Last week, the WTO released details of a ruling in favour of the United States in a decision that US media companies should not have to go through Chinese state-owned companies in order to access the Chinese market place.
Behind the scenes are many smaller rulings supporting record labels, digital music companies, and movie studios. This ruling also fuels speculation that Apple will launch a Chinese iTunes.
Meanwhile, digital music giant The Orchard has announced a deal with Chinese company ZTEMT to bring music to Chinese wireless users. They are one of many companies trying to exploit China’s massive market of 388 million internet and mobile internet users.
The Chinese government, as expected, has moved to appeal the ruling.
Spotify is not available in Canada, but in countries where is it licensed to operate, it's turning a lot of heads and gaining a lot of fans.
The service offers streaming audio of music that the user picks from a huge catalogue of (mostly) major label releases. Spotify isn't so much about discovery or social networking, like other streaming audio services. It's more like a library of music that users can access at any time, not to download and own, but to listen to.
The idea of streaming music, rather than buying it, downloading, and storing it, is becoming more and more popular, as broadband becomes faster and more ubiquitous. But the real jump in streaming audio comes when it becomes more accessible on personal devices like cell phones. And that's where Spotify is right now.
The Swedish music company plans to launch an iPhone app very soon. The big question is whether Apple will turn down the app's application, because it poses too much competition to the iTunes store.