The greatest Xmas gift you can give: Apple evangelism

By

The holidays are the perfect time to spread the Apple love.
The holidays are the perfect time to spread the Apple love.
Photo: Jack Mayfield

As an Apple fan, there’s a great gift you can bestow upon your friends and family this holiday season. The amazing part is, it’s free.

I’m not talking about the free tech support you’ll inevitably dole out to befuddled relatives (Cult of Mac’s how-to section can help with that, BTW). I’m talking about evangelizing for two of Apple’s least-loved products — and this gracious act will also goose the greater good.

.

Good news for Apple: Free music services must pay higher royalties

By

Tired of Apple Music's playlists? Try something even more indie.
Free services must pay higher royalties.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

In news which could well be good for Apple Music, but bad for rival free streaming music services, the federal Copyright Royalty Board has ruled that ad-supported internet radio companies such as Pandora must pay higher royalty rates to artists and record labels.

Starting next year, Pandora, iHeartMedia and others will pay 17 cents for every 100 plays of a song on their free tiers. This fee will increase over the following four years in line with inflation.

.

Rdio marches to death playing the high notes

By

The Rdio app just got better than ever. Photo: Rdio.
You won't be able to stream from Rdio on Christmas this year.
Photo: Rdio

Rdio made the date of its demise official this morning. The streaming music service as we know it will cease to exist on December 22 — just six days from today — at 5 p.m. Pacific time. Rdio sent around an email to its users to let them know the specifics of the shutdown.

“Rdio is being acquired, and the service is shutting down worldwide on December 22,” the company wrote on its Goodbye page. “We’re excited to bring great music experiences to even more listeners in the future as part of the Pandora team.”

.

Pandora earnings hit a bum note thanks to Apple Music

By

Tired of Apple Music's playlists? Try something even more indie.
Apple Music is claiming victims.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

With Pandora CEO Brian McAndres dismissing Apple Music back in July as nothing to worry about, Pandora stock took an after-hours beating yesterday, falling by as much as 21 percent to just $15.25.

The reason? A poorly-received quarterly earnings report, thought to be the result of would-be customers trying (you guessed it!) Apple Music instead of the ad-supported Internet radio company.

.

Unlock the music box with a 6-month subscription to Pandora One [Deals]

By

Get 6 months of Pandora One, with zero ads, more 'skips', and improved audio quality.
Get 6 months of Pandora One, with zero ads, more 'skips', and improved audio quality.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Pandora basically invented a whole new way of listening to music when it unveiled its brand of personalized internet radio. While many of us use the freebie version of Pandora’s service, with limited functionality and regular ads, right now you can get a great deal on a 6-month subscription to Pandora One, their top tier option, for just $24 at Cult of Mac Deals.

.

Pandora CEO thinks Apple Music will have no negative impact

By

Heading
Pandora's not worried about Apple Music.
Photo: Pandora

You couldn’t blame the folks behind non-Apple streaming music services being worried when Apple Music was announced — but according to Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews, there was nothing to worry about.

Pandora’s Q2 revenue came in better than expected at $285.6 million, largely thanks to solid growth on the advertising side, which increased 30 percent year-over-year.

.

Kahney’s Korner: Apple could learn from the Amazon Echo

By

Leander Kaheny likes his Amazon Echo and wonders what if Apple created such a device.
Leander Kaheny likes his Amazon Echo and wonders what if Apple created such a device.
Photo: Cult of Mac

I’ve had the Amazon Echo sitting on my desk for the last couple of months and it’s an odd device – and I actually think it’s pretty great.

It’s a voice-controlled, speaker-cum-shopping tube that can go in your kitchen, living room or bedroom. You use it for simple queries like, “How’s the weather?” or “How is my commute? or “What is Barack Obama’s middle name?”

Listen to me interact with this device on this week’s edition of Kahney’s Korner.

.

Hit list: All the apps and services Apple tried to kill at WWDC 2015

By

Tim Cook WWDC 2015
Apple's had some bold words for its competitors today.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Once again, Apple has shown its desire to be your go-to for everything you do in your life.

During its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote this morning, the iPhone maker talked up software updates, services and new functionalities aimed at making several of its competitors’ offerings redundant.

Here are the things Apple’s trying to take out with new stuff at WWDC 2015.

.

There’s no money for Apple in music streaming, but that’s OK

By

Apple has big ambitions for its new music streaming service.
Will Beats redesign be ready for WWDC? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The redesign and relaunch of Beats Music is one of the most anticipated announcements Apple fans are expecting to hear about next week at WWDC. Apple spent $3 billion on Beats in an effort to take on the likes of Spotify and Pandora, but according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, all that effort won’t make Apple a ton of money.

Beats currently has about 300,000 paid subscribers while Spotify has 15 million. According to Munster’s math, even if Apple matched Spotify’s subscriber base the profits will be weak.

.