All posts in U.S.

Apple May Be Stepping on Spotify’s Throat Over U.S. Launch

Spotify on iPhone

If you’re a U.S. music lover who enjoys streaming a huge collection to your iDevice rather than carrying it all around with you, you’ve probably at least heard of Spotify — and are still wondering why it hasn’t come to your country.

CNet is reporting that the wildly popular Swedish music streaming service Spotify continues to struggle in its efforts to launch their service in the U.S., and now it appears that Apple may have a hand in keeping the record labels from getting on board as well. The reason? The lucrative business for legal per-song downloads here, which is dominated by none other than (wait for it) Apple’s iTunes Store.

“In meetings in Los Angeles recently, Apple executives told their music industry counterparts that they had serious doubts about whether Spotify’s business model could ever generate significant revenues or profits, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions,” CNet reveals.

“But Apple executives worried about the effects of a free music service might have on the rest of the market. They noted that it’s tough to sell something that someone else is giving away, the sources said. One industry insider said it is only logical that if Spotify were allowed to launch a free-music service here, at a time when Nielsen recently reported that the growth of digital sales has flattened out, it could eat into the businesses of proven revenue-producers like Apple and Amazon.”

Spotify has had no such problem launching in seven European countries (including the U.K., France and Spain), and has already missed two target dates for its U.S. launch due to the lack of agreements with music labels here. The company is racing to meet a third target date for the end of the year.

The company’s music streaming service already exists on the iPhone in the form of a Spotify app which streams over Wi-Fi or 3G — but U.S. customers can’t get their hands on it until such agreements are in place.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

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U.S. Kindle Store Offers 700,000 E-books

Amazon just hit the Android digital shelves with an update to the app for that platform. Apart from adding voice search and Wikipedia, there was also a nice big fat number hidden in their release documents. 700,000 to be exact.

Straight from TechCrunch, we find that Amazon has been cranking out the ebook titles, adding 30,000 in the last three weeks alone. The current figure is 200,000 more titles than than the Kindle store sported in April, with no end to growth in sight.

kindle

If there is any edge that Amazon has over its competitors (apart from the easy reading in direct sunlight that it has over the iPad), it’s numbers. As in a deep well of titles and how many Kindles are out there in the market. Sure, Barnes & Noble claims over 1 million titles, but Nooks aren’t in as many hands. iPads are flying off the shelves, but it’s almost de rigeur to add the Kindle app to your device. Kindle also shows up on Mac and Windows laptops and desktops.

If there’s any long-term hope for Amazon’s Kindle, it’s to keep itself on as many platforms as possible and to keep up this kind of growth. The device itself may eventually die, but as we all know, the device isn’t where the ebook profits are; it’s the title sales. Especially with e-books overtaking paper book sales.

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