The Best (And The Rest) Of CES 2013
January 11, 2013
The moment of truth is here. Out of the thousands of new products on display this year, CNet names the official winners of the Best of CES Awards. What is the No. 1 best product of the show?
The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show this week was arguably Lenovo's first opportunity to "protect and attack," as it introduced all-in-one desktops, flexible laptops, laptops that convert to a convertible tablet, a literal tablet and – finally -- five new Android-running smartphones. Check out the products that Lenovo claims offer users a "new and better experience."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
TOTAL MUSIC SALES UP IN 2012 ... AND VINYL JUST KEEPS GROWING
A report published by Nielsen in collaboration with Billboard shows that U.S. music sales grew 3.1% in 2012 setting a new record for the music industry.
AND TO ALL THOSE WHO SAID "VINYL IS A FAD THAT WILL GO AWAY..."
According to stats by Nielsen Soundscan, sales of vinyl LPs hit another, modern-era record in 2012 with 4.6 million units. Most are being sold at indie retailers, with a heavy lean towards rock. Here's the latest sales picture.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
SPOTIFY STOPS MUSIC SALES
Shifting strategies, Spotify has ceased the sale of music through its streaming service.
As Pocket-lint reports, U.S. consumers never had access to the "in-app purchase" feature, so its removal will not affect them. As for the markets that did lose in-app purchases, Spotify says: "We're not ruling out their return."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
2013: THE END OF THE IPOD, DVD PLAYER, DIGITAL CAMERAS?
Using results of a recent Accenture report on consumer demand for a range of devices, Washington Post reporter Caitlin Dewey questions whether changes in technology and consumer demand will signal an end of the iPod, digital camera and DVD player era.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
THE FILM INDUSTRY ASKS "IS FACEBOOK WORTH IT?"
From the Los Angeles Times, "Some movie executives are increasingly skeptical that Facebook ads and promotional campaigns that ask users to 'like' a movie can deliver big box-office returns."
Read the article for more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
IT'S A TABLET WORLD
What's the biggest trend reported at the Consumer Electronics Show?
"Tablet computers may be on their way to becoming the true primary screen" instead of just the second screen, writes David S. Cohen in Variety. "The devices appear to be cannibalizing the market for both notebook computers and small television sets, as both sectors have declined as tablets sales have strengthened." Read the whole story
Despite their infancy, tablets are on track to outpace notebooks in global shipments, this year, according to new estimates from NPD DisplaySearch. "Tablet shipments are expected to surpass 240 million, while notebooks shipments will reach around 207 million," CNet reports, citing the research. "For the first time ever, tablets will grab more than 50% of the annual market share this year." Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
APPLE PASSES 40 BILLION APP DOWNLOADS
Apple on Monday proudly announced that over 40 billion apps have so far been downloaded from its iOS App Store.
"The App Store, which launched about four years ago, currently features more than 775,000 apps," VentureBeat notes. "And while the 40 billion download milestone is impressive, what's more impressive is that about 20 billion of those downloads happened in 2012."
Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
2012's TOP TECH FAILURES
From the article on CNN, "Oprah Winfrey had been gushing for weeks about how much she loved the new Microsoft Surface tablet, culminating in this tweet: "Gotta say love that SURFACE! Have bought 12 already for Christmas gifts."
Unfortunately for her, those words were followed by ... "via Twitter for iPad."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
MEDIA PREDICTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR
An expanded Aereo? An iRadio, but no Apple television? More VOD? Success for Netflix Originals?
These are some of the media predictions from research firm BTIG summarized here on Forbes. Some surprises (not sure about the Netflix forecast, for instance), some not.
Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
THE IMPACT OF THE DVR ON TV VIEWING AND SATISFACTION
(The following content is from Media Post)
According to new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group (LRG), 52% of households in the U.S. that subscribe to a multi-channel video service have a digital video recorder (DVR), compared to 4% of TV households that do not subscribe to a multi-channel video service. In addition, 43% of all households with a DVR now have DVR on more than one TV set. About 20% of all TV households now have DVR on more than one TV set, an increase from 6% five years ago.
