record labels Stories July 11, 2014

Many (most?) iTunes song previews have reverted back to 30 seconds – likely glitch

MacRumors notes that many iTunes song previews have reverted back to 30 seconds. Previews were increased to 90 seconds in the U.S. back in 2010 with the increased time rolled out internationally the following year.

It’s not immediately clear what is behind the change, nor what is determining which tracks are affected, but as we’re finding different people are seeing different length previews for the same tracks – even when both are in the same country – some kind of glitch may be the most likely explanation.

Apple apparently presented labels with a fait-accompli when it first extended previews to 90 seconds, writing to representatives to advise them of the change, rather than specifically seeking agreement.

Some labels objected to this, with extended previews delayed for some albums.

We’ve contacted Apple to ask for a statement, and will update if and when we get a response.

On the topic of iTunes, Germany is now seeing Rotten Tomatoes ratings with some movies, along with a new price button in the status window while previewing music or films.

record labels Stories March 12, 2014

In an effort to boost usage of its new streaming music service that launched alongside iOS 7 last fall, Apple is considering changes to iTunes Radio. The Cupertino company is now testing iTunes Radio as a standalone application with iOS 8, according to sources briefed on the plans. iTunes Radio first arrived as a feature within the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system’s Music application. As a tab in the already-existing Music app, iTunes Radio has not received a promoted presence on iOS, and this likely has deterred growth for the service in terms of advertising revenue and usage…

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record labels Stories June 27, 2013

Leading up to the unveiling of Apple’s new iTunes Radio service earlier this month at WWDC, we reported on some small details regarding deals Apple had reached with the major labels necessary to get bring its Pandora competitor to market. Earlier reports claimed that Apple was paying Warner around 10% of ad revenue— that’s around twice as much as Pandora reportedly pays. Today, The Wall Street Journal provides us with some in-depth info on what Apple is paying labels and publishers after taking a look at the terms of the deal.

Apple will in fact be paying well over the 0.12 cents per listen Pandora offers the labels, as well as a percentage of ad revenue, and the payout will also increase during the service’s second year:

During iTunes Radio’s first year, Apple will pay a label 0.13 cents each time a song is played, as well as 15% of net advertising revenue, proportionate to a given label’s share of the music played on iTunes. In the second year, that bumps up to 0.14 cents per listen, plus 19% of ad revenue.

However, there are some exceptions. The report notes that Apple won’t have to pay royalties for songs that users already have in their iTunes library. That will apparently extend to “songs that might be on an album that a listener owns just part of.” Interestingly, Apple also won’t pay for songs skipped before the 20 second mark and those included in special promotions, but it can only skip paying royalties on two songs per hour for each iTunes Radio user: expand full story

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