Will Apple’s Spectrum Bet Pay Off?

Apple has gone all-in for streaming as the primary means of getting content onto its devices. That has distinct strategic advantages for Apple, but it’s not without risks, especially for users.

Today in Connected Consumer

Not a good week for record company EMI. It’s owner, Terra Firma, remains locked in legal dispute with Citibank over its role in the 2007 acquisition, while major acts look for label homes. One of those could be Pink Floyd, which just won a ruling preventing the label from “unbundling” its concept albums into single-track downloads. The ruling could force EMI to remove “Money” and other classic Floyd tracks from iTunes and other services. Meanwhile, music video innovators OK Go, which has feuded with the label over its embedding policy, just walked to form their own label.

Today in Connected Consumer

It’s long past time to reinvent the music business without the typical record-label structure but better late than never. A new startup launching today, Hello Music, hopes to replace the traditional label A&R function with a do-it-yourself digital platform meant to connect aspiring bands and artists with commercial opportunities, while BACH Technology of Norway has a plan to take digital music distribution beyond the MP3 file. Oh, and Verizon says it’s not actually cutting off Internet access to users to download music illegally.

Today in Connected Consumer

If you saw 60 Minutes last night, you saw a bunch of MPAA folks complaining that piracy is destroying the movie business. What you didn’t see was a lot of empirical evidence to connect proposition A to proposition B, a common failing of many anti-piracy plaints. A new survey by IPSOS in UK, conducted as the British government debates a France-like three-strikes law, shows that “illegal” downloaders actually spend far more on legitimate music than non-downloaders. That doesn’t disprove a connection between piracy and falling CD sales but it certainly makes it murkier. Meanwhile, the studios want to make ISPs Down Under take more responsibility for file-sharing.