Streaming Music Stories May 23, 2016

spotify

Spotify is clearly feeling the competition from Apple Music, and is now matching the Cupertino company’s family deal of $14.99 per month for up to six family members. This literally halves the cost of Spotify’s previous family membership, as well as extending it from five to six people …

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Streaming Music Stories March 16, 2016

deezer

A few months after Deezer Music added CarPlay support, the streaming music service has now launched an Apple Watch app. The app squeezes in an impressive amount of functionality to the small screen, as illustrated in the GIF below.

With Deezer on Apple Watch, listeners have access to all the best of Deezer, including:

  • Flow  – Your own personal DJ that knows exactly what you want to hear, utilising the best of man and machine to play all your favourite hits.
  • Player – Take control and “love” your favourite track or skip to play what you want every time.
  • Mixes – Let your mood dictate what you want to hear with mixes for every occasion.
  • Charts – Always stay ahead of what’s trending with Top Tracks, Top Albums, Top Playlists, and Top Artists.
  • My Music – Sync your watch with your iPhone and hear your entire saved music library including favourite tracks, albums, playlists, artists and podcasts.
  • Force Touch – Press firmly on the display to see your queue list, hit repeat, and play in shuffle mode … 

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Streaming Music Stories December 18, 2015

The Beatles iTunes

When Apple Music launched back in June, it was noted that the music subscription service didn’t offer up the entire iTunes catalog with a few big name artists missing including The Beatles. That could be about to change, according to a new report out of Billboard, which cites sources that claim The Beatles music will be available for streaming for the first time next week. While the report believes The Beatles music will start streaming on Christmas Eve, what isn’t clear is which streaming service will have access first …

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Streaming Music Stories December 17, 2015

apple-music

A well-known music industry analyst is estimating that Apple Music will hit 8M paid subscribers by the end of the year, and will reach 20M by the end of 2016, reports Music Business Worldwide. The prediction was made by Mark Mulligan, co-founder of digital content specialists Midia Consulting, who previously held senior research positions with Forrester and Jupiter.

In raw numbers terms, that would put it just behind market leader Spotify by the end of next year, but that may not quite present the true picture …

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Streaming Music Stories December 16, 2015

PSA: Rdio closing on 22 December, download your playlists now or lose them forever

If you’re an Rdio user, you have a week to download your playlists before the service goes offline at 8pm ET/5pm PT on Tuesday 22 December. Although the company was acquired by Pandora last month, its new owners are not continuing the service, but instead incorporating some of its technology and talent.

You can download an archive of your collection, and also see your listening stats, by logging in at the company’s ‘farewell’ page.

Rdio has posted a few stats to the page, showing that the most-played album was Nothing Was The Same by Drake, while the most popular song was When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars.

Via Engadget

 

Streaming Music Stories November 19, 2015

Adele won’t be sharing her upcoming album ’25’ with Apple Music subscribers

Adele’s people have already tried to get her new blockbuster album, 25, into Apple Store retail shelves as physical CD volumes with no success, but she isn’t so keen on Apple Music streaming. According to the New York Times, Adele’s management has informed digital music distributors that 25 will not be offered for streaming, at least at launch. You can of course buy the album on the iTunes Store; preorders are up now.

Streaming Music Stories October 21, 2015

Apple Music refuseniks seemingly head to Spotify, as app hits #1 spot in U.S. App Store

Apple Music appears to be off to a strong start in terms of paying subscribers, but as the old adage has it, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. A decent chunk of those who have opted not to pay for Apple Music appear to have headed instead to SpotifyTechCrunch notes that Spotify’s iOS app has taken the top grossing spot in Apple’s U.S. App Store for the first time ever.

Spotify was quietly hitting a milestone of its own. The company’s music streaming app just moved into the No. 1 position on the iPhone App Store’s “Top Grossing” charts for the first time in the US. Previously, according to data from App Annie, the highest rank Spotify saw on the “Top Grossing” charts stateside was No. 3, which it hit earlier this year and maintained in September.

When we polled 9to5Mac readers, 19.5% of you said that you would be switching to Spotify instead of paying for Apple Music.

With Apple hot on defending customer privacy, Spotify did hit a bit of a sticky moment back in August, when it was forced to clarify its new privacy policy, which appeared to allow the service to share personal information. CEO Daniel Ek apologized for the lack of clarity previously, and sought to reassure customers that data is used only to improve the Spotify service and use of customer data is opt-in.

Photo: curved.de

Streaming Music Stories August 24, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 5.55.10 PMApple has once again distanced itself from its past efforts in order to market its new Apple Music streaming service. The company has begun promoting the service using a unique geofilter in the popular Snapchat messaging application. The geofilter has showed up in select areas of Los Angeles, including at The Grove mall where an Apple Store is located.

