A report on Wednesday claims European streaming music extraordinaire Spotify is “a few weeks away” from signing a new deal with Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company. Reuters cites people familiar with the talks in reporting the deal, which will give Spotify access to Universal’s massive catalog of music in the U.S. Spotify has already inked a deal with Sony and the company is thought to be getting close to a U.S. launch. Despite the company’s progress, however, the report suggests Spotify is considering a launch without having signed a deal with Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest music label. Spotify currently offers a streaming music service in Europe and has been making considerable efforts of late to launch in the U.S. The service allows subscribers to listen to songs on demand and stream customized Internet radio stations to computers, cell phones and other devices. More →
Following rumors that streaming music provider Spotify was close to reaching its first deal with a U.S. record label, MediaMemo reports that the company has finally put one in its win column stateside. Spotify today signed a deal with Sony that will give the service access to Sony’s music catalog in the U.S., according to the report. The terms of the deal are said to be very similar to Spotify’s European deals, which would give U.S. users access to ad-supported streaming to a computer for free or ad-free streaming to a variety of devices for a monthly fee. The deal does not mean that a U.S. launch of the Spotify service is imminent, however. The company still needs to get additional labels on board, and it has had a great deal of trouble wooing U.S. labels thus far. Theories as to why labels are so reluctant include fear of further cannibalization of CD sales and fear of upsetting Apple, the top music retailer in the country. More →
File this little guy under gadgets we need ASAP. VUDU has been tearing it up lately as the company wisely broadens its horizons beyond dedicated set top boxes. The HD on-demand content provider recently announced partnerships that bring its service to various LG and Mitsubishi flat-panel televisions, and now VUDU is taking things to a new range of products: LG Blu-ray players. It certainly makes sense — if you’re going to add an on-demand HD streaming service to a line of home theater components, why not make them Blu-ray players? The first LG model that will be graced with VUDU service is the BD390, which is available now with an MSRP of $399. VUDU will go live on the player via a free software update toward the end of the month, though CEDIA attendees will be able to get a preview of the VUDU-enabled player this week at the show. If you have a High Def addiction and you’ve given up fighting it long ago, the BD390 is definitely the 1080p fix you’ve been looking for. Hit the jump for the full release.
After making an announcement ages ago, Blockbuster has finally launched its movie rental service via set-top boxes. Since word got out about the box and service, the only other option was to have DVDs delivered to your home, Netflix style, or to download movies and TV shows online. Now, with Blockbuster’s set-top box, you can snag movies with its OnDemand service whenever you want. The box is free if you pre-pay for 25 movies at the cost of $99, and while that sounds expensive, you wouldn’t be getting the box and service if you weren’t going to be watching a ton of movies, anyway – right? The set-top box works wirelessly and manages to deliver DVD quality to your screen, so if HD is an absolute must you’re pretty much out of luck with this one for now. If you’re a movie fiend and you have to have the latest hits from Hollywood, you’re still better off with the Blockbuster service as Netflix seems to be having a shortage of those movies lately. Anyone going to pick one of these up for the holidays?