Monthly Archives: November 2013

Long-Term Benefits of Music Lessons


Chris Gash
Published: November 11, 2013

Childhood music lessons can sometimes leave painful memories, but they seem to carry benefits into adulthood. A new study reports that older adults who took lessons at a young age can process the sounds of speech faster than those who did not.

“It didn’t matter what instrument you played, it just mattered that you played,” said Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University and an author of the study, which appears in The Journal of Neuroscience.

She and her collaborators looked at 44 healthy adults ages 55 to 76, measuring electrical activity in a region of the brain that processes sound.

They found that participants who had four to 14 years of musical training had faster responses to speech sounds than participants without any training — even though no one in the first group had played an instrument for about 40 years.

Dr. Kraus said the study underscored the need for a good musical education. “Our general thinking about education is that it is for our children,” she said. “But in fact we are setting up our children for healthy aging based on what we are able to provide them with now.”

Other studies have suggested that lifelong musical training also has a positive effect on the brain, she added. Dr. Kraus herself plays the electric guitar, the piano and the drums — “not well but with great enthusiasm,” she said.

A version of this article appears in print on November 12, 2013, on page D4 of the New York edition with the headline: Neuroscience: Long-Term Benefits of Music Lessons.

YouTube Overtakes Facebook As Most Popular Site Among Teens

Clyde Smith
on 11/07/2013

Facebook may be a giant but an increasing range of data points shows it slipping among teens. The most recent news came from a teen survey by Piper Jaffray asking teens about their favorite sites. Last year Facebook was no. 1 and this year YouTube takes top honors. Facebook may still have the most teens on its network but its central status is slowly shifting towards what some might assume is an inevitable death by a thousand

As teens have grown increasingly fond of messaging and media sharing apps like Snapchat, alternative social networks like and established powers Twitterand Tumblr, many have wondered when we’d see an effect on Facebook.

In late October, in their quarterly report, Facebook admitted to a “quarter-over-quarter decline in daily usage by younger teenagers.” Then a survey by Piper Jaffray showed Twitter to be the most “important” social network among teens with Instagram tying Facebook.

YouTube Passes Facebook As Most Popular Site Among Teens

Now The Futures Company is reporting findings from a teen survey relating to favorite websites, not just social networks, that reveal YouTube to have overtaken Facebook as the most popular site among teens:

image from“Fifty percent of teens surveyed cited YouTube as their favorite site versus 45.2% for Facebook.” (more…)

Colombia 3rd best country for doing business in Latin America: World Bank

Colombia Reports

November 2013
posted by Adriana Alsema

Colombia 3rd best country for doing business in Latin America: World Bank

Colombia is the 3rd best country in Latin America for doing business, according to a World Bank report presented on Monday.

Latin America’s top countries for doing business

  1. Chile
  2. Peru
  3. Colombia
  4. Mexico
  5. Panama
  6. Guatemala
  7. Uruguay
  8. Costa Rica
  9. Paraguay
  10. Brazil

The South American country occupied the 44th position in the World Bank’s annual global Doing Business ranking.

The only Latin American countries that are better than Colombia for doing business are Chile and Peru, said the report. (more…)

Spanish viewers cut the traditional TV cord

Rapid TV News

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 02-11-2013

More than 30% of connected TV users in Spain say they have radically reduced their traditional TV consumption.

Some 52% of them say they watch TV in equal amounts on traditional TV and other devices such as the Internet, consoles or mobile devices, according to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). In addition, 61% recognise that they are gradually increasing the use of these devices.

These figures are based on the three million users that have already connected their TV to the Internet, mostly through a smart TV or a console.

According to IAB’s report, connected TV owners use them from a multiscreen environment. On average, 4.4 devices are used to watch TV or online video, with smartphones the most used platform (84%), followed by computers (78%) and consoles (50%). (more…)

What Is the Future of Television?

By Scott Jones
Oct 31, 2013

Internet-based innovation has upended everything, and more change is coming. Where do you place your bets?

Once upon a time, the entertainment industry had discreet business segments that rarely overlapped. If you wanted to see a movie (and this week’s newsreel), you went to the corner cinema. If you wanted to watch television (on one of just three national networks), you sat in front of the big box and watched what the networks said you could, when they said you could. If you wanted to hear the latest music, you turned on the radio.

Cable and subsequently the Internet turned everything on its head. Now you get around 700 channels via your cable box. New music can be found all over the Internet in far greater variety than what the record companies produced in the retail days. And you can watch a movie on your smartphone.

Whether you are a business owner ensconced in the film or TV industry, an entrepreneur looking for the opportunities that flow from disruption of those industries, or a consumer enjoying the evolution of entertainment, change is coming–and quickly.

