News you can use: Google streaming music? Plus iTunes settlement, Foursquare deals

News you could possibly use:

Google‘s rumored streaming music offering could launch in the third quarter of the year, Bloomberg reports. The subscription service would compete with streaming music market leader Spotify — and possibly an upcoming similar offering from Apple. Google continues negotiations with major record labels over music licenses, talks that were first reported by the Financial Times in February.

Spotify reportedly had 24 million active users at the end of 2012, with 20 percent of them paying subscribers. Apple, Google and Amazon offer downloads and cloud-based music, but have yet to do what Spotify and others such as Oakland-based Pandora do, which is offer streaming subscriptions for music that can be accessed on most Internet-connected devices.

In other music news, a new report says the music industry showed a small rise in revenue in 2012, a first since the dawn of file-sharing service Napster more than a decade ago.

• More than 23 million iTunes customers could get a $5 credit under a proposed $100 million Apple settlement over kids’ in-app purchases. A group of parents sued the Cupertino company in 2011, saying their children were able to download digital goods within apps and games without permission. (Apple reportedly remedied that problem as part of a software update that year.) Under the deal, which has yet to be approved by a judge, those who spent more than $30 could also choose to receive cash instead of iTunes credit.

• If people are going to check in, they might as well get something out of it besides virtual mayorships. Following a similar partnership with American Express, Visa and MasterCard users who link their credit cards to their Foursquare accounts will now get discounts at participating retailers and restaurants. For example, Monday’s offering was $1 off a $10 puchase at Burger King. Foursquare product manager Noah Weiss tells AdAge that the arrangement, in which Foursquare gets a cut from redeemed deals, “is going to be a pretty core part of our revenue model.”


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  • Bryan

    No offense intended, but if there’s any news I most definitely cannot use, it’s that which concerns new ways to consume music.

    I want a technology that stands in my virtual front yard, snarling, barking, and biting the pants of anything that resembles any part of the “entertainment” industry.

  • Levi Sumagaysay

    None taken, Bryan. Thanks for the imagery.