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The Death of Music Sales

Lucas Jackson/Reuters CDs are dead. That doesn't seem like such a controversial statement. Maybe it should be. The music business sold 141 million CDs in the U.S. last year. That's more than the combined number of tickets sold to the most popular movies in 2014 (Guardians) and 2013 (Iron Man 3). So "dead," in this familiar construction, isn't the same as zero. It's more like a commonly accepted short-cut for a formerly popular thing is now withering at a commercially meaningful rate. And if CDs are truly dead, then digital music sales are lying in the adjacent grave. Both categories are down double-digits in the last year, with iTunes sales diving at least 13 percent. The Death of Purchased Music Nielsen The recorded music industry is being eaten, not by one simple digital revolution, but rather by revolutions inside of revolutions, mouths inside of mouths, Alien-style. Digitization and illegal downloads kicked it all off. MP3 players and iTunes liquified the album. That was enough to send recorded music's profits cascading. But today the disruption is being disrupted: Digital track sales are falling at nearly the same rate as CD sales, as music fans are turning to streaming—on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and music blogs. Now that music is superabundant, the business (beyond selling subscriptions to music sites) thrives only where scarcity can be manufactured—in concert halls, where there are only so many seats, or in advertising, where one song or...  

BVB look to bounce back in Bundesliga

In 2014, Jurgen Klopp's side endured the worst opening half of the Bundesliga season in Borussia Dortmund's history. Coming off their worst ever "Hinrunde" -- first round -- in the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund entered the winter break with plenty to work on before the competition resumes on Jan. 31. Here are five observations from their final friendly -- a 1-1 draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf -- before the Bundesliga restarts. 1. Dortmund's defence remains inconsistent Borussia Dortmund will leave Dusseldorf with mixed feelings. A 1-1 draw will not have provided the confidence boost Jurgen Klopp would have hoped for against the German second-tier side. Dortmund were in firm control for the majority of the game, yet invited Fortuna into the match with cynical errors time and time again. Their high pressing off the ball looked gripping and up to speed, especially in the first half, when Klopp's probably first-choice XI were involved, but occasional incoherence was enough to allow Dusseldorf enough chances to win the game by a comfortable margin. A side with better finishing prowess -- say Bayer Leverkusen, their Bundesliga opponents on Jan. 31 -- might take more advantage of these little hiccups. BVB's defenders weren't on the same page when they conceded the first goal just five minutes before half time. While Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer tried to play for offside, Lukasz Piszczek and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were picking up...  

They Want to Believe: UFO Hunters Plan Database to Track Sightings

An artist's rendering of an object reportedly seen by a Cessna pilot traveling north toward Picayune, Mississippi, in April 2013. The pilot claimed to have seen a small metallic object about 3 feet (1 meter) in size just off his right wing. Credit: MUFON/Roger Marsh An investigative organization has kick-started the creation of a worldwide UFO database, which will allow people around the globe to report their supposed extraterrestrial encounters. A new tool from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) promises to help demystify the mystique that rides along with skywatchers' interpretations that extraterrestrial intruders are cruising Earth's airspace. But in today's age of video and cellphone cameras, iPhone apps, Twitter and other techniques, can these tools assist or hinder classifying the "strangeness factor" of UFOs? Is such a database needed, and who cares? Moreover, what's the current status of UFOs in 2015? [Where to Spot UFOs (Infographic)] Real science MUFON's plan to plot out a new database is designed to advance the group's investigative and citizen-action sighting efforts. The organization's mission is the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity, said Jan Harzan, executive director of MUFON, headquartered in Newport Beach, California. In that regard, he said that fulfilling this scientific quest requires the systematic study of the nature and behavior of the physical universe, based on observation, experiment and measurement. "To do real science, one ...  

Greek Election Likely to Have Muted Effect on Markets

As Greece goes to the polls Sunday, investors are bracing for a volatile reaction in markets. But some analysts say the wider impact is likely to be contained. The results of the vote are all-important for the future of Greece, but their broader effects will be cushioned both by Greece’s isolation from the euro-zone financial system and by the massive program of bond-buying launched by the European Central Bank on Thursday, said Lucy O’Carroll, an economist at Aberdeen Asset Management. “The contagion is not completely gone,” she said. “But it is reduced." Analysts at AXA Investment Management said markets could be volatile in the aftermath. “The uncertainty caused by negotiations between Greece and international lenders is likely to take its toll on risk assets, in the euro area at least." But they added that even if the radical left Syriza party wins on Sunday, Greece’s elections are likely to have either a “marginal” effect or “no material impact on the rest of the euro area.” Markets in Europe are still digesting the full impact of the ECB’s announcement of quantitative easing which itself came just days after the Swiss National Bank shocked markets by removing the Swiss franc’s cap against the euro, sending the single currency plunging in the days since. In the two and a half years since Greece’s government last collapsed, Europe’s banks have slashed their exposure t...  

The Entire Concept Of Intellecual Property Is Proof That Free Markets Aren't ...

As we all know there’s enough people out there who tell us that markets don’t work very well, free markets especially don’t work all that well and so, well, we should all be dragooned into doing whatever it is that these people have planned for us. One answer to this is simply to start shouting that free markets do to work so there. A slightly more sophisticated approach would be to agree that yes, markets (whether free or freeish) sometimes they don’t work well. But that markets don’t work well, or even at all, in one or another set of circumstances is not actually proof either that they won’t work well elsewhere or that they’re not working elsewhere. For example, the observation that a monopolised market is not working could well be true but that isn’t proof that non-monopolised markets don’t work. We can also go further and actively point to areas where we know that markets don’t work well. Even point out that we try to cure those market failures through intervention. Our point being that we’re perfectly willing to use non-market methods it’s just that we have to be convinced of the market failure first. And, of course, confident that the planned change will fix it. All of which is an opener to discussing this piece on a new book The Eureka Myth. Looking at how creative people create and why they do so. I entirely agree with the idea that we’ve not got the whole intellectual ...  

