Sony Music Entertainment Stories May 15, 2015

Update: We’ve gotten word from a Spotify spokesperson that the Free model isn’t going anywhere. Director of Communications at Spotify Graham James told me “This is totally false.  Our model is working.” 

Digital Music News is claiming that Spotify is coming under pressure from music labels to end its free, ad-supported service, limiting users to a three-month free trial.

The three-month ‘proposal,’ advanced most principally by major labels Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, would allow current, free-access, ad-supported (or ‘freemium’) subscribers to continue their plans for 6 months, while new users would be limited to three months only.

Coincidentally or not, Universal Music Group is one of the labels specifically mentioned in two investigations into whether Apple is attempting to stifle competition in the run up to launching its own streaming music service …  expand full story

Sony Music Entertainment Stories December 16, 2013

downloads

What do 1980, 1989 and 2003 have in common? They were the peak sales years for LPs, cassettes and CDs respectively. After that, a very slight resurgence in vinyl aside, it was all downhill.

Billboard magazine has an interesting piece in which they suggest that perhaps 2012 might join that list – as the year that saw peak sales for music downloads, with streaming services like Spotify, Rdio and now, of course, iTunes Radio the heir apparent …

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The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Sony Music Entertainment Stories June 2, 2013

Update: Bloomberg adds more to WSJ’s report from earlier claiming that Apple’s new radio service will be tightly integrated with its iAd business. The report says Eddy Cue is currently making changes to the iAd business to support the new radio service scheduled to launch later this year alongside iOS 7:

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has been negotiating with advertising companies including Omnicom Group Inc (OMC).’s OMD to secure brands that will run campaigns on the radio service, one person said..The company has taken steps to be more flexible with advertisers to get more business. Apple has required marketers to pay a fee for each 1,000 times an advertisement is placed in an app, plus an additional $2 for every time a customer clicks that ad. In some cases, Apple has eliminated one of those charges, one person familiar with the company said.

Apple also has cut prices so that media agencies can spend $1 million and use the purchased space for different advertising clients. And Apple started taking ad business from companies that sell alcohol, something Jobs resisted after creating iAd, said one person.

We’ve heard no shortage of rumors on the rumored iRadio streaming service from Apple that has taken on some new urgency after Google released a similar service at Google I/O last month (and plans to launch it on iOS soon). The latest comes from the NYTimes, which says Apple is rushing to close deals as days wind down to WWDC’s kickoff on June 10th.

After months of stalled negotiations over its planned Internet radio service, Apple is pushing to complete licensing deals with music companies so it can reveal the service as early as next week, according to people briefed on the talks.

It would appear that Apple wants to announce the service at WWDC, but the company needs to overcome issues with closing some of the deals. CNET reported earlier today that Apple had closed the deal with Warner, one of the bigger labels.

Apple has signed a deal with the Universal Music Group for its recorded music rights, but not for music publishing — the part of the business that deals with songwriting. Over the weekend, Apple also signed a deal with the Warner Music Group for both rights. It is still in talks with Sony Music Entertainment and Sony’s separate publishing arm, Sony/ATV, whose songwriters include Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.

In a strange irony, the music service Apple offers is, again, said to be free and supported by ads (like Pandora/Spotify/Slacker/etc). This is in contrast to Google’s service, which is sold via a paid subscription.

I would have guessed the opposite, but this may be why Google was able to close the deals with the labels and Apple is still at the table.

WSJ adds that Apple will pay Warner 10% of ad revenue, about twice as much as Pandora, and that the service will be integrated with iAd.

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Sony Music Entertainment Stories November 19, 2012

AC/DC’s complete catalog now available on iTunes, iTunes Match down

Apple has finally reached a deal with Columbia Records to bring the entire AC/DC catalog to iTunes stores worldwide. As part of the catalog, there will now be 16 studio albums available from the band ranging from 1976 to 2008, four live albums, and three compilation albums. Apple will also make “The Collection” available that includes all 16 studio albums for $99. If you want absolutely everything (studio albums, live albums, etc.), you can also buy “The Complete Collection” for $149.

Unfortunately, just as Apple is rolling out some additions to the iTunes store, many users are experiencing some down time with iTunes Match. Apple’s system status page reported that all services are online, but we are still receiving tips from many readers unable to access content through the service.

