Spotify may compete with Pandora, Slacker
Spotify might be gearing up a more formal Internet radio option, a pair of sources claimed Thursday. While it already has basic radio features, the new method outlined to Bloomberg would be more akin to one like at Pandora or Slacker, where explicitly labeling it as radio would get government-regulated lower royalty rates. The method would also purportedly get it access to artists that normally wouldn't sign for the usual on-demand Spotify system.
Music scam ran for over a year
A gang of 11 people of have been imprisoned or given suspended sentences in the UK after being convicted of scamming the Amazon and iTunes music stores out of royalty payments, according to Digital Trends. The scheme involved uploading music to the services and then buying it with stolen and cloned credit cards. To avoid being detected by credit card holders, the gang would never spend more than £10 in a transaction. It nevertheless managed to pull in almost £500,000, costing Amazon and Apple somewhere between £750,000 and £1 million after compensation was paid to the victims of credit card fraud.
Amazon took voluntary 3.2m loss on Lady Gaga MP3s
Amazon's two days of its 99-cent Lady Gaga album promo were costly but may have paid off in a market share battle with iTunes, both official and unofficial sources said Friday. Music industry contacts said that about 440,000 copies of the pop star's album sold in the two days of the promo, almost all of which were the less extensive but much cheaper sale version. Since Amazon was still paying Universal and Interscope the full $8.39 cut, Billboard estimated that Amazon MP3 took a loss of $3.2 million on all its sales.
Now official for web, Android devices
[Update: Sony, other media companies upset by early announcement] Amazon in the night unveiled its rumored media locker and beat Apple and Google in the process. Cloud Drive gives users a way to store a minimum of 5GB of files on the web and access them from any Mac or PC. The company has a unique tie-in with Amazon MP3: any songs bought through the music store are saved to the Cloud Drive and available either for backup or for remote streaming without counting towards the quota.
Record labels urged not to participate in promo
Apple has allegedly begun urging record labels to decline participation in Amazon's Daily Deal promotions, an unnamed major-label executive told Billboard.biz. Although record labels initially did not interact with Amazon for the promotion, it has since evolved into a more complex cooperation aimed at exclusive terms and special marketing.
NPD on Amazon vs iTunes
Amazon's highly-touted MP3 store has had little to no effect on the success of iTunes, according to a new analysis by The NPD Group. A study conducted by the group reveals that just 10 percent of all purchasers at Amazon MP3 are converts from Apple's service, with the rest either switching from other stores or else are new to direct-download music. This comparatively new audience is a "healthy indication" that other stores don't necessarily have to draw customers away from iTunes to grow, says NPD entertainment analyst Russ Crupnick.
eMusic Passes 200m
Web-based music service eMusic today celebrated a milestone with its 200 millionth song download. The figure was reached approximately four and a half years after the store's November 2003 launch of its MP3-based subscription service but is touted as having been accomplished without the help of most major labels, relying chiefly on independents for its content. By comparison, Apple is known to have sold more than four billion songs since launching iTunes in April of 2003.
MySpace Music Today
MySpace's frequently rumored music download store could launch as early as today, according to a rumor put forward by CNET. The publication claims to know sources who say that an initial announcement is planned that will expand the site's currently hands-off music section into a service that offers a combination of downloads and streams. Mirroring past stories, the feature would allegedly let users either pay to download full MP3 songs and ringtones or else stream songs for free on the web. Users could also buy their concert tickets directly from the site.
MySpace Music Rumor
MySpace is currently in talks to create a music service that would offer both free and paid service, according to alleged leaks from those familiar with the negotiations. The social networking site is reportedly securing rights from all four major music labels for a simply-titled MySpace Music service that would allow it both to provide free, streaming music from its pages as well as paid MP3 tracks; the cost of the former would be offset by the advertising that already forms a staple of the company's web pages.
Radiohead on EMI iTunes
One of the key reasons Radiohead has refrained from signing on to digital music is licensing rights, the band's lead singer Thom Yorke says in an interview with Wired. The musician observes that the group's previous, multi-album contract with music label EMI contained virtually no clauses for digital music rights as it was struck years before digital music stores were available. Radiohead's release of In Rainbows in October with flexible pricing was the first real opportunity the group had to earn money on a digital offering.