Now it's time to assess what will wind up collateral damage of the move that made Apple Tim Cook's Apple, not Steve Jobs's Apple.
First on the list -- Pandora (P). The company's finished. Prepare the cemetery plot. For a while, playing music and selling advertising against it was all Pandora needed to do. The company's hyper focus on that strategy paid off. But hyper focus has morphed into stubborn arrogance. The company is run by people not merely opposed to, but openly hostile to anything other than playing music -- and exploiting musicians in the process -- and selling advertising against it.
Lost in the noise of the Apple/Beats news is word that Apple will add an ESPN channel, not to mention 42 National Public Radio stations, to iTunes Radio.
Also lost in the media typhoon over Apple/Beats is word that Billboard and Twitter (TWTR) will partner to produce interactive real-time charts using Twitter's firehose of music data. The charts will focus on tracks that are trending and artists that are emerging not on a weekly or daily basis, but by the minute. McDonald's (MCD) and Hollister will sponsor the charts:
"The Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts is a new standard for tracking and surfacing the conversation around music as it happens," said Ali Rowghani, Twitter Chief Operating Officer. "Now when artists share songs and engage with their audience on Twitter, the buzz they create will get surfaced to fans and industry decision makers in real time."