Universal said to be in contract negotiations, wants Spotify to weaken free service
Universal Music Group (UMG) wants Spotify to add more limits to its free streaming service, according to reports. The record label is apparently having issues with the freemium music offering and its apparent lack of revenue, and hopes that restricting the number of listens for songs will push Spotify users to the more lucrative paid subscription service.
Downloads still king of market, but falling alongside overall music revenue
A new report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) finds that revenue from music streaming services such as Beats Music, Pandora, and Spotify have now in total beaten out revenue from CD sales in the US, capitalizing on the latter's continued fall from grace (largely thanks to excessively high CD pricing). Both formats are still well behind download sales as the top revenue stream, but even that format is gently declining.
Amazon adds iTunes, Spotify, Pandora music options to Echo
An update to the Amazon Echo has added more options for music playback. Recode reports the Internet-connected speaker now offers voice control for Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora, when the Echo is paired with a device that has the required apps installed. Improved responsiveness, question accuracy, and more voice commands have also been touted for the device, which has yet to have a wider release outside of its invitation-only testing.
RunKeeper adds Spotify integration to iOS app
RunKeeper has added Spotify integration to its iOS app. The fitness app will now offer access to Spotify playlists, created both by the user and by Spotify, and stream music while a workout is underway. Both Spotify and Runkeeper have to be installed on the same device with RunKeeper connected to the Spotify account in order to function, and though it is only on iOS for the moment, a similar update to the Android app may also happen in the future.
Sony's answer to iTunes will close in February
The official PlayStation blog on Wednesday posted an announcement letting PlayStation users know about a new partnership with Spotify. The service includes existing playlists for those who already have Spotify accounts. The post also, however, contained the news that Sony's own Music Unlimited service will be discontinued in late March.
EVGA launches Torq X5L, X5, X3 gaming mice
EVGA has revealed the Torq X5, X5L, and X3 gaming mice to their range, alongside its existing Torq X10. Featuring customizable RGB LEDs, onboard storage for five profiles, and eight programmable buttons using Omron switches, the mice ship in four different models, with the standard X5 and X3 having 6,400 dpi and 4,000 dpi optical sensors respectively, while the X5L uses 8,200 dpi laser sensor. The new collection starts from $40, rising up to $60.
Spotify adds darker theme, Your Music, new Browse option to Windows Phone app
Spotify has updated the Windows Phone version of its music streaming app, bringing it in line with the Android and iOS apps. Using a darker theme and an updated user interface, the app now includes Your Music, allowing users to manage their favorite tracks and albums, while the Browse function is said to offer more localized and personalized content, such as playlists based on the time of day.
Over 60M active users of Spotify, most connect accounts to Facebook
Spotify is continuing to enjoy rising user numbers, with the popular music streaming service announcing it has reached a total of 15 million subscribers. At the same time, reports claim that the majority of Spotify streams stem from mobile listeners, with 52 percent of listening taking place on smartphones and tablets rather than desktops.
Support for competing Google audio streaming system unlikely, Spotify advises
Spotify will not include support for Google Cast any time in the near future, the company has revealed. Rather than allow for its apps to connect to the audio streaming technology Google Cast, Spotify will instead reportedly continue to work on its own competing Spotify Connect audio system, one which allows users to stream music to a number of networked speakers and audio equipment.
It's big, beautiful, big-ticket and predicts users' music tastes
Bang & Olufsen is known for its expensive yet beautiful industrial design-like audio gear, and the latest piece is no different. Basically a really expensive home network and Internet radio streamer, the BeoSound Moment will set wealthy buyers back a not-insignificant $2,800. While at CES, Electronista got a chance to check it out.
Industry trends hurting Apple
Tracking data from Nielsen SoundScan indicates that on-demand streaming of music content (including audio and video) rose 54 percent in 2014, from 106 billion song streams to 164 billion. At the same time, sales of digital albums fell nine percent, to 117.6 million; sales of individual songs dropped even further, down 12 percent to 1.26 billion. Combined physical and digital album sales slipped 11 percent, to 257 million.
Can run up to 24 threads on Mac Pro
Algoriddim has launched djay Pro, a new Mac edition of its typically iOS-based DJ software. In its new incarnation, the app supports up to four simultaneous decks, rather than two, and can draw music not just from a local iTunes library but also from Spotify -- thanks to a partnership with the streaming music service. It also exploits Retina displays and multi-core 64-bit processors; on a 12-core Mac Pro, the app can handle up to 24 processing threads at once for track analysis.
