Follow Glenn Peoples on Twitter or e-mail him at gpeoples AT billboard.com.
— Spotify’s Android app has been updated to include the local file and social features that Spotify recently added to its service. I’ve been enjoying Spotify’s social features lately. They make sharing music with friends incredibly easy. And the new ability to include local files in your Spotify collection is a welcome feature that allows Spotify to be the only media player you need to use (rather than toggle between Spotify and an MP3 player like iTunes). Unlike previous media players that mixed together local files and subscription files, Spotify keep local files in a separate folder. That turns out to be an improvement from a consumer cognition viewpoint because rented songs are kept separate from purchased songs. So, it’s easy to know which is which. (Spotify blog)
— Cornerstone Promotion has teamed up with Levi’s to create Levi’s Pioneer Sessions 2010 Revival Recordings, a very cool little promotion that is a collection of covers from artists such as Nas, The Swell Season, Dirty Projectors, Jason Mraz and Passion Pit. Artists selected songs that influenced then in some way. Two songs will be released each week. Each is joined by biographical information, video footage and other content. The first track out is a Nas cover of Slick Rick’s “Young World.” Name and email address is required for a download link. (Levi’s Pioneer Sessions)
— MySpace says it has no plans to charge for music streams across the site, according to a recap of a panel from the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. But MySpace co-president Mikes Jones admitted “that could change.” (The majors are equity owners in MySpace, after all.) One thing to keep in mind is that the conversation was not necessarily about a subscription service. As far as I can tell from mocoNews’ article and snippets of transcriptions, the MySpace execs meant there are no plans to charge for streaming at any MySpace page – meaning no subscription, micropayments or other toll booths at either artist pages or dedicated streaming pages. (mocoNews)
— Due to low streaming revenues, digital distributor RouteNote has opted to stop its partnership with Last.fm. RouteNote artists are free to join Last.fm on their own, however. According to the RouteNote website, Last.fm royalties are “based on Last FM’s advertising and premium subscription income, divided amongst the tracks that are played.” So, not even the promotional value of the music streamed at Last.fm made up for the weak revenues. (RouteNote blog)
— The BitTorrent download record was set by the final episode of “Lost,” which aired Sunday evening. Most downloads came from outside the U.S. where the episode aired later – if at all. Good luck getting a legal service to act as substitute for an American television show that may or may not be aired in the country from which the file was downloaded. Unavailability and licensing issues are going to be a sticking point in the fight against digital piracy, no doubt about it. Content creators know they need more attractive carrots to entice pirates, but any licensed service is going to be limited in its attractiveness. It will always be missing something desired by somebody. (TorrentFreak)
— At the website of the Irish Recorded Music Association there is some information on the introduction of graduated response anti-piracy measures at the ISP Eircom. A blurb: “The graduated response programme now proceeds to the educational and awareness campaign…The graduated response programme allows for 3 notifications and the ultimate sanction of disconnection will only happen after 3 infringements and after due process.” No information is given on the due process procedures. The definition of due process and ISP customers’ access to it could be two sticking points in graduated response. These anti-piracy measures look good on paper, but when people start to get disconnected it will be a new ball game. Then politicians, critics and supporters will really go to battle. (IRMA)