Planet Business: Time to stream some music and shut out the noise?

Brexit mistrust, defunct social networks and why Abigail Disney would ban private jets

Is it time to take Brexit out with the trash? Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

Is it time to take Brexit out with the trash? Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

 

Image of the week: Downing Street mess

Never let it be said that no honest work is done in Downing Street, as this Westminster City Council employee (above) is pictured sweeping the streets outside Number 10 at the beginning of a messy, messy week of politics. Monday was a day of debates and indicative votes, all of which were rejected by the House of Commons. Tuesday was the seven-hour Cabinet meeting, which culminated in another Theresa May address to the nation, interpretations of which differed wildly. On Wednesday, May sat down with Jeremy Corbyn for a bit of a catch-up. Basically, if everybody started the week exhausted and massively mistrustful of one another, they were even more so by the end of the week. The Brexit clock continued to tick down.

In numbers: Sweet streamed music

9.7%

Growth in the value of global recorded music revenues last year to a market of $19.1 billion, says industry body IFPI.

34%

Rise in streaming revenues in 2018. Streaming now accounts for 47 per cent of global music revenue, the IFPI said.

255 million

Users of paid streaming services as of the end of 2018. The paid streaming segment accounts for 37 per cent of total recorded music revenue.

Abigail Disney. Photograph: Monica Schipper/Getty Images
Abigail Disney. Photograph: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Getting to know: Abigail Disney

Abigail Disney (59) is the granddaughter of Walt Disney Company co-founder Roy O. Disney, which means she grew up rich. “We lived in a big enough house that we would always get two doorbells on Halloween – people would ring the front and the back thinking it was two houses,” she said in a frank interview to US site the Cut. But the real lavishness only came later and it changed her parents. When her family’s wealth exploded in the 1980s along with Disney’s share price, “that’s when I feel that my dad really lost his way in life”, she said. She grew “hyperconscious” about what wealth does to people. “I lived in one family as a child, and then I didn’t even recognise the family as I got older.” She admits to enjoying expensive meals and shoes, but Disney says if she was queen of the world she would “pass a law against private jets, because they enable you to get around a certain reality”. She has given away $70 million since turning 21.

The list: Defunct social networks

Social networks have been accused of destroying our peace of mind, interrupting our sleep, contributing to “face-down” culture and generally occupying too many of our now-reduced waking hours. But this lot, to be fair, are pretty much blameless. (Note: Technically, MySpace is not actually defunct.)

1. Google+. Google’s failed social network was finally laid to rest this week, the joke for some years being that it was only used by people who worked for Google.

2. Google Buzz. “Thank you for using Google Buzz,” said Google when it discontinued the unheralded service in 2011 and replaced it with, er, Google+.

3. iTunes Ping. Apple’s music-focused social network was a two-year wonder that it stopped banging the drum for in about 2012 when it turned out no one cared.

4. Yahoo! 360: Yahoo made several stabs at social networks, including this one from 2005. Sadly, the kids preferred Facebook.

5. Friends Reunited. ITV bought the site in 2005 for £175 million and sold it four years later for £25 million. The thing is all the friends that wanted to reunite, and a few that didn’t, reunited and then there was nothing left to do except lose touch again.

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