Music curation API used by other music services will remain open despite purchase
Spotify is looking to bolster the music curation and discovery functions of its service, by acquiring music intelligence company The Echo Nest, the streaming music service has revealed. The purchase will provide Spotify with deeper access to The Echo Nest's knowledge base and music curation tools, currently used by competitors such as Nokia MixRadio and Rdio for their own music discovery offerings.
Soundhound update for iOS features an "Add to Spotify" button
Music search and discovery app Soundhound has launched a new feature for iOS users. Integrating Spotify, Soundhound now includes an "Add to Spotify" function, allowing users to turn discovered music into a playlists within Spotify, without leaving the Soundhound app. Users can either automatically add songs, or tap the 'Add to Playlist' icon on the Soundhound results page.
BlackBerry updates BBM app to work with Android 2.3
BlackBerry has opened up BBM for Android to users of older devices. BlackBerry Messenger can now be downloaded and used on smartphones and tablets running Android 2.3 or later, though the older version of the mobile operating system will not have access to new additions to the app, such as BBM Voice, BBM Channels, and Glympse real-time location sharing.
Kickstarter for alternative cloud service and device combo exceeds its campaign goal
San Franciscan siblings Karisma and Sam Nagar have successfully crowd-funded their cloud device and service Pixeom, with eleven days to spare in its Kickstarter campaign. The Pixeom Exchange Device is a prototype that offers an alternative to corporate cloud services that require access to its users' information to use its digital space. Aiming to facilitate a new type of data exchange for Internet users, Pixeom functions by centralizing one's own cloud network in a personal home device, as opposed to a large, remote data center. All of a user's cloud service needs will be supported within the device at a one-time purchasing cost, facilitating storage, social networking, and online auctioning functions that focus on privacy.
Microsoft offers $100 store credit towards an Xbox One for those who trade-in their PS3
Augmenting the launching of its Xbox One late last year, Microsoft is now promoting an offer of a $100 credit towards an Xbox One purchase upon trading in of a Sony Playstation 3. The promotion bring the Xbox One pricing down to $400, which is the same as newly-released Playstation 4. The trade-in offer is available through Microsoft's retail stores in the US, and applies to Playstation 3, as well as Xbox 360 S or Xbox 360 E.
Merchandise marketing through Spotify could help appease royalty critics
Spotify is allowing artists to promote and sell their merchandise through the streaming service for the first time. Band t-shirts, posters, and other merchandise will be offered to Spotify users through the artist's page in the software itself, in what could be considered an olive branch from Spotify to Artists over reportedly-low royalty payments to music makers.
Samsung advances to 26 percent
US iPhone ownership leapt to 42 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from 35 percent a year ago, according to new NPD figures. Samsung phones also advanced, but from 22 percent to roughly 26 percent. LG was the only other major manufacturer to see a gain, inching ahead slightly to 8 percent. Motorola and HTC both fell under the 10 percent mark, and BlackBerry ownership shrank even further to 2 percent.
Clamcase for latest iPad minis turns tablet into faux-ultrabook
Accessory maker Clamcase has produced a new model in its lineup especially designed for the latest iPad mini. The lightweight aluminum case includes a custom QWERTY Bluetooth keyboard that automatically goes to sleep when put in "tablet mode" and wakes up when in "laptop mode." The hinge is offers 360 degree freedom, allowing the keyboard part of the case to act as a stand when not required. The combination of case and iPad mini offers much of the same core functionality as an ultrabook like the MacBook Air, but weighs more than a pound less than one. The case fully protects the iPad mini, and its rechargeable battery lasts for months. The case retails for $129 and is available now.
Linear playlists still require Premium
Spotify has issued an update of its iOS app, enabling subscription-free streaming promised last month. Non-paying users can now stream any playlist, whether curated or self-created, but only in shuffle mode. Linear playback requires a Premium subscription, which costs $10 per month.
Free streaming leads to boom in Spotify downloads
In the days since Spotify rolled out free mobile access to its on-demand music service, the company has seen an explosion in user interest. Cnet reported earlier this week that Spotify saw its app download rate jump 400 percent since announcing its new free mobile streaming feature. The boom in user downloads has led to the app being ranked among the top 10 most downloaded apps in the iOS App Store in more than 20 markets worldwide, including the United States, United Kingdom, and most of Latin America.
Desktop client introduces darker, modern design, UI tweaks
One week after rolling out a free music streaming service to tablets and smartphones, Spotify has started to roll out a visual upgrade to its apps. The Windows and Mac desktop clients have a darker and more modern appearance to them, along with less drastic changes to a number of pages, with the Android app also receiving some minor interface tweaks.
