new version of the PSP as well. (CNET )
-- Following Nine Inch Nails and Coldplay, the Dave Matthews Band now has its own version of the Tap Tap Revenge iPhone game. It's on the iPhone App store now for $5.
-- More shakeup at Project Playlist. TechCrunch is reporting that chief financial officer Michael Sheridan has resigned. Sheridan was formerly CFO at Facebook and previously had a tenure at NewsCorp. TechCrunch