09-21-2019  6:47 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon is One of 23 States to Sue Trump on Air Quality Rules

The Trump administration has revoked California's right to set auto emission rules: let battle commence...

New Treasurer Steps In At Multnomah Dems

Self-described ‘boring guy’ Dean Price steps in amid party tensions

Governor's Lawyer Declines Court Nod Amid Uproar

Misha Isaak has declined his appointment by Gov. Kate Brown to the Court of Appeals after the state's public records advocate accused him of unethical behavior

NEWS BRIEFS

Mac Group Returns to GFO Sept. 25

User group to cover email, iCloud and more ...

Johnell Bell Named to National Small Business Leadership Council

Portland small business owner joins National Economic Development Association ...

Buffalo Soldier Dedication to Be Held at Fort Vancouver on Saturday, Sept. 21

The installation will be the first African-American memorial in the city of Vancouver ...

Africa-America Institute Set to Honor Angola, New York Times Magazine, and Netflix Film During 35th Annual Awards Gala

New York City’s premiere Africa event takes place during the week of the United Nations General Assembly’s 73rd session. ...

YouTube Originals Debuts Michelle Obama’s Reacher College Prep Course

‘A Student’s Guide to Your First Year of College’ debuted last week ...

1 dead, 2 injured in Oregon attack; relative arrested

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Police in Oregon, responding to a 911 call in which they heard gunfire, arrived at a home near Grants Pass to find a dead man and a wounded mother and daughter.The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said Saturday that deputies responding to the call Friday night from...

Nike speedily captures suspected car thief

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — Nike was dogged and fast as it chased down a suspected car thief in Oregon.Nike, named after the Greek goddess of victory and the namesake of the Oregon-based athletic shoe manufacturer, is a police dog.According to Roseburg Police Sgt. Jeff Eichenbusch, Nike had his...

Missouri uses opportunistic defense to beat South Carolina

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's defense scored the easy way and the hard way as the Tigers beat South Carolina 34-14 on Saturday.Linebacker Cale Garrett recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown and safety Ronnell Perkins returned an interception 100 yards for another score for the...

Missouri uses opportunistic defense to beat South Carolina

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's defense scored the easy way and the hard way as the Tigers beat South Carolina 34-14 on Saturday.Linebacker Cale Garrett recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown and safety Ronnell Perkins returned an interception 100 yards for another score for the...

OPINION

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

Do Black Kids Deserve This Treatment in School?

Three White Pearland ISD employees are named in a federal lawsuit after humiliating a 13-year-old Black student by blackening his scalp with a Sharpie ...

Why I’m Visiting the Border

People of color are feeling less safe today and any day when we see the realities of domestic terrorism and racially-motivated acts of violence ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Iowa to re-examine band member claims of abuse by rival fans

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa has reopened an inquiry into allegations that members of the school's marching band were targets of abuse during last weekend's game at Iowa State University.Members of the Hawkeye Marching Band allege that they were subjected to racial slurs and...

Trudeau's support holds after apology for wearing brownface

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that he let down his supporters — and all Canadians of color — by appearing years ago in brownface and blackface. Yet the scandal's fallout may be limited in a country without the harsh and still-divisive racial...

'Welcome back' - a reporter's fraught re-entry to Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The immigration officer lifted his stamp to put the visa into my passport and I heaved a sigh of relief. But then my passport was taken by a smiling woman who asked, "Have you been to Zimbabwe before?"Through questioning she determined that I had worked as a...

ENTERTAINMENT

It's no joke: women rule the Emmy comedy series category

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When the winner of the best comedy series Emmy Award is announced Sunday, odds are good that a woman will be giving the acceptance speech.An unprecedented number of the seven nominated comedies are from female creators: defending champion "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,"...

Julie Andrews to receive American Film Institute honor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The American Film Institute is honoring Julie Andrews with its Life Achievement Award.The organization said Friday that Andrews will receive the award at the Gala Tribute on April 25 in Los Angeles. It will be broadcast on TNT.Andrews' acting career has spanned several...

25 years later, a new generation gets immersed in 'Friends'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Friends" is getting old. Its fans have never been younger.As the sitcom about six twentysomethings marks its 25th anniversary on Sunday, it has spawned a devoted youthful viewership, especially among tween and teen girls who weren't yet born when it went off the air in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Elevator briefly breaks down at reopened Washington Monument

WASHINGTON (AP) — The newly upgraded elevator at the Washington Monument stopped working just days after...

Sheriff: 2 dead, 8 wounded in South Carolina bar shooting

LANCASTER, S.C. (AP) — Two men were fatally shot early Saturday at a South Carolina sports bar and eight...

Bus with Chinese-speaking tourists crashes in Utah; 4 dead

PANGUITCH, Utah (AP) — A tour bus crashed on a highway running through the red-rock landscape of southern...

Families struggle to meet Kashmiris lodged in Indian jail

AGRA, India (AP) — Hameeda Begum explained her arduous journey from the Himalayan region of disputed...

A year in the ice: Scientists set sail on Arctic expedition

BERLIN (AP) — An international team of researchers set off Friday on the biggest and most complex...

Hong Kong protesters, police face off in renewed clashes

HONG KONG (AP) — Protesters in Hong Kong threw gasoline bombs and police fired tear gas Saturday in renewed...

McMenamins
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.

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