Spotify Music updates iPad app, adds discovery feature
Music subscription service Spotify has released an update for its iPad app. Spotify allows users to stream music from their favorite artists, create playlists and more. The Discover feature is now present for iPad, which offers the ability to peruse personalized recommendations in a succinct format. Free to download, Spotify's app requires iOS 7.0 or later. Users can listen for free with the accompaniment of ads, with Premium access available with a monthly prescription.
Billboard introducing streaming plays, digital sales into album chart
The way the popularity of content is measured may be seeing some changes in the coming weeks, both for audio and video. Billboard will start to include streaming and digital track sales as part of the Billboard 200 albums chart, while Nielsen is said to be preparing to track content watched through streaming services starting from next month.
Spotify Premium subscribers can control Uber audio system during ride
Spotify is partnering with Uber, allowing passengers of the taxi app to play their choice of music via the cab's built-in audio system. At the same time as the audio announcement, it appears that code within the Spotify app itself points toward the future introduction of a podcasting service, alongside another unknown feature given the name "Magic."
Record label CEO claims Taylor Swift paid less than $500,000, not $6M
The battle between Spotify and Taylor Swift is continuing, with an executive at the singer's record label now stepping into the fight. Scott Borchetta, CEO of record label Big Machine, advises that Swift has been paid less than $500,000 in the last year, a significantly lower figure than the $6 million claimed to have been paid by Spotify to the label in a recent blog post.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek claims Swift was on track for $6M in royalties this year before pulling music
Spotify has responded to claims by singer Taylor Swift that the service does not pay music producers enough, by revealing it has paid more than two billion dollars in music royalties. A blog post by CEO Daniel Ek following the removal of Swift's music from the service and a further attack in an interview also notes Swift was on track to receive $6 million in streaming revenues for this year alone.
Smartphone users of Spotify can select songs on networked computers
Spotify has made another update to Connect, its controllable streaming music system it introduced last year, by letting smartphones control a computer. The latest addition allows a Spotify user to use a mobile device as a remote control for the desktop version of the app, through the same system which can select the music on Wi-Fi-enabled speakers and other devices.
Royalty collection company claims Spotify payments 13-percent higher than iTunes
Streaming services are heavily impacting music sales, with one report claiming Spotify's music royalty payments have eclipsed royalties earned through iTunes sales in Europe. Kobalt, a music royalty company representing over 6,000 songwriters and artists, claims that Spotify-derived revenues on the continent were higher that those earned from European iTunes sales by 13 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Albums by Taylor Swift removed from streaming service
Singer Taylor Swift has taken the unusual move of pulling her entire back catalog from Spotify, in the same week that her label launched her latest album. The move, which involves the removal of all of the artist's earlier albums, has been conducted without comment from Swift nor her management, but that has not kept Spotify from speaking out.
Twelve South releases horizontal stand for Mac Pro
Twelve South has announced the release of the BookArc Pro, a chrome-plated desktop stand designed for Mac Pro. Designed in the shape of an arc, the stand allows the compact computer to fit in spaces with half the height available, making it suitable for fitting into gear racks and studio shelves. The BookArc is composed is heavy gauge steel, which has been machined into a curve shape and coated with a chrome finish. Priced at $60, the BookArc Pro is available online through Twelve South.
New payment option lowers cost for multiple users to access Spotify
Spotify is adding a new subscription option to its plan roster, one which covers multiple users. Spotify Family will provide access to the premium version of the music streaming service to up to five nominated users, with the group plan being discounted heavily compared to the single-user subscription, a payment option Rdio first introduced in June of last year.
Twitter app for OS X updated, adds new photo features
Twitter for Mac has received an update today, adding new photo features for OS X users. The app allows users to access the social media platform outside of a web browser. Twitter for Mac v3.1 includes the new ability to view and post Tweets with up to four photos at a time, with an image preview for each available for viewing the full photo. Photos can now be shared privately in the Messages section. Various performance improvements and bug fixes are also available in the latest version. Free to download, Twitter for Mac is available through the App Store.
