April 27 -- Microsoft preps Spotify-like Music Service
Microsoft Preps Spotify-Like Music Service
April 25, 2012 – msnbc.com
MTV Adds Five New Categories for Movie Awards
April 26, 2012 – Seattle Post Intelligencer
Apple’s iTunes App Store surpasses 600k apps, $1.9 billion in revenue
April 25, 2012 – Appolicious
Amazon Wants Your Old CDs for Cold, Hard Store Credit
April 11, 2012 – PC Magazine
YouTube: 7 Years Later And No Signs Of Slowing
April 23, 2012 – Huffington Post
Slacker Radio Provides Behind-the-Scenes Footage of Music Group “The Wanted”
April 24, 2012 – PopCrush
ASCAP, Rhapsody Reach New Licensing Agreement
April 26, 2012 – SonicScoop
Politics & Policy
I. IP Enforcement
Rep. Lofgren pleased by SOPA's demise, but still wants action on piracy
Authored by Andrew Feinberg on April 26, 2012 - The Hill
While Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) couldn't be more pleased about the protests that derailed the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in January, she sees serious problems with current efforts to protect intellectual property.
Lofgren said critics who claim Google orchestrated the bill's demise to protect its business interests are getting it wrong.
"It wasn't Google" who stopped the anti-piracy bill, she said. "It was the 14 million people who spoke up.”
Putting SOPA aside, Lofgren did say content creators have legitimate concerns about content theft that need to be addressed.
"We need to be partners in a [next-generation] solution," she said.
II. Data Caps & Competition
Barry Diller Blasts Data Caps, Calls For Net Neutrality
Authored by Wendy Davis on April 25, 2012 - MediaPost
A coalition of public interest groups sent a letter to lawmakers this week asking them to explore whether broadband caps could stifle online video by discouraging consumers from watching TV shows and movies through the Web.
Today, IAC/InterActive Corp Chairman Barry Diller repeated those concerns to members of the Senate Commerce Committee. Specifically, Diller called on lawmakers to explore whether Internet service providers are using bandwidth caps to prevent new players from distributing video online.
"Cable and telecom companies are experimenting with forms of economic discrimination at the margins of current law," he said in his written testimony. "For example, broadband providers that also provide video programming could implement broadband caps in a way that favors their own content."
He asked lawmakers to stop ISPs "from leveraging their dominance in existing markets for video delivery to control emerging markets."
III. Spectrum Licensing
House Democrats Seek Hearing on Verizon Airwaves Purchase
Authored by Todd Shields on April 26, 2012 - Bloomberg
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives asked for a hearing on Verizon Wireless’s proposed $3.6 billion purchase of airwaves from a group of cable companies led by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable Inc.
The airwaves sale and related cross-marketing agreements may have implications for competition in the wireless industry, California representatives Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo said in a letter today to Fred Upton, the Michigan Republican who is chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Waxman and Eshoo said they have taken no position on the purchase.
Verizon, the largest U.S. mobile provider, announced on Dec. 2 the purchase of unused airwaves from Comcast, Time Warner Cable (TWC) and closely held Bright House Networks LLC. The companies pledged joint marketing. On Dec. 16 Verizon announced a $315 million airwaves purchase and marketing agreement with closely held Cox Communications Inc.
“It is important that the Energy and Commerce Committee examine the policy implications of these deals carefully,” Waxman and Eshoo said in the letter.
IV. Video Programming
FCC Extends Comment Deadline on MVPD Definition
Authored by John Eggerton on April 25, 2012 - Broadcasting & Cable
The FCC has extended the comment period for its March 30 public notice asking for input on the definition of an "MVPD" to May 14 from its previous April 30 deadline.
The National Association of Broadcasters had asked for a 30-day extension, citing the deadline's nearness to the NAB show in Vegas that would be occupying many broadcasters' attention, but the FCC split the difference, as it did with the Media Ownership rule comment deadline a couple of weeks ago.
The FCC wants to know whether an entity that offers "programming over the Internet without providing any of the facilities that carry programming into viewers homes is an MVPD under the Communications Act," Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake explained in a luncheon speech to the Media Institute in Washington.