Last week, in response to mounting pressure from the European Union (EU), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and disgruntled customers - Apple traded in the word "FREE" for "GET" in the App Store. Prior to the shift in language, apps available for free download were listed as such - but in an effort to clarify the potential for eventual payment, Apple took the suggestion offered by the EU and FTC in September and implemented it in the United States.
[UPDATED] As rumored, Spotfy and Uber have partnered to add a personalized music experience to the popular ride service. The new offering is launching this Friday, November 21 with special promotions and events in 10 cities – London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, Nashville, Singapore, Stockholm, Toronto and Sydney. A worldwide launch will follow in the coming weeks.
[UPDATE 2] I admit to a bit of surprise when Uber's PR team reached out on Friday with a personal invite to "Please join Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Special Partner Guest for a global press call to announce a first-of-its-kind partnership." The music notes at the top of the invite only added to the intrigue; and over the weekend the story leaked: Uber is partnering with Spotify to bring music to the backseat of its popular car service.
Why It's A Big Win For Both Spoify & Uber
By Jesse Lakes co-founder and CEO of GeoRiot
One of the hardest parts about selling music on iTunes is that there’s not currently a way to see which of your marketing efforts are actually leading to sales. You’re left with questions like: What social media platforms have a higher EPC? What artists/albums/songs are people actually buying? Which marketing channel brings the highest return for the cost? As the leading link management platform for the iTunes ecosystem, GeoRiot has been trying to answer those questions for clients since day one. At the end of last month, we released our Relative Conversion Score, which helps do exactly that.
By Mark Mulligan of MiDA & Music Industry Blog
Google just announced its long anticipated YouTube Music Key. You can find out all you need to know about its potential impact on the wider market in MIDiA’s report ‘Unlocking YouTube: How YouTube Will Change Music Subscriptions’. Here are 10 further thoughts:
Rdio has been family friendly since their first roll out of a Family Plan in 2011. But they've been in a bit of a price war with Spotify in recent months, so their now they're offering it for 50% off. Believing everyone should be able to benefit from the Family Plan model, Rdio allows for the personalization of family sub-accounts so that parents don't have to stream their children's music and vice versa.
By Max Porter at CallFire.
With less than 10 percent of Facebook posts, and possibly less tweets, ever viewed, text messages have an open rate estimated at 98 percent and 90 percent texts are read within 3 minutes of being received. With numbers like that, it’s hard not to wonder what kind of potential SMS campaigns could see in the hip-hop industry.
The San Francisco based web platform, Seven Seas Music, is taking the headache out of music discovery and licensing by bringing a wide array of world music to digital content producers virtually. Media professionals can audition tracks within the carefully curated library of 5,000 tracks and begin the process of licensing that music for use with one click. The startup, overseen by music licensing professionals Brooke Wentz and Maryam Soleiman, hopes to bridge the gap between international musicians and audio-visual producers.
By Bobby Owsinski on Music 3.0
Indie music aggregator Bandcamp recently launched a new feature that enables fans to subscribe to its artists for a fixed amount per year (like the $32 that the UK band Candy or artist Steve Lawson are charging). During that time, the fan gets access to all the material that artist or band creates. The fan also has the option of paying more than the subscription amount if they so desire. While this might sound like a great idea and a good way for fans to support an artist or band, it's probably a feature that will benefit Bandcamp much more than any artist on the service.
David Hyman, former CEO of Beats Music, has taken the lid off of his most recent startup venture, Chosen. The first of it's kind, Chosen is recreating the concept of hit TV shows like American Idol, X Factor, and The Voice by bringing the main stage to the consumer's pocket. By making competition accessible to any and every musician with a desire to be discovered. Having just raised $5 million dollars to further explicate their vision, Chosen is anticipating a strong launch in Q1 2015.
UPDATED SoundExchange, the industry's self-proclaimed "people-powered radio" is putting up some impressive artist payout numbers in Q3 2014. Closing out the quarter at $267 million paid to artists, SoundExchange is boasting a 74% increase in artist payouts to last year's Q3 2013 payout of $153.7 million. As listeners turn more and more toward digital streaming for access to and discovery of new music, SoundExchange is experiencing exponential growth and has the numbers to prove it.
Songkick has added ticket sales to its concert discovery platform; and just a few months after launching in the UK, says its selling tickets for 25% of all London shows. This momentum has motivated the startup to want to spread their ticketing service elsewhere. But there's a catch, particularly in the U.S. Exclusive venue deals with Ticketmaster, Ticketfly and others that prevent additional sellers like Songkick. Undeterred, Songkick CEO Ian Hogart is on a mission to change that.
In an email interview conducted earlier this week, Gary Turner, CEO of LearnToPlayMusic.com shared the latest on the new Apollo-M, on-demand, music lesson database integration coming to the website's toolkit. Set to launch in the 2nd quarter of 2015, Apollo-M aims to make music lessons accessible to anyone who has an interest in learning to play. Whether you're a aspiring musician or an advanced player, Turner believes “Apollo-M really is the next evolution in music learning, teaching and playing."