Spotify opens Canadian streaming service to everyone
Spotify has opened up its service in Canada to all users, following a brief invitational period. The streaming music service boasts over 20 million songs served on 320kbps streams, with chief content officer Ken Parks claiming the collection has been "tailor made for Canadian music fans." Users have the same ad-supported free and paid service options as other regions, with Spotify Premium priced at $10 per month.
Music streaming service comes to Amazon's set-top box with Spotify Connect
Spotify announced this week that the music streaming service has made it to one of the products under Amazon's expanding lineup. Amazon Fire TV owners will now be able to use Spotify Connect to access the millions of songs the service offers on a subscription basis. The company notes that users can navigate Spotify Connect using a smartphone or a tablet as the remote, also seamlessly handing off the sound to the Fire TV. Spotify notes that a premium subscription is required to use the service on the Fire TV, which runs $10 a month.
Sponsored sessions provide advertising-free Spotify for 30 minutes
Spotify will soon be showing video-based advertising to listeners of its free service. The streaming music company has revealed it will start airing the videos to its free users shortly, with both desktop and mobile app users set to see the clips, though marketers will have a few options for how their advertizing efforts get utilized by the service.
Action platforming game Wipeout 2 available for iOS, Android
Activision Publishing has released its action platforming game Wipeout 2, available for iOS and Android devices, as well as for Kindle Fire. Based on the competition TV series "Wipeout," players dodge environmental hazards and challenge to complete each level as fast as possible. Players can choose from 10 playable characters, including Zombie, Pirate and Popstar, with 150 themed obstacles and 135 new levels. Free to download, Wipeout 2 is available on iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon App Store.
Shuffle play mode now available for Windows Phone 8.1, free version supported by ads
Subscripiton music streaming service Spotify has announced that it is bringing its free listening experience to Windows Phones beginning today. In today's software update, owners of phones like the Nokia Lumia 920 or the HTC One (M8) for Windows can now partake in the Spotify experience, with a few limitations. As with the expansion into a free version for Android and iOS in December, the offering is supported by in-app advertising.
T-Mobile adds 2GB LTE option to Simple Starter price plan
T-Mobile is giving customers using its Simple Starter price plan the choice of adding more data. From September 3rd, subscribers can opt to quadruple the LTE data allowance on the single-line plan from 500GB to 2GB, increasing the cost of the plan from $40 to $45, but retaining the same unlimited calls and texts as the original plan. Just as before Simple Starter users will find their data service suspended once they've used their allocation.
Satechi's Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keyboard now available
Satechi has announced the release of its new Bluetooth Wireless Smart Keyboard, suitable for Mac or PC systems. Measuring 0.7 inches thick, the keyboard's wireless functionality allows users to have an extra USB port available to them, and can use the keyboard from up to 33 feet away. Its multimedia keys provide access to controlling video and audio content, including play/pause, volume, forward/backtrack and activating functions on other mobile devices. The white version of the keyboard features specific keys mapped for use with OS X and iOS, and the black version mapped for PC and Android features. Priced at $55, Satechi's smart keyboard is available through Amazon and the company's own online store.
Spotify starts accepting sign-ups for Canadian service pre-launch
Music streaming service Spotify is spreading into Canada in the near future, long after launching in a number of other major markets. While the exact date of the service's launch in the country is unknown, Engadget reports the company is accepting sign-ups for a queue to receive pre-launch invitations, suggesting that it is likely to go live for all potential users sooner rather than later.
Spotify app update adds Play Queue, sorting and filtering for iPhone
Music streaming service Spotify has updated its iOS app, adding new features for iPhone users. Spotify allows users to search for any track, artist or album, make and share playlists, and build a preferred music collection. The release of v1.4 features a Play Queue for iPhone, and a new confirmation for avoid duplicates in a playlist. Within the Your Music section, users can now sort and filter music in their Spotify collection. Free to download, Spotify's iOS app can be found through the iTunes App Store.
Google Search on Android will offer streaming app links on music searches
Google has updated its search app on Android, changing the way it handles music-related queries. Results for songs and artists will now load up a list of links to streaming services, letting the user play that artist's music from within the relevant installed smartphone app, such as Spotify, Rdio, and Google Play Music. Google is rolling the feature out to Android devices in the United States now, and hopes to expand it globally soon.
