Tony's take: music, milk and mistaken identity
By Tony Field
More and more of us are streaming music online.
But that doesn’t mean the artists get paid much. It also doesn’t look like the streaming companies are making big profits.
Streaming service Rdio has filed for bankruptcy and will sell some of its key assets to Pandora for US$75 million. Those key assets include technology and intellectual property.
Pandora's internet radio service is heard by more people than any similar site except for YouTube. It has around 80 million users.
Its audience has so far been limited to just the US, New Zealand and Australia. But Rdio is available in over 100 countries.
Pandora has told Wall Street investors that its goal is simple. It wants to be the number one service across radio, on-demand streaming and live events.
As part of that strategy it has bought TicketFly, so it can sell concert tickets to its listeners.
But Pandora is competing with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.
The Rdio/Pandora deal is not likely to be the last "consolidation" or closure that we hear about in the streaming space.
Petrol prices are falling along with global oil prices.
The national average petrol price fell to just under $1.94 per litre yesterday, the lowest price since March.
Diesel now costs $1.199 a litre on average.
The AA says petrol is still 21 cents higher than it was in January. Back then the Kiwi dollar was 13 cents higher against the US dollar than it is now (and GST amounted to about 4 cents less).
The weaker New Zealand dollar has lessened the effect of the fall in global oil prices.
West Texas oil fell 1.87 per cent to US$40.96 per barrel, European Brent was down 1.75 per cent to $43.78.
MORE AND MORE DAIRY COWS
If you want to see the changing face of New Zealand farming you only have to look at the rise in dairy cows and the corresponding drop in sheep numbers.
Dairy New Zealand says there were 5.02 million milking cows in the 2014/15 season. That compares to 3.9 million ten years ago.
There are 29 million sheep, a decade ago there were almost 39 million.
Dairy New Zealand says a cow's annual average production contained 377 kilograms of milk solids, compared to 308 kilograms in 2004-05.
Cows from North Canterbury are the highest producers. On average each one produces 416 kilograms of milksolids.
Here is my chat with Paul Henry about the 7.9 percent drop in dairy prices at today's auction.
SIMILAR NAME, DIFFERENT BOOK
Author Alison Waines is enjoying a hit with her novel "Girl on a Train."
The thriller has been in print for two years. But recently sales spiked.
The Wall Street Journal reports the novel has sold tens of thousands of copies, and climbed to the top of Amazon's UK and Australian charts for e-book downloads.
It turns out that many readers bought "Girl On A Train" by mistake. They thought they were buying Paula Hawkins' thriller “The Girl on the Train."
Some readers have posted online reviews without even realising they've read a different book.
While some people were disappointed when they realised their mistake, many others still enjoyed reading Alison Waines' novel. It has earned 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon's ranking system.
The WSJ reports that her novel has sold 30,000 copies.
That pales beside the 6.5 million Paula Hawkins' novel has sold globally.
The New Zealand dollar is down against all the major currencies this morning.
It was trading at 64.68 US dollars at 7.30am, down 0.39 per cent from yesterday.
It was sitting at 90.87 Australian cents, a fall of just over half a per cent.
The Kiwi was trading at 42.52 pence, 60.74 Euro cents and 79.74 Yen.