Music Streaming Eats Downloads With On-Demand Up 42% Over 2013, Digital Sales Down 12%

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 12.50.06 PM Nielsen’s U.S. music report on the first half of 2014 shows digital music consumption rapidly shifting from downloads to streaming. On-demand streaming was up 42% over the first half of 2013, racking up 70 billion play in the first half of 2014. Meanwhile, digital track sales fell 13% to 593.6 million and album sales fell 11.6% to 53.8 million. The report on US trends (not… Read More

Apple’s iWatch Could Be The Next Big Sports Fashion Accessory

maxresdefault Sports sells gatorade, and sports sells sneakers, and sports sells clothing and hats and TV trays and bottle openers and anything that has enough surface area to hold a logo. But can sports sell the concept of the smartwatch? That’s what Apple might find out beginning in October, the rumored launch date of the iWatch, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. The blog’s sources… Read More

Beats Solo 2 Review: Great Looks, Now With Better Sound

beats-solo-2 Dr. Dre’s headphone company is now Apple’s headphone company, but the Beats Solo 2 were unveiled just after the acquisition and clearly developed long before Apple became involved. Still, the sequel to Beats’ flagship product is more than just a footnote to the acquisition story – they’re a huge improvement on the originals and a good reason why the latter-day… Read More

Gillmor Gang: EarPlay

Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Doc Searls, Dan Farber, Keith Teare, Robert Scoble, and Steve Gillmor — grow more and more convinced that Apple is in for a good time this fall. The blending of streaming with downloading promises to accelerate what may well be the takeover of the industry formerly known as the music business. Mix in the upsell of the phablet iPhone to companion earphones and… Read More

Apple Will Use Curation To Beat A Path To Mainstreaming Music

High Fidelity Ask the average person who their favorite musicians are and they’ll struggle to name more than a few. That’s one reason search-based streaming services haven’t hit critical mass. They force users to know what they want to hear. And this is why Tim Cook kept touting Beats as the “first streaming service that really got it right. Beats doesn’t ask people what they… Read More

Apple Patents Power Efficient, Sensor-Filled Noise Cancelling Earbuds

apple-earpods Apple has a couple of new patent applications (via AppleInsider) for headset tech that could drastically reduce the power consumption of noise cancelling earbuds, which could also stop or start music automatically based on whether they’re in or out of your ear. The two applications cover different aspects, but all use sensors embedded in earbuds to make more efficient use of… Read More

Apple Will Operate Beats Music’s Streaming Service Separately From The iTunes Download Store

beats-apple-record Apple just bought Beats, but rather than risk cratering iTunes download sales by evolving it into a streaming service, it will operate Beats Music’s streaming service in parallel to give listeners an all-they-can-hear subscription option. This confirms my scoop from last week that Apple wanted to run the two separately to allow for a graceful transition as download sales decline and… Read More