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Entries in apple (8)


Rotten Apple

As Apple kicked off it’s June 30th launch of the revamped Apple Music Service (Beats music), there were many kinks and controversies along the way. The controversy was that Apple was not planning to pay artists for the 3-month trial period of the service. Many artists spoke up against not being paid for the use of their streamed songs in the 3-month trial period. Many artists threatened Apple to pull their music from the streaming service all together. Artist and activist Taylor Swift took to Tumblr in a letter stating that she was speaking on the behalf of her fellow musicians who were hesitant to speak out against the tech giant.

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The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree


When Apple launched iTunes in 2003, Apple addressed the consumer’s wants by giving them the choice of buying a whole digital album or they had the ability to buy a single track from the album. Apple did not start iTunes to sell music, however to sell the hardware that Apple sells, the iPod. Apple has tried to control music sales since day one to raise the demand for Apple products. In the beginning Apple’s iTunes used DRM technology to block out other competitors that sold MP3 players. This would leave consumers dependent on their iPods. In 2005 Thomas Slattery, filed a lawsuit against Apple. This lawsuit stated that Apple broke antitrust laws by using FairPlay. Any music purchased from iTunes would work only with Apple’s iPod, which froze out competitors. Apple has been a dominant force from its music sales since it’s starting point. Apple has flexed its muscles to control music distribution and deals that worked to their benefit.

In 2010 Apple’s iTunes store started see a decline in sales for the first time. It was at this time that music streaming service started to come in full swing, at this point Spotify was not even introduced to the US Market. Now the tables have turned and Apple is trying to recreate itself once again to address the consumer’s wants by giving them on demand streaming through their revamped Beats music service.

In 2014 iTunes music downloads declined by 14%, while Spotify’s subscriptions increased. Since 2011, Spotify has grown from 10 million subscribers to over 50 million subscribers. I find it funny that the iTunes split of 30/70 will come back to haunt Apple. Basically, the competitor who is stealing streams for downloads is using the same slit. Apple was once making dollar to dollar and now they’re making pennies to the dollar.

Apple, along with Beats music, has to show consumers the value of spending money on a subscription service each month. While other competitors give away freemium tiers and lower subscription fees, this is going to be a hard sell, however, not an impossible one. If anyone can introduce a creative, innovative way for consumers to stream music, it’s definitely the folks at Apple.



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Apple and Oranges

Re/Code has reported on Friday March 6, 2015 that Apple plans on having a music streaming service that will not feature a free tier. Apple wants to have a single premium only model that will leave consumers paying $9.99 a month. Others speculate that Apple will have a two-tier model. The premium model is like a buffet of all you can listen to music, while the lower $7.99 service will come with limitations.

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How about Piano-Olympics?

A new free olympic-themed piano app let’s you learn&play national anthem and represent your country playing them against people from all over the world. It’s the world’s first global music competition app - activated also by a real piano! Piano Summer Games by JoyTunes. Free for iPad/iPhone/iPod for the duration of the Olympics.

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Pete Townshend calls Apple 'a digital vampire'

BBC 6 Music launched “The John Peel Lecture” with Pete Townshend, the creative force, guitarist and chief songwriter of The Who, speaking live at this year’s Radio Academy Radio Festival in Salford’s Lowry Theatre.

The topic was: Can John Peelism survive the Internet? In an age of free downloads and a disposable attitude to music, can creative people earn a living, and without radio how can the “unpolished” music that John Peel championed find an audience?

The rock legend listed eight services that record labels and music publishers have traditionally provided to artists, such as editorial guidance and “creative nurture”.

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Google Recordings/Apple Records

An interesting proposition here, by Edward James Bass on that tech companies might buy up bits of the music biz or even set up as labels themselves.

In a way, it’s already happening, but without the investment in artists.  Perhaps they’re waiting for a successful model to appear which can then be sucked into their amoeba structure, (XL beware!) or perhaps the grand and evil plan is that, eventually, when all the artists have given up trying to make money from their recordings they will be able treat music in the same way they treat funny baby videos…  a bit like they’re doing right now.

Of course, the music won’t stop.  There will be a million copycat hobbyists for them to choose from (some of them adding music to the meals they prepare in the kitchens of their restaurants, along with pepper and cumen), plus a few thousand doomed and starving True Artists, still trying to push the boundaries in between searching the gutters for a crust.

Perhaps, if they are as wise as they seem to be, the tech companies might find a way to invest in the artists who provide the soundtracks to a billion web visits.  Could they fund academies?  Trust funds that provide bursaries (you need two references from a cool teacher)?  Buy up Mean Fiddler?  Or just become Apple Records - ‘bringing together the artists of today with the methods and media of tomorrow…’


One Artist’s Saga of Getting Added to Apple Ping

I have been assisting my good friend, legendary blues harmonica and sax player Jimmy Z, with his online presence and marketing for him and his band, ZTribe. Though he has recorded and toured with Rod Stewart, Eurythmics, Tom Petty, Etta James and others, and has worked in nearly 1000 sessions, he still struggles to make a living as an independent musician. So I help him any way I can. Right now, he has a presence on MySpace, Facebook, Reverbnation, Soundcloud and we’re building our Amazon page as well as a page on the

I have worked with Apple and it’s reps over the years and have learned that their only interest is self-interest. So when iTunes Ping was announced last September, I treated it with great suspicion, but also realized that I should get Jimmy on it, because you have to explore every opportunity that seems worthwhile. And having any leverage on iTunes is an opportunity that should not be missed.

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The Breakdown on iTunes Ping: What it means for Artists and How it compares to Cloud-Based Services

In Apple’s Keynote last week, they launched a much needed upgrade to iTunes that includes social integration.

Much like current sites Rdio and, iTunes is finally getting a social overhaul that will transform iTunes into a music discovery social network called Ping. You can now “follow” your friends to see what they are listening to and share recommendations - all without leaving iTunes.

Initial reports indicate that Ping only displays data for albums purchased, NOT listening data. If true, this is a big disappointment from Apple’s latest social endeavor. If Ping only displays what albums your friends purchase off the iTunes store, they are missing out on a huge a

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