BT Wi-Fi app for iOS updates with automatic hotspot connection
UK telecommunications giant BT has updated its BT Wi-Fi app for iOS, allowing customers to automatically connect to supported wireless hotspots. The update, which could head to the Android and Windows Phone versions in the future, will find and connect to public BT Wi-Fi hotspots as well as those created by BT Home Hub routers in more than 5 million subscriber homes, reports The Next Web.
Tablets, smartphones gain free Spotify service, Led Zeppelin albums
Spotify has rolled out its free music streaming service to tablets and smartphones, just as speculated by reports last week, along with a number of other announcements. While the tablet version of the app will have a similar service to that of the free desktop version, smartphone users will be forced to use a new free "Shuffle" mode instead.
Spotify to bring mobile listening with ads
Internet music service Spotify is reportedly set to roll out free music streaming for mobile devices, expanding on its existing free Internet radio features. A report in The Washington Post claims that the Sweden-based music company has reached licensing deals with the major global music companies to roll out free streaming to mobile devices, allowing mobile users to enjoy a Spotify that only subscribers and desktop users had access to beforehand. The catch: the new streaming feature will be supported by ads.
6008, 7008, 8008, 9708 now have Smart TV accessibility
Philips today announced that it has brought the Spotify streaming music service to a select range of its televisions in Europe. Additionally, the latest software update to many of its televisions has activated the "Cloud TV" service, allowing viewers to stream hundreds of channels over the Internet to recent model Smart TVs
Revenue shared based on stream popularity
Following criticism from musicians, Spotify has defended its business model by providing an in-depth look at its royalty payment framework. In a lengthy blog post, the company claims to have paid out more than $1 billion USD in royalties to-date, including $500 million from this year alone, with 70 percent of overall revenue being shared with the artists.
Side Tree Software's programs on Mac App Store $1 throughout December
Side Tree Software has announced that all of its programs available at the App Store will be $1 each through the month of December. Starting today, apps such as Abuzzle, Equal, Mymyry, SlidePuzzle and Tribbi are available for the $1 sale price.
Spotify secures quarter billion in new funding round
Popular music streaming service Spotify has completed a new round of funding, one in which it raised $250 million dollars, according to The Wall Street Journal. Silicon Valley firm Technology Crossover Ventures played a big role in the newest funding push, according to reports, and the new infusion of cash has sources claiming the firm is possibly worth more than $4 billion. Spotify, reportedly, will use the new cash to expand its global operations, pushing into Asian markets such as Japan.
Digital greeting card software features over 5100 graphics
Chronos today announced its release of its greeting card creation software, Greeting Card Shop. The program allows users to create, mail and digitally share cards and invitations on OS X. Greeting Card Shop's features include support for double-sided cards and invitations; single, double and tri-folding compatibility; and support for multiple cards or invitations per page. Panels can be edited singularly, or as multiples -- which assists with editing graphics that traverse more than one panel.
Twitter-generated playlists available from within streaming music apps directly
Twitter has expanded the reach of its #music service, with two music streaming companies adding it directly into their apps. Spotify and Rdio both offer the option to view playlists generated by Twitter #music, with the additions being the first time Twitter #music has appeared in apps other than its own iOS version, and the website.
Direct streaming from Spotify to compatible speakers
Spotify has announced it is working with a number of hardware manufacturers to bring controllable music streaming to other devices, taking on AirPlay and other audio transmission systems. Spotify Connect will allow for subscribers to send playlists to nearby speakers or home theater systems, and in a move similar to Google Chromecast, the audio will stream directly to the sound-producing device from the service itself, instead of from the smartphone.
Browse playlists reaching iOS, Android first, all Spotify platforms in future
Spotify is adding a new item to accompany its existing Discover and social features for providing new artists and songs to users. Browse consists of playlists curated by experts employed by the company, which will offer tracks based on an assortment of moods and moments, such as romance or tracks for the morning commute.
'small meaningless rebellion' against streaming music protests royalty payments
Radiohead lead Thom Yorke has pulled all of his solo music from the Spotify streaming music service. In a Twitter exchange with producer Nigel Godrich, Yorke tweeted that he was starting a "small meaningless rebellion" in yanking his music from the service, trying to highlight the lack of pay artists small and large are seeing from streaming music.
Other editions to be updated 'soon'
Music streaming service Spotify has released a new version of its iOS app, 0.7.1. The update introduces several iPhone/iPod-only features, such as a new Discover mode, which helps find new music to play. The other major additions include a new Now Playing view with an "Up Next" queue, and the ability to edit playlists.
