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BTS Army (and Cape Verde) help K-Pop stars break iTunes record

Is there any country in the world where BTS aren’t big? They’re certainly big in Cape Verde: their ‘Black Swan’ track has gone to number one in the country’s iTunes chart.

Why are we writing about this? Well, this was the 103rd country where the track had topped the iTunes rankings, breaking Adele’s record of 102 countries with ‘Hello’.

FYI: Cape Verde is made up of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean, with a population of just over half a million people.

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7digital’s Pete Downton talks streaming, telcos, voice control and Apple

In the mid-2000s, Pete Downton had a PowerPoint presentation. It included a slide with a map of the world plotting Warner Music Group’s licensing partnerships with 40 mobile operators: a network with a theoretical reach of 1.8 billion customers.

“There was a certain amount of truth in that, because we had deals in place to do products with all of them. But none of them had the teams, expertise or frankly the business reason to focus on executing those relationships,” says Downton now.

With 2017’s focus on the rapid subscriber growth for music-streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music, it’s easy to forget that a decade and a half ago, telcos and mobile phone manufacturers were among the great hopes to turn around the music industry’s sales decline.

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Why ‘A a a a a Very Good Song’ is becoming an iTunes hit

A track called ‘Why ‘A a a a a Very Good Song’ is 10 minutes of silence. Not in a John Cage conceptual way, but for purely practical purposes.

Samir Rezhami created the track in response to a bug (or feature!) that sees iPhones start playing a user’s music library in alphabetical order when the device gets plugged in to their car stereo.

Rezhami’s track, which is guaranteed to be the first song in line in this situation, provides a period of silence during which drivers can cue up the music they actually want to listen to.

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Voltra takes on Bandcamp with 100% artist rev-share

This is an obvious point for Music Ally readers, but while we’re in a transition from sales to streams and ownership to access, that doesn’t mean sales and ownership of music are entirely dead concepts – particularly for independent artists.

Bandcamp has long been flying that banner, but now it has competition from startup Voltra, which pitches itself as “a digital music player and shop for people who want to own their music”.

It’s just as much an iTunes alternative then, with its desktop application for Mac, Windows and Linux, and a companion mobile app coming soon.