Tag Archives: iTunes

Brazilian minister wants Netflix and iTunes Store to pay domestic taxes for streaming videos

Today during the keynote for the Congress of the Brazilian Association of Cable Television (yep, it’s a real thing), Paulo Bernardo, Minister of Communication said that he defends that services such as Netflix and the iTunes Store start being subject to the same tributes as Cable operators (which add up to 20%) in order to promote a fair competition between the two.

I don’t even know where to begin commenting on this absurd idea. Forget for a second (as very well put by Renato Pessanha – sorry, portuguese only) that these tributes are already charged with the internet bill and that in order to actually manage to have an internet connection in Brazil it’s very likely that operators will force you get cable TV as well. The very idea that charging taxes would be the only solution to provide a ‘fair competition’ between the cable tv business and on-demand video streaming is beyond surreal.

This ‘solution’ proposed by Paulo Bernardo shows that people who hold any sort of power in this country have absolutely no clue of how things work anymore. It’s sort of when you go to a store to get a new device and right from the start you notice that you actually now way more about the subject than the store seller. Only since we’re dealing with politicians, the result is always related to picking our pockets.

The worst part is that there is only one solution to this problem. And it’s not immediate at all. It was explained by Steve Jobs back in 2003, during the D1 for AllThingsD when he mentioned the difficulties Apple had to face when they introduced the first computers:

“When I started in this business one of the biggest challenges was people couldn’t type. And one day we realized that death would eventually take care of this. And so people know how to type now.”

When I come across a piece of news like this one, or that the National Library Association wants digital books to become available with a 120-day delay to favor bookstores (among other absurdities), I have the utmost certainty that the world is moving way, way, way faster than what these people (unfortunately in positions of power) have the capacity to acknowledge and follow.

Instead of trying to observe, understand and learn about the new ways of consuming and distributing contents, their first (second, third) instinct is to try to make them fit into their already established rules to keep serving particular interests of each individual segment.

And we’re out of luck, because there is nothing we can do other than wait for these people to go away and hope that their chairs get occupied by people with a fresher mindset. Retirement and death are our allies here. Meanwhile, we will need to have lots of patience to endure the ignorance of those who can’t keep up with the world, but just won’t admit it.

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Daft Punk’s new album available for free streaming on iTunes. That’s Sony Music Entertainment again.

So guess what. Daft Punk’s label is Columbia. Columbia is owned by Sony Music Entertainment. The same Sony Music Entertainment that owns RCA. I’m sure that you remember that both Justin Timberlake’s and David Bowie’s new albums (both from RCA) were made available for free streaming ahead of their releases as well.

I’ll say it again: If Apple is about to launch a streaming service, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that Sony’s artists will be present in the catalogue.

If you like Daft Punk, all you have to do is click here to listen to all the tracks from the upcoming album, which will be released on May 21st.

Related post:
D. Bowie and J. Timberlake streaming for free on iTunes. Both from RCA. Interesting.


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Microsoft suffering over the lack of iTunes for Windows 8

Tami Reller, CFO of Microsoft’s Windows divison, in an interview for CNN Money:

“You shouldn’t expect an iTunes app on Windows 8 any time soon. iTunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It’s not for lack of trying.”

Meanwhile, I don’t see Apple asking Microsoft to pretty-please develop an iPad version of Office. Infact, the only person who thinks that people are frustrated for the lack of Microsoft’s Office on the iPad is Bill Gates. Everyone else has already found a replacement for it.

And quite frankly, the lack of iTunes is the least of the problems that Windows 8 users are facing.

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David Bowie and Justin Timberlake streaming for free on iTunes. Both from RCA. Interesting

When the news came out that the David Bowie’s upcoming album was available for free streaming on iTunes, I rushed to go hear it as fast as a kid heads towards a Christmas tree full of presents. It was only by 13th or 14th time the album started playing again on its endless loop that I stopped to think about what that meant.

After so many rumors, so many news and so much guessing about Apple being about to launch a music streaming service to compete with Spotity, Rdio and alikes, this was the first piece of concrete news on the subject.

As soon as the period for Bowie’s free streaming ended, Justin Timberlake’s upcoming album became available to listen to for free as well. Alongside with that ever-present little presale button, naturally.

While those analysts play the guessing game basing their findings on random information from ‘people familiar with the matter’, while news sites post that Apple is having a hard time to settle deals with record labels, the company put for exclusive streaming two albums that hadn’t even come out yet. The key to all this? Both David Bowie’s The Next Day and Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience are from RCA Records, which is owned by Sony Music Entertainment.

My impression? Just as they did with iMessage, making the service available to whoever felt like testing it for free, so they could measure demand, test the service, find bugs and inconsistencies, and especially showing users that this feature alone would be reason enough to upgrade to Mountain Lion, I don’t think it’s at all hard that the same thing could be happening right now with iTunes.

Strategically, I suppose they are doing this for 2 reasons. First, the data pulled from this streaming will be crucial to measure demand, interest and server capabilities so they can upscale right when the time comes. Second, this same data will be great for Apple to go knock on the other record labels doors and say “Here. This is happening. If you don’t join us, you’ll be wasting a shedload of money, low fee or no low fee”.

If there was any doubt that Apple is about to releasing their own streaming service, this doubt is gone. They already have.

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