Opinion and analysis of the day’s music news.
A Look At Apple’s Q4 Sales Numbers
— Here’s a quick look at the sales stats from Apple‘s fiscal 2010 fourth quarter ended Sept. 25: 3.89 million Macs (up 27% from last Q4), 14.1 million iPhones (up 91%), 9.05 million iPods (down 11%) 4.2 million iPads (no comp figure since the product debuted less than 12 months ago).
That iPad figure was lower than analysts expected while iPhone sales exceeded expectations. “Ipad, a little bit disappointing there,” Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co. told Reuters. “Street was expecting closer to 5 million units.”
The earnings conference call was notable for a five-minute appearance by Steve Jobs. He pointed out that Apple sold more iPhones than RIM sold Blackberry devices (14.1 million to 12.1 million), lamented the lack of data on shipped Android devices and contrasted Apple and Google’s approaches to open and closed operating systems.
Open systems don’t always win, Jobs said. He gave the example of Microsoft’s PlaysForSure music strategy of seeking integration from separate hardware and software. “Even Microsoft finally abandoned this open strategy in favor of copying Apple’s integrated approach with their Zune player, unfortunately leaving their OEMs empty-handed in the process,” said Jobs. He also took down the slew of upcoming tablet devices that will be running Google’s Android operating system. “Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the seven-inch bandwagon with an orphan product. Sounds like lots of fun ahead.”
(Press Release, Reuters, Seeking Alpha)
Legal P2P Choruss Stalls
— Choruss is “on hiatus,” founder Jim Griffin tells GigaOm, and its founder is moving on to another project. Founded in 2007, Choruss was an attempt to create legal P2P through collective licensing, much as performance rights organizations work. It was initially funded by Warner Music Group. Why did Choruss fail? “We couldn’t even find half of the rights holders,” says Griffin, who admitted he underestimated the difficulty of creating a legal P2P service within current copyright law. Without licenses from all rights holders, Choruss would be exposed to copyright infringement lawsuits.
Now, Griffin and his company OneHouse LLC are working on a rights registry that would make it easier to locate and compensate rights holders. Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriter’s Guild of America, tells Chris Castle that Choruss was not able to convince him that songwriters would be fairly compensated. “It is a sign of progress that Jim now understands that his solution was too simplistic. Just waving the magic wand of a monthly fee over illegal file sharing is never going to solve the problem. Jim and I have discussed Chrouss in private and in public forums and though I have always supported any idea that will fairly compensate songwriters for the use of their works Jim could never explain, at least to my satisfaction, how Choruss would be able to deliver on that promise.”
(GigaOm, Music Tech Policy)
MySpace: Still Hanging In There
— Digital Audio Insider did a small, informal study to see where MySpace ranks in the search results of ten bands. Even though Facebook and Twitter are more popular, MySpace was in the top five search results for all ten bands. From the post: “Some artists (or their labels) are very active on MySpace, of course, so you’d expect to see their respective MySpace pages as top search results. But MySpace also has the substantial advantage of having been around longer than Facebook, Twitter, etc., and online articles and blogs posts have linked to MySpace pages for years. Incoming links figure highly into Google’s PageRank calculations, so even if some artists are transitioning their social networking efforts to other sites, MySpace seems likely to remain at the top of Google search results for the foreseeable future.”
(Digital Audio Insider)