Audio News for May 9, 2014

Consumer Demand for Apps – has been found to be strong, according to a new CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) study. They are among the top growth products in U.S. households with smartphones, tables and smart TVs. More than one million apps at now available, and this area has shown the latest year-over-year growth of all products. 59% of those surveyed felt the number of apps available now was overwhelming. Users are interested in a high level of functionality and compatibility—in other works working across their various devices. The quality and variety of apps available for download are important to consumers when getting an app-enabled device. Only one-third of the app users indicated they are willing to pay for apps. 55% use apps to monitor or manage their home and 49% to monitor the health of a vehicle, and 48% to monitor personal health.

CEA Asks Senate for Patent Reform – The president and CEO of the CEA has issued a statement asking the Senate to move quickly with strong legislation to stop the patent trolls from forcing industry innovators to stop research and development due to a threat of burdensome frivolous lawsuits.

He said these patent trolls have extorted roughly $30 billion from American businesses at a cost of $80 billion to the U.S. economy. He noted that continuing delays have caused many breakthrough technologies to be shelved. The House has already taken action by passing the Innovation Act, and now the Senate has to enact common-sense reform to drive out the patent trolls.

Enhancement of Sharp’s Smart TVs – Sharp has selected Digitalsmiths with Tribune Media Services to enhance the video discovery experience on a dozen models of their 2014 Aquos LED smart TVs. Viewers will receive content recommendations with richer program and episode descriptions and images for content from cable or satellite sources and streaming services, without having to switch TV inputs or apps. Services across providers will show all the channels that a specific show appears on, and allow the user to select the best time and channels to view the program.

UK Survey Shows Youth Buying Physical Format Music But Don’t Listen to Them – Research firm ICM has released a report on the music buying and listening habits of UK respondents. It found that CDs were still the most popular way to listen to music. 15% of those buying their music in physical formats weren’t going to listen to it that way. Among music buyers 18 to 24 years old, 26% who bought CDs, vinyls or cassettes were not going to listen to them. Thus it seems that physical format sales, especially vinyl and cassette, are driven in part by collecting. Only one in five downloaded an MP3 files in the past month. Just like vinyl, cassettes are enjoying something of a revival. One researcher said “There’s definitely a novelty value with cassettes at the moment—particularly as we suspect a high proportion of them are collectibles sitting on a shelf and never played.”

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