music

Mon
07
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

RealNetworks Could Be Real Challenger To iTunes

A music service run by MTV and the creators of RealPlayer is launching a digital download store that could be the most credible challenger yet to Apple's iTunes store. Rhapsody America offers five million songs in MP3 format and mirrors the iTunes ... pricing structure of 99c per track and $9.99 per album. But unlike iTunes, the songs are available without the shackles of Digital Rights Management. That's a restriction designed to fight piracy by limiting or preventing users from copying the file to multiple computers or handheld devices. Rhapsody has signed deals with all four major record ... (view more)

Thu
08
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Music Companies Jump on GTA IV Bandwagon

Grand Theft Auto IV ("GTA IV") is a retail phenomenon. By all accounts, it has raked in more sales than any game in history, making GTA IV a retailer's dream come true. However, the buck may not end there -- in fact, GTA IV is now acting as a prime ... marketing tool for music artists. When it shipped last week, Grand Theft Auto IV hit retailers like a sports car through a shop window (uh, you can do that in the game). Long midnight line ups and millions of pre-orders soon gave way to top-ranking reviews, with many experts calling the game the best ever released. With that kind of attention, it ... (view more)

Fri
18
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Wal-Mart Finally Drops DRM

Wal-Mart's online store has undergone a major redesign that makes its massive catalogue of songs entirely DRM-free. Digital rights management (DRM) is a term used to identify restrictions placed on digital media to prevent piracy. Wal-Mart's online ... store had previously made use of the Windows Media DRM, limiting the playback of songs to devices sanctioned by Microsoft. However, the growing popularity of mobile media devices such as the iPod, which cannot play songs limited to the Windows Media DRM, has forced the retailer to carry out a complete switch-over. Wal-Mart had announced its ... (view more)

Mon
07
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

MySpace Set to Compete with iTunes

After weeks of speculation, MySpace announced on Thursday that it would launch a retail music store. In partnership with the three biggest record labels -- Universal, Warner and Sony BMG -- the social networking site will form a new company called ... MySpace Music. EMI, the smallest of the four music companies, has yet to sign on, but is expected to in the coming months. (Source: informationweek.com ) The new company, while a separate entity, will be fully integrated into the existing online platform providing users with ad-supported audio and video streams, DRM-free downloads, and ringtones. ... (view more)

Fri
29
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Apple Now America's Number Two Music Retailer

Apple has become the second largest seller of music in America, behind only Wal-Mart. The statistic comes from market research group NPD; its chart is based on the number of sales rather than the actual revenue. To make for a fair comparison, it ... counts 12 individual song downloads on Apple's iTunes service as equivalent to one sale of a physical CD album. Apple was ranked fourth in the same study last year, but has now leapfrogged both Target and Best Buy. A spokesman for NPD said the change was "fairly understandable given the pressure that's been on CDs and the almost 50-percent growth in ... (view more)

Wed
23
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Amazon Undercuts Apple's iTunes

There's no denying that Apple's got itself a bountiful hold on the digital music market. The company's hardware retails for more than comparably-equipped devices from the competition, and yet the Touch, Nano, and Shuffle all manage to maintain the ... company's massive lead. However, that advantage might be threatened where Apple seems strongest: online. For some time, Apple's virtual music store, iTunes, has been the front-runner in offering individual songs or entire albums for a reasonable price. Buying one song at a time has proven a dynamite marketing dynamic for Apple, which clearly ... (view more)

Wed
16
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Apple Strong-Arms UK Record Labels

Last week, Apple announced that it will be lowering prices on its UK iTunes store to reflect standardized pricing in Europe. The company currently pays more in Britain than to European record companies in order to sell music. (Source: apple.com ) ... "This is an important step towards a pan-European marketplace for music," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, in a statement. "We hope every major record label will take a pan-European view of pricing." And what happens if the music labels refuse the price reduction? In the same statement, Apple said it will, "reconsider its continuing relationship in the ... (view more)

Mon
26
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Music Retailers Say DRM Hurting Sales

Music and movie retailers in the United Kingdom claim digital copy protection is hurting, rather than protecting sales. The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) says album sales are down 11% this year. Its director-general Kim Bayley said copy ... protection is "stifling growth and working against the consumer interest." The drop in CD sales is not matched by a rise in downloads. According to the ERA, only 150 million tracks have been legally downloaded in the UK in the past three years, fewer than one track per person each year. The ERA says consumer confusion over incompatible formats used ... (view more)

Wed
07
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

New Report Counters RIAA Attacks

It wasn't so long ago that we heard the story of single mother Jammie Thomas, forced by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) to pay over $200,000 in fines for making a handful of songs available for illegal sharing on former ... peer-to-peer protocol Kazaa. Now, a new report suggests that file sharers like Thomas probably shouldn't be made out to be criminals. In fact, they're the record industry's best customers. The RIAA may just want to have a chat with British researchers working in the Great White North. According to a report filed by Industry Canada, for every track a ... (view more)

Tue
23
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

Is a Copyright Tax on Music Downloads Imminent?

If copyright boards in the United States are to ever tax our downloaded music files, we'll have one Big White scapegoat. If and when that day comes, you can BLAME CANADA. I don't mean to be a jerk, but the Copyright Board of Canada has indeed set ... the precedent for similar American bodies to follow. Given the immense popularity of legal downloading sites like iTunes and Napster, there surely is good reason for boards to impose an excise. So, what are the Canadians charging? The tariffs will be charged to companies that legally distribute music over the web. For Canucks, this will mean the ... (view more)

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