Netflix subscribers, having a premium service, increased to 51% this year of those who subscribe to a multi-channel video service vs. 43% last year, and 40% in 2010, and a decrease in those who would consider dropping premium service.
Additional, related findings include:
71% of Telco video subscribers, 63% of DBS subscribers, and 42% of cable subscribers, have a DVR
81% with DVR on more than one TV set rate the service 8-10 (10 being excellent), compared to 73% with DVR on one TV set
70% of all digital cable subscribers have used VOD, compared to 58% in 2007, and 25% in 2004
59% of digital cable subscribers, and 64% of Telco video subscribers, used on-Demand in the past month
68% of VOD users who also have a DVR strongly agree that their TV service is better because they have both VOD and DVR
26% of Netflix subscribers use Watch Instantly daily, and 59% weekly
79% of Netflix Watch Instantly users use it to watch movies and TV shows on a TV set
Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG, concludes that "... the percentage of all TV households in the US with a DVR has... doubled over the past five years, and ... expanding to more TV sets in the home ... consumers are increasingly integrating DVR, VOD and On-Demand TV viewing into their TV viewing patterns... "
These findings are based on a survey of over 1,300 households throughout the U.S., and are part of LRG's study, 'On-Demand TV 2012: A Nationwide Study on VOD and DVRs.'
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
BERLEE'S FREE MUSIC BOOKS
Burklee Music's extensive Handbooks provide you with a free taste of Berklee's legendary instruction. Each PDF contains a number of robust lessons taken directly from their 12-week, instructor-led online courses.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 12
THE COMPLETE OSCAR NOMINATIONS LIST
Oscar nominations were announced Thursday morning at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by Oscars host Seth MacFarlane and actress Emma Stone. The awards show will be telecast on Sunday, Feb. 24, on ABC.
Full story at TheWrap
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* Good news: Amazon will now give you free digital tracks of physical CDs you've bought on its website since 1998. Bad news: Not every album you've purchased will have digital files. Read more
* Apple could launch 'iPhone Mini' next year, analyst says. In its ongoing battle against Samsung, Apple may be forced to unveil a smaller, cheaper version of its flagship phone, says Strategy Analytics. Read more
* The annual Consumer Electronics Show is taking flight this week as one of the world's biggest showcases for all things digital. The PC world is igniting this year with the launch of Windows 8. The result: more than 1,500 new PCs and devices certified for Windows 8--many on display this week at CES. Take a look.
* Sony is in talks with at least two major TV content companies as part of its quiet plans to develop "a multichannel TV service to rival cable" that could launch later this year, writes Andrew Wallenstein in Variety. "Sources characterized the ongoing talks as far beyond exploratory and just as advanced as those of Intel Corp., another firm that has attracted a flood of recent speculation about its plans to enter the TV market." Read the whole story
* Despite increased competition from Android-based smartphones, Apple still controls over 50% of the U.S. market, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. In fact, "The research firm says that the iPad and iPhone marker is taking back marketshare from rival Google's Android, managing to grab 53.3 percent of U.S. smartphone sales for the four-month period ending November 25," ZDNet reports. Read the whole story
* Windows laptop sales sink -- but that's just part of the problem. Windows 8 laptop sales are hardly on fire. Maybe the absence of the dirt-cheap netbook has something to do with that. Read more
* Magic Cube projects a virtual keyboard on any flat surface. The device displays a full-size virtual keyboard and multi-touch mouse that people can use with their smartphones, tablets, and PCs. Read more
Short News Items ...
STONES WILL ROLL AGAIN:
Shortly after the Rolling Stones wrapped their brief 50th anniversary run, Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone they're weighing their options for 2013. Keith Richards agreed they're ready for more: "It'd be dopey to bring things up to this level and say, 'Well, that's that.'"
AND BOB SEGER HITS THE ROAD AGAIN:
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band will hit the road this spring for the first leg of their Rock & Roll Never Forgets tour. It starts in Toledo, OH, on February 27th, then rolls through the Midwest, West Coast and Canada.
David Bowie has a birthday surprise as he turns 66; the elusive superstar just dropped a single, "Where Are We Now?," from an unexpected album (his first in 10 years) due in March.
