12-08-2023  5:06 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Future of Lloyd Center Includes Teardown, But Keeping the Ice Rink

New owners submit plans for mixed-use and open spaces, residences and promenades, to city.

Atmospheric River Brings Heavy Rain, Flooding and Warm Winter Temperatures to the Pacific Northwest

The National Weather Service reported that rainfall records were shattered in some areas of the Olympic Peninsula. Washington and Oregon officials have urged drivers to use caution as standing water and flooding affect roadways. 

Oldest Black Church in Oregon Will Tear Down, Rebuild To Better Serve Community

As physical attendance dwindles, First African Methodist Episcopal Zion is joining the growing trend of churches that are re-imagining how best to use their facilities.

Cities Crack Down on Homeless Encampments. Advocates Say That’s Not the Answer

Homeless people and their advocates say encampment sweeps are cruel and costly, and there aren't enough shelter beds or treatment for everyone. But government officials say it's unacceptable to let encampments fester and people need to accept offers of shelter or treatment, if they have a severe mental illness or addiction.

NEWS BRIEFS

Letitia Carson Traveling Exhibit at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

Letitia Carson was one of the first Black women to settle in Oregon. ...

OHCS Announces Homeowner Assistance Fund Application Portal to Close on December 20

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is closing the Oregon Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) program to most new applicants to...

2024 Rose Festival Court Applications Are Open

Applications for the 2024 Rose Festival Court Program presented by Unitus Community Credit Union are now available on the Rose...

Talk A Mile Event Connects Young Black Leaders with Portland Police Bureau Trainees

Talk A Mile operates on the idea that conversation bridges gaps and builds empathy, which can promote understanding between Black...

Turkey Rules the Table. But an AP-NORC Poll Finds Disagreement Over Other Thanksgiving Classics

Thanksgiving may be a time for Americans to come together, but opinion is divided over what's on the crowded dinner table. We mostly...

Mormon church selects British man who converted to the faith as an adult for top governing body

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday that a man raised in England who converted to the faith as an adult will be the newest member of its top governing body, filling a vacancy created when a member died last month. Patrick Kearon,...

Centenarian survivors of Pearl Harbor attack return to honor those who perished 82 years ago

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — Ira “Ike” Schab had just showered, put on a clean sailor's uniform and closed his locker aboard the USS Dobbin when he heard a call for a fire rescue party. He went topside to see the USS Utah capsizing and Japanese planes in the air. He scurried...

Missouri visits No. 2 Kansas after McCullar's 25-point game

Missouri Tigers (7-2) at Kansas Jayhawks (8-1) Lawrence, Kansas; Saturday, 5:15 p.m. EST BOTTOM LINE: No. 2 Kansas hosts the Missouri Tigers after Kevin McCullar scored 25 points in Kansas' 88-69 victory against the UMKC Kangaroos. The Jayhawks have gone...

Missouri RB Cody Schrader wins Burlsworth Trophy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Missouri running back Cody Schrader has won the Burlsworth Trophy, given to the nation's best player who started his Division I career as a a walk-on. Schrader, who walked on two years ago after transferring from Division II Truman State, leads Division I...

OPINION

Why Are Bullies So Mean? A Youth Psychology Expert Explains What’s Behind Their Harmful Behavior

Bullied children and teens are at risk for anxiety, depression, dropping out of school, peer rejection, social isolation and self-harm. ...

Federal Agencies Issue $23 Million Fine Against TransUnion and Subsidiary

FTC and CFPB say actions harmed renters and violated fair credit laws ...

First One to Commit to Nonviolence Wins

Every time gains towards nonviolence looked promising, someone from the most aggrieved and trauma-warped groups made sure to be spoilers by committing some atrocity and resetting the hate and violence. ...

Boxes

What is patently obvious to all Americans right now is the adolescent dysfunction of Congress. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Arkansas man sentenced to 5 1/2 years for firebombing police cars during 2020 protests

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The ringleader of a group who admitted to firebombing several police cars in Arkansas during the 2020 protests over the killing of George Floyd has been sentenced to five and a half years in federal prison, while three of his co-defendants were sentenced to 18 months...

3 Alabama officers fired in connection to fatal shooting of Black man at his home

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama city has fired three police officers connected to the fatal shooting of a Black man in front of his own home during a dispute with a tow truck driver. Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling announced the decision Thursday night after the conclusion of personnel...

Wisconsin university system reaches deal with Republicans that would scale back diversity positions

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Faced with a demand from Republican lawmakers to axe diversity initiatives or go without raises and other funding, Universities of Wisconsin officials announced Friday that they've agreed to freeze hiring for diversity positions, drop an affirmative action faculty hiring...

ENTERTAINMENT

Illinois appeals court affirms actor Jussie Smollett's convictions and jail sentence

An appeals court upheld the disorderly conduct convictions Friday of actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself in 2019 and lying about it to Chicago police. Smollett, who appeared in the TV show “Empire,” challenged the role of a...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Dec. 10-16

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Dec. 10-16: Dec. 10: Actor Fionnula Flanagan (“Waking Ned Devine”) is 82. Actor-singer Gloria Loring is 77. Drummer Walter “Clyde” Orange of The Commodores is 77. Country singer Johnny Rodriguez is 72. Actor Susan Dey is 71. Musician Paul...

Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ is No. 1 at the box office with million debut

Beyoncé ruled the box office this weekend. Her concert picture, “ Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé,” opened in first place with million in North American ticket sales, according to estimates from AMC Theatres Sunday. The post-Thanksgiving, early December box...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Tony Shalhoub returns as everyone's favorite obsessive-compulsive sleuth in 'Mr. Monk's Last Case'

NEW YORK (AP) — Fourteen years ago, Tony Shalhoub said goodbye to one of his most beloved creations — the...

Free toy store in Nashville gives families the dignity of choice while shopping for holiday gifts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When country music star Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley,...

Solid US hiring lowers unemployment rate in latest sign of a still-sturdy job market

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a healthy 199,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell, fresh...

Taiwan says it spotted a Chinese surveillance balloon as the island's election nears

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s Defense Ministry says it spotted a Chinese surveillance balloon in the Taiwan...

AP PHOTOS: 2023 images show violence and vibrance in Latin America

A little girl perches on the shoulder of her mom, whose eyes fill with trepidation as she wades through waist-deep...

South Korea defense chief threatens strikes on 'heart and head' of North Korea if provoked

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s defense minister on Friday threatened massive retaliatory missile...

Richard Sherman wearing Beats
Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer

In this Aug. 17, 2013 photo, Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman wears Beats headphones before a preseason NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, in Seattle. Apple's $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, by far the company's largest acquisition, is at least in part recognition that Beats founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine might be able to help Apple incorporate more style and flair into its premium technology gadgets —especially a coming wave of wearable devices. (AP Photo/John Froschauer, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Apple's $3 billion purchase of headphone maker and streaming music company Beats Electronics sheds light on a rarely recognized reality in the music-streaming industry: It's hard to succeed in the business without offering other products and services.

Streaming-music companies like Beats Music, which charge users up to $10 a month, can sometimes pay as much as 70 percent of their revenue in artist royalty fees. That leaves little left for advertising and promotional campaigns to explain to consumers the benefits of paying for a music service.

“The only people that can afford to get into this business have other main businesses,” said Mark Mulligan, a music industry analyst and blogger with MIDiA Consulting. “Every service ends up putting itself into significant debt just to cover its basic operating costs.”

Even streaming leader Spotify — with 10 million paying customers worldwide — is reportedly burning through cash as it seeks to attract enough subscribers to help it turn a profit. With just 250,000 subscribers, analysts say Beats Music is even further from that goal.

Although analysts say Apple's purchase is largely an acquisition of talent and a way to offset the declining popularity of iTunes song downloads, the company notes its main source of revenue has always been from devices. Music is just a hook to make those devices more usable and attractive.

Observers believe Apple's purchase of Beats could have both positive and negative effects for other streaming companies.

On the one hand, if Apple Inc. pushes hard to promote streaming-music subscriptions and makes the idea more acceptable to a broader audience that currently purchases downloads or acquires pirated music, the company's efforts could help all music services.

After all, Apple has been the driving force in many new product categories. It popularized digital music players with the iPod, gave birth to the smartphone era with the iPhone, and was instrumental in creating consumer demand for tablets with the iPad.

“We're cheering from the sidelines,” said Paul Springer, senior vice president of the Americas for Rhapsody International, which has 1.7 million paying music subscribers worldwide. “When the most valuable company in the world says that music subscriptions are strategic to its future, that's great for our sector. That's great for customer awareness.”

Even so, there's a downside for the industry. Apple could easily devalue music subscriptions by running the service at a loss because it makes plenty of money elsewhere. Apple is likely to advertise and possibly offer bundled discounts to make Beats Music a bigger force.

Already, prices across the industry for unlimited streaming plans are starting to drop from the original price of $10 a month. Beats itself offers a family subscription for $15 a month for up to five people, as long as they're on a group account with cellphone operator AT&T. For a limited time, mobile carrier Sprint has cut Spotify Premium prices to $5 a month per person as long as six people are on a family plan.

If Apple creates an even more attractive bundle for people who buy Beats headphones or Apple devices, stand-alone music services may find it tougher to compete.

“It makes Spotify nervous,” says James McQuivey, a digital content business analyst with Forrester Research. “They only have the one revenue stream. It would be harder for them to compete in a marketplace against someone that doesn't have to return the same cash.”

Even before Apple jumped in, the paid streaming music business was in a tight squeeze. Spotify, based in Sweden, reportedly lost about $80 million, despite more than doubling revenue to around $590 million, in 2012. Its results for 2013 are expected in the next couple of months, although Spotify said earlier this month that its paying subscribers jumped 66 percent over the last 14 months.

Rdio, the streaming service backed by Skype co-founder Janus Friis, last year sold a 15 percent equity stake to radio station network operator Cumulus Media Inc. in exchange for $75 million of on-air advertising. The deal was an acknowledgement that cash flow from its operations wasn't enough to pay for marketing.

It's unclear what Apple's purchase means for the value of other streaming operators, because the $3 billion price tag includes some amount for the hugely popular headphone portion of the business, which is profitable and posted $1.1 billion in revenue last year.

What is clear is that music streaming is just a part of the mix for Apple. Figuring out how best to match music with its devices could help Apple stand out in an increasingly crowded consumer electronics market.

“Apple always bundled software well with hardware,” says Moshe Cohen, an assistant professor at Columbia Business School. “That is a big advantage. How to create those bundles is important to producing a superior product and a much bigger business.”

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.