Boxing in Pandora

While Warner is the first major record label to sign such a broad royalty deal its arrangement with Clear Channel is already being looked to as a template for a broader detente between the record companies and broadcasters.But it may not be a template Pandora can follow.

Spotify revenue up, profits down

The good news, for investors at least, is that Spotify managed to convert free users to paid users at an impressive rate. According to CEO Daniel Ek, 20 percent of people who use the service regularly end up paying for a subscription, a much higher conversion rate than for most freemium services.

Apple iTunes radio inches closer

Apple is unlikely to launch an advertising-only streaming service a la Pandora given that no one –including Pandora — has been able to make money that way. The more likely scenario is that Apple will launch some sort of hybrid service that involves advertising, paid subscriptions, and the ability to purchase instantly via iTunes the song you just heard on the streaming radio channel.

Today in Connected Consumer

Shares of Pandora were getting hammered this morning in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report that Apple is in talks with the major record companies about launching an ad-supported rival to the internet radio service. Though Pandora has more than 54 million users, making it by far the biggest music streaming service, Apple’s huge installed base of MP3 players, smartphones, tablets and laptops could make it a formative competitor. The question that has everyone puzzled this morning, however, is why? Why would Apple want to get into the ad-supported streaming business by creating a competitor to Pandora, especially when it could simply buy Pandora for what, to Apple, would be walking-around money? As an initial matter, the whole thing sounds far more exploratory at this point than real, but as for why streaming, Apple can see which way the online music wind is blowing these days as well as anyone, and it’s not blowing in the direction of the iTunes Music Store. As for why build instead of buy, the Journal report answers the question obliquely, noting the Apple is seeking to negotiate licenses directly with the labels rather than rely on the compulsory license Pandora relies on, with its attendant royalty structure that make it difficult if not impossible to make money in internet radio.

Rdio sneaks into UK and France. Will you be using it?

Without any fanfare, Rdio just launched its music streaming service in the U.K. and France — taking on major rival Spotify on its home turf for the first time. But is its offering enough to make users switch?

Updated: Quarterly Wrap-ups: a look back at Q4 and predictions for 2012

The past 12 months were marked by major flubs in the solar and mobile industries, missteps on the part of Netflix and the reinvention of music streaming services as a social platform. It’s a lot to keep track of, and it’s even more to analyze. But as they always do at the close of every quarter, GigaOM Pro’s trustworthy curators present their quarterly wrap-ups, which cover the most important events, technologies and companies from the past three months as well as predictions for the next year. Watch for these as they roll out across each GigaOM Pro vertical over the next five days.