The week’s hottest stories – One Direction’s merchandising leviathan, Spotify driving music industry growth, Facebook expanding ad operations, and a new Moshi Monsters video game

One Direction, Spotify, Facebook and Moshi Monsters – News from around the web

We’ve dug out some of the weeks hottest stories from around the web and brought them together in one place, both from tech sites and the wider world.

Some people will tell you music streaming services like Spotify are bad for the music industry – but the latest stats from Sweden seem to show otherwise. Total sales of music shot up by 12 per cent in the first half of the year – spurred on by such digital services.

As well as flat pack furniture and <insert your own joke about Abba here>, Sweden is in fact a bit of a trial blazer when it comes to next generation music sales. Alone digital sales increased by 33 per cent. And by this point account for 75 per cent of total sales.

You can read the full article over at Music Week.

There was a bit of an uproar when Facebook started making noises that advertising is going to be a built into everyone’s favourite procrastination tool. But the ‘Suggested’ and ‘Sponsored’ posts which now pop up in your news feed seem to have been by and large accepted.

BUT according to sources, Facebook is currently trialling a mechanism that will push ads directly into your drop down ‘Notifications’ tab.

Anytime Facebook makes a tweak, a certain portion of the surly masses get collectively miffed, coupled with the prospect of more tailored advertising such a platform can provide – which is like a lot of things too often labelled as Orwellian – could revolution be in the air? Probably not, but a certain freshly relaunched My Space will no doubt be keeping it’s metaphorical ear to the ground for disgruntled stirrings.

Check out the full story on Mobile Entertainment.

Attention boy band and licensing fans – Toy News has an interview with the woman tasked with handling mega-boy-band One Direction’s merchandising, ahead of the movie One Direction: This is Us due to hit cinemas in August.

The X-Factor graduates’ licensing arm continues to spread the globe like a multi-tentacled money-making beast, with the lads lending their names and faces to a bafflingly wide array of products – including Top Trumps, figurines, bikes, perfume, makeup, toothpaste, underwear and shoes.

Read about the trials and tribulations of managing a hyper-lucrative license over at Toy News.

And speaking of merchandising juggernauts, the insanely popular Moshi Monsters brand is set to throw up another video game – Mind Candy has teamed up with Activision to produce a new Nintendo DS title called Katsuma Unleashed. Get the details on

In other music news, Blue Microphones – popular with chart toppers Bruce Springstean, Sting and Coldplay – has been acquired by Private equity firm The Riverside Company.

The firm introduced the first professional USB microphone for home warblers and have-a-go podcasters – and the new owners plan to get expand its base globally. 

Check out Audio Pro International for the low down.

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