Apple Music now has 27 million paying subscribers, up from 20 million the last time the tech giant did some subscriber maths in public last December. Actually, in February Apple’s Eddy Cue said it was now “well past 20 million” , but that is more semantics than maths, so it officially doesn’t count. And this is all about counting. The latest stats brag about Apple Music came during the tech giant’s WWDC conference yesterday, where it also unveiled the HomePod, its competitor to Amazon’s much-hyped Echo and Google’s Home device, with a bit of Sonos competing thrown in for good measure – mainly to justify the higher price point. Like Amazon Echo and Google Home, you can talk to the HomePod – which has Siri installed – and ask it to do shit for you at home. That includes musical stuff, which is very much at the heart of Apple’s ask-it-to-do-shit-at-home device, and which – the tech firm says – will play you any sounds you select in a quality fashion. Siri will also do her best to select tunes for you and answer music-based pub quiz questions. Apple’s HomePod will arrive in the US, UK and Australia in […]
Voilà une nouvelle plutôt gênante pour Apple, la société Elcomsoft aurait découvert que la firme à la pomme conserverait des données, malgré un effacement par l’utilisateur. Une nouvelle qui va à l’encontre des engagements du géant américain, qui représente un risque en termes de sécurité et une violation de la politique de confidentialité de l’entreprise. Elcomsoft est une société russe qui produit des logiciels d’inforensique à destination du marché des mobiles. L’entreprise a découvert qu’Apple avait configuré ses iPhones pour que ces derniers stockent automatiquement certaines données sur iCloud. Plus gênant, elle avait programmé ses terminaux pour qu’ils conservent aussi les historiques de navigation supprimés. Apple pris la main dans le sac Les notes synchronisées entre les différents terminaux sont conservées par Apple, même une fois que celles-ci sont supprimées. Pour démontrer cette découverte, Elcomsoft a utilisé un iPhone et serait parvenu à retrouver 47 notes supprimées par l’utilisateur ayant plus de 30 jours, pourtant dans les conditions d’utilisation Apple affirme anéantir toutes les données pour des raisons de sécurité après 30 jours. Elcomsoft aurait même mis la main sur des notes datant de plusieurs années… Après ces déclarations Apple devrait réagir rapidement et apporter les modifications nécessaires, mais […]
Lucky duckies Google wants you to believe that free music on YouTube doesn’t deter people from paying for the same music somewhere else. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on, the music industry has replied. Google commissioned RBB Economics to produce a report, which we’ve seen in full, examining the effect of cannibalisation on paid music services. YouTube benefits from exploiting an amazingly fortuitous loophole in copyright law, something not available to rivals like Spotify and Apple. It’s a special protection for a class of material misleadingly called “user-generated content”. The phrase was originally intended to cover things like your personal files on cloud storage services, but in 2017 it means individuals uploading other people’s music, so a more accurate term might “user-uploaded content” – they haven’t generated anything . This gives YouTube an unrivalled catalogue – it’s really the world’s default jukebox – without having to negotiate for licenses, and Google gives this away for free*. Spotify, Apple and everyone else who can’t take advantage of the UGC loophole must sit down and negotiate a license for music. Here Google has an advantage because of the asymmetric power of the takedown regime. They can rest assured that […]
David Israelite In the midst of record labels reporting revenue growth, and with music streaming companies like Spotify and Apple Music touting more paid subscribers, songwriters and music publishers are continuing their lengthy fight to be paid a fair share of royalties. We thought this would be a good time to speak again with David Israelite, President & CEO of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), about the latest developments in music streaming royalties, and the laws that control how songwriters and music publishers are paid. Israelite recently attended the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) hearings in Washington DC, where three judges heard arguments from music publishers & songwriters on one side, versus the music streaming companies (Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora) on the other side. The three judges will be determining the mechanical royalty rates for a new, five-year period that begins January 1, 2018. Israelite was also a witness at the trial, testifying for eight hours. In this new interview, Israelite discusses the CRB hearings, and when the judges are expected to announce their decision. He also discusses the latest status of the Department of Justice’s decision last summer to uphold the old consent decrees (from 1941), […]
At least since the time that media and entertainment companies worried about Microsoft using its PC monopoly to make itself the gatekeeper for all digital content, it has created a potential imbalance of power in the digital economy. Yet the key questions are unresolved. How much value should the platforms suck out of the digital ecosystems they support, and what kind of checks and balances should there be to make sure they treat others fairly? As companies like Google, Facebook and Apple assume an economic power that even Microsoft in its monopoly heyday could only dream of, these issues are starting to force themselves into the limelight.