Samsung adds Spotify Connect support to Shape speaker range
Samsung has updated its Wireless Audio Multiroom range of home audio equipment to allow Spotify to run off multiple speakers simultaneously, bringing Samsung's multiroom speaker system in line with competitor Sonos. Applying to the Shape M7, Shape M5 and other audio products in the range, the added Spotify Connect support allows for music to be controlled through the Spotify app itself instead of through a dedicated speaker app.
Spokesperson puts story in doubt
Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor has left his position at Beats as chief creative officer, according to USA Today. The paper also suggests that one of the company's technology executives, Fredric Vinna, recently left for Spotify, while co-founder Ola Sars has gone to an unspecified Spotify-backed venture. A spokesperson representing Beats and Reznor insists that the report is inaccurate, but without mentioning which parts.
Intrusion of Spotify servers involved one account, payment details protected
Music streaming service Spotify is warning users of an intrusion on its servers, though it appears an extremely limited amount of data was acquired. The company claims that, though user data was potentially at risk, only one Spotify user's data had been accessed in the intrusion, with the company taking steps to mitigate similar intrusions by asking users to upgrade their mobile apps.
Disgruntled free, paid users unhappy by Spotify removal in Shazam tests
Last week's removal of Spotify support from the iOS and Android versions of Shazam in a number of countries may be temporary. The change, which affects users in the UK, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil, stopped users from listening to recognized songs in Spotify, instead forcing them to use Deezer, in what appears to be an experiment on the app's own users.
Adidas fitness tracker will offer offline Spotify music playback before end of year
Adidas is collaborating with Spotify to add offline music playback to its miCoach Smart Run fitness tracker. The update will allow wearers of the smart watch to store tracks and playlists from the streaming music service on the device, so tracks can be listened while running or working out without the need to carry a smartphone for a data connection.
Spotify app for Android receives revamp, new aesthetic
Spotify, a subscription-based music streaming platform, has begun to roll out a newly updated version of its Android app to accompany the previously-released update for iOS. Featuring an over-all new look, Spotify now sports a darker palette, an improved Browse feature and its Your Music tool. Your Music allows users to save songs and albums to their personal Spotify library instead of requiring playlist creation. All compatible Android users of Spotify are anticipated to have received the app update within the next few weeks.
Framily subscribers gain six-month Spotify Premium trial, discounted subscription
After publishing its financial results, Sprint has revealed it is providing subscribers of its Framily plan free music streaming through Spotify, as well as launching an exclusive version of the HTC One M8. In a similar manner to how AT&T offers its customers access to Beats Music, the carrier will be offering all of its customers a free six-month trial of Spotify Premium.
Sprint-Spotify tie-up could include discounted Framily group access
Sprint customers may soon be receiving a discount on Spotify, as part of a deal between the two companies, according to a report. An announcement by the carrier, allegedly scheduled to take place on April 29 in New York alongside its expected HD Voice launch, will apparently see Sprint customers receiving free trials of Spotify Premium, with some carrier subscribers potentially qualifying for Spotify discounts.
App update removes starred tracks from Spotify for new collection system
Spotify has made drastic changes to its user interface, by introducing a new darker theme. The change in appearance of the streaming music service across all platforms is joined by a new feature called "Your Music," something the company previewed in late 2012, allowing users to collect and manage their music without requiring users to create playlists.
Existing Spotify Apps restricted to critical updates in future
Spotify is no longer accepting new submissions of apps for its desktop player, the company has announced. While it will stop any new apps from being added to the client, the service will be continuing to offer access to its Web API and mobile APIs, in what could be considered a move towards a greater mobile focus for the music-streaming company.
Rdio will stop using Spotify-owned music intelligence service in future
Rdio will be changing the way it offers listeners music, by not using The Echo Nest in the future, the company has revealed. Following the purchase of the music intelligence company by Spotify, Rdio is keen to not help its chief competition by providing it with more data about its user's listening habits, instead relying on other methods to offer music discovery and curation.
Close to capturing second, but still far behind reigning champ Pandora
Barely six months after it debuted, Apple's iTunes Radio has already eclipsed Spotify and Google Play All Access (and others) to become the third most popular music streaming service in the US, according to a new report from Statista. While long-time veteran Internet radio station Pandora continues to maintain a clear lead over all rivals, it has taken 14 years for the latter service to reach its current level of 70 million active listeners (as of last April) and it continues to struggle with profits.
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.