Tools: Zebr. Send Music to Influencers

Zebr originally started out as a new music discovery channel on Instagram and TikTok – and is now making an interesting move into influencer marketing. Zebr’s new app allows artists and their representatives to submit music to influencers and content creators, using a streamlined and affordable pricing structure, and ensuring each song is credited in […]

BPI and Music Ally event on music, wellbeing and technology

There are a lot of exciting things happening around music, wellbeing and fitness in 2020: from artists working with meditation services like Calm and Headspace, to the growth of Peloton and other fitness startups who make licensed music a key part of their offerings. The BPI and Music Ally are holding an online event on […]

Beatleap video-editing app includes Epidemic Sound music

Lightricks is the developer behind popular photo and video editing apps like Facetune and Videoleap, with more than 350m downloads so far. Now it’s launching a new creativity app with a music twist. It’s called Beatleap, and it’s a partnership with production music firm Epidemic Sound. The app helps people to edit their videos to fit […]

As Twitch Sings shuts down, Snapchat gets a karaoke game

Twitch recently announced that it was shutting down its karaoke game Twitch Sings, including removing all the archived broadcasts and clips using it. But where one karaoke game closes, another one pops up backed by a different digital platform. That game is called SingHeads, and the platform is Snapchat, which is an official partner. Released initially for […]

Declan McKenna teaches fans how to play his songs on Yousician

Another day, another artist reaching a carefully-targeted audience via an app that isn’t a social network or DSP. Gen Z favourite Declan McKenna collaborated with music teaching app Yousician to connect with his fans via a private livestream and, perhaps more interestingly, via some lessons from the man himself. The thinking is simple: if you use Yousician to […]

Radio station SWR uses AI to let users to “Shuffle” live songs

Music radio persists in an era of hyper-personalised playlists, possibly because it offers a contrasting linear, set-and-forget experience. One of Germany’s most popular radio stations, Südwestrundfunk (SWR), has launched a new radio app with the usual live-rewind and listen again functions, but is also trying something slightly different: AI-powered, in-show song personalisation. (Article in German) If the user doesn’t […]

Amazon Music integrates Twitch livestreaming into app

It’s almost a surprise that this hasn’t happened sooner, but Amazon Music has now integrated Twitch, the live streaming service owned by Amazon, into its Amazon Music mobile apps. Artists can now livestream via Twitch, with the streams appearing on their profile page in the Amazon Music mobile app, and followers will be alerted when they […]

Algoriddim launches tool to extract stems from music tracks

In June, we wrote about a pair of DJ apps getting ‘real-time stem separation’ features, so that DJs could mix with the individual elements of tracks (like vocals or basslines). One of those apps was djay from Algoriddim, where the feature was called ‘Neural Mix’. Now it’s being spun off into its own software for […]

Music Ally Startup Files: SoundStorming opens up the creative process

SoundStorming could be a lot of things, and at a glance the platform appears to begin a trek up that unassailable summit of music-tech: A Social Network For Music. But co-founders Alícia Rius and Arnau Bosch are keen to explain that their aim is simple. “We want to get the fans on board earlier than […]

‘Apple has become the navy, and different rules apply’

The row between Apple and Epic Games rumbles on, with plenty of commentary from external observers – some of it useful, much of it not. File in the ‘useful’ category this blog post by tech analyst Benedict Evans, which suggests that some of the criticisms of Apple carry weight. “When Apple launched the app store it had […]

Indian short-video app Moj has 50m users a month after launch

TikTok’s ban in India has created a feeding frenzy among other short-video apps, from Roposo, Zili and Dubsmash to streaming service Gaana’s new HotShots. One app we hadn’t written about yet was Moj, which was launched in early July by social networking firm ShareChat. It was downloaded more than 1m times in its first week, but judging by figures shared […]

TikTok rival Likee now has 150m monthly active users

TikTok isn’t the only short-videos app from China to be making a big splash. Tech firm Joyy’s latest financial results reveal the growth of its app Likee, which has a similar community of people creating videos with special effects and music. The app, formerly known as ‘Like’, saw its average mobile monthly active users grow by 86.2% year-on-year […]

