Author Archives: Bill Rosenblatt

Hoopla Digital and HarperCollins Disrupt Library E-Lending

An announcement this week by hoopla digital and HarperCollins augurs big changes in the ways that public libraries make e-books available. It sets the stage for realignment of the relationships between publishers and libraries, and it could have longer-term ripple effects on the entire e-book market. For more than a decade, public libraries have been […]

Proposed Settlement in Spotify Lawsuit Points the Way Towards Solving Music Industry Data Problems

One of the biggest unsolved problems in the music business today is the lack of authoritative mapping between music recordings and the compositions they embody. When music people talk about the industry’s “database problem,” this is a big part of it. In the past, the industry has managed to work around it in various ad […]

Spotify Acquires Blockchain Startup Mediachain

Spotify announced yesterday that it has acquired the blockchain startup Mediachain Labs for an undisclosed sum. For those watching the music/blockchain space, this is big news indeed. Here’s a passage from the whitepaper I recently published on blockchain technology for music: DSPs [digital music service providers] have become the “big boys” of the music industry, […]

The P-Word

I’m reading a fascinating book called Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper. It’s a wry and informative look at the field of lexicography, written by a lexicographer at the dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster. One of the most interesting facts I learned from this book is that dictionary definitions are meant to capture the […]

In Music, DRM Is Back While Ownership Is Going Away

The RIAA’s annual revenue figures for recorded music are a goldmine of information about the state, health, and direction of the music industry. The 2016 figures that the RIAA published at the end of March generated a few common headlines in the trade and business press: Recorded music revenue in the United States is finally […]

Kobo Gives the Shelfie Story a Happy Ending

The story of Shelfie, the Vancouver-based print and e-book bundling startup that ceased operations back in January, has a coda, and quite possibly a happy ending after all. Shelfie’s fellow Canadians at Kobo had agreed to maintain the Shelfie service so that users could access their DRM-protected e-books and transfer their e-book libraries to the Kobo […]

Ad Networks’ Smokescreens Against Objectionable Websites

This may seem like a side issue from our usual subject matter here, but the current furor over programmatic Internet advertising is worth talking about anyway. To me it’s a prime example of the lengths that industries will go to make it look like they are doing the right thing but actually aren’t. For those […]