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Google’s plan to take on iTunes, Spotify welcomed

Paul Smith (via AFR) | Feb. 28, 2013
Music industry executives and analysts have cautiously welcomed reports that online search giant Google is planning a major blitz on Apple’s iTunes and streaming services like Spotify, with the launch of its own music streaming service.

"Record labels will be concerned about controlling Google strategically, they won't want another Apple with significant market power and negotiating advantage, capable of killing off smaller music players," Mr Little said.

"Choices of business model will also be strictly limited to prevent Google undercutting the market with an over-generous free service."

He said that given the length of past negotiations with Apple and Spotify, the launch of a fully thought through Google music streaming proposition in September might be a little optimistic.


Music Revenues Up

In its 2013 digital music report, the IFPI said global recorded music industry revenues rose by an estimated 0.3 per cent to $US16.5 billion in 2012, the first year of industry growth since 1999. Digital revenues saw accelerating growth for the second year running, up 9 per cent, with most major digital revenue streams - downloads, subscription and advertising-supported - on the rise.

The number of people paying to use subscription services leapt 44 per cent in 2012 to 20 million. Subscription revenues are expected to account for more than 10 per cent of digital revenues for the first time in 2012. Download sales increased in volume by 12 per cent globally in 2012 and represented around 70 per cent of overall digital music revenues

Canadian artist Carly Rae Jepsen topped the 2012 global singles chart with Call Me Maybe, whereas British singer-songwriter Adele's album 21, was the first album to top the global albums chart for two consecutive years since IFPI began reporting global best sellers in 2001.

"It is hard to remember a year for the recording industry that has begun with such a palpable buzz in the air. These are hard-won successes for an industry that has innovated, battled and transformed itself over a decade," chief executive of IFPI, Frances Moore said in a statement.

"They show how the music industry has adapted to the internet world, learned how to meet the needs of consumers and monetised the digital marketplace."


Global Album Best Sellers in 2012

  Artist Title Total (m units)
1 Adele 21 8.3
2 Taylor Swift Red 5.2
3 One Direction Up All Night 4.5
4 One Direction Take Me Home 4.4
5 Lana Del Rey Born To Die 3.4
6 P!nk The Truth About Love 2.6
7 Rod Stewart Rod Stewart 2.6
8 Rihanna Unapologetic 2.3
9 Mumford & Sons Babel 2.3
10 Maroon 5 Overexposed 2.2
      Source: IFPI


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