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Earlier this week, Sainsbury's purchased a majority stake in ebook retailer Anobii from HMV for £1 in what was the latest example of a major retailer trying to extend its footprint into the world of digital content.
Yesterday, we saw another example of this same trend as Tesco purchased UK-based music streaming service We7 for £10.8m.
Streaming music online is a competitive business.
Spotify is probably the most recognisable provider, but the likes of Deezer and Grooveshark are also posting strong user numbers.
In order to keep attracting new users, one of the key challenges for streaming services is differentiating themselves from the competition.
Last.fm seeks to do this by tracking user listening behaviour and recommending artists based on their musical tastes. Since launching in 2002 the London-based company has collected 65bn pieces of track data from its users, which is obviously a powerful tool for advertisers.
To find out how Last.fm makes use of its data and sell its service to marketers, I spoke to commercial director Chris Wistow...
Spotify unveiled its new iPad app this week, adding to its existing portfolio of iPhone and Android apps.
It's free to download and has graphics that are optimised for the new Retina display.
But to be honest I was surprised that Spotify didn’t already have an iPad app, so was expecting it to offer some remarkable functionality to make it worth the wait.
Unfortunately it doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean that Spotify has dropped the ball with their latest mobile offering...
There is little doubt that digital is the future of music. The CD may not be dead, but it might as well be.
Its replacement for millions of consumers has been digital music services of various kinds, ranging iTunes and the Amazon MP3 Store to Pandora and Spotify.
Following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, Spotify is attempting to further monetise its platform by creating brand pages.
20th Century Fox is the first advertiser to sign up, with a page customised to promote the forthcoming release of Titanic 3D.
It encourages users to add their favourite songs from 1997 (the year the film was released) and links to a playlist of number one songs from the 1990s.
The page also features a Facebook-integrated app that allows users to create their own film trailer and include three friends in the credits.
Despite the woes of the music industry over the past decade, few things are as popular as music. Not surprisingly, that's true on the internet too.
Just how popular is music on the internet? Consider that once-dominant social network MySpace, long written off by many as effectively dead, has managed to attract 1m new users primarily with a revamped music player.
As Facebook continues the charge towards its rumoured-but-practically-confirmed IPO this year, its next trick is a feature called 'Listen With'.
Announced last night, this allows groups of people to listen to the same song at the same time via the social network’s music service.
Spotify has announced that it has added 7m new users since its Facebook partnership in September.
During a keynote at LeWeb this morning CEO Daniel Ek also revealed that the company has developed a new radio streaming app.
Ek, who confirmed that he had no plans for an IPO, said the new product was similar to Pandora but had unlimited radio stations and skips.
Users will also be able to add songs they hear on the radio to their Spotify playlists.
Yesterday, Spotify announced a new apps platform, featuring apps from Last.fm, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and more.
Whether this apps platform provides ways for developers to monetise their apps is up for debate, but I want to look at the apps released so far, and whether they enhance the experience for Spotify users.
One of Facebook's biggest assets is the open platform it has built which enables developers to build apps that Facebook users can install and use while logged in to the social network.
Today, that platform not only helps Facebook generate billions in revenue, it has served as the foundation for other billion-dollar businesses, like social gaming giant Zynga.
So it's no surprise that another prominent consumer internet upstart, Spotify, is looking to Facebook and launching its own platform.
The increase in paying customers is likely to have been bolstered by the company’s launch in the US in July, and a partnership with Facebook that began in September.
Spotify is one of the most popular streaming music services in the world, and since its July debut in the U.S. and the recent launch of a deep Facebook integration , it has gained 250,000 U.S. subscribers, bringing the company's worldwide paid subscriber total to "well north" of 2m.
But it's not all good news for the Swedish-based company: while revenue grew from just over £11m in 2009 to just over £63m in 2010, during the same period Spotify's after-tax loss jumped grew by nearly £10m to £26m.