Weak security resulted in DRM-free MP3 file downloads
A vulnerability found in Spotify's web player has been exploited, allowing users to download permanent copies of songs from the service. A Chrome extension by the name of Downloadify used the exploit to download MP3 files that were free of DRM, rather than just stream them, something which Spotify has been quick to rectify.
iSteve trailer now online
Funny or Die has released a teaser trailer for iSteve, its parody movie based on the life of Steve Jobs. First announced last month and slated for release on April 15, iSteve will be a 60-75 minute film that stars Justin Long, who became known in the Apple community for his part in the "Mac vs. PC" commercials, as Steve Jobs. While Funny or Die has branded its film as "The first Steve Jobs movie," it is certainly not the only one currently making its rounds in the news. Ashton Kutcher's Jobs premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January but is now experiencing a delayed release, while Aaron Sorkin's film that is based on material from Walter Isaacson's authorized biography has yet to begin production.
Sources point to new video offering
Spotify is reportedly preparing to launch a streaming video service that may rival Netflix and other established players, unnamed sources have told Business Insider. The unconfirmed report suggests the company is already attempting to find partners that will help produce exclusive content, following a strategy already employed by Hulu and Netflix.
Spotify lifts five-play track limit on free accounts in UK
Spotify has lifted its five-play restriction on tracks used in its ad-supported free service in the United Kingdom. The play-limit, preventing users from listening to the same track too many times once an account is six-months old, is revoked for all users, with previously greyed-out and blocked tracks now able to be played again. While France is the last remaining country to have a five-play limit, all free accounts are still restricted to a maximum of 10 hours of music per month.
Record labels balking at Apple offer, report says
As an initial offer to a record label for a forthcoming streaming service, Apple recently proposed a royalty rate of just 6 cents per 100 songs, sources for the New York Post claim. "Apple wants a rate that is lower than Pandora's," one executive is quoted as saying. Pandora pays labels 12 cents per 100 songs, which itself is below the Copyright Royalty Board's standard 21 cents for digital-only streaming. Spotify pays 35 cents, according to the Post's sources.
Spotify competitor said to offer primarily free service, subscription options
Google is planning to launch a music streaming service by the end of this year, according to a report. The search giant will apparently be leveraging YouTube to offer a subscription music service to users, something that would place Google directly competing with other music services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio.
Downloads, subscriptions credited as major factors
In 2012, the music industry posted its first overall revenue growth since 1999, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Revenues were up 0.3 percent for the year, something the IFPI credits to a mix of downloads, subscriptions, and other avenues. Digital music revenue in particular grew 9 percent to $5.6 billion, just under a third of the industry's total $16.5 billion.
Talks with Warner Music already ongoing
Managers at Spotify are scheduled to meet with record industry representatives during the next few weeks, and are hoping for some changes when it comes to renewing license agreements, say music industry sources contacted by The Verge. In particular the streaming service is shooting for some price breaks, and also rights to extend free pricing to mobile devices. While Spotify apps are available for a number of phones and tablets, use of them currently requires a paid subscription after a 30-day trial.
App required complete rebuild from Windows Phone 7 version
Streaming music service Spotify is now available to use on Windows Phone 8 devices. Now downloadable from the Windows Phone Store, the new Windows Phone 8-specific app is launching in beta, and offers new users a free trial lasting for 30 days, before requiring the premium service subscription of $10 per month.
New purchases stopped, gift cards still accepted
Spotify has stopped users in the United Kingdom from buying music tracks. A notice stating "We're no longer supporting new download purchases on Spotify" appears when users attempt to purchase songs on the service, with the link leading to the download store FAQ not offering any immediate explanation for the change in policy.
Roku 2 players, Streaming Stick get Spotify channel
Music streaming service Spotify will be available on yet another device, as the company announced today that a Spotify channel would be added to a number of Roku devices in the coming months. Owners of the Roku 2 streaming box will now have access to the Spotify channel, along with the more than 600 other video, entertainment, and casual game channels available on the device. Spotify's channel will also be coming to the Roku Streaming Stick today.
Streaming service breaks 1 million US subscriber barrier
Spotify has revealed its long-rumored browser app, among other extras, at a press event in New York today. The event also saw the music service demonstrate their upgraded user experience, including Spotify Collections, music discovery, and social additions, as well as an announcement on an increased subscriber count and higher global active user numbers.
Service in beta, unavailable in some regions
The long-rumored browser version of music streaming service Spotify is apparently close to release, as reports have the company testing out a browser-based app in a limited beta session. Reports emerged today that the Spotify web player was indeed available in some regions, though Electronista's attempts at verifying this have been inconclusive. The company appears to be rolling out its web player gradually, with a layout that reportedly looks much like its desktop counterparts.
