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Posts Tagged ‘Beats’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Google Buys Songza | MSNBC Holds Second Place

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Google in Deal for Songza, A Music Playlist Service (NYT)
In a sign of growing consolidation in the digital music business, Google announced on Tuesday that it had bought Songza, a three-year-old app that competes with Pandora and others in making customized playlists of recommended songs. Re/code The New York Post reported in June that the deal could be worth $15 million. Unlike some acquired startups, Songza won’t be shutting down. Its team will be joining Google in New York and helping with contextual recommendation features for Google Play and possibly YouTube down the line. GigaOM Songza offers custom curated playlists based on categories like genre, mood, decade and activity (“Drinking at A Dive Bar,” “’60s International,” etc.) and offers song suggestions based on the time of day and week. The service is free and songs aren’t interrupted by ads. THR The acquisition comes on the heels of Apple’s deal to purchase Beats Electronics and its streaming music service for $3 billion. Amazon also has jumped into the music streaming market with the launch of the Prime Music service, which comes as part of its $99 annual Prime subscription. The move appears to be part of Google’s plans to compete in this increasingly crowded music-streaming space, which is already dominated by Spotify. Variety Google said it plans to use Songza to make its Play Music service more attractive. The Songza purchase also comes as marketers are spending more on online and mobile radio services in the U.S. Ad sales generated $1.65 billion in the U.S. last year, a gain of 26.3 percent, according to digital research group eMarketer. That’s expected to increase another 23 percent to $2 billion this year.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Angelou Dies at 86 | Williams Interviews Snowden | Amazon Talks Hatchette Dispute

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Medal of Freedom Recipient Maya Angelou Dies at 86 (FishbowlDC)
Poet and author Maya Angelou died Wednesday at the age of 86, according to her literary agent Helen Brann. Angelou received the country’s highest civilian honor — the Medal of Freedom — in 2011 from President Obama, and is most widely known for her award-winning memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. NYT The cause of death was not immediately known, but Brann said Angelou had been frail for some time and had heart problems. GalleyCat In addition to writing, Angelou proved to be an accomplished Renaissance woman who worked as an activist, entertainer, streetcar conductor, magazine editor, college professor and lecturer. CNN Angelou’s legacy is twofold. She leaves behind a body of important artistic work that influenced several generations. But the 86-year-old was praised by those who knew her as a good person, a woman who pushed for justice and education and equality. In her full life, she wrote staggeringly beautiful poetry. She also wrote a cookbook and was nominated for a Tony. Reuters Literary and entertainment figures, politicians and fans mourned her passing on Wednesday. Obama said his sister, Maya, was named for the author, whom he called “a brilliant writer, a fierce friend and a truly phenomenal woman.” Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who frequently threw lavish birthday parties for Angelou and considered her a mentor, said she would remember her friend most for how she lived her life. “She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace,” Winfrey said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Apple to Buy Beats | Time Inc. Spin-off Set | House Questions Comcast Merger

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Apple in Talks for $3.2 Billion Beats Deal (Financial Times)
Apple is closing in on its largest ever acquisition with the planned $3.2 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and music streaming operator founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine and the hip-hop star Dr. Dre. The deal could be announced as early as next week, people familiar with the negotiations said, but they cautioned that some details had yet to be agreed upon and talks could still fall apart. GigaOM While Beats Electronics is best known for its premium headphones, it launched a streaming music service, Beats Music, in January. According to the report, the streaming service would be included in the deal. Apple runs its own streaming music service, iTunes Radio. NYT / DealBook For Apple, whose revenue growth has slowed sharply in the last few years, the deal could point to a headlong move into the frontier of streaming music. iTunes Radio has been slow to enter the streaming world. At over $3 billion, the Beats acquisition would be a major departure for Apple, which under Steve Jobs favored smaller deals. CNET Beats Music debuted with a powerful billing and marketing partnership with AT&T and it has reportedly been growing quickly. Although the company has yet to disclose hard and fast subscriber numbers, industry estimates peg the total at about 200,000. The talks come as trends in music purchasing are shifting to subscription services. Data from the Recording Industry Association of America found that paid subscription services grew the fastest of all digital formats last year, rising to 57 percent, while revenues from permanent digital downloads that are iTunes’ specialty declined 1 percent. Mashable Apple has ramped up its pace of acquisitions in recent months. CEO Tim Cook has said in the past that he’s open to the idea of making 10-figure acquisitions. Apple stock was down by a little less than 0.5 percent in after-hours trading following the report.

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