Arrive on iTunes
Today Apple announced the addition of The Beatles catalogue to the iTunes store, which ends a longtime hold out from the group and leaves AC/DC, Bob Seger and Kid Rock among the remaining high-profile acts whose music is not available on iTunes. Reports of the Beatles announcement leaked well before the Fab Four popped up all over Apple.com, the iTunes homepage and Ping early this morning. Many were hoping for a music-streaming or Lala related announcement, but as reports pointed out, there is nothing indicating that Apple has new licensing deals in place with the major labels yet. However, this morning’s announcement does beg the question of whether of not The Beatles catalogue will be left in download-only mode, if and when Apple launches a streaming service, particularly in light of “the long and winding road” it took just to get their music available digitally. Others are pointing to the much needed bump the new pact will give to EMI, ostensibly providing the label with a huge Q4 release in the form of all thirteen of the group’s studio albums, available as full albums or single songs, as well as other popular collections and a digital box set… While all parties involved were lauding the new digital era of Beatles music, there was a stark reminder of the role Apple has played in the industry’s digital music quagmire over the last decade, in the form of a dinner conversation in San Francisco last night. The discussion, which was part of the 2010 Web 2.0 Summit, featured WME head Ari Emanuel discussing among other topics, the film and television industry’s burgeoning piracy problem. In mentioning the recording industry’s plight of piracy, Emanuel asserted that record labels in all likelihood would not have agreed to a 99-cents per song structure had they the knowledge they do now. Others argue that given what has happened in the music industry, the studios should have the foresight to avoid making the same mistakes in holding out on new digital services from Google, Apple and Netflix. Read the full story on SAI… And for even more on Hollywood’s growing digital issues, check out a Q&A with BigChampagne‘s Eric Garland on CNET.
[UPDATE: Ethan Smith has more on the backstory of how the iTunes - Beatles deal came to fruition, read it here on WSJ]
Always Front & Center... This Week: Adobe, iAds & Lala
Last weekend saw the news that EMI Music chairman Charles Allen is reportedly pulling back from his strategy to sell-off parts of the music group in an effort to righten the company’s state of financial disorder… The New York Times published a lengthy piece focusing on the new Live Nation Entertainment and its leading duo Irving Azoff and Michael Rapino… Rhapsody beat out other mobile music services this week by being getting its new iPhone app approved by Apple, making it the first service in the U.S. market to allow users to store subscription music in the phone’s memory… A lot more Apple in the headlines this week as Steve Jobs publicly sounded-off on his company’s continued stance against supporting Adobe Flash on its mobile devices. Billboard takes a look at what that means for music, while questions remain on how it all could relate to Apple’s imminent iAds platform that will likely cost advertisers at least $1 million dollars to buy into the new ad network… UK-based streaming service We7 announced that during the month of March, and for the first time ever, it had covered all operating and royalty costs with advertising revenue, making it the first company in the the ad-funded space to do so… Elsewhere, David Letterman‘s Worldwide Pants Inc. has started a record label, and its first release will be Orange County’s Runner Runner… And many are wondering if the freshly posted notice from Lala that it will be shutting down on May 31st and is no longer accepting new users means an iTunes in the cloud is finally on the way…
Sold-Out Coachella Weekend Starts Today
Coachella starts today and the sold-out festival has many feeling optimistic about the upcoming summer festival season. In a New York Times piece this week, organizer Paul Tollett addressed the 3-day only passes, a first for the event, as a move to step-up to the level of Europe’s huge festivals, saying “I want to take the training wheels off”… An initial ad-based business model was announced by Twitter this week in the form of Promoted Tweets… UK songwriters association BASCA has cast more doubt publicly on Spotify‘s ability to generate income for songwriters; makes call for more transparency from the start-up streaming service… Concord Music Group has acquired the Massachusetts-based Rounder Records, who recently celebrated their 40th anniversary… The most recent Apple patent includes details that are causing some to speculate on a possible future concert ticketing application called Concert Ticket… And questions are arising as to the future of the apparently stagnant Lala. With the acquisition by Apple last year, many expected the service to quickly become a key component in an anticipated cloud-based iTunes service…
Apple buys streaming-music service Lala
A week ago today the news broke that Apple was buying music service, and new Google Music search partner, Lala, lighting up the tech and music world (cnet). How much Apple actually paid to acquire the streaming-music service has been a matter for continued speculation (TechCrunch)… EMI made an 11th hour content licensing deal with the new major label-backed video site Vevo, which officially launched on Tuesday (Epicenter). True to industry form there was a celebrity-filled gala to commemorate the occasion (Billboard)… MySpace formally acknowledged it has bought struggling Imeem and promptly shuttered the streaming service (VentureBeat)… And as expected, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and a handful of other Nielsen Media publications were officially sold to a consortium of investors (LATimes).
Google's New Onebox Music Search
Back with some elsewhere articles of the week… Google and partners in new Onebox music search took over the Capitol Records building to unveil the new service… Rumors surfaced that Microsoft’s MSN may be linking with MySpace Music… Like the little engine that could, music service Lala is back in the news with high profile Google and Facebook partnerships… And is News Corp. making moves to sell action sports and music channel Fuel TV?