music downloads

Gartner Predicts Higher Online Music Sales

Gartner Research predicts that with the decline of the physical format (like the compact disc) that subscription services and music downloads will flourish.

In a press release issued yesterday the Connecticut based information technology research company estimated that online music sales would reach $6.8 Billion worldwide in 2012 and $7.7 Billion Worldwide by 2015.

The company also predicts a decline in compact disc sales from $15 Billion last year to $10 Billion in 2015.

RIM Announces Blackberry Music

Research In Motion, a.k.a RIM, has published details about their new BBM Music service today.

According to their press release, this new Blackberry Messenger based music service will feature over 45 million recordings from major labels Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI, which will be made available via a cloud service to Blackberry users in Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This Omnifone powered service will allow users to access 50 songs for US$4.99 a month but is currently in beta testing, with a limited amount of users.

Walmart Closing Music Site In States

Walmart will be closing their American music download site on August 29th. But their Canadian music download site, SongSpark, continues to operate.

Songwriters Propose Another Flat Rate

The Songwriters Association Of Canada have proposed a flat monthly fee of $10 in response to music piracy on the internet.

This fee, which would be charged to consumers via their internet providers, would enable Canadians to download an unlimited amount of music downloads and would compensate Canadian songwriters.

This all you can eat buffet may appeal to some peer to peer users. But unfortunately this fee would likely result in additional fees, as it does not compensate copyright holders. And at the moment there are music services that offer unlimited streaming for $5 that pay royalties that are forwarded to songwriters and copyright holders via the appropriate rights agencies.

I believe that a royalty scheme for peer to peer services is preferable, as it would enable the current rights agencies to collect funds from the peer to peer services and distribute these funds to songwriters and copyright holders.

Peer to peer services could obtain funds from advertisements and premium subscription sales, as well as affiliations, to pay these royalties.

As a consumer I would prefer a choice in regards to what services I subscribe to and pay for. And at the moment I purchase music via the legal services listed on this site. I also use free, advertiser funded services.

My current internet provider also throttles peer to peer services so I see no point in paying upwards from $10 to compensate songwriters and copyright holders for transfers I am unable to perform.

Yes, I am aware that some of these measures can be bypassed. But I am simply not interested in downloading music via the peer to peer services. And the majority of peer to peer users download porn and films according to an Envisional Study published in January of this year.

I suspect the internet providers will resist this fee, in respect to a 2004 Supreme Court rulling that found they were not legally responsible for the file transfers on their networks. The internet providers would likely oppose having to pay to administer the collection of the fee, or subsequent levies or fees.

Expansion at eMusic

eMusic is expanding it’s catalog, according to Reuters.

The music download site is in talks with Universal Music Group and EMI Music Group, trying to securing licensing for more recordings before their relaunch in November.

These deals would add an additional seven million recordings to their repertoire, on top of the 10 million they already have because of their deals with Sony Music, Warner Music Group and several indie labels.

Limewire Goes Legit & Google’s Music Plans

According to Digital Music News, Limewire will soon offer a legal Cloud-Based iTunes compatible music service to Americans.

This service will be available in late 2010 and will include an expansion of Limewire‘s store.

But Google will also be adding music downloads to their search engine later in the year according to the Wall Street Journal, of course enabling Americans to purchase music via their search engine.

Canadians will likely see a delay because our government is currently updating our Copyright Act with Bill C-32, whose implementation has been delayed by a scheduled adjournment of Parliament until September 30th, 2010.