Snippets From A Fast-Changing World

An independent observer looks at things differently to someone who is right in the middle.

How Amazon has outsmarted the music industry (and Apple)

By Ed Bott | March 30, 2011, 2:21pm PDT

What Apple took away, Amazon has restored.

I’m talking, of course, about Lala, the pioneering digital music service that Apple purchased in December 2009 and shut down more than a year ago. The first thing Apple did, almost immediately after purchasing the company, was to disable its Music Mover feature, which allowed Lala members to upload their personal music collections to a cloud-based locker where they could play it from any web browser.

Yesterday, with the double-barreled launch of its Cloud Drive storage service and the tightly linked Cloud Player, Amazon brought that capability back to a mass audience. They’ve executed their strategy brilliantly, and they’ve painted the recording industry and their archrival Apple into a corner...more

New rules on the way for online content

By Tim Bradshaw, Digital Media Correspondent Published: March 23 2011

Digital media companies will soon find it easier to clear content rights for new online services, under recommendations from the Hargreaves review into intellectual property.

The review is part of a wider package of proposals around IP in Wednesday’s Budget, including the creation of new diplomatic posts in Asia to lobby for greater protection from piracy, which is rampant in markets such as China and India.…more

No fanfare as Spotify celebrates 1m users

By Tim Bradshaw

Spotify is this week celebrating signing up its millionth subscriber – but only quietly. Staff at the digital music service’s offices in London have not been treated to a big party, slap-up feast or cracked open the champagne. Spotify says there will be a few pats on backs, then it’s just “onwards and upwards”...more

Warner Bros. to Offer Movies Through Facebook

By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER And STEVEN RUSSOLILLO

Warner Bros. will begin offering select movies through Facebook, a move that will enable the social-networking giant to compete in the online movie-rental market.

The new offering—which was made by Warner Brothers without explicit assistance from Facebook—puts Facebook Inc. in greater competition with Netflix Inc. and other tech companies vying for position in the ever-expanding online-video-services market. It also comes as movie studios are increasingly testing new methods of distribution for their movies...more

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