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Quick Hits: Citi report critique. “Hearables.” Spotify’s strategy and Apple’s response. BBC on Spotify.

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

Music Biz Slams Citi Report on Industry & Artist Revenue as ‘Inconsistent,’ ‘Inaccurate’: If the massive report on the music industry released by Citi last week caused you to raise an eyebrow, you’re not alone. The report has drawn critique from several quarters and on several points. You can read RAIN’s analysis here, and Billboard has summed up the key points of criticism.

The future is ear: Why “hearables” are finally tech’s next big thing: Fast Company charted the path of Doppler Labs, an audio-focused start-up whose work in wireless earbuds has gone on to influence tech majors as they push deeper into personal audio products. “Ultimately, the idea is to steal time from the smartphone,” Gints Klimanis, Doppler’s former head of audio engineering, told the publication. “The smartphone will probably never go away completely, but the combination of voice commands and hearing could become the primary interface for anything spontaneous.”

Spotify’s $30 billion playlist for global domination: Another Fast Company story, this time profiling Spotify and the strategy its CEO, Daniel Ek, are laying out for the music business. It’s a thorough exploration of both the company and its most visible leader, from how it works with labels to its dedication to a freemium tier. The post also includes brief profiles of some of the curators whose choices for playlist programming are helping to make and break artists.

Cook says Apple not in music streaming for the money: It’s so buried in the above post that it’s worth a separate break-out. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, added his own two cents to Fast Company’s Daniel Ek profile. Unsurprisingly, he’s not too impressed by Spotify’s approach and has nothing but praise for Apple Music’s human curation.

Your Favourite BBC Podcasts, Now on Spotify in the UK: Spotify has secured a deal with one of the big cheeses in audio programming, with the addition of BBC podcasts from iPlayer Radio and BBC Sounds to its platform. It’s a limited deal, though, and only listeners in the UK will get to tune in.

Brad Hill

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