TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
The transition from paid song and album digital downloads to online streaming radio stations has turned the music industry upside down. Streaming music is reportedly hurting music industry revenue, with more listeners choosing streaming apps and services over paying for digital downloads, according to the Strategy Analytics research group.
Musicians are caught in the middle of the uncertainty, as they want a fair cut of music profits - but are trying to be careful not to alienate their respective fan base.
"We're going to pay for it like we pay for cable - monthly blocks for everything instead of each individual release," said 50 Cent, rapper and founder of SMS Audio, in an interview with the Telegraph. "It used to be that music release had a build-up to a day and it a felt like an event, and everyone who was passionate about the artist was doing it at the same time. Now it has come out in pieces. The singles will probably be the largely portion of the profits."
We know that the App Store has some serious numbers, but what about the actual revenue that apps make on Apple's digital storefront? Well, the company has said that developers have earned over $10 billion across 2014.
Close to half a billion dollars was spent on apps and in-app purchases in the first week of January 2015 alone. This number balloons out to a huge $25 billion since the App Store opened its digital doors back in 2008. This makes the numbers from 2014 even more impressive, as they represent around 40% of the total revenue of the App Store, even considering it's been operating for six years.
Global PC shipments reached 80.8 million units during Q4 of 2014, a -2.4 percent year-over-year decline, according to the IDC research group. The US and European markets proved stronger than other regions of the world, with positive signs that the overall PC market is progressing with positive signs after years of increased competition.
Hewlett-Packard saw 26.2 percent Q4 year-over-year growth, while Dell (13.7 percent), Apple (18.1 percent), and Lenovo (7.9 percent) prepare to battle in the resurgent US PC market.
"The U.S. PC market continued to grow in the fourth quarter, outperforming the global market for the tenth consecutive quarter," said Rajani Singh, senior research analyst of the personal computing division at IDC. "The past year was supported by Windows XP to 7 migrations in the commercial segment while consumer volume continued to decline."
Apple added 9,000 new jobs in 2014 alone, but says it has directly and indirectly led to more than 1 million jobs being "created or supported" by the company. In addition to its Apple headquarters and stores throughout the country, Apple also has generated great interest among app developers within the community.
"This year is off to a tremendous start after a record-breaking year for the App Store and our developer community," said Eddy Cue, senior VP of Internet software and services at Apple. "We're so proud of the creativity and innovation developers bring to the apps they create for iOS users and that the developer community has now earned over $25 billion."
Apple is off to another tremendous start with its App Store, racking up almost half a billion dollars on mobile apps and in-app purchases during the first week of January - and New Year's Day was the highest-grossing day of all-time for the App Store.
The music industry is struggling to generate revenue from streaming music, as it is seeing paid digital download sales dropping, according to the "Will Royalty Crisis Defeat the Music Streaming Industry" report from Strategy Analytics.
Popular streaming music services Pandora and Spotify are paying extremely high acquisition costs as subscribers and listener figures increase, making it difficult for them to get ahead of the cost curve. Pandora generates 82 percent of its revenue based on advertising, while Spotify earns 91 percent of its revenue from user subscriptions.
"Technology is evolving and changing the way consumers discover, listen to, share, and interact with music, but it is also a significant factor in the decline of music industry revenues," said Leika Kawasaki, Digital Media Strategies analyst and report author. "Many artists feel they are under compensated by streaming services, but as currently structured the underlying economics won't support higher royalty payments by these services, particularly for free ad-supported services."
CES 2015 - Samsung had a lot to discuss at their CES 2015 press conference, announcing they've teamed up with various industry giants to form the UHD Alliance.
The South Korean giant has partnered up with DirecTV, Dolby Vision, Netflix, Panasonic, Sharp, Technicolor, Disney, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros to form the UHD Alliance, for all things 4K and beyond.
We don't know how long it'll take for us to see the fruits of the UHD Alliance's labor, but I'm sure it won't be long.
The Obama Administration announced new sanctions against the North Korean government last week, in an effort to retaliate against North Korea for reportedly hacking Sony Pictures. Obama responded to "the provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies of the Government of North Korea," and its decision to target Sony Pictures.
In addition to previous sanctions designed to pressure the North Korean government, ten government agents - working in China, Russia, Iran, Syria and Namibia - have been added to the sanctions list. Pyongyang wasn't happy with the release of "The Interview" by Sony Pictures, and was accused or orchestrating a crippling cyberattack against the company. It's no surprise that government officials are unhappy with the United States and the Obama Administration for even more sanctions designed to disrupt its government operations.
"The persistent and unilateral action taken by the White House to slap sanctions against the D.P.R.K. patently proves that it is still not away from inveterate repugnance and hostility toward the D.P.R.K.," a North Korean government official reportedly told the media.
The United States has issued new economic sanctions against North Korea, as Pres. Obama and lawmakers look for methods to retaliate against North Korea. Even with increasing pressure stating otherwise, the FBI and Obama Administration still believes North Korea is directly involved in bringing down Sony Pictures, ahead of the launch of "The Interview."
Here is what White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest noted in a press statement: "This (executive order) is a response to the Government of North Korea's ongoing provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment."
This reportedly is the first step by the Obama Administration, though could be nothing more than a symbolic effort - North Korea endures heavy sanctions, so any additional sanctions could end up being meaningless. However, the newest sanctions will target the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, Reconnaissance General Bureau and Korea Tangun Trading Corporation, in an effort to hurt the government's intelligence and arms dealing sectors.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed by two Florida residents, accusing Apple of deceiving its customers regarding storage space required for the iOS 8 operating system. The company didn't inform customers that 23 percent of storage space on iPhone smartphones and iPad tablets would be used by iOS 8 alone, which many users have found to be frustrating.
"We feel that there are a considerable number of Apple purchasers that have been duped, and we'll be following the claims briskly," said William Anderson, attorney at Cuneo Gilbert & Laduca, when discussing the lawsuit.
The iPhone 5s has 18.1 percent storage capacity unavailable to users after installation, 18.8 percent for the iPhone 6, and 20.6 percent unavailable for the iPhone 6 Plus.
The bitcoin cryptocurrency was expected to make a major impact in 2014 - and while interest in the volatile payment infrastructure increased - its value dropped 70 percent year-over-year. However, bitcoins are expected to draw a significant amount of headlines in 2015, even with values dipping closer towards $300.
"Regardless of the price, it was a huge year for bitcoin," said Sonny Singh, BitPay chief commercial officer, in a statement to CNBC. "A year ago people didn't know if bitcoin was a fad, but today it's for sure that it's going to stay for a long time."
Consumer adoption increased in 2014, with Microsoft, Dish, Overstock.com, Expedia and other major companies announcing they would begin accepting bitcoin payments - as Coinbase, BitPay and other bitcoin companies helping provide stability in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.