Business Matters: Apple's iTunes Festival App Will Stream Concerts to the World
-- Apple has released a free app that allows HD streaming of live performances from the iTunes Festival 2011 at the Roundhouse in London. An updated version of the free Live Nation app will also offer live video streams.
The app includes AirPlay support to stream HD video from the device to a widescreen TV with Apple TV. Performances will be available live (meaning they will be in the afternoon or early evening for U.S. time zones) and will also be available on-demand for an unspecific, limited period of time.
More than 60 artists will perform over 31 consecutive evenings during the festival. Scheduled to perform are Paul Simon, Manic Street Preachers, Adele, My Chemical Romance, Foo Fighters, Duran Duran, Raphael Saadiq, Rumer, Swedish House Mafia, Kasabian, Moby and many others. The Paul Simon concert on July 1 is the first of the festival.
Until the app is ready to stream live music, the app has a handy countdown timer to track the days and hours until the iTunes Festival launches. It also has a news feed, a calendar of the festivals shows with iTunes links for each artist and a photo archive of past iTunes festivals. All these features are available at the iTunes Festival website as well.
This means people around the world can view the performances regardless of whether the artist's music is commercially available in their home country. For example, the latest albums by both Manic Street Preachers and Rumer have not yet been released in the U.S. (although a single by Rumer is now available). So at the very least here is one way annoying territorial rights will not get in the way of Americans enjoying the music of foreign artists barely known in the States.
( Press release)
Apps Gaining on Internet
-- Time spent on mobile apps has overtaken time spent on the Internet (both desktop and mobile), according to Flurry, a provider of real-time data to app developers. The company used its own data of more than 500 million use sessions per day, spanning more than 85,000 mobile apps. Keep in mind that strong mobile app growth fits well into Flurry's story line, so there may be a bit of bias in how the numbers are presented.
Here's a key excerpt from Flurry's blog post:
"Flurry found that the average user now spends 9% more time using mobile apps than the Internet. This was not the case just 12 months ago. Last year, the average user spent just under 43 minutes a day using mobile applications versus an average 64 minutes using the Internet. Growing at 91% over the last year, users now spend over 81 minutes on mobile applications per day. This growth has come primarily from more sessions per user, per day rather than a large growth in average session lengths. Time spent on the Internet has grown at a much slower rate, 16% over the last year, with users now spending 74 minutes on the Internet a day."
The leading app category was games with 47% of time spent using mobile apps. Social networking was second with 32% (Flurry noted that Facebook now makes up 14 of the 74 minutes per day people spend on the Internet), news was third with 9% and entertainment was fourth with 7%.
It is important to note that this data does not extend across all Internet users -- after all, not all consumers own smartphones. Flurry's statistics appear to compare the app and Internet time of only those people who own smartphones. ( Flurry blog)
Is the Android on the Wane?
-- Is the Android operating system due for a decline? An analyst at Needham & Co. believes the release of the iPhone 5 in the fourth quarter will result in a "material decline" in Android's market share. "In our opinion, this is just the beginning of Android's share loss in the U.S.," he wrote. ( Apple Insider)
Is Apple 'Trampling' Copyright Law?
-- We know Apple will release iCloud later this year, but the math behind its iTunes Match service is still cloudy. One question has come from a vocal opponent of iCloud, Rob Sevier of Numero Group. Sevier feels copyright law is being "trampled" by Apple's agreement with major labels and publishers.
Numero Group's Ken Shipley offered his iTunes Match math in the comments at a Hypebot post: "0.0035 cents per 'match' if you've got a library of 5000 songs, .0006 of which you need to break off to the publisher."
But as Digital Audio Insider notes, each song in a collection of 5,000 songs would get 0.35 cents per match, not 0.0035 cents per match (the former is 100 times greater than the latter). That's because 0.35 cents (or $0.0035) times 5,000 equals $17.50, which is rights holders' share of the $25 iTunes Match annual fee.
In any case, iTunes Match will be like other digital services in that it's all about the accumulation of many small numbers. A collection of 25,000 songs would result in that $25 fee being split up five times as many ways. And the numbers get even smaller. The 12% given to publishers will be broken down even more according to the type of deal (publishing, sub-publishing, administration) and the song's number of writers. ( Hypebot, Digital Audio Insider)