MOBILE MUSIC SOARS: Revenues from music-related apps on the iOS App Store and Google Play combined have jumped 77% from 2012 to 2013, according to data from a new App Annie report. With this enormous growth, music streaming apps are now the third-highest revenue generating category among iOS apps, after being down in seventh place in 2012. Just ahead of it are social apps, whose revenue also shot up an impressive 55%, and gaming apps which have long held the top spot for app revenue generation. Interestingly, on Google Play, the music category is down in ninth place in terms of top revenue-generating app categories. However, App Annie does also reveal that iOS music app revenue accounted for almost 90% of the total music revenues for Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Pandora, one of the stalwart music streaming apps, took the top spot, fending off a number of music apps that are gaining in popularity like Rdio and Slacker Radio. Excluded from this list are Spotify and the new Beats Music, which primarily monetise with monthly subscription fees instead of a more ad-based approach. Spotify, however, does have ads, and recently made its streaming from mobile service free to all users (instead of just for subscribers). This move was likely meant to boost ad revenue. Interestingly, Apple’s GarageBand, an on-the-go music creation and editing app, took third place. It seems that it’s not just music streaming that mobile users are willing to pay for; rather, many are now engaging in music curation on their mobile devices as well. (App Annie)
A Nest Phone? TechCrunch is reporting that while Google will in fact keep the Nest brand intact, it will also utilise Nest talent to create pieces of hardware other than thermostats and smoke detectors. It is unclear what other devices Google may look to get into, and the Motorola sale suggests it won’t be mobile hardware. But it’s clear that one of Google’s top priorities in acquiring Nest was to bring on its product team. (TechCrunch)
MICROSOFT’S NEXT CEO: “…we as a company have bet that [the] two forms in which … people will consume technology is in devices and services or in cloud and devices broadly.” Reports have not been confirmed yet, but it seems Satya Nadella, head of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division, is the likely candidate to be the company’s next CEO. That is a quote from him in an interview with Quartz in December, stressing the importance of Microsoft’s cloud product. Microsoft infamously missed the mobile movement, and with Nadella at the helm, it seems mobile will take second fiddle as he helps Microsoft compete against Amazon and Google in the cloud services market. (Quartz)
WINDOWS PHONE GROWS RAPIDLY: Android took a 79% share of all the phones shipped during 2013 but the fastest-growing platform was Windows Phone, according to new data from Canalys. The platform grew 90% from 2012 to 2013 to reach 32.1 million shipments. The Nokia-Microsoft handset deal still looms and Microsoft’s next CEO may stress other divisions over mobile, so 2014 could be a make-or-break year for the growing Windows Phone platform in the smartphone market. (Canalys)
BOX IPO: Box, the cloud storage service company, has just filed for an IPO. This would get Box trading publicly before its main competitor Dropbox does. Box has a slew of mobile apps and its move to go public stresses the growing importance of multi-device access to cloud storage. (Quartz)
FOURSQUARE DELIVERS: Foursquare has partnered with GrubHub Seamless to make mobile food delivery services available within the Foursquare app by simply clicking on the in-app GrubHub or Seamless logo on a local restaurant’s page. It’s an interesting direction to take for a location-based services company that has enjoyed a recent resurgence. (App Advice)
YAHOO SHUTTERS INTONOW: Yahoo has decided to shut down the second-screen app, IntoNow, that it acquired in the spring of 2011. (TechCrunch) Standalone second-screen apps are in a predicament as Twitter becomes more TV-focused and now Facebook has partnered with TV analytics company SecondSync and will open up its social TV data for the first time. (The Next Web)
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