Apple & Beats?
March 8, 2013
"The meeting between Apple and Iovine was set up in January, immediately after Beats announced Daisy without explaining the upcoming project's business model or how it plans to differentiate itself from existing services such as Spotify and Pandora, one of the sources said."
Apple is reportedly planning a music service in partnership with Beats Electronics, an audio technology firm co-founded by Dr Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine.
"Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook met with Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine during a visit to Los Angeles in late February to find out more about Beats' 'Project Daisy,' a music subscription service the company announced in January but with scant detail," Reuters reports, citing sources.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
YOU TUBE COULD MAKE STREAMING MUSIC A BIG HIT
The service the entertainment industry has loved to hate (but still uses for promotional purposes) is in talks to take streamed music to its hundreds of millions of customers.
It's all about mobile.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
SHOULD MUSIC BE FREE?
Paying for music is now a voluntary act, so why would anyone ever buy a CD, LP, or download?
Good question...Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
YOUTUBE WILL LAUNCH ITS OWN MUSIC STREAMING SERVICE
The online video site will compete with the likes of Pandora and Spotify by kicking off its own online music service later this year, says Fortune.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
ARE WATCHES APPLE'S NEXT '"BIG THING"?
Forget Apple TV.
Smart watches are going to give Apple its competitive edge over the next few years, reports Bloomberg, citing comments from Citigroup analyst Oliver Chen.
Gross margins on watches are about 60%, according to Chen, and -- according to Anand Srinivasan, a Bloomberg Industries analyst -- that's four times bigger than for televisions. "Headway in the [watch] business would help compensate for slowing growth in other areas, such as iPhones and iPods."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
JIMI HENDRIX IS ALIVE AND WELL ... ON THE CHARTS
Jimi Hendrix passed away almost 47 years ago, but that hasn't stopped him from chart success in 2013.
"Somewhere," the first single from a new album of unreleased Hendrix music 'People, Hell and Angels,' hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Singles Sales chart in mid-February. And now "His record label expects the album to debut strongly on the Billboard 200 album chart, which means quite a few people still are willing to part with their pennies to own the latest Hendrix release."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
DOWNLOAD BERKLEE'S PIANO HANDBOOK
Learn the Berklee approach to piano and keyboard in our free, downloadable Piano Handbook.
This extensive PDF contains lessons taken from Berklee's 12-week online courses, and covers introductory topics such as harmony, chords, 12-bar blues, jazz piano, hand preparation, and more.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
HOW AMC'S 'THE WALKING DEAD' CONTINUES TO BEAT NETWORK TV
It used to be that cable TV shows, no matter how popular, were never as big as any shows on network TV.
Those days are long over.
"During its run last fall, 'The Walking Dead' was the highest-rated show among viewers 18- 49, the most-sought age group, with a bigger audience than network winners like 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'American Idol,' 'The Voice' and 'Modern Family,' writes The New York Times.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
WELL SURE, IF YOU HAVE A TABLET, WHO NEEDS AN E-READER?
One thing appeared certain when Barnes & Noble announced Thursday how much money its Nook e-readers brought in over the past three months: The news would be lousy.
And it was.
Revenue from the company's Nook division for its fiscal 2013 third quarter declined 26% from the same period a year ago, primarily as a result of slumping sales of the devices.
Is the bookseller just losing ground to rival Amazon and its market-leading line of Kindles? Perhaps. But many tech analysts see something else happening: The booming market for tablet computers is starting to make the dedicated e-reader obsolete.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
TEENS ARE GETTING BORED OF FACEBOOK, AND FACEBOOK ADMITS IT
"Facebook has made the startling admission that teenagers are becoming bored with the social networking giant," writes James Nye in the Daily Mail.
"Facing competition from younger, more agile and 'cooler' apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook fears its long-term business could be harmed." Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 11
HERE COMES WATERPROOF CELLPHONES & TABLETS
Ever get your cellphone wet? Dropped it into the water? Fear not, waterproof cellphones and tablets are here.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 12
GREAT RESEARCH PAPER '2013 Mobile Future in Focus'
News from the Center for Media Research.
According to the comScore '2013 Mobile Future in Focus' report, smartphones and tablets are ushering in a new era of multi-platform media, with consumers becoming increasingly agnostic about how, when and where they engage with content.
Key insights from the 2013 Mobile Future in Focus include:
The U.S. smartphone market finally surpassed 50% market penetration and now enters the "late majority" stage of the technology adoption curve. The number of smartphone subscribers has increased 29%from a year ago and 99% from two years ago.
Google's Android OS, which has been adopted by multiple OEMs, and Apple's iOS, which is carried exclusively on iPhones, have come to dominate the U.S. smartphone landscape with nearly 90% of the market today.