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Streaming Music Stories August 12, 2015

rdio

Rdio has likely been feeling the squeeze from the launch of Apple Music, and is today adding live streams of 460 traditional AM/FM radio stations, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The rollout, which starts Wednesday, includes 460 stations owned and operated by stakeholder Atlanta-based Cumulus Media Inc [including] long-running stations such as Cumulus’ KLOS-FM (95.5) in Los Angeles and KFOG-FM (104.5) in San Francisco, along with talk radio and sports outlets … 

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Streaming Music Stories August 4, 2015

Taylor Swift Vanity Fair

September cover of Vanity Fair

Taylor Swift is being featured on the cover of the September issue of Vanity Fair (view the full cover below the fold), and at the center of the interview within the high profile magazine is the pop star’s telling of her recent episode with Apple. Plans to not compensate artists during Apple Music’s three-month free trial period prompted Swift to publish an open letter explaining why her latest album 1989 wouldn’t be available on their new music streaming service. Apple quickly moved to change that policy and Swift’s album was notably highly promoted on Apple Music at launch. In the interview with Vanity Fair, Taylor Swift detailed her exchange with Apple while comparing it to a similar experience with Spotify that had a different outcome… expand full story

Streaming Music Stories July 27, 2015

LandRover_360_User_Flow

After a pilot of its new “Sponsored Listening” advertisements last year, streaming music service Pandora Radio announced today that it’s rolling out the feature to all advertisers and listeners in its mobile apps. The feature rewards users with an hour of ad-free, uninterrupted listening as long as they first interact with an ad for at least 15 seconds. expand full story

Streaming Music Stories July 11, 2015

Freedom?

Freedom?

The US antitrust regulators are reportedly looking into Apple’s subscription service rules for the App Store are anticompetitive and illegal under US law, according to Reuters. The main issue of contention is that the standard streaming music price of $9.99 per month is not attainable for Apple Music competitors as App Store rules enforce a 30% cut of all revenues made from within apps.

This means that streaming companies either have to take on significant profit cuts to stay at the $9.99 mark or charge more in the App Store to account for the 30% margin. The argument is that consumers will not want to pay $12.99 (approximately $9.99 with a 30% increase) per month for a streaming music service when they can readily buy Apple Music for $9.99.

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Streaming Music Stories July 9, 2015

Apple Music may see a new competitor as Facebook reportedly explores streaming music service

Update: Facebook tells The Verge it has no plans to enter the streaming music market.

Apple may not be the only new entrant into the streaming music business: Musically suggests that Facebook is in the early stages of planning its own music service.

Facebook has been talking to music labels for some time, but this was believed to relate only to YouTube-style ad-supported videos. But Musically says its sources say that Facebook sees this as a stepping stone toward a streaming audio service.

Music Ally can reveal that while Facebook will expand that trial to music videos soon, the social network is planning to follow that with the launch of an audio music-streaming service to compete with Spotify, Apple Music and others […]

Sources have told Music Ally that an audio service is very much on Facebook’s roadmap, but that both the social network and rightsholders realise that it has to get the monetised-video service right first

There is speculation that Facebook might take the same approach as Apple in buying an existing streaming music service, like Rdio, but Musically says that while this has not been ruled out, its sources suggests that the company wants to build its own service from scratch.

We noted yesterday that Spotify is planning to email its customers to advise iOS users to subscribe to its Premium service via the web to avoid the 30% ‘Apple tax.’

Via Engadget. Photo: Reuters.

Streaming Music Stories June 9, 2015

Apple-Music-My-Music-app-05

Apple Music was introduced yesterday at WWDC and has since prompted reactions from many other streaming music companies. When Apple enters a new market, it always shakes things up enough to warrant some concerns from its competitors and Apple Music is no different. Rdio, Spotify, and Pandora have each responded to the Apple Music announcement in their own way:

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Streaming Music Stories June 8, 2015

apple-music

Apple is aiming to sign up a massive 100M subscribers for its streaming music service, according to a source cited by the Associated Press (reproduced in the NY Times). This would be more than double the subscriptions for all other streaming music services combined.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry says that existing worldwide streaming subscriptions total around 41M across all services. The market leader, Spotify, has around 4.7M subscribers in the USA …  expand full story

Streaming Music Stories June 3, 2015

Tidal-Mac-app-beta

Jay-Z’s recently launched Tidal music streaming service, a competitor to Apple’s own services in more ways than one, is today getting a big update right before the debut of the new Apple Music streaming service next week at WWDC. A desktop app beta for both Mac and Windows, $4.99 student pricing, and ticketing features through Ticketmaster integration, all help set a high bar for Apple to impress us with its own announcements next week.

