August 12, 2005

Music and Entertainment Week in Review

The most interesting digital music news items for the week.

The biggest news this week came from Japan, with the iTunes Music Store crossing one million downloads after just four days. The intensified a stalemate with Sony, which refuses to license its tracks to Apple.

Meanwhile, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a non-final rejection to Apple on a submission detailing the iPod user interface. The USPTO pointed to an similar patent submitted earlier by a current Microsoft researcher.

Following a substantial payola settlement involving Sony BMG and New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, the FCC has now opened its own investigation into the matter.

Clear Channel continued to advance its plans to spin off both its outdoor and live business units, eventually creating three, separately-traded business groups.

Online media monitoring firm BigChampagne finalized a data-sharing deal with AOL Music. And at Music 2.0 in the Bay Area, Sony BMG Executive Thomas Hesse pointed to new digital music concepts like release windowing and varied pricing, while also placing a greater emphasis on new formats like ringtones.

In the financial world, Loudeye posted strong revenues while also suffering deeper quarterly losses. And Creative also suffered a disappointing quarter, with heavy pricing pressures and a write-down in inventories causing net losses, despite increased unit sales.

Posted by keefner at August 12, 2005 05:19 PM