Category Archives: iTunes Store

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Free ‘Single of the Week’: The Common Linnets – Calm After The Storm

This week’s free Single of the Week on the iTunes Store is “Calm After The Storm” by Dutch band The Common Linnets.

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Growing up in small cities in The Netherlands, IIse DeLange and Willem Bijkerk loved country sounds – so much so that Bijkerk adopted the stage name Waylon after outlaw country star Waylon Jennings. Recorded in Nashville, the debut album by The Common Linnets features the single “Calm After The Storm”, a soothing and folksy song showcasing their breathy, homespun harmonies. The catchy tune won The Common Linnets second place in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.

Download it for free here.

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Free ‘Single of the Week’: 陳惠婷 – 荊棘的冠冕

This week’s free Single of the Week on the iTunes Store is “荊棘的冠冕” by Taiwanese singer 陳惠婷 (Hui Ting Chen).

Singer, songwriter, producer and keyboardist Hui Ting Chen first came to attention as one third of Taiwan’s acclaimed indie rockers Tizzy Bac. “Crown of Thorns” introduces Chen’s solo ambitions with a coy stylistic evolution. The gentle, cascading electronic production is rounded out by winsome synth lines before the song blossoms with layered instruments and a driving, deliriously catchy chorus.

Download it for free here.

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Free ‘Single of the Week’: Kris Kuan – 安靜的張揚

This week’s free Single of the Week on the iTunes Store is “安靜的張揚” by Taiwanese singer Kris Kuan.

Taiwanese chanteuse Kris Kuan first gained notice when she appeared on a reality TV singing competition at the age of 15. After taking time away from the spotlight to complete her university studies, she returns with a compelling piano-driven pop track, “安靜的張揚”. Opening with dark chords and dramatic, echoing drums, the tune blossoms with layered instrumentation, a bold lead guitar and a heavy backbeat. When the song reaches the buoyant chorus, Kuan delivers it with shining confidence.

Download it for free here.

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Free ‘Single of the Week’: George Ezra – Cassy O’

This week’s free Single of the Week on the iTunes Store is “Cassy O’” by British singer-songwriter George Ezra.

Hertfordshire-raised singer/songwriter George Ezra scored a huge breakthrough with 2013′s Did You Hear The Rain? EP, which tastefully wove together influences of classic British and American songwriters and earned him a following throughout Europe. Ezra’s album debut, Wanted on Voyage, is an impressive showcase of his natural touch as a songwriter. The album finds a freewheeling highlight in “Cassy O”, which fuses a jaunty clapping rhythm, driving acoustic guitar and the singer’s fetching brogue. After rollicking through a series of swaggering verses, Ezra reaches an infectious sing-along chorus, pleading “Cassy O’, please don’t leave”.

Download it for free here.

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Free ‘Single of the Week’: Wang Hui-Zhu – Such a Fool

This week’s free Single of the Week on the iTunes Store is “Such a Fool” by Taiwanese singer-songwriter Wang Hui-Zhu.

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After winning a regional singing competition, Wang Hui-Zhu gained international exposure when she sang on the soundtrack to the popular 2012 Taiwanese drama 女朋友 男朋友 Girlfriend Boyfriend. The songwriter’s debut full-length album, 少女維拉, is a tender-hearted collection of folk-inflected pop ballads including “Such a Fool”. Unfolding over a slow-rolling beat, the lushly-produced, emotional tune demonstrates her poignant songwriting and fluid singing.

Download it for free here.

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Free ‘Single of the Week’: Lewis Watson – Into the Wild

This week’s free Single of the Week on the iTunes Store is “Into the Wild” by English singer-songwriter Lewis Watson.

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Since first charming ears with the 2012 EP It’s Got Four Sad Songs On It BTW, Oxford singer/songwriter Lewis Watson has become a master of concise releases, following his debut with a quick succession of other EP projects. “Into the Wild” opens up 2013′s The Wild, presenting Watson’s tender voice as a matchless foil for his delicate acoustic guitar strumming and gently introspective lyrics.

Download it for free here.

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Free ‘Single of the Week’: Highasakite – Since Last Wednesday

This week’s free Single of the Week on the iTunes Store is “Since Last Wednesday” by Norwegian indie pop band Highasakite.

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Members of this eclectic Oslo collective met while studying at the Trondheim Jazz Conservatory and got a big break when songwriter Justin Vernon asked them to open for him on a Bon Iver tour. Their shimmering brand of Scandinavian indie pop is the creative playground for singer Ingrid Helene Havik, who tears into “Since Last Wednesday” with an unrestrained glee. The triumphant track appears on the group’s Silent Treatment LP.

Download it for free here.

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Free ‘Single of the Week’: Clean Bandit – Mozart House

This week’s free Single of the Week on the iTunes Store is “Mozart’s House” by British electronic group Clean Bandit.

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Cambridge-based electro-pop crew Clean Bandit moved into the mainstream when this classical-infused dance anthem scaled UK charts in 2013. Since then, the quartet’s international fame has only grown, helped by a subsequent debut full-length, New Eyes, that continues to mix electronic production with stately cello and violin riffs.

Download it for free here.

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Free ‘Single of the Week’: Sam Smith – Life Support

This week’s free Single of the Week on the iTunes Store is “Life Support” by British singer-songwriter Sam Smith.

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Cambridgeshire native Sam Smith had his breakthrough as the featured vocalist on Disclosure’s international hit, “Latch”. In the months since, he’s developed an unstoppable momentum, earning a BRIT Critics’ Choice Award, offering a stunning performance on Saturday Night Live and selling out engagements at increasingly larger venues on both sides of the Atlantic. The singer/songwriter’s debut album, In the Lonely Hour, is a tour de force featuring Smith’s heart-wrenching croon and gorgeous songs (some co-written with Adele collaborators Ed White and Fraser T. Smith). None is more chilling than the limber “Life Support”, which finds Smith’s nimble falsetto floating over a production of sleekly contemporary, electro-infused soul.

Download it for free here.

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Falling iTunes Sales Reflect Shift in Consumer Preferences Towards Streaming

In a research note released via Fortune today, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty notes that iTunes users spent an average of US$3.29 on content purchases last quarter, which represents a 24% year-on-year decline. This, however, will be more than made up for when the App Store picks up the slack at the end of the year.

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Last quarter, each of Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes accounts spent an average of $3.29, down 24% year over year. “At a high level,” Huberty writes, “this raises concerns about Apple’s ability to monetize the new base of emerging market customers.”

Huberty notes that competitors such as Spotify and Pandora have been wrestling customers away from iTunes as consumer preferences shift from music downloading towards streaming. Apple, however, has a large untapped gold mine in the form of its 800 million iTunes Store accounts, most of them attached to a credit card.

The analyst cites two ways in which Apple could potentially utilise its “unheralded resources”:

Streaming music: Press reports… suggest Apple is considering the purchase of Beats Electronics, which would give Apple an accessories business focused on headphones and a music streaming service. Apple has not commented and we have no knowledge of any pending deals. However, a subscription music service — whether organically built or acquired — is a logical extension of iTunes.

Mobile payments: While there is always the possibility Apple adds mobile payments purely as a vehicle to increase customer loyalty and sell more devices, we believe it’s more likely to become a revenue generating service. We believe Apple can generate revenue through (1) advertisements, (2) subscription fees, and/or (3) transaction fees.

It has been widely reported that Apple is looking to acquire Beats Electronics for its Beats Music streaming service, albeit at a lower valuation due to the service’s relatively smaller subscriber base as compared to its competitors.