Spotify certainly hopes so. After being pressured publicly by Spotify to release her newest album, 1989, to streaming, Taylor Swift not only denied them the album, she removed her entire back catalogue of music from the platform. Some say it's a strategic business move, others say its a brash decision in a ploy to make more money - but no matter which side of that fence you stand on, this decision has sparked a conversation within and about the music industry that is worthy of significant consideration.
By Keidra Chaney on Sonicbids.com
For a working musician, the thought of yet another social media platform may seem exhausting, especially considering that Facebook and Twitter are already pretty time-consuming. While video- and photo-sharing networks like Vine or Snapchat may seem nonessential for musicians, don’t overlook them. Photo messaging platform Snapchat, founded in 2011, is a particularly hot platform for younger-skewing music audiences and genres like EDM. Unlike photo and short form video sharing apps like Instagram and Vine, a message on Snapchat is only meant to exist on a user’s phone for a short period of time, and disappears after four to 10 seconds.
Please note: Future releases of the Spotify Desktop client will no longer feature an App Finder tab and will no longer support the presentation of Spotify Apps, therefore this feature has been discontinued.
That was the message from Spotify that greeted app developers late last week.Three years after Spotify declared that apps from outside developers would revolutionize its platform, the music streamer kicked the dozens of startups who listened and believed to the curb.
Apple and Southwest Airlines has partnered to offer free curated playlists from Beats Music on all its WiFi-enabled aircraft starting today. Accessing Beats inflight includes a library of hundreds of playlists; as well as The Sentence, Beats customized playlist tool which responds to four questions about location, activity, surroundings and musical preference. The service provided on the Southwest entertainment portal is compatible with major mobile devices and operating systems, including iOS and Android, as well as most web browsers,
Cobra Starship, Elaphant Revival Perform Live At 35,000 Feat
Samsung's mobile music video service VidZone, which is available free to most customers, is expanding to 11 more countries for a total of 16 European territories Currently available in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, starting today it expands to 11 additional markets: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Austria, Portugal and Switzerland.
In this episode of the Upward Spiral, a music business podcast, we talk with Dan Cantor, who is former CEO and co-founder of exfm, a social music discovery platform that enables people transform music blogs into playable mix. In recent months, his company was acquired by Rhapsody International and he became their VP of product. We talk to Cantor about his company, the music startup space, and Rhapsody’s future.
Despite several ongoing legal battles with record labels, earlier this week, Grooveshark announced the launch of Grooveshark Presents, a new fan-sourced live music initiative. By tapping into their already established user base of over 30 million music fans, Grooveshark Presents is a way for Grooveshark to bring offline music events to their online audience.
Yesterday morning, app analytics company App Annie released it's newest list of top performing apps in the Google Play store and Apple's App store. Pandora and Spotify were ranked first and second in the report coming in well above Apple's Beats Music in both revenue generated and user downloads. After Apple's $3 billion dollar acquisition on Beats, this may read a bit surprising, but a closer look reveals that perhaps the lackluster ratings are indicative of a broadening of horizons for Apple's Beats Music.
Now entering the arena of countless social networks, Boomio is stepping forward. Reminiscent of Snapchat in the way it shares content, Boomio allows the sending of full length, fully licensed songs to large audiences or targeted groups with personalized messaging. The recipient will receive a notification otherwise known as a 'boom' - they'll be able to listen the track once before it 'blows up.' Now that the listener has had a chance to hear the track, they'll either be able to buy the song or share it with others for an additional play through.
Bandcamp is a website on a mission to provide musicians with the tools necessary to sell their recorded music--both digitally and physically. It's an easy way for artists to give their fans a solid commerce experience and make more money than selling through iTunes or Amazon. Despite all the positive work the company is doing in the music space, it still appears to be focused on selling downloads. This seems like a problem as the social consciousness is wrapped around the idea of unlimited and on-demand music streaming being the solution to the music industry's woes.
[UPDATED] Audio hardware maker Jawbone has debuted Drop. The app plays instant mix based on your favorite songs from Spotify or Rdio, and take song requests from your friends through Twitter. Users reply back with a song they want to play. It appears to be based on Playground.fm which Jawbone acquired last year. Playground's original site is now offline.
Man, I loved iTunes (and, of course, the iPod) when it first came out. After toying with it for about two minutes, I knew I was done with my PC. I've treated my iTunes like an extremely exclusive club ever since, and I give its members the red carpet treatment. I go to some lengths to track down the best copies of the original artwork, the correct lyrics, the proper year of release and the composers - information that was left out or, in the case of release date and artwork, very often incorrect in digital purchases (including CD's). I am told, incidentally, by people who knows these things better than I do, that lyrics websites are notorious for malware and viruses and whatnot, but that’s another topic.