Earlier this week, during a disappointing Tesla earnings call, Elon Musk mentioned in passing that he’d be producing a stationary battery for powering the home in the next few months. It sounded...
As Computing moves from distributed to centralized, as Electricity did at the turn of the century, Electricity is reverting from centralized back to distributed, bearing centralized Computing's increasing Electricity demands. Fascinating. Elon Musk = next in the pantheon of "Men Who Built America."
[For more context: see commentary on "Amazon's Fire TV is a win for everyone..." scoop below]
"Apple is close to buying the Pandora-for-talk-radio app Swell, according to multiple sources."
AAPL executing a deft (and in some ways clandestine) vertical rollup in audio entertainment SaaS. Love the irony of snatching a seedling investment from Google Ventures. Looks like they took note of Shashi Seth's (Tribune Digital Ventures') Newsbeat gambit (see "Tribune Built A Robot..." below):
[Shashi Seth loves NPR. But he would like it a lot more if he could skip stories.
That was the kernel of the idea behind Newsbeat, a new mobile app the Tribune Company is releasing today that uses voice-over artists and a robot to read news stories while you're in your car or at the gym...]
AT&T said Sunday that it had agreed to acquire America's biggest satellite television provider, DirecTV, in a deal worth almost $50 billion.
the only way this is possible or makes any business sense is because of the de-facto, exempted monopolism of american pro sports leagues. congress, either mandate a-la-carte options for sports programming, or regulate/deny pay-tv distribution consolidation. (or, google, nab those nfl rights once and for all, and set the dominos in motion.)
Apple would take control of Beats' hardware business (including its signature headphones) and its relatively new streaming-music service, Beats Music.
Body blow sustained by beats when Spotify acquired Echo Nest leads beats to seek financing and strategic partners. Apple balance sheet and techno-tainment expertise prove more desirable to beats than another dance with PE, and Apple asks to step in. Carlyle more than happy to oblige Apple's offer – PE's about money making money, after all. And Apple sees a handsome investment in defense and growth strategies.
(To a modest extent I surmise,) Apple gets: relationships with Universal Music, Vivendi, Chrysler, HP, Topspin, Dolby, ATT, music & sports celebrities; A&R talent; Technical, Supply Chain & Engineering talent; AI talent; huge margins; robust, accretive revenues; streaming expertise; curation expertise; brand equity; leverage against wireless telecom cartel; wearables ecosystem; access to automobility and infotainment ecosystem...
Information is changing the music industry; not only in the ways we consume and discover music, but as well in the ways companies are arming themselves for competition.
Streaming services see gold in the figures that fuel recommendation algorithms, and now content companies, driven too by the alluring growth of digital tech, are proudly announcing their latest partnerships with leading software-as-a-service companies and the terabytes of social data multiplying on their servers.
The future of music discovery—and potentially, of artist development—is now in the numbers.
pioneering semantic web technology... as suggested by this article, amazon's & google's "giant brain" model can be effectively applied to verticals as well. gratifying evolutionary strides... but i'd also like to see advances that make better use of and accommodate user inputs. what i envision is reverse filtration – something like what amazon is already doing with shopping for goods – especially with regard to lyrical subject matter, not just audio/aural elements like beat, melody, genre, rhythm and such.
With the Fire TV, Amazon came out with guns blazing. But how long until the Fire TV's flame dies down in the face of its competition. Or does that matter?
major cracks forming in the pay-tv industry's levee... it'll break once a digital distributor brokers a deal for live content. (content producers of all kinds are getting giddy anticipating the erosion of incumbent distribution walls.)
as for amazon: when your fundamental business is scaling and harnessing computing power, you can do stuff like this.
when consumers buy prime, they actually buy not retail power, but computing power.
think of amazon (and google, among a few select others) as a giant brain – all that their engineers and staff have to do is protect and grow it; they can then teach it new things, which in turns protects and grows it. a virtuous cycle that builds a new kind of moat.
it's somewhat like GE & JP Morgan building/scaling electric capacity at the turn of the century, giving rise to a new tier of economics.
sang jimi, "[amazon,] let me stand next to your fire..."
another Google's YouTube has reached a deal to buy Twitch, a popular videogame-streaming company, for more than $1 billion, according to sources familiar with the pact. The deal, in an all-cash offer, is e...
another convergence inflection point...
[ThinkDigital update: Amazon swooped in at the 11th hour and snatched Twitch away from Google, possibly underscoring that Google finds itself stretched a little too thin and needs to sharpen its strategic focus... Considering Amazon's own dominance in Digital Entertainment, Google's "anti-trust concerns" seem a little disingenuous.
Amazon.com is considering an advertising-supported streaming television and music-video service, a departure from its strategy of linking video to its $99-a-year Prime subscription service, according to people close to the company.
WSJ calls it a "departure" from strategy... But followers of ThinkDigital know better ;) It's really an affirmation of strategy. (Tip: study astronomy on the side – it'll help you conceptualize the abstractions of network effects and of digital economics in general.)
Twitter just announced that it will be removing its #Music app from the App Store "later this afternoon." For those who have already downloaded it, the app..
at first blush, surprising – in that over 50% of twitter's traffic/activity is related to music. but i surmise it all portends a new approach to leveraging and serving this vibrant community in the burgeoning conversation economy. (consider also that kevin thau, who launched #music, left twitter last year to join jelly.)
Warner will mine Shazam's database of song lookups to figure out what songs and artists are about to break out. It's a smart partnership that will make Warner smarter about marketing and give it access to up and coming artists.
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