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Categories: Digital Music

LaLa’s Big Day

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 22

Earlier today, I spoke with Lala Media founder Bill Nguyen as he stood in the lobby of Warner Music’s headquarters in New York. The always animated Nguyen was more animated…

Can Optek Turn Guitar Hero Fans Into Real Musicians?

Posted by: Peter Burrows on March 10

Back in 1989, Rusty Shaffer decided it was time to try his hand at playing lead guitar, rather than just strumming chords. So he bought a music book and started…

Warner Music Retreats From YouTube

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on December 22

Warner Music’s Edgar Bronfman Jr. attributes his success in part to his focus on acquiring and developing new talent. Now he is threatening to stifle the exposure of these artists by shutting down one of the most popular venues for music buyers looking to discover new music.

Lala Plays a New Song.

Posted by: Peter Burrows on October 20

Tomorrow, Lala Media Inc. will announce an interesting new approach to selling digital music. It’s based on a new type of license it secured with the four major labels and…

Sonos Goes 802.11n

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on August 05

One of the great things about the Sonos wireless digital music streaming system is that it just works. Except, that is, for people who live in homes with thick walls…

Can Doug Merrill Save Music?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 02

Could the surprising departure of Google Chief Information Officer Douglas Merrill be the salvation of the music industry? Merrill was hardly your typical corporate CIO. He seemed far more interested…

A Legal Assault on CD Ripping? Don’t Bet on It

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on December 29

There’s a story making the rounds on various blogs this weekend (see, for example, this TechCrunch post) to the effect that the Recording Industry Assn. of America is planning a…

Reader Poll: What do you think of music subscription services?

Posted by: Peter Burrows on November 29

A few years back, there was lots of debate about whether the download store or the music subscription would win the day in digital music. The former offers outright ownership…

Roll Over Beethoven (and Tell Tschaikowsky the News)

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on November 27

Classical music lovers like myself are finally getting some respect in the digital world. One of the oldest companies in the music business, Deutsche Grammophon, now a division of Universal…

If You Can’t Pay the Fine, Don’t Do the Download

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 05

A jury verdict awarding the music industry $222,000 in damages from a single mother who illegally downloaded 24 songs has inspired a lot of silly commentary, including the Gizmodo headline…

Strange Economics at TechCrunch

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on October 04

A post by Michael Arrington on TechCruch today makes a rather odd argument to support the otherwise plausible conclusion that we are inevitably headed for free distribution of downloaded music….

All the More Reason to Just Buy the Damn Discs

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 31

So everybody’s in a tizzy over NBC Universal’s decision not to renew its contract with Apple to make digital downloads of TV shows available on iTunes. Personally, I couldn’t care…

DRM Going Away? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on May 17

Amazon’s announcement of a digital rights management-free music store is another step in the demise of DRM. Still, the crumbling of content protection is looking more like the long, slow…

100 Million iPods Sold, But How Many Are Still in Use?

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 09

Like everyone else, I’m impressed that Apple has sold 100 million iPods. It’s incredible, really, and a testament to how well Apple has designed and marketed them. I do wonder,…

EMI, Apple, and DRM: Death Announcement Premature?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on April 02

“Will DRM Die Today?” asked a headline on a Techcruch item posted by Michael Arrington a few hours before EMI Group and Apple announced that the iTunes Store will offer…

Jobs on Dumping DRM: OK, Steve, But Now What?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 06

So Steve Jobs calls for the end of Digital Rights Management on music. And he makes all the sense in the world. But in all the chatter on TechMeme about…

Brown Is Not the new White

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on December 07

A story by my colleague Jay Greene describes Microsoft execs’ happiness with the initial sales of the Zune handheld media player. But I suspect the sound out of Redmond is…

Apple to Debut Movie Rentals?

