Billboard 200 chart will include streaming listens from Beats, Spotify, Google Play, & others in album sales

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference

Billboard is about to add data from music streaming services to its weekly Billboard 200 charts for the first time as services like Spotify and Apple’s Beats Music become increasingly popular. The New York Times reports that Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan plan to start incorporating both streams and downloads from music streaming services, in addition to the music sales the chart already covered, in order to more accurately reflect popular albums based on what users are listening to. The first chart including streaming services will include data for next week and arrive online Dec. 4: Read more

Declining iTunes sales underline need for Apple to launch a subscription music service

itunes

Declining iTunes sales highlighted by Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty and reported by Fortune appear to underline the need for Apple to move beyond sales of music downloads and into the subscription music business. iTunes sales are down 24 percent year-on-year.

While the slack is being picked up by app sales – a trend previously noted by Asymco’s Horace Dediu – that falling blue line reflects the wider shift in consumer behaviour from purchasing downloads to subscribing to streaming services noted last year by Billboard magazine …  Read more

Beats acquisition could be delayed for a variety for reasons, including Dre’s early ‘announcement’ video

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While it was previously reported that the Apple buyout of Beats Electronics was supposed to be announced this week, Billboard has compiled a list of five different reasons the deal isn’t yet finalized according to its own sources.

A few of these potential hold-ups include issues determining Beats’ valuation and issues with finding a place for Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to fit into Apple’s corporate structure. According to one of Billboard’s sources, Apple’s executives were “freaked out” by the video that surfaced a few weeks ago of Dr. Dre and Tyrese Gibson (accidentally) confirmed that a deal was in the works.

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Spotify CEO: I’ve always assumed Apple would offer a streaming service

If Apple does indeed reach a deal to acquire Beats Electronics and announce it this week as expected, the clock is once again counting down to offer up your take on the whole scenario before it’s actually official. Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson got that opportunity earlier this week thanks in part to Dan Lyons of Fake Steve Jobs fame; Isaacson told Lyons he believes the expected $3.2 billion acquisition by Apple is all about creating a world class video service led by Beats’ co-founder Jimmy Iovine.

But when you think about Beats and what the company has to offer for Apple, the subscription music service launched by the company in January earlier this year comes to mind. Spotify, of course, dominates in this space as seen by the company’s announcement today that they now have 10 million paid subscribers and 40 million active users. Read more

Jobs’ biographer believes Beats purchase is about video, not headphones and music

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With the expected Beats Electronics acquisition by Apple expected to take a week longer than first reported, industry watchers are making their last minute predictions as to why Apple would be interested in the audio and music service company.

The latest notable guess? Walter Isaacson, the man who literally wrote the book on Steve Jobs. Dan Lyons, former Fake Steve Jobsreporting for Billboard:

“Isaacson thinks the Apple-Beats deal is not about headphones or streaming music but rather is about video. He speculates that Cook wants Iovine to run Apple’s content business and help Apple launch the TV product that analysts have been gossiping about for years. The product has been held up because Apple can’t get all the content owners on board.”

Lyons adds that Isaacson shared with him something which he did not include in the authorized biography of the late Apple co-founder: Jobs was pitched on Apple buying Universal by Jimmy Iovine around 2002 or 2003… Read more