Briefly: Mac OS X 10.6.8 build; Spotify near US launch; iTunes video market share

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple has issued a new build of Mac OS X 10.6.8, and European music streaming service Spotify is finalizing deals for a U.S. launch. Also, a new study found that iTunes' share of the online video market is 9.8 percent, compared to Netflix's 24.5 percent.



Mac OS X 10.6.8



The beta of Apple's next upgrade to Snow Leopard is marked build 10K540, according to people familiar with the update. No known issues are listed, and the focus areas of Airport, Networking, Graphics Drivers, the Mac App Store, QuickTime and VPN remain the same, as noted by TUAW.



The first build of Mac OS X 10.6.8 arrived in May with no indication of any changes. Release notes accompanying subsequent betas detailed the addition of fixes for the MacDefender malware scam and support for Mac App Store installation of the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.



AppleInsider was first to report Apple's plans to release Mac OS X Lion through the Mac App Store. Apple confirmed last week that Lion will be sold exclusively in the company's digital storefront.



Lion sports more than 250 new features and is due out in July. The upgrade will be an approximately 4GB download and will sell for the low price of $29.99.



Spotify going stateside



Speaking at an ad conference in London, Spotify general manager Jonathan Forster said the last licensing agreements required for a U.S. launch were wrapping up "as I speak," Silicon Valley Watcher reported this week.



Forster said the launch wouldn't come before July 5th and noted that Spotify had agreed to a "faster monetization strategy" than it would have preferred. The streaming music service currently has 10 million users and 1 million subscribers, who pay 10 Euros per month.



According to the report, Spotify's U.S. headquarters will be in New York. Rumors had originally suggested the company would arrive in the States in 2010, but lengthy negotiations with the music labels pushed back the launch.



Last year, it was suggested that Apple executives had told music industry leaders that Spotify's business model was faulty. A separate rumor claimed Apple had been in early negotiations to purchase the company, but Spotify denied the rumor.



Meanwhile, Apple is putting the finishing touches on its iCloud and iTunes Match services. The free iCloud service will store a customer's iTunes music purchases online and make them available to a variety of devices. For $24.99, the iTunes Match service will scan a user's iTunes library and match songs with those store on Apple's own iTunes servers. Though Spotify's service differs from Apple's move into the cloud, it's likely the two companies will find themselves competitors when both Spotify and iCloud launch in the U.S. later this year.



Apple underwent its own negotiations in order to arrive at a streaming music licensing agreement with the major record labels in the U.S. According to one report, the iPhone maker may have had to pay as much as $150 million in "advanced payments" to the music companies.



iTunes video share



Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney conducted a study among web users of preferred websites and applications for watching video online, All Things D reports. Mahaney found that Apple's iTunes leads the online video on demand market, though only 9.8 percent of respondents chose it.



YouTube received the lion's share of votes with 69.2 percent, while Netflix led the subscription based video market with 24.5 percent. Hulu registered 22.5 percent of votes, but the majority of its visits come from free users, not subscribers.







A March study found that Apple was tied for third in the U.S. digital streaming and downloadable video market with just 4 percent of viewings, compared to Netflix's 61 percent share.



2010 sales figures compiled by IHS earlier this year show Apple maintains a significant lead in the internet video on demand category, which doesn't include Netflix or Hulu. According to the figures, iTunes made up 64.5 percent of the online VOD market, Microsoft came in second with 17.9 percent and Sony placed third with 7.2 percent.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    I've been using Spotify for 5 months now (I live in the Netherlands) and it simply rocks. Since then I've never bought or downloaded music. Everything's there, instantly. Search for any song and within five seconds you can play it. This beats the iTunes cloud. Even on my iPhone together with my Airport Express it works perfectly. I cannot recommend Spotify enough. Try it for a week and you'll get hooked.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,289member
    Re spotify: Apple's model seems obsolete when you get used to spotify. Fail.

    Re videos: It's been what, 6 years? Still no real international distribution. Fail.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    frankiefrankie Posts: 373member
    Apple should jut buy Netflix and Spotify and call it a done deal. They have hoards of cash and it will keep Microsoft away. Just my 2 cents.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,230member
    Spotify kicks iTunes ass for music. I absolutely love it.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Spotify would fill part of the requirements of my "ideal music service". It's also the reason that Microsoft should have released Zune Pass clients for Android and iOS.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    Here is how I would like it to work...
    • iDevices are sync'd over-the-air

    • Songs purchased via iTunes are "backed up" to the cloud

    • iTunes "Home Sharing" is extended to the Internet (the "private cloud")

    • iPhone/iPod does intelligent sync and song caching

    • If you pay for a "premium" Mobile Me (or "iCloud") subscription you get some extra features
      1. Tracks purchased outside of iTunes are also sync'd to the cloud

      2. You get stream/sync access to every song on iTunes

      3. iTunes DJ/Genius works across all songs on iTunes, not just my purchases

      4. I get to select 10 tracks each month to permanently own

      5. iTunes gets a basic web version


    Finally, regardless of the location of the song (local, cached, private cloud or public cloud) they should all be presented in the one combined user interface.


    EDIT: I'd also love to see an iHub/iCenter/iHome/iCentral/iMesh to facilitate the creation of a private cloud as well... but I'm just dreaming now



  • Reply 6 of 43
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,230member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frankie View Post


    Apple should jut buy Netflix and Spotify and call it a done deal. They have hoards of cash and it will keep Microsoft away. Just my 2 cents.



