digital music

Tim Bradshaw

It is one of the most hotly anticipated apps yet to appear on the iPhone.

From today, Spotify – the digital music application credited by some for finally luring listeners away from online piracy – can sit alongside iTunes on Apple’s mobile, as well as on phones running Google’s Android software.

On the PC, Spotify allows its users to listen to any of its millions of tracks for free, supported by advertising. On a mobile, users must upgrade to its premium subscription, which costs £9.99 a month or £119.88 a year (and also provides ad-free listening on the PC). 

Tim Bradshaw

“It’s a bummer.”

That’s how Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, described the departure of Last.fm’s three founders, Martin Stiksel, Felix Miller and Richard Jones.

CBS paid $280m in 2007 for Last.fm, an online music service and community now used by over 37m people a month. It remains one of the UK’s biggest buyouts in the web 2.0 era and Last.fm is still a fixture of London’s Silicon Roundabout.

Yet Mr Smith was magnanimous as three darlings of the web scene left CBS Interactive, which as a whole generated revenues of over $600m last year. 

Maija Palmer

24-7 Entertainment

The digital music industry went into “shuffle” mode again on Wednesday, when Metro, the German retailer, said its Media-Saturn unit had acquired a controlling stake in 24-7 Entertainment, a UK-based distributor of digital music. Digital music, like social networking sites and internet operations, are being subsumed into more traditional businesses.

24-7 is a rival to Apple’s iTunes, and runs 41 download stores in 13 countries, including running the music stores for mobile operators like TDC of Denmark and supporting Sony Ericsson’s PlayNow service. 

ipod_classic_fam.jpgNews that Apple is in talks with record labels about a possible ‘all-you-can-eat’ model for iTunes is making the rounds on the blogs this morning following last night’s story in the FT.

Over at TechCrunch, Erick Schonfeld asks whether music companies would be willing to go along with a subscription model. We think the answer is clearly yes.