• The failure of mobile music downloads

    The carriers' combined market share shrank to 4.9% last year as Apple solidified its lead

    Songs streamed directly to cellphones, once touted as the next big thing in digital music, failed to take off and is now rapidly losing ground to Apple's (AAPL) iTunes Store.

    That's the conclusion of a survey in the May 22 issue of Billboard. Based on interviews with distributors representing roughly 90% of the total market, Retail MORE

    - May 19, 2010 11:27 AM ET
  • Beaming tunes to Apple's secret cloud

    It took Lala's Music Mover more than a week to upload my modest iTunes library

    If Michael Robertson is right -- and I believe he is -- Apple (AAPL) is about to use its $85 million purchase of Lala to create a browser-based music service that will let users access their iTunes music collections from the Web.

    The service could become available as early as next Wednesday, says Robertson, a 12-year MORE

    - Jan 20, 2010 6:24 AM ET
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  • Apple's growing slice of the music business - in pie charts

    The NPD Group on Tuesday issued what at first appears to be a pair of contradictory facts:

    Apple (AAPL) now controls the largest share of the music business, its iTunes Store accounting for 25% of unit sales in the first half of 2009, up from 14% in 2007.
    Compact discs are still the most popular format for paid music, accounting for 65% of unit sales.

    How can this be? The trick is that MORE

    - Aug 18, 2009 2:50 PM ET
  • Information wants to be free ... and expensive

    Futurist Stewart Brand was the first to say "Information wants to be free." He also said it "wants to  be expensive."

    By Richard Siklos, editor at large

    Rarely a day goes by in media and tech business circles without somebody crying "Information wants to be free!" as a justification for distributing or copying someone else's content -- and as an explanation for why so many traditional information purveyors are in peril.

    So I MORE

    Jul 20, 2009 10:00 AM ET
  • Steve Jobs still drives a hard bargain

    On Christmas Eve, at the height of a holiday season that Steve Jobs claimed was the first in a decade he got to spend with his family, Apple's (AAPL) ailing CEO was on the phone screaming at the chairman of Sony Music (SNE).

    That's the picture Tim Arango paints in Monday's New York Times in an article that describes the "tense and antagonistic" relations behind the seemingly harmonious music pricing agreement MORE

    - Feb 2, 2009 9:44 AM ET
  • XM and Sirius settle $19 million radio violation

    By Scott Moritz

    Clearing the way to merger approval, XM and Sirius agreed to pay a $19 million fine for violating radio transmission rules.

    The move is aimed to end a 2006 inquiry by the Federal Communications Commission into radios that broadcast some signals in adjacent FM radio waves. The FCC stepped in when satellite radio transmissions interfered with conventional radio channels.

    The two companies agreed to pay the fine - XM will pay $17 million and MORE

    - Jul 24, 2008 11:12 AM ET
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  • XM and Sirius merger approval nears

    By Scott Moritz

    In what would be a 3-2 vote split along political party lines, the Federal Communications Commission has finally gotten close to approving the merger between Sirius (SIRI) and rival XM (XMSR).

    The swing vote on the deal is Commissioner Deborah Tate, a Republican appointee. Both Reuters and The Wall Street Journal say she is close to filing her vote in favor of the deal.

    The two Democrats on the five member commission MORE

    - Jul 23, 2008 3:54 PM ET
  • iTunes store: 5 billion songs; 50,000 movies per day

    Apple issued two nice round numbers on Thursday.

    First, it announced that the number of songs purchased and downloaded from the iTunes store since it opened on April 28, 2003 has passed the 5 billion mark. This represents a continued acceleration of music sales. It took Apple (AAPL) nearly three years to sell its first billion songs (Feb 23, 2006), ten months to sell its second billion (Jan. 6, 2007), seven MORE

    - Jun 19, 2008 10:17 AM ET
  • Why would Steve Jobs rent music on iTunes?

    It's all the talk on tech and music blogs: The report in Wednesday's Financial Times that Apple (AAPL) is negotiating with the big music companies for a deal that would give customers free access to the entire iTunes music library. (link)

    In exchange for what? There are several answers to that question in the FT account, and that's the problem.

    In one model, customers would pay a premium -- up to $100 extra -- MORE

    - Mar 19, 2008 11:33 AM ET
  • Why Apple changed its tune in Europe

    The news this morning that the European Commission has dropped its unfair pricing case against Apple (AAPL) raises the question about how the company got into this mess in the first place.

    The issue stems from a basic discrepancy: British customers have been paying 79 pence per song on iTunes (about $1.63 in today's currency market) while the rest of Europe was paying .99 euros -- roughly 20% less.

    The British Office MORE

    - Jan 9, 2008 8:02 AM ET
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