Twitter’s new Audio Card launches with any SoundCloud embed and one iTunes track

Twitter has introduced a musical new feature called the Audio Card that allows its members to embed a track in a tweet. The social network is first working with SoundCloud on the launch of the feature, and the streaming platform’s entire library will be made available for embeds. A select number of partner artists are rolling out the feature today, and the social network said that its @TwitterMusic handle would announce updates about the people and organizations using the Audio Card. Continue Reading

Apple/U2 follow-up: blurring the meaning of ownership

Four days after our initial coverage of Apple’s forced distribution of U2’s new album, the controversy continues to swirl. A good deal of media punditry has concluded that the marketing gambit, in which Apple put the band’s new album, Songs of Innocence, into the music collections across the iOS mobile landscape, was an outright failure. But 33-million people listened to the album, making the experiment a large success. Continue Reading

Gift horse: Apple/U2 promo suffers angry user pushback

Apple’s music platforms — iTunes and iTunes Radio — have issued innumerable album previews and exclusive releases. Promotions of those events seek to drive sales in an era when streaming is eating into music ownership. Taking the concept a step further, Apple bundled U2 released U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, globally, by dumping the album directly into iPhones, iPods, and iPads throughout its vast user base. Much gnashing of teeth ensued. Continue Reading


Apple looks forward: Free U2 album on iTunes and the end of iPod Classic

Apple didn’t share any big streaming-centric news at its product reveal yesterday, but the music updates that did come out of the major tech event still serve as a sign of the trends to look for both on- and offline. U2 was the musical guest at the event, and the band closed the performance by announcing that its new album would be available for free to all iTunes customers. The other big development was a silent change that didn’t take place on stage: Apple discontinued the classic iPod. Continue Reading

Garth Brooks launches digital music store

Country sensation Garth Brooks took his first baby step into the digital realm in July, but today he announced the beta launch of an entirely new online music service. It’s called The focus with this platform is control for the musicians, but listeners will also have several options for how to enjoy their purchases. Continue Reading

Why Digital Music Services Always Steal Each Other’s Customers (Mark Mulligan)

by Mark Mulligan

Mark Mulligan is one of the industry’s most astute observers and analysts. This guest column examines customer sharing, revenue cannibalization, and the next five years in music — “one of the music industry’s most dramatic periods of change. The last ten years might have been disruptive but the change that is coming will be even more transformative.” Continue Reading