The new desktop app (pictured above) is arriving in beta and brings a few features that weren’t previously possible with the mobile and web apps. The announcement today also includes a refreshed design for the mobile apps: expand full story

Streaming Music Stories May 20, 2015

Spotify is announcing some big updates to its music streaming service today that brings a number of new features alongside more content in the form of video clips, audio shows, and podcasts. expand full story

Streaming Music Stories May 7, 2015

spotify

Spotify, which is widely believed to be behind the antitrust allegations that led to both EC and DOJ investigations into Apple, has now added a fresh complaint. The Verge reports Spotify is complaining that the 30% cut Apple takes from in-app Premium subscriptions in the iOS app amounts to an “Apple tax.”

Apple charges a 30 percent fee toward any sales through its App Store, and that includes subscription services. That means if Spotify wants to sell its premium subscription service — which usually costs $9.99 a month — through the App Store, it has to raise the price 30 percent higher to $12.99 to pull in the same revenue, while Apple can still offer Beats at a lower price. Spotify and many others in the music industry believe Apple’s App Store tax gives them an unfair advantage over the competition.

One unnamed music industry source said that Apple taking 30% was “**cking bullsh**” …  expand full story

Streaming Music Stories April 29, 2015

beats

A new report from Music Business Worldwide claims that Apple has recently hired four producers from BBC Radio 1. This report comes two months after it was announced that Zane Lowe was leaving the British radio station to take a new position at Apple. According to today’s report, the recent Apple hires include James Bursey, Natasha Lynch and Kieran Yeates, as well as one other.

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Streaming Music Stories April 13, 2015

Apple revealed the first look at its all-new Music app for iPhone and iPad with the first beta release of iOS 8.4 today, which brings a new look to iTunes Radio among other major changes. Pandora Radio, the similarly-modeled music streaming service that’s arguably superior to iTunes Radio in music variety and selection, released a timely update this evening adding Apple Watch support to its iPhone app ahead of the new wearable device’s release on April 24th. Pandora Radio’s WatchKit app for Apple Watch will include a glance for swiping up from the watch face to identify the song currently playing from the iPhone app.

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Streaming Music Stories April 10, 2015

iPhone 6 Beats Music

A new report from Bloomberg today claims that Apple is considering $10-$15 month plans for its upcoming music streaming service while the company approaches high-profile artists to get exclusive content.

The report today follows our own report last month that Apple was planning to relaunch its Beats Music streaming service at its WWDC event in June. At the time we noted that Apple was considering a $7.99 price point, but today’s report suggests Apple could go with paid tiers ranging from $9.99/month for a single user to $14.99/month for a family account. expand full story

Streaming Music Stories April 2, 2015

juncker-team-a

Apple’s planned rebranding and relaunch of the Beats streaming music service has not had the easiest of rides. The launch, initially planned for earlier this year, was delayed by the departure of key execs and difficulties integrating Beats and Apple technologies. A planned $5/month price-point had to be abandoned in favor of an attempt at $7.99/month when music labels wouldn’t play ball, and that too now looks increasingly unlikely even though Google Play offered initial All Access Signups for a $7.99 locked in. And any plans to offer artist exclusives as an inducement now face competition from newly-relaunched Tidal.

Just when it seemed things couldn’t get any tougher, London’s Financial Times reports that the European Commission is considering launching an antitrust investigation into the service, even before it launches. The Commission has contacted several music labels to ask what deals have been done with Apple, says the FT.

The commission, which also has contacted Apple’s music-streaming rivals, is said to be concerned that the company will use its size, relationships and influence to persuade labels to abandon free, ad-supported services such as Spotify, which depend on licenses with music companies for their catalogues.

The newspaper implies that the investigation may have been triggered by a formal complaint by an existing streaming music service …  expand full story

Streaming Music Stories March 31, 2015

Tidal-vs-Spotify-UI

In case you hadn’t heard, Jay-Z is this week launching (relaunching) the Tidal music service he recently acquired along with a lot of help from industry friends. The company is hoping its model is innovative and helps artists earn more, but its UI for the web app appears to be a shameless copy of Spotify, as you can see in the comparison screenshot: Tidal above, Spotify below. expand full story

Jay Z Performs At O2 Arena In London

Jay Z suggested in an interview with Billboard that Jimmy Iovine had tried to lure away top-selling artists from his newly-relaunched streaming music service, Tidal, but that he wasn’t angry about it. Iovine had reputedly offered more up-front cash to Tidal artists who agreed to do a deal with Apple.

I think that’s just his competitive nature, and I don’t know if he’s looking at the bigger picture: That it’s not about me and it’s not about him; it’s about the future of the music business.

The rap and hip-hop star said that he had initially hoped to work in cooperation with Iovine, having “talked to every single service,” but had apparently been rebuffed …  expand full story

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