Apple continues to gain ground as the leading U.S. smartphone OEM, but Samsung has seen the most explosive growth in this market over the past couple of years with a year-over-year increase of more than 100%and a two-year increase of more than 400%
Smartphones have surpassed 125 million U.S. consumers and tablets are now owned by more than 50 million. We have now crossed into the Brave New Digital World – a new paradigm of digital media fragmentation in which consumers are always connected.
More information including complimentary access to the complete PDF file with charts and graphs.
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* Apple's iWatch may be unveiled this year, Bloomberg says. The iWatch rumors heat up as consumers await Apple's next new product. A timepiece seems more likely to be a profit machine than that other rumored Apple device, the iTV. Read more
* Ending Radio's Free Ride ...by David Macias, cofounder of Thirty Tigers. He's exploring this topic further at SXSW on the panel Still Hazy After All These Years: Performance Royalties and Terrestrial Radio.
* The next iPhone could arrive by the end of the summer, but the next-generation iPads may debut as soon as next month, claims iMore. Read more
* The Pirate Bay is relocating to North Korea? It appears the bit torrent tracker is up to some of its old hijinks -- saying that it moved from its home in Europe to cozy up with supreme leader Kim Jong-un. Read more
* Bloomberg reports that Beats Electronics has just raised $60 million in a round of funding for its streaming music service Daisy. Read more
* Last year, Android accounted for 79% of all malware -- up from 66.7% in 2011 and just 11.25% in 2010, according to new data from F-Secure. Apple's iOS, by contrast, was responsible for a mere 0.7% of malware on its platform. So, "Is it because Android is the most popular smartphone platform in the world right now, or is it because it's just fundamentally easier to attack?" TechCrunch asks.
* Okay, we've now reached the point in our "Mad Men" froth-of-anticipation (the series starts April 7th, remember?) when we start eagerly glomming onto every single teensy bit of info we can get on what's coming up in season six. So here's some "Spoilery Photos From The Mad Men Set," of Don and Roger (now "rocking sideburns," as a commenter points out) and Harry Crane, now "going all-out in the ascot department," as Margaret Lyons writes. Poor Harry, trying to look '60s "groovy" -- but not making it, of course.
Read the whole story
* The new $99 Roku 3 turns up the heat: The battle for your living-room TV just got a lot more fierce. The new flagship streaming-media box from Roku has an overhauled interface, faster chip, and private listening mode. Read more
Short News Items ...
GET WELL WISHES:
Award-winning music producer Phil Ramone has been hospitalized in New York City, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The 72-year-old suffered an aortic aneurysm and is in critical care.
Fox has ordered a second season of the new Kevin Bacon serial killer drama, "The Following," Fox has had high hopes for "The Following," which has earned decent ratings since its much-hyped January debut. Network entertainment president Kevin Reilly has said he believes it could be an Emmy contender. Its second season, like its first, will be 15 episodes.
SOUND CITY PLAYERS TO SXSW:
Dave Grohl's band of rock superstars, the Sound City Players, will continue their string of national shows with a performance at SXSW in Austin, Texas on March 14th. Grohl's Sound City Players lineup at SXSW brings back many familiar faces: Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Lee Ving of Fear, Rick Nielsen, Rick Springfield, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Corey Taylor of Slipknot and more, according to Billboard.
MADONNA TO GIVE COOPER AWARD:
Madonna will present Anderson Cooper with a GLAAD award that recognizes openly gay media professionals. The organization selected the singer to present Cooper with the Vito Russo Award at the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 16th, The Associated Press reports.
BLACK CROWES DO DYLAN:
In advance of their "Lay Down With Number 13" tour, the Black Crowes have released their cover of Bob Dylan's "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You." Click to listen to The Black Crowes' 'Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You'
NEW SUPERGROUP, NAME NEEDED:
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan have formed a new supergroup with former Screaming Trees' drummer Barrett Martin. The new group is currently unnamed, and the band is looking to tap multiple vocalists to help flesh out ideas new and old.
LENNY IS NOT MARVIN:
Lenny Kravitz is no Marvin Gaye, it seems. The artist has dropped out of the title role in the Julien Temple-directed biopic Sexual Healing, Deadline Hollywood reports.
LONDON CALLING THE BOSS:
Live Nation said Tuesday that Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band will return to the Hard Rock Calling festival here as a headline act this summer after their performance was cut short by the city's noise curfew last year. Springsteen and his band will perform June 30th, bringing the 'Wrecking Ball Tour' to the event.
POPE TO TOUR WITH RASCAL FLATTS (NO, NOT THAT POPE!):
"The Voice" winner Cassadee Pope will join Grammy Award-winning trio Rascal Flatts on their 'Changed' tour later this year.
Carrie Fisher will reprise Princess Leia in the new series of Star Wars movies on the way from Disney, making her the first cast member from the original films to confirm that she has signed on.
