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Digital Digest 2013

Our new weekly column Digital Digest will keep you up-to-date with the fast-moving world of music streaming, apps, digital downloads and whatever else the future throws at us. Enjoy!

Australian Financial Review pronounces the death of iTunes

The Australian Financial Review has made a bold claim in an articletitled: Music streaming expected to decimate iTunes Australia. In the piece, AFR suggests that revenue growth from iTunes in Australia is expected to halve in 2013, due to the adoption of streaming services by more and more Australian consumers. The article quotes Jane Huxley, Pandora Australia’s MD, as stating: “We are starting to see listeners move from music ownership to a rental or lease model. […] When we talk to people, they are talking less about owning music through iTunes and more about listening through streaming.”

Billboard has, however, questioned this knee-jerk reaction from AFR, digging up figures which suggest that this drastic shift won’t occur until 2020. Regardless of which publication’s projections are correct, it is clearly evident that the shift from ownership to access is occurring at a lightning rate.

Rdio launches New Music Weekly series

Rdio has launched its New Music Weekly series, a campaign that couples the best independent music with a series of impressive video productions from visual artists around the world.

Each week, Rdio will unleash a new video featuring 15 seconds of stop-motion art and a snippet of a new song from an independent buzz artist. This campaign is likely to increase exposure for both artists in the independent sector – which Spotify has been under fire of late for not supporting as strongly as the majors – and the visual artists.

Shana Fong, Marketing and PR Manager for Rdio in the US, says of the initiative: “Discovery has always been core to the Rdio experience and we are continually exploring new ways to guide our listeners to new music. Art and music have always been intertwined as creative avenues for expression.

“Rdio’s New Music Weekly series is a fresh and engaging way to be introduced to independent musicians while simultaneously being exposed to tremendously talented visual artists.”

Songl teams with Big Brother 

New streaming service Songl has partnered with Channel Nine, with the latest series of Big Brother promoting housemates’ Songl playlists on the show each week, with further tie-ins expected.

Songl has a revenue sharing deal with Nine, and is owned by DMD, which is a digital distribution service – itself a JV between Southern Cross Austereo, Universal and Sony.

Spotify taps Google’s David Raitt 

Spotify Australia and NZ’s new Sales Director is David Raitt, in charge of a sales staff of six. He was previously at Google for 11 years, heading the agency and then travel divisions, where he made his name for his interest in digital sales. Raitt worked with Spotify’s regional Managing Director Kate Vale at YouTube. Another recent addition to Spotify’s team, as Senior Sales Manager, is Leanne Doan who was previously acting as Digital Group Sales Manager.

Rdio streams to Live Nation fans

Another big deal for Rdio in America, with the service providing embedded streams on Live Nation’s website, targeting fans who visit the site in order to buy concert tickets. The below video features CEO Drew Larner discussing the deal on Bloomberg West last Friday.

iOS7 iTunes will feature streaming radio

Those that have a developer account with Apple, and have downloaded the beta version of the iOS7 operating system, may have noticed that the new version of iTunes contained their much-anticipated streaming radio features: iTunes Radio. This change is one of many that Apple are planning to roll out as they attempt to compete with Pandora in this field.

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