Apples Music Cloud on the horizon
May 22, 2011

Apples Music Cloud on the horizon

A very warm welcome to the latest instalment from Skyline Marketing, SEO & Internet Marketing in Exeter and Devon.

It was announced at the end of the week that Apple has signed a licensing agreement with EMI music to allow them distribute their work via cloud internet technology.  According to several sources, Apple are also on the verge of completing deals with both Universal & Sony Music Groups.

Apple already have a deal in place with Warner Music Group which will allow Apple to launch a fully licensed cloud-music service which will compete against the competing services of Google and Amazon.

Apple launches the Worldwide Developers Conference on 6th June and it is expected they may take the opportunity to launch the service or announce that the deals are done at this point.

Apple and the music labels have declined to comment thus far.  Although Apple will be the third in launching a Cloud Internet Music service, they will be free to offer a wide range of features, as their rivals are restricted by legal licensing restrictions.

One advantage Apple has, is that a user can scan their computer for music they own and provide streaming access to the same songs, whereas you would have to spend hours uploading your own songs to Google or Amazons servies.

The hope of course is that by supporting Apple, the record companies are going to end up forcing Search Engine giant Google and Amazons hand into signing equivalent deals with them.

Services such as Spotify have been a success across Europe and charge a subscription fee as Apple is likely to do too.  Spotify do not brand their services as “Cloud”.  They have 13million+ tracks available, allowing unlimited access on and off-line.  Is Cloud-Music a step backwards from this?

With either service, once the consumer stops paying the subscription, the music stops too.

Here at Skyline Marketing, we believe that the success or failure of Cloud-Music is going to depend on what the subscription costs are.  The service will offer an excellent alternative to storing music safely, however a service such as Spotify offers the same protection with a reasonable monthly subscription.  The jury is well and truly out for now, but if it is a success, it would appear that the third party to the table – Apple – may be the winner.

4G Consultation Launched – Can you even get 3G?!

Greetings from Skyline Marketing, your local SEO and Internet Marketing hub in Exeter, Devon.  It has been a few days since our last blog – nothing to do with the fact I have been recovering from the shock of filling my car up at over £1.30 a litre!  I am sure it will be reported that the oil price has risen further on “fears” of my health tomorrow, before George Osborne may or may not change my life by scrapping a 1p duty increase – Join me on the edge of my seat for that one…

In other news, Ofcom has announced a consultation for the latest 4G mobile phone technology.  It is widely accepted that Vodafone, BT Cellnet (o2), Orange and One2One overpaid for their 3G licenses with figures of £4-5billion, which was all good for the Treasury, however left the operators with insufficient funds to actually invest in providing the bandwidth, leaving the ridiculous situation, where even now in most of Exeter City Centre, you will struggle to obtain a decent 3G signal.

Ofcom has made it clear they wish any tenders to be investing in making the coverage available to at least 95% of the UK – this cost of course will mean the going rate for the licenses will be a lot smaller in comparison with the 3G ones.  This cost comparison has already been seen in those countries way ahead of us already offering 4G services, such as the US and Japan.

Finally, in other news, Google has found itself in hot water in France and has been fined £87,000 by their privacy Watchdog for the personal data it collected when setting up Street View.  In May 2010, Google admitted it had accidently collected over 600GB of unauthorised data from WiFi hotspots (as you do) – more here.

Virgin Media Reaches 1 Million with 100Mb Broadband – Who cares?

Greetings from Skyline Marketing in Exeter, Devon.  Virgin Media have announced that 1 Million of their High Speed Internet Service Users are receiving speeds of up to 100mb!

Virgin’s goal is to have the product fully rolled out by the end of June 2012, and this is a huge achievement along that road to meeting the 2012 target.  Virgins service is the fastest available Internet Service Provider, offering speeds through “cable”, whereas BT’s “infinity” product is woefully lagging behind with 40Mb.  This is still 10Mb slower than Virgins next package.

Executive Director of Virgin Media Broadband said: “When we finish the roll-out of 100Mb across our network, half the country will have access to ultrafast broadband. That’ll be six years ahead of EU targets.

How much will this awesome new service be hitting your pockets at these difficult times?  The 100Mb service retails at £35 per month, providing you sign a 12 month contract for a Virgin phone-line also at £12.99 a month (BT users can pay £10 a month line rental with their saver product).  There is also a £30 activation fee.  BT users can get the service for a flat-rate £45 per month.

There is a cheaper option of £12.50 a month plus line rental and activation for the 50Mb service.

Personally speaking, being based “out in the sticks” and South of Bristol, this means we struggle to even dream of such speeds unless we are inner-city (not my location of choice), so we have to suffice with 6-8Mb speed from BT.  Before you all get the violins out and sending us flowers by post – please don’t bother – Rob is allergic, but mainly because we have ample speed.  Every broadband user that can achieve anything from 4Mb upwards has sufficient speed.  In this day and age, there are so many communities, villages and towns that still cannot get a decent ADSL broadband speed – even certain cities where people just live in the “wrong place” and struggle for basic speeds – this is surely wrong?

Can you honestly tell the difference between 20Mb, 50Mb or 100Mb?  Just because that film you are downloading (probably illegally) will take you 5 minutes instead of 10 – is this really a justification to invest money on such new services, when the existing ones for many are so poor?  Shouldn’t Virgin, BT and others be better off spending money on improving basic services and reducing prices in a time when people are struggling (BT hiking their land-line prices again shortly by the way).  The previous Labour Government expected us to pay a “broadband” tax on our landline to achieve this of 50p a month – why are the providers not paying this money, that they clearly have in the first place to give us a fair deal across the whole UK?  The irony is, I pay more a month for a sufficient 8Mb service, then those living 10 miles down the road in Central Exeter do for twice or 5 times the speed.  Is this the fairness we keep hearing about?

Microsoft Kinect – Worldbreaker

Greetings from Skyline Marketing HQ, Exeter, Devon.  Bit of a slow news day in the World of Search Engine Optimisation & Internet Marketing, however this story with regards to our game console of choice caught the eye.  (Sony PS3 readers need not read further :D).

More than 10 million of Microsofts Kinect Sensor Systems have been sold since the launch on 4th November last year.  The Guinness World Records have announced that this is the fastest ever sales record for consumer electronics!  Read more here

Rural Broadband Plans get the Bandwidth

Good Evening from the SEO Capital of the South-West… Exeter, Devon.  (I’ve no idea if that’s true or not, sorry.)

Bit of a quiet couple of days news wise from the SEO industry, one story did catch my eye that affects Somerset, Devon & Cornwall was that the Government are going to be pushing ahead with rolling out rural Broadband services.  In this day and age, it’s bizarre when you realise there are so many rural areas still without a decent speed internet connection.  This will benefit rural businesses hugely who will be able to increase their Internet Marketing campaigns, but have been restricted up until now.  Read more here.

Steve Jobs Launches iPad2

Good Evening SEO fans from Devon!

Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance in San Francisco to launch Apples forthcoming new tablet the iPad 2.  Read more about the launch and a sneak preview of the iPad here:

There has been some criticism that the new iPad will only have slight updates, and that Apple will be placing all their efforts into the “iPad 3″.  However, Skyline Marketing will be following the launch with great interest, as we look to make the purchase.  Prices are expected to remain at the same level as the original iPad, which explains why retailers have dropped prices to get the old stock selling.  A full review will no doubt follow on release!

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