RINGO GETS MUSEUMED:
Ringo Starr's drum kit from the Beatles' performances on the The Ed Sullivan Show and the red jacket he wore at the band's final performance atop Abbey Road Studios are part of a new exhibit opening July 12th at the Grammy Museum in L.A., the Los Angeles Times reports. The exhibit will include a slew of never-before-seen photos, correspondence and film footage, along with memorabilia from throughout his career, including his costume from the cover of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.'
R.E.M.'s beloved sixth studio album, "Green," will receive the deluxe 25th anniversary treatment with a two-CD edition, including a remastered version of the album and a live set from 1989. Rhino will also release a limited-edition five-track EP for Record Store Day.
STONES AT GLASTONBURY:
The Rolling Stones will be making a stop at the Glastonbury Festival this June -- if a hint dropped by Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno is to be believed.
GEE, ALL THAT FOR ONLY $499? LOL!:
According to Spin magazine for almost five hundred dollars Justin Timberlake fans can get "The album on CD, vinyl, and MP3. A limited-edition tee with the singer's silhouette on it. A non-limited (?) tee with some logos on it. Five exclusive buttons. A poster. And an autographed picture of Timberlake performing at the Grammys. That's $150 of merch at best. We're assuming the remaining $349 is for the knowledge that only 100 of these bundles were sold, if they indeed sell."
ANOTHER RAPPER SENTENCED TO JAIL TIME FOR DRUGS ...WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
Rapper Beanie Sigel was sentenced Wednesday to six to 23 months in prison after pleading guilty to a narcotics possession charge in a Philadelphia suburb.
TWEEDY LENDS A HAND:
Chicago's Northside College Prep high school is pulling out all the normal stops for its benefit auction. Using the BiddingForGood website, which provides opportunities for buyers to put bids on everything from Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field tickets to various kinds of jewelry, the school has gotten help from a famous rocker. Now you can bid on a unique item; a recording session with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. The highest bidder will win an eight-hour recording session at the Wilco Loft in Chicago. Tweedy will oversee, help produce and arrange the winner's song during this time. ( Source )
Van Cliburn, the legendary pianist honored with a New York ticker-tape parade for winning a major Moscow competition in 1958, died February 27, after a battle with bone cancer, his publicist said. He was 78.
Alvin Lee of Ten Years After died this week from complications after from a recent surgery. He was 68. Ten Years After played the inaugural Woodstock festival in 1969, and left a lasting impression as Lee led the band in "I'm Going Home."
Bobby Rogers, who founded the Motown singing group the Miracles with Smokey Robinson, has died. He was 73. Motown Museum board member Allen Rawls told the Associated Press that Rogers died Sunday morning at his home. Rogers lived in the Detroit suburb of Southfield and had been ill for several years.
Jewel Akens, who had a Top 10 hit in 1965 with "The Birds and the Bees," died in Inglewood, Calif. He was 79.
Quotes of the week
"Punk is not a form of music. It's a fashion statement. If you wanna talk about real punk music, you've gotta look at people like the Who, the Rolling Stones . . . the people who initially had that kind of punk attitude, that right-up-in-your-face thing. But they had a form of music to go along with it. This sort of thrashing away on a chord and just screaming abuse through a microphone doesn't constitute art to me."
-- Greg Lake, of King Crimson, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, in Rolling Stone
"We write songs about boys and sex together. That may not be normal to the average psychiatrist out there, but I think it's pretty cool."
-- Ke$ha, on collaborating with her mother (Uh, yeah ... how's that working out for Ke$ha, with your new album heading south?)
"I'm a blackout drinker. That's basically what happened [that night]. I started combining them (with pills to treat anxiety and insomnia) to a point where I didn't know what I was taking during the day and what I was taking at night. It was just this routine. My backpack sounded like a giant baby rattle."
-- Billie Joe Armstrong is opening up about the substance abuse issues that led to his onstage meltdown at the iHeartRadio festival.
"For a while, I did believe that she stopped drugs when she did the Oprah interview. There was no comprehension on her part or my part that she was flirting with death."
-- Clive Davis talking about Whitney Houston's later years. When Houston visited Davis in L.A., days before her death, he was sure she was poised for a comeback.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
New Social Media Startup Launches, Shuts Down Within 45 Minutes
PALO ALTO, CA—FrendTrend, a new social media startup that branded itself as "a fun, intuitive way to connect and share with friends online," celebrated its long-awaited launch at 9 a.m. this morning, shuttering its doors later this morning at 9:45 a.m.
As the brainchild of tech developer Greg Nesheim, 36, FrendTrend was designed to be a virtual community for friends and acquaintances to interact using live chat and photo-sharing features, a service the site provided for exactly 45 minutes before the company liquidated all of its assets.
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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"And the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... drums keep poundin' rhythm to the brain."
"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon