If inexpensive mobile bundling is the future, be very afraid of Muve Music. The Cricket-powered play now counts 1.1 million subscribers, according to details shared early this morning with Digital Music News. The pre-pay concept is currently being positioned to underserved minority audiences in the US, with the idea that direct payments for recorded music are a very, very tough sell indeed. Muve Music first hit the marketplace in early 2011.
The album is very much alive, at least in certain circles. Like Pitchfork, which is now unwrapping Pitchfork Advance, a content vertical that streams full-length album previews. This is definitely a long-play focus, with multimedia elements that include lyrics, track listings, and customized digital album artwork. Yo La Tengo and a J Dilla reissue are kicking the series off.
Pandora got the impressive jump on automobile dashboards, though iHeartRadio also wants a piece of this very important real estate. At CES in Vegas, both iHeartRadio and Pandora are announcing inclusion in Chrysler’s Uconnect Access, while iHeartRadio is getting layered in GM’s infotainment system.
Across the floor, Rhapsody is busy announcing its integration into Ford‘s Sync AppLink. Subscribers can simply connect their Rhapsody apps into any Sync-enabled vehicle via Bluetooth, just like other apps and radio services. Rhapsody’s move was based on strong subscriber demand for easy vehicle access.
Oh, there’s something else iHeartRadio is chasing: Songza. Introducing ‘Perfect For,’ a selection of mood-based, time-of-day playlists, and a complement to iHeart’s 1,500 local station streams.
We’ve been hearing about drib-and-drab-style, post-acquisition layoffs at Universal Music Group, and we’re not the only ones. At the freshly-acquired EMI, Billboard is pointing to a small, early-year chop, with a single-digit reduction sprinkled across a number of different divisions.
Meanwhile, the consolidation process continues, this time on the publishing side. Enter Capitol CMG Publishing, a combination of EMI’s Christian-focused publishing group and Universal Music Publishing Group’s Brentwood Benson Music Publishing. The EMI publishing assets were somehow ushered into the largely recording-focused UMG acquisition.
And touring keeps getting smarter. The latest developing involves Bandsintown, which is now compatible with Eventric‘s Master Tour app. Eventric, used by more than 10,000 artists, assists in touring logistics like scheduling and accounting.
These ‘apps’ could be big someday. According to Apple, more than 40 billion App Store apps have now been downloaded, with two billion coming in December alone.
Albums are down, downloads are up, and vinyl’s booming. But who’s measuring the rest? Sounds like a market opportunity, even if it means cobbling together disparate, existing pieces. “In terms of the broader music marketplace, it’s essential to note that data is not yet readily available that would factor in the positive economic impact of burgeoning streaming, subscription and other ad-supported models,” said NARM president Jim Donio.