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Recruiting from radio: Apple hires Zane Lowe from BBC

Zane Lowe, well known in Britain and around the world for his weeknight music-discovery radio show on the BBC, has taken a position at Apple in Cupertino. When a popular DJ quits his show and moves to one of the world’s leading technology companies, the news can be framed within the human-vs-machine argument which divides streaming music curation Continue Reading

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Rumor Fact(ory): First leaks about Apple’s new Beats

Yesterday, Apple news site 9to5mac.com reported that it had received inside information about what the company’s new Beats Music-inspired streaming service will look like. Of course, the author gave no names or explanations of how and where he obtained the intel, so we’re taking it with a grain of salt for the time being. But here’s what we learned. Continue Reading

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Proposed class actions could hit Beats, Rdio, Google, and more with pre-1972 copyright judgments

On Thursday, Zenbu Magazines filed multiple proposed class-action lawsuits against several streaming services seeking to collect royalties on music recorded before 1972. The company targeted Beats Electronics, Sony Entertainment, Google, Rdio, Songza, Slacker, and Escape Media Group (which owns Grooveshark) in the complaints. Continue Reading

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Aussie telecom closing its music downloads store, may seek a partner instead

Australian telecommunication company Telstra announced that it is shuttering Bigpond Music, its online music download store. “The download-to-own music market has changed a lot,” a rep from Telstra said. “We believe the best way for us to continue to provide great music services to our customers is via a partner model.” Continue Reading

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Editor’s Notebook: Putting Beats in iOS won’t help much

by Brad Hill

Installing Beats Music as a built-in iOS app creates headlines, and is an obvious maneuver, but it barely lessens the challenge faced by Apple in the brutal music subscription space. It will not, by itself, move the needle for Beats or Apple. A crucial new effort is needed, and Apple has not demonstrated creativity in the music space for years. Continue Reading

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Beats Music will be standard in iOS starting in 2015

Apple’s integration of Beats Music took a step forward today with the announcement that the app will become a standard part of its mobile operating system in early 2015. The tech company has added Beats’ merchandise at its physical and digital stores, but the inclusion of the app will give the subscription streaming service visibility on millions of iPhones and iPads. Continue Reading

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Beats Music updates: Taking to the air with Southwest, Trent Reznor still on board

Forget connected cars, Apple is now taking Beats Music to a connected airplane. The tech company announced a partnership with Southwest Airlines to make a library of hundreds of playlists available for free on WiFi-enabled aircraft. Also in Beats Music news, Trent Reznor discussed the streaming service in an interview with Billboard. Continue Reading

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Rumor Fact(ory): Apple could incorporate Beats into iTunes by next year

Unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal that worldwide music sales from the iTunes Store fell 13%-14% since the start of 2014. A single individual also told WSJ that Apple is in the process of rebuilding Beats Music and will relaunch the service next year as part of iTunes. There hasn’t been any formal word from Apple about its plans for Beats, but that hasn’t stopped the rumors from swirling about their joint future. Continue Reading