Apple Approves Spotify for iPhone?

25 08 2009

Rumours are circulating that Apple is about to announce that the Spotify app for the iPhone is approved and will be available for download within days.  If true, this will fundamentally change the way that we listen to and pay for music.

Spotify has already had a huge impact on music listening.  It is now poised to revolutionise the financial model with its ‘fremium’ offer of an ad-funded free service and a premium subscription offer (which will be required if you want to listen on the iPhone).   In its native Sweden it appears it has already overtaken Apple’s iTunes store.  The head of Universal Music in Sweden, Per Sundin has said that  “in 5 months from the launch Spotify became our largest digital source of income and so passed by iTunes.”

Spotify mobile is a key development because it reaches an important demographic group that listens to music mainly on the move.  The eighteen plus generation who live at home or in shared accommodation want their music on a portable player – be it an iPhone, dedicated MP3 player or another smart device.  With an Android version of Spotify waiting in the wings rejecting the iPhone app could harm iPhone sales.

There is no official word yet and almost a month has passed since the app was submitted, but if the rumours are premature then could this be another salvo in Spotify’s sophisticated social media PR campaign?  By posting videos on Youtube showing the interface, blogging about the mobile versions for iPhone and Android, the Spotify supremos Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon have ensured the buzz is constant. 


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Holiday Post

21 08 2009

In May 1995 I was asked by Tony Murray, the then editor of the marketing title Adline to write an article on the subject of e-mail for the magazine.  When I was researching for the book “Public Relations and the Social Web’ (companion to this blog) I discovered the article on an old disk.  It was reprinted in full in the book and shows how much has changed in a decade and a half.  Here is an extract. 

“So is E-mail a waste of time?  Emphatically no.  At the moment it is a bit like having one of the first fax machines.  The quality is a bit dodgy and no one else seems to have one.  In ten years time if you don’t have E-mail your business won’t be taken seriously.  For the PR industry in particular E-mail will change the way we work.  You will send a press release for approval and get it back maybe minutes later.  It can then be sent directly into the computers of all of your target publications, in seconds.  You will even be able to attach a high quality photograph in a format ready for the paper or magazine to drop straight onto a page.  All this without leaving your desk.  Better still you could do it all from a gite in the south of France because unlike a fax or phone your E-mail address number is portable, it goes with you.”

The reason that I wanted to refer to the article is that I am currently in a gite (well an old moulin to be accurate) in the south of France.  I can e-mail from my blackberry and as this demonstrates I can post to a blog. This is in a part of Gascony that just a few years ago had no mobile coverage.  I think when I wrote article I envisaged being able to spend endless weeks of summer in the sun, instead the holidays are the same length but work sneaks in.  That’s progress …I suppose.

Desmond Libel Case Bites The Dust

23 07 2009

Richard Desmond proprietor of Express Newspapers lost his libel case against author and journalist Tom Bower today.  The result was not the most fascinating aspect of the trial, it was hardly an open and shut case.  What was more interesting was the outpouring of opinion on-line within minutes of the outcome.

The jury at the London’s high court returned a majority verdict rejecting Desmond’s claim against the allegation, made by Bower in his book about publisher and tycoon Conrad Black, that Desmond had been “ground into the dust” by Black when forced into apologising  for articles in the Sunday Express in 2002.  Desmond believed the allegation damaged his business reputation.  However this is a reputation that is far from unsullied, in fact the Guardian’s Janine Gibson opined “It may not be possible to defame him…..” 

One of the first to comment was journalist George Dearsley who tweeted “People like Desmond have helped to kill responsible journalism and made many journalists’ lives a total misery”. “How do you libel a porn baron exactly?” added Leeds based PR about town Debbie Hastie.  The comments came thick and fast sharing dsatisfaction, joy and amusement at the result.

The comments may not have the grace and consideration of a national newspaper leader but they are quicker and a welcome adjuct to free speech …and they do a pretty good job of telling it like it is.

North West Media and Marketing

10 07 2009

‘How Do’ serves the media industry in the North West of England, offering news, opinion and resources for those working in all aspects of media in the region.  This week they asked me to be the guest editor for their weekly news round up the How Do Weekly Wrap.  Click here if you’d like a look.

Web ‘to go’ – Blogging on the Train

2 07 2009

I am writing this blog post from the discomfort of a hot train carriage en route from Grantham to Manchester.  Why do you need to know that?  The answer is quite simply that you don’t.  My point is that it is now possible to blog or upload content, any time, any place, anywhere.

There is no air conditioning in my carriage but I do have a laptop with me and Internet access, although it is courtesy of a 3G mobile stick rather than having been thoughfully provided by the train operator.  Although to be fair many train operators now offer wifi (usually the same ones that manage to provide aircon).

We are increasingly moving to a point where web access is an expected utility rather than a welcome exception.  The iPhone even has a dedicated WordPress application that lets you blog directly from your phone with considerable ease, making live blogging easier than ever.   The carriage isn’t getting any cooler and I’m still an hour and a half from my stop.  I wonder what’s happening on twitter?

MPs in Commons Tweet Speaker Results

23 06 2009

The results of the House of Commons Speaker elections last night were delivered live via twitter throughout the evening.  At every voting round the results were posted live on Twitter within seconds of being announced to MPs. 

This was made possible because many of the MPs were doing the posting themselves, apparently live from the floor of the House.

Possibly the first to announce the result was Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire Jo Swinson, who earlier in the evening revealed who she was voting for in the supposed secret ballot.  Both Tom Watson MP and Jim Knight MP leaked the unofficial result five minutes before it was announced to MPs.  Whilst the voting figures they gave were wide of the mark, they both had the winner right, meaning for the first time ever ordinary voters had the result before many MPs.

