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As it stands now, Ping is explicitly about selling music on the iTunes store. And while the new service is making us wonder whether Apple could build a viable social network, perhaps the real question is, “Does Apple want to build a real social network?” Read more »

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Whether by design or accident, Ping’s lack of integration with other social networks, or even with the web itself, is now its most compelling feature — at least from a strategic perspective. It’s essentially an e-commerce platform for music disguised as a social network. Read more »

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Mobile music has long failed to gain traction despite a tremendous amount of hype, but recent announcements about cloud-based services have reinvigorated the space. But as carriers and record labels should know, the only certainty in mobile music is that old business models don’t apply. Read more »

mSpot, a new music streaming service for your own audio collection, recently launched on Android 2.0 or better devices. Thanks to local caching, mSpot offers playback even when your phone has no data connection. But seamless on or offline playback is hurt by one main issue. Read more »

Perhaps the new limited smartphone plans from AT&T won’t hurt as much now that Slacker has introduced music caching in the latest version of it’s iPhone application. Subscribers can download and carry tunes instead of streaming them over mobile broadband, which cuts down on 3G usage. Read more »

Pandora, the music streaming provider and Silicon Valley darling, has raised additional late-stage funding of an undisclosed amount. Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy said in an emailed statement the funding would be used “to invest in resources we need to continue to execute on our strategy.” Read more »

I’m tired of waiting for Apple to deliver a cloud-based iTunes streaming solution. In this weekend project, I’ll show you three cloud services that let me “carry” as much music as I want on my connected phone to enjoy when and where I want. Read more »

Sorry, “web song” buyers: Lala.com now says its service will be shut down on May 31. Whatever Apple is planning to do with Lala, the cloud-based streaming music service it acquired in December, it’s not going to keep the site functioning as it once did. Read more »

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Midomi has rebranded itself as SoundHound and introduced a new freemium model aimed at challenging Shazam on both free and paid music app charts. Its ambitions could also make SoundHound a target for acquisition, since it does something Google and its rivals cannot. Read more »

Music subscription provider Rhapsody became an independent company, two months after RealNetworks revealed plans to cede majority control of the unit. Rhapsody, in which RealNetworks and Viacom now hold minority stakes, also slashed its monthly subscription price to compete with innovative rivals that have appeared recently. Read more »

A smash hit in Europe, streaming music service Spotify now reportedly aims to launch in the U.S. by the third quarter of 2010. Once expected in the second half of 2009, the rollout has been delayed as questions about Spotify’s business model have arisen. Read more »

Music service MOG unveiled its new mobile applications today, promising premium subscribers the ability to stream any song, anytime, anywhere. Its launch also represents an erosion of opportunity for Spotify, the European service that has promised (and delayed) its U.S. launch for several months. Read more »

If Apple’s iTunes LP format was supposed to give music fans a new reason to buy albums instead of individual songs, its impact on record sales has been a major disappointment. Six months after its introduction, the format is more a curiosity than a game-changer. Read more »

If music subscription service Rhapsody hoped that adding a mobile component would turn around its fortunes, new numbers suggest otherwise. Rhapsody’s subscriber base dipped below 700,000 by year’s end, meaning that its mobile applications aren’t winning over new customers fast enough to replace cancellations. Read more »

Warner Music Group president Edgar Bronfman articulated yesterday what we’ve known for awhile: Major record labels have lost confidence in the free streaming model for music consumption. But while WMG may not be ready to pull content from Spotify, it can stall its stateside growth. Read more »

A judge has thrown out a complaint by record label EMI against the founders of now-defunct music search engine Seeqpod, effectively ending a year-old case that attracted special attention because it also named as a defendant a developer who had used the company’s API. Read more »

In music industry parlance, a “360 deal” is a record contract in which a label takes a cut of ticket and merchandise sales as well as recorded music revenues. Streaming music provider Spotify wants to become a 360-degree channel for downloads, ticketing, merchandise and direct-to-fan marketing. Read more »

While the music industry watches Spotify’s endeavor to make money on streaming music via the freemium model in Europe, Taipei-based KKBOX has figured out how to turn a profit by converting free listeners to paying subscribers in Asia. Soon it will set sights on the U.S. Read more »

A year or two ago, MOG didn’t seem like a potentially disruptive force in the music subscription arena. But what started as a music-blogging network has become a full-fledged on-demand streaming service whose transformation came about when a major-label project failed to get off the ground. Read more »

Play.me, a new music service launched by Dada Entertainment, launched this week, offering both free and paid plans to consumers. But as labels’ enthusiasm for free streaming services appears to be on the wane, can Play.me convince users to pay for a premium version? Read more »

Apple has started to offer preview samples of songs on the web version of the iTunes music store called the iTunes Preview. It launched the iTunes Preview in November 2009. At the time, you couldn’t listen to these previews. The Cupertino, Calif.-based online music giant is […] Read more »

Napster CEO Chris Gorog will step down after eight years as CEO, amid a corporate restructuring that also includes the dismissal of president Brad Duea. Both executives’ positions have been eliminated by corporate parent Best Buy. Read more »

It’s been a bloody decade for the music industry, with labels, musicians, startups and consumers pointing fingers and passing the blame around. But as the industry continues to shrink, most parties are realizing that it’s more productive to dispense with blame and start cooperating. Read more »

A U.S. district court judge has fined music site Imeem $1.77 million after it failed to appear in court to respond to a copyright infringement lawsuit. The suit had been partially to blame for the company selling its assets to MySpace for less than $1 million. Read more »

Facing slow growth, eMusic and its owner JDS Capital Management are reportedly looking to sell to someone like Best Buy or Rhapsody (aka RealNetworks). But we think buying the company might be a good way for Spotify to get into the U.S. Read more »

Apple’s updated digital music strategy will reverse commitments to desktop software and ownership of music files. Here are five ways its acquisition and integration of Lala reflect a paradigm shift in the way mainstream consumers will listen to music in the coming decade. Read more »

Exits for digital music investments are far from strong these days and as such, while VCs aren’t giving up on them, they are starting much smaller. At least that was the sentiment expressed during an afternoon panel concerning venture funding at yesterday’s SF MusicTech Summit. Read more »

Net radio provider Pandora is preparing to move more aggressively into the automotive space, with deeper integration with car radios and controls on the horizon. Roughly half of Pandora’s mobile users are using their phones or iPod touches to listen to Pandora while in their cars. Read more »

Apple is reportedly on the verge of acquiring streaming music site Lala.com, known for its 10-cent streaming songs and digital music locker service. Terms aren’t being disclosed, but the report implies that an agreement is in place, with only a final sign-off needed. Read more »

Spotify has named Oskar Stål, who spent eight years at mobile commerce service provider mBlox, as CTO. Stål’s arrival comes just over a month after the abrupt but reportedly amicable departure of Andreas Ehn as CTO. Read more »

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