What Else? Nielsen+Arbitron, Audyssey, Songza, Rivera, Winehouse, HMV, Ian Rogers, iTunes 2012

Nielsen is now preparing to devour radio monitoring giant Arbitron for $1.26 billion, according to details confirmed this morning.

That fits into a broader strategic objective by Nielsen to expand its footprint across different (and converging) forms of media, not to mention audiences.  “The high level of engagement with radio and TV among rapidly growing multicultural audiences makes this central to Nielsen’s priorities,” stated Nielsen CEO David Calhoun.

If every pair of headphones is different, why shouldn’t the sound going into those headphones be customized accordingly?  Enter Audyssey, whose iOS Audyssey Media Player (AMP) app tailors output to match the headphone in question.  AMP considers a selection of the top 200 headphones or earpieces, which account for roughly 90 percent of the market.  AMP includes an add-on equalizer for iTunes, and now, a first-moving Songza-optimized output.

Jenni Rivera‘s public memorial is now scheduled for Wednesday at the Gibson Theater in Los Angeles, starting at 10 am PCT.  That will be followed by a burial that the family is attempting to keep private.  “The Rivera family appreciates all the love given to our beloved Jenni Rivera who graduated on December 9th and now rests in the arms of our Lord,” the family issued in a statement.

Separately, an investigation into the circumstances that led to the crash remains ongoing, with the DEA a major participant.

British authorities are now re-opening the autopsy investigation into Amy Winehouse, after it was discovered that the lead coroner lacked the proper legal credentials.  The core diagnosis of alchohol poisoning may still stand, regardless of the decision; Winehouse died in July of 2011.

Because the recording implosion has a face.  Apollo Management is now snapping up shares of HMV Group Plc in a vulture play, specifically a 20 million pound chunk ($32.4 million) from Allied Irish Banks.  HMV indicated that it may breach lending covenants with various banks in January.

Topspin CEO Ian Rogers is now sunsetting This Week In Music, a very informative, in-depth interview series.  The show, which spanned executives like Paul McCartney manager Scott Rodger, William Morris Endeavor head of Music Marc Geiger, and Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard, seemed to fade after an initial buzz.  Why that happened is probably a complicated discussion, one potentially tied to a broader environment of extreme disruption and industry decentralization; Rogers announced the decision on his personal blog.

And the biggest, most-downloaded songs on iTunes this year…

1. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”
2. Gotye, “Somebody That I Used to Know”
3. fun., “We Are Young”
4. Maroon 5, “Payphone (feat. Wiz Khalifa)”
5. Nicki Minaj, “Starships”
6. One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”
7. Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
8. fun., “Some Nights”
9. Flo Rida, “Whistle”
10. Flo Rida, “Wild Ones (feat. Sia)”

…and the biggest albums…

1. Adele, 21
2. Taylor Swift, Red
3. Mumford & Sons, Babel
4. One Direction, Up All Night
5. fun., Some Nights
6. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
7. The Lumineers, The Lumineers
8. John Mayer, Born and Raised
9. Maroon 5, Overexposed
10. Jason Aldean, Night Train