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Quick Hits: YouTube in India; Sainsbury selling records; high-def vinyl; Panoply exec talks shop

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

Mobile YouTubing skyrockets in India: YouTube released some facts and figures about the video platform’s performance in India. Overall watch time in the nation has increased 80% and mobile viewing has skyrocketed up 131%. “In our view, 2015 was a breakout year for the young industry and the ecosystem has really evolved in India, with mobile driving massive growth for online video consumption,” said Satya Raghavan, YouTube India’s head of entertainment content. “Now, we’re seeing online creators break open the gates for a whole new kind of entertainment for Indians online, with advertisers looking to tap into this space in a meaningful way.”

Sainsbury bets big on vinyl: For some time, vinyl has been a surprising bright spot in traditional album sales. Even though CDs are on the decline in most markets, vinyl continues to be a niche of surging numbers. That rise could continue in the UK, as retailer Sainsbury’s announced plans to put vinyl on sale in its supermarkets starting today. Tesco stores began selling records in December.

Developing high-definition vinyl: Speaking of records, an Austrian music distributor is exploring technology for high-definition vinyl production.  Günter Loibl, founder of Rebeat Digital, has filed for patent protection on a laser stamping technology that he says would give vinyl records more storage space and a wider frequency range. “HD vinyl will change the market. If I as a musician have the choice between the old production methods and HD vinyl, I will probably opt for the better product,” he said. “I think 50 to 70 percent market share possible.”

Panoply exec talks shop: Andy Bowers, chief content officer of Slate’s Panoply podcast network, spoke at the Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin. He discussed the growth of the audio format and how the engagement of hardcore fans give shows different options for business models.

Brad Hill

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