Spotify CEO Daniel EK. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Apple and Google are the two biggest companies in mobile, and some rivals think they’re abusing that power. The chief executives of European tech firms including Spotify, Deezer, and the German startup factory Rocket Internet wrote to the EU complaining that big internet firms “can and do abuse their privileged position” when it comes to mobile. The Financial Times first reported the story on Friday. They complained that Apple and Google don’t just act as “gateways” to apps via their app stores, but increasingly act as “gatekeepers.” Specifically, they complained that it was difficult to get hold of customer data about their own apps, and that Apple and Google promoted their own services over rival versions on their respective app stores. Here’s an excerpt, and you can read the letter in full below. Emphasis ours: Our collective experience is that where online platforms have a strong incentive to turn into gatekeepers because of their dual role, instead of maximizing consumer welfare, they can and do abuse their privileged position and adopt B2B practices with adverse consequences for innovation and competition. These practices range from restricting access to data or interaction with consumers, […]
Yesterday YouTube announced that it was opening up live streaming to its creator community who have a following of 1,000 or more on the YouTube platform. The new service called “Super Chat” allows users of the service to “get a creator’s attention” by buying a variety of emoji and chat messages which are then pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours. The launch of a sticker economy for YouTube creators is a nod in the direction of messaging app disruptors such as LINE and the $400 million sticker economy which has been nurtured in Asian messaging app communities. For a personality driven ecosystem such as the YouTube creator landscape, additional engagement opportunities for both creators and fans have significant potential.
Currently, the service is available on PCs or in the Android version of the YouTube app, suggesting that the parent company YouTube is sticking to its battle in the war of the platforms and is reluctant to share revenue with Apple (Apple’s app store takes a 30% revenue share of all apps sold through its platform and Super Chats purchase start at $1.)
Why Live Streaming YouTubers makes sense
Google’s support page for the new service proudly states that “Super Chats are for your personal
Changement au sommet des marques les plus puissantes du monde. Selon le classement annuel Global 500 établi par Brand Finance (1) Apple a en effet perdu sa place de marque la plus valorisée après 5 ans en pole position. La pomme a perdu 27 % de sa valeur en 2016 et c’est Google qui, avec une valeur de marque de 109,5 Md $, a pris la tête de ce classement. Google, qui n’avait pas occupé cette place depuis 2011, a vu sa valeur de marque augmenter de 24 % en 2016 (88,2 Md $ en 2015). Ses recettes publicitaires ont bondi de 20 % en 2016. Selon David Haigh, PDG de Brand Finance , “Apple a eu des difficultés à maintenir son avantage technologique. Les nouvelles versions de l’iPhone ont rapporté moins que les précédentes et certains signent laissent penser que la marque atteint un point de saturation. La Chine, où Apple était leader sur le marché, devient de plus en plus compétitive avec l’émergence de sérieux concurrents locaux. Comme Samsung est également parvenue à grappiller des parts de marché, les analystes financiers prédisent une baisse des recettes et des marges du groupe”, conclut David Haigh. En bref Lego […]
Apple,Ireleland,– A + Apple has assigned a definitive date to the planned relocation of its international iTunes assets, saying the iTunes Store, Apple Music, the App Store and iBooks Store businesses will make the transition to Cork, Ireland, in early February. Apple’s European headquarters in Cork, Ireland. The official relocation timeline was disclosed in a note sent out to developers on Thursday. Apple Distribution International will conduct the transfer of its international iTunes business, which serves more than 100 countries, from Luxembourg to Cork on Feb. 5, Apple says. After managing Apple’s overseas operations since 2004, the Luxembourg branch will cease to be on Feb. 4. The company is making the transition as seamless as possible for content owners. For example, developer contracts were automatically transferred to Apple Distribution International in September. In addition, customers looking to buy apps made by developers based in Ireland can do so free of Irish VAT thanks to Apple’s special exporter status. Apple informed developers of the forthcoming move in September , with reports at the time estimating the transfer to be worth some $9 billion in assets. The transfer comes amid rising tensions between Apple, Ireland and the European Union. Last August, […]