Led Zeppelin, one of the last streaming-music holdouts, are in talks with Rhapsody, Spotify, Rdio and other services for the exclusive right to stream the band's catalog. The long-dormant band has sold 111 million albums in the U.S., nearly a million last year alone.
BIEBER TO 'SNL':
Justin Bieber will host and perform on 'Saturday Night Live' on February 9th.
ADELE'S 'SKYFALL' GETS OSCAR NOM STAT:
"Skyfall," the Adele track from the latest James Bond film, is the first Academy Awards nominee for best original song in 10 years to have also been a top-10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Skyfall" will be competing with the new tune penned for the screen version of "Les Misérables," "Suddenly," "Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi," J. Ralph's "Before My Time" from the documentary "Chasing Ice" and finally "Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted."
MIMI TELLS WALTERS SHE FELT "UNSAFE:"
Mariah Carey has told Barbara Walters she increased her personal security after her recent feud with Nicki Minaj as the two stars began judging for "American Idol." "It felt like an unsafe work environment," Carey said. "I'm a professional. I'm not used to that." (And read 'Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj Made to Say Nice Things About Each Other' Full story at TheWrap
BRITNEY PICKS NEW ALBUM COLLABORATORS:
Britney Spears is working with will.i.am and Hit-Boy on her next album, Entertainment Weekly reports.
WINEHOUSE DEATH DUE TO ALCOHOL:
A second coroner confirmed on Tuesday that Grammy-winning artist Amy Winehouse died from accidental alcohol poisoning on July 23rd, 2011
AMERICA DUMBS DOWN EVEN MORE (THANK YOU, MTV):
MTV's "Buckwild" bested its network time slot predecessor. The 10p debut of the reality series, about a group of thrill-seeking young adults in small-town West Virginia, pulled in an audience of 2.49 million viewers and a 1.4 rating over its back-to-back episodes. That's more than 1 million more viewers than the 1.375 million who watched the premiere of Jersey Shore in 2009
DYLAN OUTTAKES ALBUM ACROSS THE POND:
Last year, about 100 lucky Bob Dylan fans in Europe came across a pretty amazing find on record store shelves: a four-CD set titled 'The 50th Anniversary Collection.' The set contains 86 Dylan songs recorded in 1962, including numerous takes of "Mixed Up Confusion," "Sally Gal," "That's All Right, Mama" and "Baby, Please Don't Go." Contrary to appearances, it's an official release from Sony and copies are already selling on eBay for upwards of $1,000. "This isn't a scheme to make money," a Sony Music source tells Rolling Stone. "The copyright law in Europe was recently extended from 50 to 70 years for everything recorded in 1963 and beyond. With everything before that, there's a new 'Use It or Lose It' provision. It basically said, 'If you haven't used the recordings in the first 50 years, you aren't going to get any more.'"
RARE BEATLE PIX:
A collection of unpublished early color photographs of the Beatles are going up for auction in the U.K., the BBC reports. The photos were taken in 1964 during the Beatles' first U.S. tour. They include stage shots of George Harrison with his red Rickenbacker guitar, close-up portraits of the group at a press conference at the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel and photos from a private party at the Beverly Hills mansion of Capitol Records president Alan Livingston. Since color film was expensive at the time, most images of the Beatles before 1965 were in black and white.
BETTE BACK TO 'THE GREAT WHITE WAY':
Bette Midler will return to Broadway for the first time in 30 years to play legendary agent Sue Mengers. The Divine Miss M will star in John Logan's new play "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers."
As fans around the world celebrate Elvis' 78th birthday on Tuesday (Jan. 8), Billboard takes a look back on the King's life and music in photos (and Billboard chart feats). Happy Birthday Elvis Presley!
