Could Apple Possibly Owning A Label Change The Face Of Streaming?

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As some of you may be aware that there are rumours of Apple apparently to strike a deal with Big Machine, the record label that owns Taylor Swift. This sparked talk of potential exclusives of Taylor swift and other Big Machine to apple and their future streaming prospects.

It is quite safe to say that exclusives to one streaming site will force others to follow suit. Spotify, Pandora and Deezer will all be in the market to get exclusive artists to their site too. Exclusive is not a word I like, it means that you can only get it in once certain place, and usually you have to pay extra to get it. It is a clever but evil marketing system, Sky Tv have been the masters of that for years.

Battling for the rights of certain artists could be key to attaining customers and keeping old ones, Spotify losing Taylor Swift from their ranks would have been a huge blow, and if Apple do get the rights to her music that is a massive gain for them and would surely sway some people to want to use their streaming service. Even though this is a powerful tool in gaining customers, do Apple really need to do it?

Personal opinions of how much I hate Apple aside, you can’t deny their presence in the music industry based on their history of successful hardware and software. From reading an article by Josh Constine on Tech Crunch on the topic, he states that:t

“iTunes is said to have over 800 million credit cards on file and is available in nearly 150 countries. Compare that to the Spotify’s 15 million paying subscribers and roughly 60 countries of operation

Then there’s those 1 billion iOS devices sold. If iTunes’ streaming app comes pre-installed in the next generation of iPhones and iPads, it could leapfrog Spotify’s user base over night..” 

Numbers really speak for themselves, there is a far superior number of Apple loyalist to how many people use Spotify, that is quite a daunting figure for Daniel Ek (owner of Spotify) to look at I would imagine. In reality it is Ek who would likely need to secure exclusives to Spotify to keep up with Apple’s streaming service. As Constine also states, Apple may be late to the party where streaming is concerned, but their usual MO is to enter it with superior fire-power like they did in the phone market.With the potential exclusive artists and the apparent price plan at $7.99 a month which undercuts Spotify’s $9.99, Apple already look like they will steamroll the streaming market.

How does this affect customers? We won’t know until it happens but from clear speculation I expect chart names to be the types of acts that services would try to get to sway customers minds towards them. Bigger names will be the targets, your Sam Smiths and One Directions. Customers will then have to decide if they can afford multiple services or choose a priority one based on their music preference. I personally listen to acts on Spotify that aren’t exactly in the limelight, no major labels, these are the sort of acts i expect to be on several services and I doubt there will be streaming sites that will want their exclusive rights. Assuming that will be the case then if all I want is on Spotify I wouldn’t need to use Apple’s service, though if they start buying up the rights to someone’s favourite artists and it is no longer on Spotify, they are likely to switch over.

What do you think? Will apple dominate the streaming world?

here you can find the article I read

http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/08/exclusive-streaming/

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What Really Is “The Internet of Things”? And is it a good thing?

Recently I was introduced to the term “The Internet of Things”, which seems like a fancy way of saying technology is getting smarter than we think.

It is the idea of more things in the house connected to the the internet, like a heating system that detects your phone is within a certain radius and turns on for you so your house is already warm when you get in, that sounds incredibly clever. That is just one of thousands of uses and the number of technology devices that are designed for this kind convenience is heavily growing, sounds cool right?

It does to some extent, the lazy person in me likes the idea of my house doing something for me so I don’t have to, or at least don’t have to wait for something, I like that kind of convenience. There are ideas of watches that can detect health issues in you so they can book doctors appointments for you, fridges that detect when it is getting less full and orders new food to be delivered to restock. Little lifestyle changes like that would make life so much easier for a lot of people. It almost sounds a little too good to be true.

