Amazon took voluntary 3.2m loss on Lady Gaga MP3s
Amazon's two days of its 99-cent Lady Gaga album promo were costly but may have paid off in a market share battle with iTunes, both official and unofficial sources said Friday. Music industry contacts said that about 440,000 copies of the pop star's album sold in the two days of the promo, almost all of which were the less extensive but much cheaper sale version. Since Amazon was still paying Universal and Interscope the full $8.39 cut, Billboard estimated that Amazon MP3 took a loss of $3.2 million on all its sales.
iTunes may leap to 24-bit audio
Apple and others are considering upgrading the audio on tracks a second time to get close to master-level audio quality, sources both public and otherwise said on Tuesday. Label heads are negotiating to bring the underlying bit depth from 16-bit to 24-bit. The move would bring the audio quality from CD-level to the same detail as the master tracks from the studio, CNN heard, or of the rarely used DVD-Audio format.
Dre and HP Beats Gear Soon
Interscope Records is enlisting the help of Dr. Dre as well as HP for an initiative that would boost the quality of audio on computers, the combination of a leak as well as some official information. While Interscope head Jimmy Iovine will only acknowledge that the label hopes to improve quality across the "entire chain" from the files themselves to listening devices, CNET hears from music industry contacts that HP will launch high-end notebooks, earphones and software with Dr. Dre's "Beats" label sometime in the fall. Specifics of the arrangement weren't included.