LENO BEATS KIMMEL:
Jay Leno had the last laugh on Jimmy Kimmel's first night in his new 11:35p timeslot: Though Kimmel initially appeared to have scored the most viewers Tuesday, that distinction ultimately went to "The Tonight Show." "Jimmy Kimmel Live" had 3.097 viewers compared to 3.274 million for Leno. Kimmel did beat his late-night hero, David Letterman. "The Late Show" had 2.882 million viewers. Leno also won in two key demographics: the 18-49 age group, most important to advertisers, and the 25-54 group usually used to measure news and late-night shows. On Wednesday, both Leno and David Letterman beat Kimmel in total viewers. But in the key demographics, it was a closer contest. "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" had 3.55 million total viewers Wednesday, followed by 3.039 million for "The Late Show With David Letterman" and 2.859 million for "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons, fun., Rihanna and the Black Keys are all slated to perform at the 55th Grammy Awards on February 10th. While Mumford & Sons, Rihanna and Swift are all veterans of the Grammy stage, this will mark the first performances for previous nominees Black Keys and newcomers fun.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard that a cryptic tweet posted by Justin Timberlake late on Wednesday night -- which simply read: "Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 9:01 am PST..." -- signifies the announcement and possibly instant arrival of new music.
GROHL AND COLLABORATORS:
When Dave Grohl premieres "Sound City'," his documentary about the legendary L.A. recording studio, at Sundance next week, he'll have an all-star band on hand. John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks, Nirvana's Krist Novoselic and many more will take part in the Sound City Players.
AND IF ANY OF YOU HAVE EVER GOTTEN A GIG FROM IT, PLEASE LET ME KNOW:
LinkedIn, the Mountain View-based online professional network, said on Wednesday it has reached 200 million members. The company, which launched in 2003, said it has added more than 13 million members since Nov. 1st.
Longtime Rhythm and Crossover Promotion Executive Kim Hughes passed away in her Malibu home Saturday night (1/5) from a massive heart attack at the age of 52. Hughes joined HITS magazine in 2003 as Crossover Editor, coining her own language and unique style in the process.
Hughes began her music industry career in the programming department with Keith Naftaly and Hosh Gureli at San Francisco's groundbreaking hip-hop station KMEL before being named a San Francisco local for Butch Waugh and Skip Bishopat RCA Records, ultimately rising to Head of Crossover Promotion for the label.
Screenwriter and producer T.S. Cook, best known for penning the 1979 thriller 'The China Syndrome' died Saturday after battling cancer. He was 65.
Quotes of the week
"I really believed we could lower the ticket prices, we could stop the scalping, and I still think we can. I couldn't get cooperation from the industry to institute paperless ticketing and dynamic pricing and all-in ticketing – three things I thought were really important for artists and consumers."
-- Irving Azoff, in Rolling Stone, talking about some of the frustrations he had in his former capacity as Live Nation CEO
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Ben Affleck Nominated For Best Friend Of Matt Damon
LOS ANGELES--Film actor and director Ben Affleck was recognized today for his work as an outstanding bud with a nomination for Best Friend of Matt Damon. "I am deeply honored to be nominated for this prestigious award, as I have worked hard to hone my craft as Matt Damon's friend for over 32 years," said the 40-year-old Argo star.
Read the rest here and laugh: http://tinyurl.com/ajetw92
AND WATCH THIS AND LAUGH...
Russell Crowe Praised For Stunning Portrayal Of Man Who Cannot Sing Or Act In 'Les Misérables' ... Russell Crowe is generating Oscar buzz for his 'Les Mis' performance as a man who is a much worse singer than all the people around him. http://tinyurl.com/aavvfzx
The Music Industry Past, Present & Future, And The Internet I answer questions on EconTalk
I did an interview about the industry and the Internet at EconTalk with host Russ Roberts. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics. He's also the co-creator of the Keynes-Hayek rap video. (And if your understanding of the economic meltdown that occurred needs to be enlightened, this video will do it)
In the interview we talk about the evolution of the music industry, the impact of the digital revolution, and I give my reasons for believing in the virtues and potential of the Internet in enhancing the music industry. I point out, as I have many times here in the newsletter, that the internet allows numerous artists to make money from their music and it can enhance revenues from live performances by expanding an artist's base. We also discuss the challenges facing record companies and I suggest that the full potential of the Internet as a distribution channel has yet to be fully exploited. There's a lot of ground covered, but based on the comments already posted of those who have tuned in, they've enjoyed it.
Read more about it by clicking here.
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