Music streaming service to seek fresh funding
Music streaming service Spotify is looking to raise $100 million in a financing round that would see the company valued at around $3 billion. Spotify hopes to raise the new funds from a number of investors, with Goldman Sachs among them. The report, if true, would represent a 25 percent drop in the valuation target for the company, as it was earlier rumored to be seeking $200 million at a $4 billion valuation.
Streaming service might lower mobile subscription price
Popular music streaming service Spotify is preparing to launch a browser-based version of its product, a considerable overhaul of the service with a greater focus on music discovery. The news comes by way of TechCrunch, which spoke with unnamed sources who said the forthcoming browser-based version explains in part why the company has been updating its desktop app less frequently of recent. The redesign could, according to sources, come along with a price drop for Spotify's mobile app as well.
Financial results show wider losses, higher revenues
Spotify is set to expand its streaming service to Canada, along with plans to open up in Asia and South America. Recently published annual accounts found by the Wall Street Journal included a management report dated April 23, detailing that the expansion into the Canadian market was always planned while hinting at moves in other continents, although not mentioning which specific countries.
Streaming revenue growth outpaces downloads by 5x
Digital music revenues are forecast to finally excede physical media sales globally sometime as early as 2015, driven by strong growth from streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Spending on digital music, including downloads and streaming services, is expected to increase by 17.8 percent to $8.6 billion in 2012, as revenue from packaged sales drops by an estimated 12.1 percent.
Verizon tops customer satisfaction
Verizon Wireless once again claimed the top spot among US carriers in terms of customer loyalty. The company reported today that its second quarter churn rate was 0.84 percent. Verizon edged out the unnamed second place finisher, which tallied a 0.97 percent churn rate. Third and fourth place carriers saw churn rates of 1.79 and 2.1 percent. Churn measures the percentage of customers who leave their wireless providers in a given period. Verizon's churn figures represent only wireless customers with postpaid contracts.
Android version a month after iOS app updated
Spotify has updated its free Android app (Google Play), adding the streaming music company's radio feature. Initially seen on the equivalent iOS app (App Store), the radio option enables US-based users to stream stations through the app for free, with no limits on the number of tracks. Personalization options for adjusting user-created stations are also present, as is the social functionality.
Designer shares his vision of what a dediacted Facebook phone could look like
A talented designer has shared images of his vision of what a Facebook-dedicated phone would look like on Yanko Design's website. Tolga Tuncer envisions the phone to have blue plastic and aluminum construction, with a 'Like' button taking the place of the where the Home button usually resides. The concept is tall and thin, however, measuring in at about 6.9 by just under 2.2 inches.
Spotify launches artist curated apps
Spotify is aiming to boost its user appeal by introducing Artist apps. The among the first apps to roll out include Quincy Jones, TiŽsto, and Rancid with an app for Disturbed launching soon. The apps are part of a new series of Artist apps created specially for Spotify designed to help music fans create a 'deeper connection' with their favorite artists.
Spotify could overtake iTunes within two years
On-demand music service Spotify is now the number two revenue source for the major music labels. Sources close to the company have told Business Insider that the music streaming service has leapfrogged the competition, and only Apple stands ahead of it now. Further, should the company continue growing, it is possible that Spotify could supplant Apple's iTunes in the near future.
Spotify, Yahoo team up on music integration
Spotify is combining its popularity as a music streaming service with Yahoo's wide reach to deliver music to nearly half the Internet's global users. The two companies today announced a deal with the potential to significantly shape the digital music landscape. The new partnership will see Spotify integrated across Yahoo's Media Network and Yahoo's original content featured on Spotify's existing platform.
US users gain personalized streams based on liked songs
Spotify has updated its free iOS app to include a new radio feature. Users can stream their own station through the app for free while on the move, with no limit to the tracks playable for either free or Premium subscribers. The app also gives options for personalizing the station in real-time, as well as some social functions.
Track scrobbling joins Android interface improvements
Spotify has updated its Android app with an improved interface and new features. Previously hinted in April, the app [Free, Google Play] has upgraded sound options, high-resolution artist imagery and a new slide-out navigation system. Users of Last.fm can also add their account details to the app, so played songs can be scrobbled and added to the playlist history.
Expected 12 weeks to US market took 2.5 years
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek answered a question posed during AllThingsD's D10 conference earlier today, claiming that "Apple was threatened by what we were doing" in regards to the streaming service. The 18-million-user-strong service took nearly two and a half years to complete the deals with record companies, leading to speculation that Apple may have slowed the process.