Digital music sales on iTunes and beyond are now fading as fast as CDs.

The top 1 percent of bands and solo artists now earn about 80 percent of all revenue from recorded music, as I wrote in “The Shazam Effect.” But the market for streamed music is not so concentrated. The ten most-popular songs accounted for just shy of 2 percent of all streams in 2013 and 2014.

via Digital music sales on iTunes and beyond are now fading as fast as CDs. – The Atlantic.

Apple, IBM partnership yields first results: 10 mobile apps

The plan calls for IBM will resell Apple devices with its software pre-installed. IBM activation, management and security software are also involved in the deal. The partnership aims to give Apple the credibility it still has not quite achieved in IT departments and bring IBM into a popular mobile ecosystem.

via Apple, IBM partnership yields first results: 10 mobile apps | ITworld.

Turning Customers Into Cultists

A number of Bay Area companies have come to incorporate this insight into their marketing strategies. In 2004, shortly after launching the restaurant-review site Yelp, the founders were struggling to grow the company. They decided to convene a gathering of about 100 power-users. The get-together “was a big success,” Ligaya Tichy, who later served as Yelp’s senior community manager, told me. “Bringing users together to share what they loved about the site led to a huge spike in activity. What we realized is that people aren’t really motivated by companies. They’re motivated by other people. We needed to get the message across: you are what makes this product cool.” The number of reviewers on the site grew from 12,000 in 2005 to 100,000 in 2006.

via Turning Customers Into Cultists – The Atlantic.

The Horror of a ‘Secure Golden Key’

A “golden key” is just another, more pleasant, word for a backdoor—something that allows people access to your data without going through you directly. This backdoor would, by design, allow Apple and Google to view your password-protected files if they received a subpoena or some other government directive. You’d pick your own password for when you needed your data, but the companies would also get one, of their choosing. With it, they could open any of your docs: your photos, your messages, your diary, whatever.

via The Horror of a ‘Secure Golden Key’.

The Problem with Apple and eBooks

Apple would sell more music if they released an Android app, and the same can be said for movies and ebooks. But Apple hasn’t done so, and I think it’s time to acknowledge that the strategy is working for Apple.

That is especially true in the case of ebooks. By my estimate, Apple sells more ebooks than B&N.

via The Problem with Apple and eBooks, Redux | The Digital Reader.

EU Set to Probe Ireland’s Tax Arrangements with Apple

Ireland’s taxation laws allow multinationals to set up subsidiaries that effectively turn them into stateless entities whose revenues are subject to no jurisdiction. It’s the definition of entirely legal tax avoidance, and Apple has been among the most successful companies in routing much of its international revenues and earnings through its Irish subsidiaries.

via EU Set to Probe Ireland’s Tax Arrangements with Apple – The Mac Observer.

Apple rejects Tank Battle 1942 for depicting Germans & Russians as “enemies”

In case you think you’ve read that wrong, I’ll summarise: a World War II-themed game that depicts fighting between two countries that actually fought in WWII breaks the rules. And apparently Drive on Moscow, Panzer Corps, and every single one of Hunted Cow’s other Tank Battle games don’t.

via Apple rejects Tank Battle 1942 for depicting Germans & Russians as “enemies” UPDATED.

Apple loses bid for U.S. ban on Samsung smartphone sales

A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected Apple’s request for a permanent sales ban in the United States against some older Samsung smartphones, a key setback for the iPhone maker in its global patent battle.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, ruled that Apple Inc had not presented enough evidence to show that its patented features were a significant enough driver of consumer demand to warrant an injunction

via Apple loses bid for U.S. ban on Samsung smartphone sales – chicagotribune.com.

Apple Underwhelms in China, Too

At 4,488 Yuan Renminbi (US$734) for the 16GB version, the iPhone might be within reach of well-heeled consumers in Beijing and Shanghai but is unlikely to win over punters in so-called third-tier cities and beyond, who have never owned a smartphone.

via Apple Underwhelms in China, Too | Light Reading.

In another online poll (again in Chinese, naturally), more than 80 percent said the price was too high.

Chic marketing may be wearing off the Apple brand.