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  1. kalenjin shared this story from Visual Capitalist.

    Visualizing 40 Years of Music Industry Sales

    40 Years of Music Industry Sales

    The record industry has seen a lot of change over the years.

    Vinyl gave way to 8-tracks, and cassettes faded away as compact discs took the world by storm, and through it all, the music industry saw its revenue continue to climb. That is, until it was digitally disrupted.

    Looking back at four decades of music industry sales data is a fascinating exercise as it charts not only the rise and fall the record company profits, but seismic shifts in technology and consumer behavior as well.

    The Long Fade Out

    For people of a certain age group, early memories of acquiring new music are inexorably linked to piracy. Going to the store and purchasing a $20 disc wasn’t even a part of the thought process. Napster, the first widely used P2P service, figuratively skipped the needle off the record and ended years of impressive profitability in the recording industry.

    Physical vs. Digital sales

    Napster was shut down in 2002, but the genie was already out of the bottle. Piracy’s effect on the industry was immediate and stark. Music industry sales, which had been experiencing impressive year-over-year growth, began a decline that would continue for 15 years.

    The Ringtone Era

    While acquiring music was as easy opening Limewire on your desktop computer, transferring that new T-Pain track to a flip-phone wasn’t a seamless experience.

    This brief gap in technology – before smartphones hit mass adoption – brought us the ringtone era. Distribution was controlled by mobile carriers, so ringtones were a comfortable gateway for the record industry to get a taste for digital-based revenue. In 2008 alone, they injected over a billion dollars of revenue into an industry that was getting used to gloomy forecasts.

    Paddling Upstream

    Though services like Spotify and Pandora haven’t replaced the money pipeline that CD sales provided, they have reversed the industry’s tailspin. For the first time this millennium, record industry posted an increase in revenue for two consecutive years (and likely a third in 2018).

    It took a while for consumers to warm up to paying for a premium music subscription, but today, there’s a solid basis for optimism. Music streaming is now the most common format for music in the United States, and the RIAA reports that streaming now makes up nearly half of the market.

    Music Streaming Subscriptions

    The End of Physical Format?

    Gone are the days when people would line up at the music shop for a hot new release. In fact, CD sales are down 80% in the past decade. Today, physical format sales only account for 17% of the industry’s revenue.

    There is, however, one bright spot in physical format segment: vinyl. In 2017, vinyl sales hit 25-year high after making a slow and steady comeback.

    Vinyl is written in stone. I think if it’s made it for 120 years now, it’s here forever.

    – Jack White

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    The post Visualizing 40 Years of Music Industry Sales appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

  2. kalenjin shared this story from Quartz.

    Amazon is beginning to open its cashier-less grocery stores outside of its hometown of Seattle. First stop: Chicago.

    The Amazon Go store in the land of the deep-dish pizza and vegetable-laden hot dog opens today (Sept. 17), and will keep the same 7am to 8pm operating hours. And beyond Chicago, Amazon has plans for stores in New York and San Francisco, the company confirmed last week, which signals that the machine-learning technology that powers the stores is leaving its testing phase. Amazon now has a total of four Go stores, with the other three in Seattle.

    In terms of US adoption, Amazon seems ahead of the curve. Globally, it isn’t alone in providing this kind of store experience. In China, Tencent, Alibaba, and JD.com are also trying to use facial recognition and radio-frequency tags on products to achieve the same goal.

    Analysts are expecting a massive rollout of Amazon stores, which replaces the traditional checkout process with cameras and sensors that recognize when a customer with the Amazon app picks out a product. Their account is charged automatically when they leave the store. Retail real-estate guru Joe Sitt, founder and CEO of Thor Equities, predicted last week that Amazon could expand to 1,000 locations in the next 10 years.

  3. kalenjin shared this story from FlowingData.

    There are endangered species where the remaining few in the world could fit on a single car train. Mona Chalabi for The Guardian imagined such a scenario.

    Usually when we talk about scale and putting numbers into perspective, it’s about imagining the large ones. What does a million look like? A billion? Chalabi’s illustrations take it the other direction.

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  4. kalenjin shared this story from Feed: All Latest.

    Napster cofounder Sean Parker and biologist Alex Marson on the coming power of Crispr.
  5. kalenjin shared this story from ETFdb.

    Vanguard has slowly been expanding its lineup of ETFs designed to provide investors with total market coverage all in one product.

    It’s had the Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT A+) for more than a decade and recently launched the Vanguard Total Corporate Bond ETF (VTC n/a). This week, it added another for the entire global investment-grade fixed-income market.

  6. kalenjin shared this story from FT Trading Room.

    Interactive Brokers will transfer from Nasdaq in October
  7. kalenjin shared this story from CBC | Canada News.

    Narwhal among belugas

    An unusual visitor has been hanging out in the St. Lawrence River for the past three years: A narwhal, more than 1,000 kilometres south of its usual range. And it appears that the lone narwhal has been adopted by a band of belugas.

  8. kalenjin shared this story from CBC | Canada News.

    Artificial intelligence

    The Trudeau government is eager to test whether artificial intelligence (AI) software can help deliver federal programs more efficiently. Justice Canada is among the first out of the gate, with a pilot project to experiment with AI in tax litigation cases - even before clear ethical guidelines have been established.

  9. kalenjin shared this story from CBC | Canada News.

    thievingcat

    Owner Shawn Bell said his cat Bella first started bringing home garments last summer, but that the behaviour has since escalated at an alarming rate.

  10. kalenjin shared this story from naked capitalism.

    Looking at the costs of and some possible responses to regulatory capture.