Being a sci-fi fan, this makes me both excited and sceptical at the same time, it is great that the human race has become technologically advanced enough to be able to do such things, but should we? All of these things point to one day that the majority of society will have smart homes full of these devices. Though will we become too reliant on these devices? Should we take fictional stories like Wall-E as a warning that these devices will just make us an even lazier society? and a smart home just makes me think of HAL 9000 or Skynet, I personally fear the day that technology becomes self aware.

Back to more sensible thoughts, all of this seems possible because of the term If This Then That, IFTTT for short. Basically a way of saying if this happens then that will happen, and building that into technology. Like the way I described the heater system, if the phone comes within a certain radius then the heater system will turn on. Building technology around this philosophy does seem like a fantastic way to help technology evolve

I’m intrigued about how the music industry will fit in with this, in the future will iTunes or Spotify be built into the house and come on automatically as it detects you entering the house? Will they be able to know what you have been listening to before you entered the house and continue playing it over the speakers within the house? will your use of Spotify be a way of helping you be alerted when you favourite artists come fairly local to you?

The possibilities do seem to go on and thing for people to keep an eye on

Is This The Death Of Piracy And The Rise Of Streaming Through Its Ashes?

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After what looks like the death of Pirate Bay, EZTV and other torrent sites this month due to police raids on servers, a huge question remains on, what is the future of Piracy?  Pirate bay seemed to be the most popular torrent site going, anyone could use it, and you don’t have to sign up or keep control of your seeds to keep using it, nice and easy, you can come and go when you want, well not anymore.

Industry heads in all areas of media would say good riddance, whereas freeloaders are weeping somewhere looking for the next best torrent site to pilfer from. Will this lead to a chain reaction of more sites to follow? or was Pirate Bay being arguably the biggest just and easier way for it to be tracked down?

Data shows that since the rise streaming sites, the most popular at the moment being Spotify, the numbers in piracy have dropped quite severely…. Why is this? Easier access to music and it being much easier to use could be a huge factor. A bigger one is that you can use it for free if you wish, a gigantic library at your fingertips to listen to for free if you don’t mind adverts every few songs. Spotify has almost everything that people want in their vast library (…..as long as you don’t want Taylor Swift). We have become a lazier generation, I for one have reduced the amount of downloading I do and use Spotify instead, I even listen to music that I own already through it because it is easier to play almost everything through one platform.

Marc Geiger claims that Streaming is the future of this industry, I highly agree and I think with the highly anticipated Apple iTunes and Beats merge soon to be released, streaming will boom even more through Apple loyalists, no doubt that iTunes is one of the biggest music providers, now imagine if the majority of its customers converted to streaming. It is a very exciting concept, and I’m highly intrigued to how it will all pan out.

I am not an Apple fan, I don’t like their capitalist ways in trying to squeeze as much money out of people as they can. I Also  think iTunes is one of the least user friends programs going, but I cannot help wanting to see what the new streaming model will look like, how big it’s library is, how it is compatible with iTunes. And what about portability? Spotify has an app, I’m assuming iPhone’s will have one, but will Apple release a new iPod with the ability to stream?

This leads to more questions. Most people download music so they can own it, so they can put on a device to listen to as they go, whether it is an iPod/Mp3 player or a phone, whatever….Will people still need to download legally or illegally if streaming becomes more accessible on the move? will newer devices be made to cater for streamers? As much as I like the idea of streaming on the go, my phone battery won’t hack it with all the other things I use it for, practicality needs to come into the equation too.

As cynical as this sounds, you can be vigilant all you want with piracy, the only way to completely stop it is to shut down the internet, that isn’t going to happen. When wildly popular sites like Pirate Bay go down the traffic of piracy will drop a little until the next best thing is available. Currently proxy sites are handy for the freeloaders to use to avoid site blocks from such providers like Sky. As a music enthusiast, I’d love to see streaming dominate and for music to be available at fairer prices for customers to access it. The simple thing is that free is everyone’s favourite price, if you can get it for free then why pay for it?

What do you think? Will piracy die out if streaming does start to dominate the music industry?