SparkOptimus News Highlights – Week 14

At SparkOptimus, we try to highlight the most important news and background stories in digital, e-commerce and retail. Here is our selection of last week’s news:

Rapper Jay-Z announced the launch of his streaming music platform Tidal this Tuesday. The introduction of this new Spotify rival is the latest move in an increasingly competitive streaming music landscape. Companies like Amazon, Napster, Google, Apple, and Deezer are lining up in a market that is now larger than the one for CDs. Telecom provider Vodafone said it would offer customers a six month subscription to Napster Unlimited, and the French streaming service Deezer introduced CD-quality music to lure more demanding customers. Amazon updated its Prime Music app to include ad-free radio stations based on artists and genres. Meanwhile, Apple is still working on its Beats platform, which is expected to be priced competitively and integrated into all Apple services. The music market in general is exemplary for the impact of digital developments and we can be certain of an upcoming dance-off amongst the largest streaming music rivals.

In other news, we can see the first big movements taking place around the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), which aims to connect all sorts of devices and use its data insights. IBM is investing $3 billion to create a special internet of things platform, on top of which useful apps can be built that take advantage of all the data. Amazon launched “Dash Buttons”, which consumers can stick to devices to quickly reorder commonly depleted household goods. Advantages are however not limited to customers. As marketing guru Jon Gettinger puts it: “The IoT will generate an enormous, truly unprecedented amount of precise information about buyers and their needs. It’s a marketer’s dream come true.”