Apple’s full press release is below:

AC/DC Now on iTunes

AC/DC’s Complete Catalog Available Digitally for the First Time; All Tracks Mastered for iTunes

NEW YORK & CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Columbia Records and Apple® today announced that AC/DC’s entire catalog is now available digitally for the first time exclusively on the iTunes Store® worldwide (www.itunes.com). From their 1976 debut High Voltage to seminal classic Back In Black and 2008 smash hit Black Ice, every one of AC/DC’s 16 studio albums, along with four live albums and three compilation albums, are available for the first time ever on the iTunes Store. All tracks are Mastered for iTunes®, and fans have the ability to download full albums or simply purchase their favorite individual songs. Fans can also choose from two specially packaged digital compilations: The Complete Collection, the complete iTunes-exclusive AC/DC catalog; and The Collection, which includes all 16 studio albums.

AC/DC’s thunderous and primal rock and roll has excited fans for generations with their raw and rebellious brand of music, which also resonates with millions of new fans discovering AC/DC everyday. Their growing legion of fans will now experience the intensity of AC/DC’s music in a way it has never been heard before. AC/DC’s music has been Mastered for iTunes, ensuring the music is delivered to listeners with increased audio fidelity, more closely replicating what the artists, recording engineers and producers intended.

The full catalog which has all been Mastered for iTunes includes:

Collections The Collection (all studio albums for $99.99) The Complete Collection (all studio albums, live albums and box sets for $149.99)

16 Studio Albums High Voltage (1976) Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976) Let There Be Rock (1977) Powerage (1978) Highway To Hell (1979) Back In Black (1980) For Those About To Rock We Salute You (1981) Flick Of The Switch (1983) 74 Jailbreak (1984) Fly On The Wall (1985) Who Made Who (1986) Blow Up Your Video (1988) The Razors Edge (1990) Ballbreaker (1995) Stiff Upper Lip (2000) Black Ice (2008)

4 Live Albums If You Want Blood You’ve Got It (1978) Live (1992) Live (2 Volume Collector’s Edition) (1992) Live At River Plate (2012)

3 Compilation Albums Bonfire (1997) Backtracks audio (2009) Iron Man 2 soundtrack (2010)

The iTunes Store is the world’s most popular music store with a catalog of over 26 million songs and over 20 billion songs downloaded, and is available in 63 countries. The iTunes Store is the best way for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod®, Mac® and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music online. All music on the iTunes Store comes in iTunes Plus®, Apple’s DRM-free format with high-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings. iTunes in the Cloud lets you download your previously purchased iTunes music to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all your devices.

Columbia Records is one of the most respected and successful record labels in the world, and is home to established superstars and exciting new talent. Columbia Records is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a roster of current artists that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information visit Apple’s PR website (www.apple.com/pr), or call Apple’s Media Helpline at (408) 974-2042.

© 2012 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iTunes Store, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, iPod and iTunes Plus are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Sony Music Entertainment Stories February 13, 2012

Cover of "Ultimate Collection"

Cover of Ultimate Collection

The Guardian reported that Sony Music, upon hearing of the death of its recording artist Whitney Houston, lifted the price of her album to reap extra money.

The music giant is understood to have lifted the wholesale price of Houston’s greatest hits album, The Ultimate Collection, at about 4am California time on Sunday. This meant that the iTunes retail price of the album automatically increased from £4.99 to £7.99.

Houston’s The Ultimate Collection, originally released in 1997, was the second top-selling album on iTunes on Monday morning. Apple returned the album to its original price late on Sunday.

What can you say to that?

Sony Music Entertainment Stories December 13, 2011

The Next Web notes that Apple today introduced Brazil to its Apple TV set-top box.  The hobby project is available in the Brazilian online Apple Store for R$ 399,00, or approximately $217 (compare this to the $99 price point in the United States). The gizmo is available now and comes with free shipping. This is the first BRIC nation to get the Apple TV (BRIC being a term for huge global emerging economies coined by Goldman Sachs). According to a Strategy Analytics analysis, Apple’s set-top  box is set to capture nearly one-third, or 32 percent, of the set-top box market in the US 2011 based on projected sales of four million units. A hardware update is expected to include 1080p video output and Bluetooth 4.0 technology, among other things.

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