We caught up with UK online music service 7digital’s chief executive Ben Drury this week. A seasoned digital music industry professional, he shared his insights on Apple’s music market challenges as competition proliferates, social networking in music, lossless music downloads and much more.
Distorted Loop:Why does music matter? Ben Drury: Although music is not defined in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow_hierarchy_of_needs), I believe it must figure pretty highly on most people’s lists. In all cultures, with the possible exception of some extremist religious societies, music forms an integral part of self-expression, social cohesion, worship etc
Nokia’s ‘Comes With Music’ may already have generated its first fan-site, but questions remain on the future for mobile music services – surely the usability factor doesn’t yet match desktop alternatives, such as iTunes?
Apple does offer the iTunes Store for WiFi, and has before been rumoured to hold plans for its very own mobile music service, though this may prove less successful if aimed at iPhone users alone. As an incremental addition, iTunes for WiFi offers something like a mobile experience.
That no one beyond Nokia appears yet to be aiming to offer a full package (hot potato) mobile music service, incumbents must surely be mulling the latest figures to come out of Japan.
Polydor’s head of digital Paul Smernicki says the label is pleased with the performance of its recently released Snow Patrol iPhone application, which promoted the band’s new album. “We’re relatively pleased with the results,” he exclusively told Music Ally, Distorted Loop can reveal.
The executive also noted that the release of the software did help generate interest in the band’s latest album, ‘A Hundred Million Suns’.
Apple’s “hobby” the Apple TV has a chance at becoming a ubiquitous household item, though the company may need to add support for non-Apple media services and implement many new features if it seriously intends making an iPod-level impact on this important growing market.
The reason Apple has the chance is visible in the growing momentum behind development of solutions to bring online video to the front room – a sector becoming quickly more intense.
Online video on-demand services such as iTunes or Hulu are hot properties, meaning many more devices – including TVs offering features similar to the Apple TV – should begin to reach market en masse starting next year. And even if Apple does not develop such solutions there will still be winners and losers in the race to offer the ‘iPod’ equivalent of the multimedia for the front room box.
This week sees the launch of PureSolo.com, a unique website service for the musically-minded that lets you play along to a variety of music tracks.
PureSolo.com is a website and free downloadable software (for Mac and Windows) that enables musicians to play along to any of 10,000 well-known music tracks, and also lets musicians record and share the music.
Way back we warned that you should expect a wave of iPhone applications from musicians promoting new albums, now Fall Out Boy has joined Snow Patrol, Pink, David Cook and the Nine Inch Nails in making a music-focused pitch at fans using the Apple device.
The price of Blu-ray players and discs seems set to fall this season, as those involved seek to take the format into the mass market – meanwhile that market’s changing, with consumers flocking to sign-up to location-based social networking services for their mobile phones, a pair of ABI Research reports claim.
“Blu-ray vendors and dealers are starting to realize that for Blu-ray to become the next DVD, they need to lower player prices in order to generate interest and build volumes,” said ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson.
A study of text messaging habits suggests everyone on the planet may be just six or seven handshakes away from anyone else.
Using 30 billion text messages sent in a single month as raw data, Microsoft researchers found patterns that indicate any two people on average are distanced by 6.6 degrees of separation, meaning that they could be linked by a string of seven or fewer acquaintances, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Researchers examined the addresses of 30 billion text messages made by 180 million people around the world, stripped of their actual text or names. They found that the average length of social distance between the texters was 6.6 steps, and that 78 per cent of the pairs could be connected in seven hops or less, the newspaper said. Continue reading →
TuneWiki has introduced a karaoke-like lyric and music syncing app for jailbroken iPhones, iLyricPlayer. The software syncs and scrolls user-generated and edited lyrics in real-time in multiple applications, and also offers some powerful location-based community features. This works by showing user locations on a Google Map, with dots to show other TuneWiki users in an area – and one click’s all it takes for a user to listen in to the YouTube tracks of others in the region. It’s no data harvester though – no additional information about located users is shared, other than location and the song that user’s listening to. There’s already TuneWiki users in 208 countries, apparently, and the developers have already built a beta version of the application for use on Google’s Android mobile platform. Oh, and don’t forget the lyrics, which let users sing along to their favourite tracks and lets them access songs just by browsing a map.
The company’s no fly by night, with VentureBeat reporting its CEO is Amnon Sarig, who served with chairman and co-founder Rani Cohen in the Israeli Air Force, and is also CEO of mSoft inc. Cohen is a former investment banker with Credit Suisse and currently also chairman and CEO of Magnolia Capital in Israel.