The Latest! Angry Birds, Pandora, WiMP, Pirate Pay, Live Nation, NARM, UMG+EMI...
First, let's rattle through some stunning stats.
Angry Birds has now reached 1 billion downloads, according to Rovio. That's up from 'just' 500 million in November.
Previously, we reported that Pandora hit 150 million registered users. But perhaps more eye-raising is that 70 percent of those users are now coming through mobile devices, according to CEO Joe Kennedy.
Is there room for another Spotify? The French Deezer's playing the beta-male by staying away from the US, though there's another Scandinavian export to watch: WiMP. The upstart has just pushed into Germany, and recently surpassed its one billionth stream. All in all, WiMP has more than 350,000 across four countries.
Question: can the Pirate Bay - and its BitTorrent channel - ever be contained? The answer is yes, according to 'Pirate Pay,' a Russian startup that not only has Microsoft backing, but support from Walt Disney and Sony Pictures (according to Torrentfreak). Wonder if this is just another startup selling hope to panicking legacies...
Live Nation experienced softer concert receipts during the first quarter, but that's just part of the picture. And, Wall Street seemed somewhat encouraged by Q1 improvements: shares of LYV open just above $9 on the week, a needed bump-from-a-slump last week.
Separately, Ticketmaster is realigned its TicketsNow linking practice with FTC-mandating guidelines, with Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino pointing to a "100 percent totally transparent" send-off process.
And, NARM ended with a surprising bang last week. Century City's Hyatt Regency was several sizes too big for this drawn-out, modestly-attended event, though the closing awards gala attracted a full-sized crowd. And, a mixed assortment of celebrities that included Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Perez Hilton, Lisa Marie Presley, and Brandy, among others.
US Government complicated, what? Now, UMG's planned takeover of EMI will be the subject of a Senate hearing, with the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee leading the charge. And, reports suggest that this is likely to spill into the summer.
More Pandora competitors? Indeed: the latest jab comes from Senzari, which just grabbed an additional $1 million for the fight. Like Pandora assailant Raditaz, Senzari comes to the table with a massive catalog - that is, roughly 11 million tracks. That compares to Pandora's 900,000, though this could be the wrong numbers game.