Monday, April 22, 2013

More Music News

The latest NPD Group Annual Music Study is revealing big gains for Amazon's online music unit, with its share of the market up about 50% in the last year, to 22% of the market.  Apple's iTunes store still dominates the market with 63% of sales, but is finding it's share falling in the face of increased competition.  Analysts attribute much of Amazon's gain to the introduction of its Fire tablets (which offers an easy interface for users), and its aggressive pricing strategy (with special limited-time free, or heavily discounted, bargains).  I'd add Amazon's DRM-free approach (which Apple's had to adopt), it's Cloud streaming apps, and it's recent offer of free digital versions of CDs that had been bought through Amazon.  They've been making some smart moves at Amazon.

In other news, Spotify recently announced plans to expand into Asia, Latin America, and Northern Europe - a move that will advance the current global shift to digital music (and licensing for streaming services as a major revenue source for music labels).  Spotify currently operates in 28 countries, and claims 24 million "active" users (those using it in the last 30 days) and 6 million paying subscribers for its upgraded services.
"We're taking our first steps in Latin America with Mexico, and Asia with Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore," the company said on its blog page on Tuesday. "Plus we're thrilled to make new friends in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland."
Spotify is currently trailing Pandora in reach and use.  Pandora currently claims around 70 million users.  Both are taking advantage of the booming smartphone market, and research that indicates that half of smartphone users listen to music on their devices.

Sources -  Amazon gains against Apple's iTunes in music downloads,  CEN-Web
Music streamer Spotify to expand into Asia, Latam, North Europe,  CEN-Web

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