Google dances to its own beat
Google has finally taken the plunge and launched its much-anticipated music service called – originally enough – ‘Google Music‘. The new store was officially unveiled in the US on the evening of Wednesday 16th November, with exclusives from The Rolling Stones and Coldplay among the perks. In terms of usability, the service offers downloads and streaming and, crucially for many, it allows you to synch your music collection across all Google devices. Social functionality has been built in as well, with users able to share their tastes via Google+, while there’s also an ‘Artists Hub’ that allows budding musicians to upload their work and build an artist page. The service therefore becomes something of a social network in itself, with users able to share new music and create and distribute their own.
Google Music will also be available on Android mobile devices and writing on the company’s Blog, Senior Vice President of Mobile, Andy Rubin, explained that usability is key: “Google Music helps you spend more time listening to your collection and less time managing it. We automatically sync your entire music library—both purchases and uploads—across all your devices so you don’t have to worry about cables, file transfers or running out of storage space. We’ll keep your playlists in tact, too, so your “Chill” playlist is always your “Chill” playlist, whether you’re on your laptop, tablet or phone.” Along with The Rolling Stones and Coldplay, Google Music also offers exclusive content from Busta Rhymes, Shakira, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band and Tiesto.
Digital v Print: The battle continues…
Digital titles could outnumber their print equivalents by 2013, new research conducted by Mintel and the Association of Publishing Agencies suggests, but physical publications are by no means dead just yet. Mintel and the APA sent out questionnaires to 28 content publishing companies, giving the survey a reach of 809 titles in total. This represents approximately 65 per cent of the total market, and the figures were then projected to represent 100 per cent of the market.
The research has flagged up a series of interesting points, with content marketing performing well despite continued economic struggles and print still proving the most popular way to distribute and consume content.
According to Mintel and the APA’s projected figures, that is due to change in the next couple of years though. A statement on the APA’s website reads: “Digital activity encompassing websites, e-zines, email, mobile applications and video now accounts for 37 per cent of the industry, an increase of 22 per cent since 2007 and 32 per cent since 2005. On the basis of these trends digital is expected to overtake print as a share of total by 2013. To reinforce this assertion website revenues have grown rapidly and are up 65 per cent and e-zines have risen by 165 per cent since the last report.” Possible bad news for print then, but the APA have asserted that print is far from dead: “Despite this rebalance of channels print is still very much viewed as an essential part of the content marketing mix moving forward.”
An infographic of the research’s findings can be seen on the APA’s website along with further facts and figures on the futures of print and digital publishing.
Read all about it – on Facebook
For many, Twitter’s ability to quickly break big news is one of the platform’s key benefits, but if a new survey is to be believed Facebook is quickly replacing its social counterpart in this field. According to data compiled by Lightspeed Research, 30% of 18-34 years olds use Facebook to keep up with current affairs and breaking news, while only 12 per cent of that age group use Twitter. TV is still by far and away the most popular resource for news, though 18-34 year olds use it less than any other age group. Newspapers and news websites are the second most used resource, while radio is third. Lightspeed surveyed 1000 people as part of their research and more results can be seen on their website.