Perhaps the tech industry is at last finding its voice — or not. President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Friday halting travelers and immigrants from certain predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States prompted strong reactions from the ACLU and many groups across America. Yesterday a federal judge issued a stay , blocking the Executive Order. The judge concluded, “There is imminent danger that, absent the stay of removal, there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa-holders, and other individuals from nations subject to the January 27, 2017 Executive Order.” The tech industry’s role in this? Not so much. As the controversy unfolded, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and others issued a raft of mostly internal statements (shared to social media) expressing concern for their employees, affirmations of American values, and travel advice — yes, travel advice. None of these companies came out with a swift and powerful condemnation of the Executive Order itself. President Trump’s economic advisory group is scheduled to meet this Friday. Members include Tesla CEO Elon Musk and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, who would have the opportunity to more vigorously press the case against Trump’s Executive Order. If they can find […]
“Music consumption is at an all-time high,” according to Nielsen Music’s 2016 U.S. Year-End Report. The analysis reveals that 2016 was another year with strong streaming growth and some compelling trends for albums. The entire music industry posted a 3.1% increase in overall volume, with total album consumption reaching 560.7 million units. That data point includes track equivalent albums (where 10 tracks count as one album) and streaming equivalent albums (where 1,500 streams count as one album). All digital music consumption rose 8.9% to 442.4 million units. On-demand streams were the star of the past year for the industry. Audio streams rose 76.4% to total 251.9 billion while video streams increased 7.5% to 179.9 billion. Nielsen calculates those on-demand stream figures from Spotify, YouTube, Apple, Google Play, Amazon, Rhapsody (now Napster), Tidal, SoundCloud, Xbox Music, Slacker, Medianet, AOL Radio, and Disciple. Online streaming services increased in usage over the year. According to Nielsen, 80% of music listeners used one of those services in the last 12 months; in 2015, the rate was 75%. Those services hold a 6% share in average music spend. Satellite radio subscriptions account for a 10% share of music spending, while digital music count for […]
Photographer: Getty Images After years of trading physical dollars for digital dimes, the music industry is finally seeing a payoff . Subscriptions to streaming music services jumped about 50 percent in 2016, topping 92 million. For the first time since the heyday of CDs, revenue for the largest record labels is consistently rising. But things don’t look as bright for the streaming companies driving this revival. Spotify, the biggest platform, has swallowed huge losses while paying about 70 percent of its revenue to record labels and publishers. It’s attempting to renegotiate those deals before a planned initial public offering this year. Pandora, which has consistently lost money throughout its 15 years, is trying its hand at a pricier subscription model based on technology from Rdio, another struggling service it bought in 2015. Streaming services Rhapsody and Deezer face similar problems, and internet radio company IHeartRadio is trying to stave off bankruptcy . Services from Apple, Amazon.com, and Google are used largely to lure people to the companies’ other businesses. “It is virtually impossible to run a streaming-music service as a profitable business,” says Mark Mulligan, a former dance club DJ who’s the founder of industry analyst Midia Research . […]
An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., December 5, 2016. Apple ( AAPL.O ) will launch a legal challenge this week to a record $14 billion EU tax demand, arguing that EU regulators ignored tax experts and corporate law and deliberately picked a method to maximize the penalty, senior executives said. Apple’s combative stand underlines its anger with the European Commission, which said on Aug. 30 the company’s Irish tax deal was illegal state aid and ordered it to repay up to 13 billion euros ($13.8 billion) to Ireland, where Apple has its European headquarters. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, a former Danish economy minister, said Apple’s Irish tax bill implied a tax rate of 0.005 percent in 2014. Apple intends to lodge an appeal against the Commission’s ruling at Europe’s second highest court this week, its General Counsel Bruce Sewell and Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters in an interview at the company’s global headquarters in Cupertino. The iPhone and iPad maker was singled out because of its success, Sewell said. “Apple is not an outlier in any sense that matters […]
La plateforme de streaming d’Apple se plie en deux pour les étudiants avec une nouvelle offre tarifaire avantageuse à -50%. Apple fait du bien aux étudiants. Plus précisément à leur portefeuille et à leurs oreilles ! La marque à la pomme a présenté ce matin une nouvelle offre tarifaire d’abonnement à 4.99€ au lieux de 9.99€. Une première dans l’univers ultra-concurrentiel du streaming où Apple se partage le marché en France avec le leader Spotify et Deezer. Un coup d’accélérateur La plateforme de la firme américaine lancée au printemps 2015 passera bientôt le cap des 20 millions d’abonnés.
