UPDATED: There will be no Christmas surprise launch of Beats Music or a YouTube streaming music service, sources tell Hypebot. (Ian Rogers just announced that Beats Music will launch in January.) Both will miss the biggest buying season of the year; and while neither company has set an exact launch date, each is promising stakeholders a debut in the first 3 months of 2014. Meanwhile their competitors, are reconfiguring their teams, rolling out new products and ramping up marketing.
A month ago Rhapsody changed up its executive suite. Rdio started its reorganization with significant layoffs last month and yesterday named a new CEO. Deezer is pushing into more territories and openly on the hunt for a partner to help it launch in the US in 2014.
Major Spotify Announcement Next Week
Spotify, however, has spent the last year concentrating on product development and a major marketing campaign. Yesterday, just days after closing a new $250 million financing round, the company launched Spotify Artists. It's a combo campaign for the hearts and minds of artists and a useful set of mostly free tools: analytics via Next Big Sound, concert dates and ticketing from Songkick and Topspin powered merch sales.
But an invitation from to a major Spotify media event in New York City on December 11th hints at more. Since yesterday's launch announcement included new stats on payouts to artists and rightsholders, I'm betting that the focus on 12/11 will be on user stas including an all-important number of paid subscribers. Some new partnership announcements would also seem likely.
Whatever CEO Daniel Ek has planned for next Wednesday, Hypebot will be covering it live (follow us on Twitter). In the meantime, hit me with anything you've heard or leave your wishlist in the comments below.