Setting out Pep Guardiola's Best Bayern Munich Midfield Setup for Rest of Season

Collymore's 5-Pt Stance: Scrap the January Window from Bleacher Report Setting out Pep Guardiola's Best Bayern Munich Midfield Setu... from Bleacher Report Birthday Boy Robben Pushes Bayern Past Bochum from Bleacher Report Ranking Bundesliga on Defensive Strength from Bleacher Report Varane Should Be Priority Signing for Pep Guardiola from Bleacher Report Starlet Odegaard Chooses Madrid over Bayern, Others from Bleacher Report Jump to the Bleacher Report homepage ...  

Animal welfare license plate available to Delaware drivers

Artwork by: Andy Lendway Wilmington illustrator Andy Lendway created the animal welfare license plate contest winning design. Animal-friendly Delaware drivers have a new option to show their affection for dogs and cats: a redesigned animal welfare license plate. Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, joined by illustrator Andy Lendway, unveiled the new license plate recently at the Delaware Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Stanton shelter. Lendway, 55, of Wilmington, created the winning design that features a dog and cat touching noses on a yellow background with paw prints. Lendway’s artwork won the First State Paw Draw Contest hosted by the Delaware Division of Public Health’s Office of Animal Welfare. OAW Executive Director Hetti Brown said the Animal Welfare License Plate Contest Committee considered several strong contenders. “We are thrilled to offer this new design to the public,” Brown said. “This license plate allows drivers to show their love for animals while supporting services to reduce the overpopulation and homelessness of Delaware cats and dogs.” The plate sells for $50 at the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, and $35 of each sale is allocated to the Animal Welfare License Plate Fund. Revenue is used to provide spay and neuter surgeries for community cat colonies or specific breeds, to offer low-cost or free spay and neuter services for those who do not qualify for the State Sp...  

Durham and Cleveland mobile phone-using drivers targeted

Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit has launched a week-long clampdown on mobile phone use while driving A crackdown on drivers using mobile phones at the wheel has been launched in Durham and Cleveland. Police forces said the campaign was intended to "educate drivers and robustly enforce the law". Last year, they issued 891 fixed penalty tickets for the offence, which attracts a £100 fine and three penalty points. Mobile phone-use reduces reaction time by up to 50%, "significantly" more than by drug or alcohol use, police said. 'Ignore it' The latest police accident records available suggest that between 2007 and 2012, there were at least 480 serious crashes related to mobile phone use. "Mobile phone usage causes a lot of serious and fatality road traffic collisions," said Sgt Kevin Salter. "Despite warnings and advertisements and media campaigns people just tend to ignore it." If a case goes to court the offender can be disqualified from driving and get a maximum fine of £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could face paying £2,500. Last year, 51 penalty tickets were also issued to in the area, for people considered not to be in proper control of their vehicle, like those eating, drinking or applying make-up while driving. ...  

Tennis-Young and free Kyrgios makes Australians rejoice

(Adds details, quotes) By Greg StutchburyMELBOURNE Jan 25 (Reuters) - Teenager Nick Kyrgios ensured his compatriots would wake up to celebrate their national day on Monday by saving a match point against Andreas Seppi to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.Playing with the unencumbered freedom and brashness of youth, the 19-year-old had to battle his own demons to advance to the last eight with a 5-7 4-6 6-3 7-6(5) 8-6 win to overcome the Italian, who had upset Roger Federer in the third round."It's crazy. I don't think it's sunk in yet," Kyrgios told reporters. "When I saw I had finally won the match it was incredible. It was the best feeling I ever had."Kyrgios, who made the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year, spent much of the first two sets berating himself, producing outbursts of impressive swearing, and taking his frustration out on a racquet that earned him a warning from the umpire.Once he settled down, however, he matched the smooth baselining Italian and whipped Hisense Arena, girt by green and gold wearing fans, into a patriotic fervour."They were unbelievable," Kyrgios said of the crowd. "I was definitely feeding off the crowd in the fourth, especially in the tiebreak it was massive."That was a momentum builder going into the fifth set."PUGNACIOUS SHOULDERSThat fervour could be explained by the fact Kyrgios was the country's last hope at this year's tournament after Bernard Tomic was beaten by seventh seed Tomas Berdych earlier.The last time ...  

Liverpool FC transfer gossip: Rodgers wants Benzema and Lacazette for £63m ...

Brendan Rodgers wants both Alexandre Lacazette and Karim Benzema, according to the Metro. The duo have been linked with summer moves to Anfield throughout January, with the newspaper believing that both could somehow come this month in a £63m double deal. If both can be brought in, the Metro say Rodgers is likely to let go one of Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini or Mario Balotelli leave. Meanwhile, another striker linked with the Reds is Inter Milan marksman Mauro Icardi, who the Daily Star claim is tempting Liverpool, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. The 21-year-old has been hailed as the 'new Ronaldo' in some quarters, and has been in good form for the Serie A side this season. And finally, Sportsvibe say the Reds have registered an interest in Stoke star Bojan Krkic. The 24-year-old has impressed during the first half of the campaign scoring four goals in 17 appearances for the Potters. However, Potters boss Mark Hughes has told prospective clubs to not bother in their interest in the Spaniard. ...  


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