Facebook beat estimates with its latest earnings but announced that ad revenues would likely slow in 2017 as the digital ad market feels the pinch of advertiser budgets lagging the shift in user behaviour. Facebook’s stock fell by 7% but it already has Plan B in motion: to become a media company. Facebook delayed this move as long as it possibly could, showing little enthusiasm for getting bogged down with content licenses while it was able to drive audience growth and engagement by piggy backing other people’s content. That strategy has run its course. Facebook is now about to start looking and behaving much more like a media company, but in doing so it will rewrite the rule book on what a media company is. The Socially Integrated Web Back in 2011 I published a report ‘The Socially Integrated Web: Facebook’s Content Strategy and the Battle of the Ecosystems’. You can still download the report for free here. In it I argued that Facebook was starting out on a path to become a media company, but not the sort of media company anyone would recognise: Change is afoot in the Internet. Facebook’s new Socially Integrated Web strategy is set to make Facebook one of the most important conduits on the web. It is pushing itself further out into content experiences in the outside web while simultaneously pulling more of them into Facebook itself. Facebook is establishing itself as a universal content dashboard – a 21st century cable company for the Internet, a 21 st century portal – establishing its own content ecosystem to compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon. While traditional ecosystems are defined by hardware and paid services, Facebook’s is defined by data and user experience. Now with ad revenues set to slow, Facebook is flicking […]
In April 2016, The European commission accused Google of abusing the market leadership of Android to prevent rivals from competing with alternative software and services. Google is now dismissing the claims . The stakes are relatively high – a potential fine of $7.4bn to be precise, 10% of Google’s global revenue. I’m not a legal or an EU/EC policy expert, but here are a few comments with my mobile media analyst hat on, as we watch this unfold: This is a case of ”he’s right, she’s right and the guy standing in the corner is also right”. Each side has a solid argument and it will all depend on from whose point of view this will be mostly judged. The end consumers? The app economy businesses? Telcos and manufacturers? The theoretical framework of competition? Is Google Officially Competing With Apple? One of the premises Google wants to reject is EC’s opinion that it does not compete with Apple, which would point to a more monopolistic status of Google/Android. If you are going by revenue composition, then indeed Google is officially not competing with Apple and EC may have a case. One is an ad company and the other is a hardware company. However, despite different end games, their strategies absolutely cross journeys on the operational level. Both companies are ultimately trying to deliver the best mobile experience possible to boost their respective revenue channels. And of course the market share of their respective platforms is important for both. Thus, from Google’s point of view, it does compete with Apple. The fact that Google is rolling out the Pixel Phone might help its case about direct competition, because they are now moving more visibly into smartphone sales (Nexus was more of a niche product). Penalizing Google May Not Necessarily Make […]
Apple’s ambitious car project is in danger of being cut, as hundreds of members of the team working on it have left or been reassigned, Mark Gurman and Alex Webb reported Monday at Bloomberg . The key to the report is that Apple’s car team has been rudderless and has had issues with direction and internal strife. “It was an incredible failure of leadership,” a source told Bloomberg . In fact, the division, codenamed “Project Titan,” has reportedly been given a deadline in late 2017 under its new leadership before the company decides whether the project is working or worth pursuing further, though the company could decide to revisit building its own car if it gets mothballed. The car didn’t have a clear direction for much of last year, the Bloomberg report said, with managers fighting battles over strategy disagreements — namely, whether to focus on hardware, one of Apple’s strengths, or to focus on self-driving software. That led to cuts, including more than 120 software engineers and several hundred hardware engineers. Recently, Apple has more closely focused on building an autonomous driving system instead of a complete car, which gives the company the possibility of partnering with existing carmakers. Steve Zadesky, the former head of Project Titan, was resassigned to a different position at Apple early this year. Taking over was Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering. More recently, Apple hired Dan Dodge, who previously created QNX, an operating system frequently used in cars, which was bought by BlackBerry. He works with Bob Mansfield, a longtime Apple executive who had to be dragged out of retirement. He was the exec who told the Project Titan team a major shift in direction from a Tesla competitor to driverless-car software. It’s hard to tell whether the issues […]