Major labels are happy now to sell DRM-free music through retailers such as Amazon and 7Digital, but Apple remains locked out, with three of the four majors denying it permission to sell tracks DRM-free through its iTunes Plus service – even though it’s the largest US music retailer. But this may soon change.
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.
We looked at the growing importance of video games in terms of dollars earlier on today. Now a clutch of reports underline Apple’s growing impact on that sector as the company surfs the digital tidal wave.
With sales of the device already creating a global audience in excess of 10 million users developers have a viable potential audience to which to sell their advanced mobile gaming experiences.
“Apple has become our biggest customer. We also believe we are the biggest or second biggest publisher on the iPhone in terms of revenues generated,” Gameloft CFO Alexandre de Rochefort said.
A first look at Nokia’s Comes With Music phone, kudos to MusicAlly. We like MusicAlly.
The BBC has announced that content downloaded to Windows Media PCs using its iPlayer service can now be side-loaded to a growing family of compatible devices – and stormed at Apple’s reluctance to share its DRM as reason for the lack of feature parity for Mac and iPhone users.
The news means video can be played on any mobile device that supports Windows Media digital rights management. The BBC has assembled a list of compatible devices.
To use the feature users simply select a new ‘for media players’ option when downloading content using the iPlayer service, it can then be pulled across to the device. The BBC will in future iPlayer content available for the Nokia N96.
EMI plans to enter the increasingly crowded online music and video sales market with its own download service, to be made available through its existing portal, EMI.com.
The company already has some experience in this – it has been offering its Share service to music journalists for some while in order to securely distribute pre-release music to them for review.
There’s a strong likelihood the site will offer music streaming, as it is being described as a “learning lab” for people to discover new music. The company is increasingly forging its own digital destiny in online music – it’s no suprise last year’s biggest digital story comes from former EMI act, Radiohead, for example.
The service effectively pits the world’s largest mobile phone maker in a direct challenge with Apple’s iPhone (family?) and its iTunes store. Within the purchase price of a handset, Nokia is offering customers all-you-can-eat access to music – though there are a few caveats to the deal.
On plans to extend the service to the UK, Tero Ojanpera, head of entertainment business at Nokia said in a statement: “In the United States we will launch next year”.
A move to introduce ‘Comes With Music’ into the US makes some sense in terms of Nokia’s attempt to broaden its grip on the mobile market there.
The move could face challenges: The US digital music market is far more advanced, partially because labels have been faster to reach deals with new technology services there. Continue reading
We7 CEO and co-founder Steve Purdham is over the moon at achieving a BT Digital Music Award, but warns that the industry remains under threat – even at this stage in its evolution.
“The digital world is about to go through another upheaval with 1 billion streams on MySpace Music, We7 Launching in November and Apple threatening to pull the plug,” he said, speaking to Distorted Loop just in advance of the revelation of the royalty deal for publishing in the US announced last night.
Despite the hubbub of activity, Purdham thinks there’s still significant challenges to the development of the digital music industry.
“All of this activity shows two things, first the demand for digital music is outstanding and if allowed to flourish will build a very healthy business for artists, labels and fans alike,” he said, warning, “but at the same time the fundamental economics of the industry are still trying to kill off the opportunity rather that allowing it to grow.” Continue reading
Hear from Nokia’s Jo Harlow and Tero Ojanperä about what Nokia is up to with Music
Ben Drury, CEO of UK online music service 7digital.com has slammed the newly-announced Nokia ‘Comes With Music’ service as “fatally flawed”.
“Nokia’s new service is an interesting new model for digital music but at first glance seems fatally flawed,” Drury said. “Songs downloaded through the Comes With Music service are not in MP3 format and are wrapped in DRM (Digital Rights Management) locks which means the downloads cannot be played across a multitude of music devices including iPods and all other MP3 players.”
Referring to the terms and conditions of ownership of the music, Drury pointed out that customers are limited in the amount of time they can hang onto the music. Continue reading