    I'm not sure their contracts with the labels are transferable.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,591member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by markvdrheijden View Post


    I've been using Spotify for 5 months now (I live in the Netherlands) and it simply rocks. Since then I've never bought or downloaded music. Everything's there, instantly. Search for any song and within five seconds you can play it. This beats the iTunes cloud. Even on my iPhone together with my Airport Express it works perfectly. I cannot recommend Spotify enough. Try it for a week and you'll get hooked.



    I listen to music on the go so no streaming service is of any use to me.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    I listen to music on the go so no streaming service is of any use to me.



    It's not that you're always streaming. It's just one touch to download a playlist, cd or song to your iPhone. You can do this at home using wifi or while travelling.

    So while you're on the go and want to listen to any cd, download it using Spotify. This works great, even on 3G. You will have downloaded a complete cd within minutes. After that you're sure that you won't have any hick ups. Removing a cd or playlist is just as easy.

    Seriously, try it and you'll be amazed that Spotify is that good on the iPhone, even on the go.



    And no, I don't work for them.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    pembrokepembroke Posts: 220member
    I've just opened up Spotify for the first time in months and was greeted by this:



    As of today, you´ll be able to listen to 10 hours of music a month and each track a total of 5 times - all for free. For unrestricted access to millions of tracks, upgrade to Unlimited or Premium.



    So they've changed their tune! Previously, we here in the UK had free 24/7 unlimited access with advertisements or paid the premium of £10 per month. Now the Free-with-advertising service gives us restricted access, otherwise we pay the premium which is now half of the old price - £5/month. Interesting. I balked at £10, but might bite at £5.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Spotify keeps on getting better and better. I love how you can combine your own music collection with Spotify's library - perfect for making party playlists.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    bluelawbluelaw Posts: 6member
    I totally agree with some of the comment here, I've been using Spotify in England for a year now and I find Apple's recent music match announcement risible.



    It's so complex! What's the point?



    With Spotify there's a massive shared library in the cloud, and you just type what you want to listen to.



    If you're on a mobile device then you can select for the song to be available in offline mode, for if you're going somewhere without a connection (like the tube).



    No, purchasing or pushing to devices, or track matching, just "Play me Obsession by Animotion", and it plays. If Apple has secured the rights to a massive library of music then why can't you just listen to songs from it, with total simplicity?
  • Reply 12 of 43
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 225member
    Spotify barely has half the music I want to listen to, same as itunes. At least iCloud will allow me to listen to what I want to.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlueLaw View Post


    I totally agree with some of the comment here, I've been using Spotify in England for a year now and I find Apple's recent music match announcement risible.



    It's so complex! What's the point?



    With Spotify there's a massive shared library in the cloud, and you just type what you want to listen to.



    If you're on a mobile device then you can select for the song to be available in offline mode, for if you're going somewhere without a connection (like the tube).



    No, purchasing or pushing to devices, or track matching, just "Play me Obsession by Animotion", and it plays. If Apple has secured the rights to a massive library of music then why can't you just listen to songs from it, with total simplicity?



    There are lots of competing services in the US that do the same thing: Rhapsody, Napster, Rdio, Mog, and Slacker. It'll be interesting to see how Spotify compares to them. I absolutely love these sorts of services (Mog is my current favorite), but it'll be interesting to try out Spotify once it comes to the US to see if it can beat these services.



    One key requirement for me is a large music library. 3 of these 5 (Mog, Rhapsody, and Napster) have really large 11+ million track libraries, and the other 2 are notable less. If Spotify can match the selection of those larger services then it will be a real contender. If not then it'll need some compelling features before I'll give up on song selection.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,289member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    I listen to music on the go so no streaming service is of any use to me.



    Flat rate..
  • Reply 15 of 43
    mzlmzl Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aderutter View Post


    Spotify barely has half the music I want to listen to, same as itunes. At least iCloud will allow me to listen to what I want to.



    You can add any additional local files you have as a local library. When you have a mobile spotify client on the same wifi network the files are synced over automatically. Works like a charm.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    mzlmzl Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by karmamule View Post


    There are lots of competing services in the US that do the same thing: Rhapsody, Napster, Rdio, Mog, and Slacker. It'll be interesting to see how Spotify compares to them. I absolutely love these sorts of services (Mog is my current favorite), but it'll be interesting to try out Spotify once it comes to the US to see if it can beat these services.



    One key requirement for me is a large music library. 3 of these 5 (Mog, Rhapsody, and Napster) have really large 11+ million track libraries, and the other 2 are notable less. If Spotify can match the selection of those larger services then it will be a real contender. If not then it'll need some compelling features before I'll give up on song selection.



    I think the track-library is around 13 million, and about 10k are added each day.



    For me, the killer feature in Spotify is the speed: the median time for starting playback of a song is around 260ms. With that kind of low-latency you quickly forget that it is an internet-based service.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    and when I get tired of paying the monthly membership... ? I don't own anything?
  • Reply 18 of 43
    juandljuandl Posts: 228member
    Does any other company put out builds like Apple?

    To have their upgrades get tested to the max?
  • Reply 19 of 43
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    I do not have anything against Spotify. I just prefer to own my music. Further, I have an arsenal of about a thousand songs I like to listen over and over again. I only add a few songs to it a month. Sometimes, I get these from places like Starbucks and iTunes free selections. I also have a great local library. I check out the CDs and copy what I want (perfectly legal under USC 1008 of the Copyright Act). Friends occasionally make copy CDs and give them to me (also legal). Occasionally, at work I will use Pandora.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post


    RE: Streaming (Movies or Music) and when I get tired of paying the monthly membership... ? I don't own anything?



    Depends on the service. Someone should put together a comparison table of all these streaming services.
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