This Week’s Top Ten Stories

16th May 2015

1) Spotify’s financial results this week have highlighted theirstruggle to make paid, streaming music profitable. Its 15m paying subscribers helped Spotify to more than €1bn of revenues in 2014, but its losses are still growing faster than its income. CEO Daniel EK insists that the focus is still on growth, and profitability will come once it has reached a ’sufficient’ size – but when will that be…? Does in fact, the paid streaming model need a re-think?

2) Verizon is buying AOL for $4.4 billion. At its apogee its was worth over $200 billion and the value of the company now, is primarily in its video streaming and ad technologyAstonishingly 2.15 million people still pay for its dial-up service.

3) Here is one way of getting the message through to smokers.Write it in ink made from diseased lungs. Powerful idea from BBDO Proximity Thailand

4) An obscure island just past the Bronx in New York is home to 850,000 human graves. But access is tightly controlled and photography prohibited. Welcome to Hart Island – ‘the intended secrecy is due to the island’s status as the greater metropolitan “potter’s field” (or civic graveyard) for unclaimed bodies. Since 1980 at least 62,370 people have been buried there, but as it has been used for interments since 1869, presumably the number is much, much higher. If nothing else, an incredible space-planning operation for approximately a 131 acre area.’

5) Given the issues with privacy on the web this is especially Interesting – research into drug usage at music festivals , using Instagram images. 3.6 million different images were considered and scanned for terms related to intoxicating substances. Alcohol was the clear winner but the order of some of the other intoxicants may surprise you.

6) Definitely worth supporting . Anjali Ramachandran ( provider of the Other Valleys newsletter ) has produced an e-book called Disruption in the Developing World and you can download it here. Proceeds go to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

7) This week, Game Of Thrones broke another record – the all time digital piracy record ‘Sunday’s episode rallied up 2.2 million illegal downloads within 12 hours of the original airing, blowing out the previous record from season four’s premiere episode, which was downloaded nearly as many times but in a longer, 24-hour time period.’

8) The Galaxy Sized Video Game . A new game : No Man’s Sky will let virtual travellers explore eighteen quintillion planets. It is being created by Hello Games, a small company based in Guildford, Surrey – England.

9) Digital Shoreditch #DS15 was on this week. Here is a link to the website, highlighting the fabulously broad range of information covered. Wednesday was themed as NEXT day – looking at future technologies and opportunities. An eclectic range of topics included – how to become an android, using connected devices to help those suffering from Alzheimers, survival tips using technology in the event of an apocalypse, building interactive experiences using food and the real reason that the music industry collapsed in the early 90’s ( clue – isn’t was all down to Napster, as the music industry claim ) . On Monday we presented our provocation – on ‘how to energise the creative spaces between people’ – The Geography of Ideasslideshow here.

10) And finally – 30 women were asked on camera whether they thought that size mattered, or not. No further explanation was provided and the respondents were left to interpret as they saw fit. They mostly focused on one area in particular.