So where do you place your bets? It’s getting to be a bit like the Wild West with few rules, lots of shootouts, conquests, compromises, persistence, much merging, and some sheriffs trying to keep an eye on things. (more…)

How Rapper Dom Kennedy Made It Without A Record Deal


Natalie Robehmed, Forbes Staff

West Coast rhymer Dom Kennedy’s second album is currently at No. 4 on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, behind new releases from Drake, Justin Timberlake and Pusha T. Like his peers, fans can buy Kennedy’s album in Best Buy or on iTunes, but unlike hisBillboard chart mates, Kennedy has done it all without a record deal or marketing team.

Dom Kennedy at the Forbes office (via Instagram, @natrobe)

Kennedy’s free 2012 record, Yellow Album, was downloaded 800,000 times. Now he is hoping his latest offering, Get Home Safely, will match or exceed that near-platinum number. So far, so good: It entered the Billboard Top 200 at No. 23, selling about 12,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

While the figures may seem small – Drake’s recent third release clocked the biggest first week sales for a rap album since 2011, shifting 658,000 copies, according to Billboard – they’re actually remarkable for an unsigned artist of Kennedy’s stature. The comparative 2011 sophomore effort of Schoolboy Q, a rising L.A. rapper whose record was not backed by significant advertising, sold 4,000 units in its first week.

Kennedy, who started rapping seriously in 2005, says he’s achieved it all by “just not taking ‘no’ for an answer, I guess.” Modest and laid-back, more comfortable in a hoodie than a button-down, Kennedy’s L.A. heritage and West Coast nonchalance oozes through his conversation. (more…)

Is YouTube Completely Changing Network/Creator Relations? (Update)

Matthew Manarino / Oct 30, 2013

From the start, YouTube has been a Wild West when it came to rights management. Creators made money from cover songs, and the labels that owned the originals didn’t make a dime. Things became all the more complicated when multi-channel networks (MCN) came into the equation. Creators were still monetizing cover songs without permission from labels while networks were turning a blind eye to it. They were able to do so because modern fair usage laws are unclear and cover songs often fall into a legal grey zone.

Then everything came to a head when MCN Fullscreen was sued by the National Music Publishers Association. The NMPA accused Fullscreen of exactly the aforementioned issue. The MCN was making truck-loads of cash from creators who were in turn monetizing cover songs. The lawsuit flipped a switch for many networks who ignored or refused to acknowledge the legal murkiness. It also put YouTube into action. (more…)

Facebook Confirms Drop In Teen Use, Valuation Falls $18 Billion

October 2013

As we reported last week, teens are not as enamored with Facebook as they once were. In fact, Facebook has lost its crown to Twitter as the most popular social network for American teenagers, according to Piper Jaffray’s biannual survey among thousands of U.S. teens. On yesterday’s earnings call, Facebook confirmed the slide.

image from“We did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens,” CFO David Ebersman said during the call.  Despite strong mobile ad growth, the admission of teen slippage, spooked investors. The stock slid from $57.10 to as low as $47.40.  As Venture Beat pointed our, Ebersman’s 12 words cost Facebook $18 billion of valuation.

Given the numbers shown in the Statista chart below, Facebook’s decision to acquire Instagram appears smart in retrospect, as the photo sharing platform is proving very popular with a younger audience.

image from

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Highlighting Arab women via television

Jess Holland
October  2013

When Halla Diyab was a teenager living in Syria, she met a famous author and showed him some of her stories, which she wanted to turn into films. The reaction she got was unexpected. “He really made fun of my writing,” she says. “He didn’t encourage me.”

Two decades later, Diyab – now living in Leicester – is one of the Middle East’s most acclaimed TV writers, with her own production company, Liberty Media Productions, and a shelf full of awards. She was once asked by Muammar Qaddafi to write a film script about Italy’s colonisation of Libya. Although she nervously complied, it was never made.

Diyab moved with her family from Syria to France at the age of 16 and then went to England, where she was awarded a BA and MA in gender studies from the University of Warwick and a doctorate on racial minorities in drama and film from Leicester University. In 2005, she wrote a sample script and was commissioned to write the 30-episode soap Hur Al Ain (Beautiful Maidens), about Islamic terrorists scheming to blow up a compound in Saudi Arabia. The title refers to the virgins promised to martyrs, according to the Quran. (more…)

Ontario government spending millions to boost music industry


CTV Toronto
Monday, October 28, 2013

The Ontario government is spending $45 million over the next three years to boost the province’s music industry.

What's on in Toronto this long weekend?

First announced in the 2013 provincial budget, the Ontario Music Fund was officially unveiled on Monday morning. Money from the grant program will go towards supporting Ontario-based music companies as well as attracting music-loving tourists to the province.

“This fund will increase music production, build strong, sustainable music companies, strengthen the industry by developing artists,” Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports Michael Chan told reporters on Monday.

The announcement comes at a time when Canada’s music industry is thriving, according to some Canadian artists.

“More than ever we have a huge spotlight that’s on Canada and people really realizing the amount of talent we have,” Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall told CTV Toronto. “The announcement this morning is just going make it that much better for those people that need a little bit of extra help to get to that next level.”

The grant program has four streams: (more…)