After years of wrangling over trademark issues, Apple Inc. and the Beatles' Apple Corps have come to an agreement that will make it possible to purchase songs and albums by the world's most popular band on iTunes.
The consumer technology giant brags that its iTunes announcement later today will be unforgettable. But the news likely won't be too memorable for investors, even if it turns out to be a Beatles deal, predicts one analyst.
Apple has accumulated tons of cash, but how should it spend that money? A smart bet would be to use it to bring in the next Steve Jobs -- but there isn't one. Which leads to this thought: Maybe Apple should pay out a big dividend.
Starbucks is launching a new digital network Wednesday that it says will give customers access to free e-books, movies and access to some paid news sites. The move is meant to attract customers and customer loyalty, and also to provide Starbucks with a new revenue stream.
The rest of the industry may be envisioning an all-digital future, by Frank Bennack Jr., vice chairman and CEO of Hearst Corp. is sanguine about the prospects for dead-tree newspapers. "They'll be around as ink and paper for as long as the eye can see," Bennack said Monday.
Magazine publishers are at great pains these days to please Apple, whose fast-selling tablet computer, the iPad, just may be the key to their future survival. But following all the persnickety dictates handed down by Steve Jobs isn't always easy, as Sports Illustrated recently realized.
Bowing to reality, Best Buy will slash the floor space it devotes to compact discs and DVDs this holiday season. It's a reflection of the record industry's grinding digital transformation. Meanwhile, Google is getting ready to challenge Apple, the digital music king.
The centerpiece of Apple's recent product announcements was its new music social network Ping. The core technology from Ping appears to be have been built by the team from Lala.com, the music streaming startup that Apple acquired in January 2009. But without the streaming music model, Ping is half the service Lala used to be. It's not a bad product, it's just not terribly transformative.
Facebook may block Apple iTunes users from using the new Ping network, which is built on Facebook. Seems Apple is using some of Facebook's freely available programming, rather than entering into a contractual relationship with the social network giant.
Poor Apple. Steve Jobs and Co. have lined up all the pieces to take over the media industry, but the big music labels and movie studios keep standing in its way. So Apple has been forced to build its media empire in a stealthy, piecemeal fashion. It may just work.
At a much-anticipated event Wednesday, Apple announced an overhaul of its Apple TV service and equipment. The size of a hockey puck, the new Apple TV box is designed to allow users to stream TV shows and movies with greater ease and at a lower price. Steve Jobs also discussed new features for Apple's iPods, and a new social network connected to iTunes. (Video from Sam Gustin.)