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 18

ThinkSecret says Apple will introduce a movie rental service in three weeks at its developer conference. I have no inside knowledge to know if this will actually pan out, but…

Another Take on Amazon Music: High-Stakes Chess?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 20

When record labels leaked Amazon’s apparent plans for a digital music store last week, I wondered if the store would be mostly a way for Amazon to get more people…

Amazon Music: Is It Really About the Music?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 17

Much of the blogosphere is in a dither over why is bothering to join the appallingly unprofitable online music business—late, to boot. I don’t doubt that for the long…

Will the Trustbusters Go After Apple?

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 27

In the wake of Eliot Spitzer investigating digital music pricing, David Berlind at Between the Lines wonders if Apple’s an even more obvious target: At what point does Apple’s DRM…

Viva Vinyl!

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 08

My record player is broken, and I miss playing my LPs, many of which have stuff available neither on CDs nor on digital download sites. Apparently, I’m not alone. Wired…

Will Apple Get Real?

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 05

Sure doesn’t sound like it, judging from what Rob Glaser, CEO of Real Networks, said today at the Digital Living Room conference in Silicon Valley. Glaser was asked if he…

“I Want My Video iPod”

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 07

Steve Jobs, listen up: A panel of teens at Web 2.0 is asked if they would want a video iPod. “That would be awesome,” says Sean Spediacci. “That would be…

I want my iTunes subscription service!

Posted by: Peter Burrows on August 16

So it turns out that Apple has been asking its record label partners about the inner workings of the music subscription model. Now, I’d bet Apple is just keeping its…

Discovering the Profits in Music Services

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 11

If there’s anything I learned at the just-ended conference Music 2.0 in Foster City, it was that nobody’s really making any money off digital music. Except maybe the labels, and…

The Same Old Song

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 10

After hearing StreamCast Networks, makers of the file-sharing software Morpheus, and a couple of record labels go at it for the Nth time at the Music 2.0 conference yesterday, I…

Is Amazon Finally About to Offer a Digital Music Service?

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 04

That’s what the blog logically assumes from an interesting job listing posted to its own Digital Media Jobs Blog. (BUT SEE UPDATE BELOW.) The “forthcoming Digital Music Service” referenced…

HP minus iPod: Why it makes sense

Posted by: Peter Burrows on August 01

For the past decade or so, HP has been too focused on deciding who to be like, rather than on finding its own way.

Changing the Copyright Debate

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 21

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Grokster decision, a lot of tech folks in Silicon Valley are licking their wounds over the apparent rebuff to their ability to release…

Note to Wireless Carriers: Free the Music

Posted by: Heather Green on July 13

Daniel Schulman, the head of Virgin Mobile USA, warned wireless carriers with aspirations of offering music services that they had better allow people to move those songs around freely—or risk…

Grokster and the Economist

Posted by: Heather Green on June 30

It’s increasingly challenging for weekly magazines to figure out something to write two or three days after news breaks, which is why I thought it was interesting how the Economist…

Back to the Oughts

Posted by: Heather Green on June 08

Meet the public domain. A free jukebox of pre 1926 popular songs from Turtle Services Limited.

Digital Radio and….Wi-Fi?

Posted by: Heather Green on June 01

KCRW head Seymour on the building battle between the new HD Radio technology….and Wi-Fi.

Internet Radio: Here We Go Again

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 30

A program called Replay Music from Applian Technologies threatens to bring out the recording industry’s legal firepower again. I can understand why the industry isn’t happy about a program that’s…

An Ad, Ad, Ad, Ad World for Yahoo Music?

Posted by: Heather Green on May 25

On Yahoo Music and its subscription model.

iPod Killers?

Posted by: Heather Green on May 25

Music and cell phones.

Let the Games Begin

Posted by: Heather Green on May 10

About Rogers Wireless offering a full download music service

The Essential Mistake of Record Companies

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 22

Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams, on an AlwaysOn panel yesterday, neatly summed up the basic stupidity of the music industry’s refusal to come up with a workable digital music strategy: “Their…


BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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