The rapidly increasing number of MPs now microblogging (sometimes from inside the chamber) is potentially far more significant for the House than the appointment of John Bercow MP as a radical reforming Speaker.

This Week’s Best of the Blogs #2

19 06 2009

1. PR MEDIA BLOG – Will Twitter Do the Business?

Upfront PRMB is the Staniforth blog, where I work, but this is a guest post from Phil Jones, the Sales and Marketing Director at Brother (not a client).  It is a really excellent take on the benefits of microblogging to businesses.  It is the first of a two-parter, with the second published today.

2. GODDAMIT I’M MAD – Becoming a Man

Sister Wolf has been mad for a long time…and she’s getting madder.  This is a piece prompted by Chastity Bono’s plan to have a sex change.  The web can be a weird and wonderful place.

3. TED BLOG – Q&A with Clay Shirky on Twitter and Iran

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It began as a conference in 1984 and the brand has grown to cover a range of activities. The NYU professor Clay Shirky reveals how mobiles, the social web, Facebook and Twitter have changed the rules of the game in Iran.

4. ReadWriteWeb – Twitter Censoring Trending Topics

When the crowd decides to talk dirty it seems that twitter doesn’t want us to know.

5 – Investigate Your MPs Expenses

Another piece of crowd sourcing. with the sheer volume of paperwork the Guardian has opened up the 700,000 documents of MPs’ expenses so the the public can identify individual claims, or expenses they think merit further investigation. You can even work through your own MP’s claims for the past four years.

This Week’s Best of the Blogs #1

29 05 2009

This is the new weekly feature which replaces the Follow Friday Five for the following reasons:

  • There were twelve FFF’s. That’s sixty blogs and I was starting to find it difficult to find relevant blogs that I liked and had not already referenced.
  • If I’d continued the series the next one would have been number thirteen. ‘Nuff said.
  • The format of the blog requires that images have depth (to make the page stand out) and reference the content.  Imagine how difficult it was to find interesting new pictures that illustrated the number five. (This feature won’t have images).
  • This format allows me to reference good posts, that means I can come back to blogs I like.
  • There’s no number in ‘This Week’s Best of the Blogs’ so it is more flexible, I can choose to reference any number of posts I choose.  I think I’ll start with five.


  1. Convince and Convert – The 6 Dangerous Fallacies of Social Media  Jason Baer neatly summarises from a PR perspective some of the major popular misconceptions about working with the social web.
  2. Revolution – Twitter founder reveals business plans Finally the scoop on twitter’s plans for market domination…..sort of.  Read the latest at Revolution.
  3. Stephen Newton’s diary of sorts… – Five years of Carol Kirkwood naked An eclectic take on blogs and SEO.  I wonder if this post will take PR&TSW to number two?
  4. – Find us on Twitter  Does exactly what it says on the tin.  A guide to the Guardian’s multiple twitter feeds.
  5.  The Huffington Post – 13 Tips For Actually Getting Some Writing Done Top tips from Gretchen Rubin. No.13, have something to say.  OK I’m off.

Follow Friday Five #12

22 05 2009

As usual, politics, PR, marketing, journalism, other stuff all neatly packaged in five great blogs from mighty media megaliths to more modest marketing types.  A great selection of material to take a look out whist your are filling in your expense claims.

This week’s follow Friday five blog takes the total of recommended reads to sixty and that is a lot of blogs.  Whislt there are still many great blogs I haven’t linked to I think it might be time for another weekly feature so this may be the last in the series.  Let’s wait and see but until then here’s a fiver for this week.

1. The White House  Yes, that White House and it has a blog.  How truly modern is that? Links to twitter, facebook and a vibrant comments section….er, actually no comments section.  Not that modern then.

2. The  World’s leading…. gossip site for those involved with technology PR.  Great layout and great content.  This week sees the debate over the world’s oldest twitterer. Fact or PR fiction?

3. Blogstorm  Officially the number 1 marketing and social media blog in the UK this month, discussing internet marketing and search engine optimisation news & strategies.

4. Crackunit  The work of Iain Tate at Poke and a stellar name for a blog.  It looks at the web, advertising and the space in between, plus this week a bit of fun at the expense of MP’s on the take. 

5. Nick Robinson’s Newslog The official and very BBC-ish blog from the BBC’s political editor. The opinion behind the headlines.  Guess what the subject was this week.

Follow Friday Five #11

15 05 2009

Here are five more blogs for you to take five to look at during your busy Friday.  There are some small blogs that cover really big issues and voices of authority from PR Week and the Guardian. You might be anywhere but I’m right here in Manchester UK so I’ve added some local flavour. 

Enough hot air from me; there should be something for everyone here so click away.  

1. Planning Corner Small but perfectly formed.  Insights into the world of advertising and marketing.  Apparently Germans feel more guilty about not brushing their teeth than they do for having an affair, now where else could you find out something like that?

2.How Do  Not really a blog but a media and marketing news site that follows many of the conventions of a blog – posting comments and now updating throughout the day.  Essential reading if you work in the creative, media or marketing industries in the North West of England.

3. Ask Jack Blog The Guardian’s Jack Schofield is the godfather of tech. I have been reading his stuff in the newspaper for many years. This is the place where he answers all of those niggling technical questions.  Got a problem? Email Jack.

4. PR Week Blogs  All new look PR Week online blog community.  It’s been revamped and it is pulling in gurus from the PR sphere.  New, hot, looks good.

5. Chris Reed – Ginger and Proud  A digital PR trail blazer, blogging since 2007. Thoughtful, and opinions worth listening to about the world on online PR.


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