- An NPD Group study has found U.S. consumers' entertainment spending will remain steady in 2009. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they will either hold steady or increase their spending on digital music, while 65% said the same of CDs. No information was given on expected live music spending. The theatrical movie category is the closest parallel to concerts, and 66% of respondents said they would spend the same or more on movies this year. (Press release)

- Articles on music service Spotify are a dime a dozen these days, but this one contains quotes from co-founder Daniel Ek. Interesting points: Spotify now has 70 employees in Stockhold and London, is heavily investing in its sales force, is focusing on mobility (that includes an iPhone app) and is opening up the platform to third-party developers in hopes of building an "ecosystem" that will give it a competitive advantage. (Media Week)

- An audio podcast with analysis of the Zune HD picture that have showed up online. (CNET MP3 Insider)

- A review of the re-launched Qtrax application pinpoints the key reason - there are many - why the service is likely to fail: it's inconvenient. "After spending hours of my day just trying to get Qtrax going and to download even one song, I would happily pay iTunes or Amazon a dollar (or so) to just get the darn song, with the added benefit of being able to use it on any device I want without dealing with DRM hassles that Qtrax will give me." (Ars Technica)

- In an interview, Lala co-founder Bill Nguyen disclosed the music service has 100,000 credit cards on file, users buy one in five songs they listen to (he did not differentiate between purchases of ten cent webstreams and more expensive MP3s), and 70% off listening is discovery-driven. He talked about the future Lala mobile app and indicated the company hopes to secure deals with cellular carriers to subsidize users' music. (Epicenter)

- In its Q1 2009 earnings report, Nokia said it shipped 2.7 million units of its 5800 XpressMusic phone in the quarter. The total since the November launch is three million units. (Mobile Entertainment)

- A report says more than a dozen states have jointed to create a task force that is scrutinizing the proposed Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger. The Pennsylvania attorney general is said to be heading the task force. (Bloomberg)

- A brief list of recently leaked albums. The new Rick Ross album, Deeper Than Rap, made it online on Tuesday. (Digital Music News)

- MySpace Music is planning to launch in the U.K. by the end of the summer. (StrategyEye)

- Greg Bettinelli, executive VP of business development and strategy for Live Nation's ticketing division, has left the company. (Ticket News)

- Prof. Justin Hughes, Cardozo School of Law has a great post on the use of songs in political campaigns. "When it comes to political rallies, musicians can complain loudly and say that 'permission was not granted,' but we are not talking about a violation of copyright law - at least not in the United States. Under American law, copyright law gives musical compositions a general right of public performance, but it gives sound recordings only a much narrower public performance right limited to 'digital audio transmissions.'" (The Media Institute)