Decline of music downloads continues as on-demand streaming audio up 50 percent

beats

Apple’s presumed plans for an on-demand music service as part of its Beats acquisition is looking increasingly well-timed as Nielsen data shows that U.S. on-demand music consumption climbed 50.1 percent year-on-year, while music downloads fell by 12 percent in the same timeframe.

“With On-Demand streams surpassing 70 billion songs in the first six months of 2014, streaming continues to be an increasingly significant portion of the music industry,” says David Bakula, SVP Nielsen Entertainment …

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How-to: Unofficial tool allows you to import iTunes and Rdio Playlists to Beats Music

findit

While Beats Music will soon be owned by Apple, the music service does not easily integrate with iTunes. For instance, there is no official Beats tool to link your iTunes library for streaming from Beats Music. However, an unofficial tool called Beats Importer is a temporary solution that seems to work well for adding iTunes and Rdio Playlists to your Beats Music library. We’ve compiled a tutorial for importing your iTunes Playlists to Beats Music, below:

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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

Listen to Beats Jimmy Iovine talk about the future of music for 40 minutes

With reports that Apple is in final talks to close a $3.2 billion deal to purchase Beats Electronics, we thought it would be interesting to revisit a recent interview with the company’s co-founder Jimmy Iovine from just before the launch of Beats Music. The interview above was from the D: Dive Into Media conference back in February of 2013 and in it Iovine gives a lot of insight into his view of the music industry leading up to the launch of the company’s new Beats Music subscription streaming service.

You’ll also get a sense of just how important a figure Iovine is in the music industry, which might be why Tim Cook is rumored to be keeping Iovine on as a special adviser on creative matters through the Beats deal. Lots of topics are covered, but the interview as a whole gives great perspective into Beats’ mission with its new streaming music service.

Opinion: What is Apple’s thinking in spending $3.2B on buying Beats?

beats

Apple’s apparent purchase of Beats took everyone by surprise. I must confess that my immediate reaction was to be slightly appalled. As someone whose audio tastes run more to B&O and B+W, I’ve always viewed Beats headphones as over-bassed, over-priced fashion items. But then my tastes in music admittedly differ somewhat from those of the typical Beats customer.

Even so, it’s still a little baffling at first glance. Tim Cook himself said a year ago that Apple asks two questions when considering an acquisition:

Would it help us make a great product, and would the culture fit at Apple?

My immediate answer to both would be “no,” so why would Apple spend $3.2B on a headphone manufacturer with a small sideline streaming music service … ?  Read more

iTunes Radio beats Spotify to take 3rd place in U.S. music streaming, eyes up #2 spot

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iTunes Radio, launched alongside iOS 7 six months ago, has now overtaken Spotify to become the third most popular music streaming service in America – and looks set to take second place within the next quarter or two.

Reporting on listening data compiled by Edison ResearchElectronista estimates that iTunes Radio’s 8 percent market share gives it around 20M listeners, and says that it is the fastest-growing of the top three services …  Read more