Spotify has company as Fortnite maker sues Apple (and Google)

Spotify seemed well prepared when its EC antitrust complaint against Apple last March came with its own spin-off website detailing its issues. Now Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, has taken that up several levels. Yesterday it sued Apple alleging “use of a series of anti-competitive restraints and monopolistic practices”, and that lawsuit came with its own launch trailer: ‘Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite’, […]

Clash Video short-video app signs up 200k users in its first week

It seems to be the season for TikTok alternatives to be staking their claims for young video creators. The latest example is a new app called Clash Video, which soft-launched last week for iPhones in the US. “We’re building the first Creator-Founded social network, empowering short form video creators through innovative monetization options, inclusive communities, and […]

Shodement app aims to help independent artists build fanbases

UK firm Shodement has been building its ‘talent network’ since 2012, working on music projects and developing artists – the latter including investment, signing brand deals, booking live shows, managing releases and building fanbases. It also has a creative agency division working with big brands of all stripes, and runs events and festivals. Now it’s also in the […]

MMP app recommends music based on your facial expression

Facial recognition technology is currently a hot potato in all kinds of sectors, music included. So the idea of a music app that monitors the listener’s facial expression to provide recommendations may spook a fair few people. It’s interesting to see what’s possible though, and a new app called MMP is using machine learning technology to […]

Ultimate Fighting Championship launches music streaming app

We sometimes use ‘fight’ and ‘battle’ metaphors when talking about the music streaming market. Well, you wouldn’t want to get into a scrap with the latest entrant into that market. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the popular mixed martial arts organisation, and now it’s launched its own music streaming app: UFC Ultimate Sound. It’s the result […]

Music Tectonics launches community app for the music biz

You might know Music Tectonics for its music industry podcast, or for its conferences in the US. Created by PR company Rock Paper Scissors, it’s now pulling its content and community together in a mobile app. Released for Android and for iPhone yesterday, it’s aimed at anyone working in / interested in the intersection of music and technology. It offers […]

What can the global music industry learn from K-Pop and South Korea?

K-pop is the genre that ate the world whole. Acts like BTS, Blackpink, Twice and TVXQ are not just some of the biggest acts within the genre – they are some of the biggest acts in the world. There is a lot that other artists can learn from how K-pop markets itself, how its acts […]

There are now one billion mobile games downloads every week

The mobile games industry is one of the sectors benefitting from the Covid-19 pandemic, at least in terms of people’s engagement with its products. According to analytics firm App Annie, there were an average of 1bn mobile game downloads a week during the second quarter of this year, up by 20% year-on-year. “Quarantined consumers also set […]

175m music fans are tracking artists in WMG’s Songkick app

Warner Music Group bought the Songkick app and website in July 2017, and has continued to run it since as a way for people to find out when artists they like are playing concerts near them. WMG is also continuing to invest in Songkick: today, for example, it announced the appointment of a VP of technology […]

TikTok was world’s most downloaded non-gaming app in June

Analytics firm Sensor Tower has published its latest rankings for mobile apps, reporting that TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app globally in June 2020, ahead of Zoom and Facebook. The company claims that TikTok was downloaded more than 87m times across Apple and Google’s app stores, up 52.7% year-on-year. However, its top two markets […]

Facebook is shutting down its TikTok-inspired app Lasso

“Can Facebook ‘Lasso’ teenagers with its new music app?” was the question in a Music Ally headline back in November 2018, as the social network launched a new app heavily inspired by TikTok – complete with a big (and licensed) library of music clips. Now we have the answer to our question: no it could not. […]

Weav Music adds voice coaching to adaptive music running app

We’ve been writing about startup Weav Music since 2017, when the company co-founded by Google Maps co-creator Lars Rasmussen signed its first major label deals. Its first app, Weav Run, was an app for runners with ‘adaptive’ music that changed according to their pace, but not just through speeding it up and time-stretching the tracks. Now […]

Report: global app spending was $50bn in first half of 2020

Could a global pandemic take the shine off the growth in the amount of money people spend on and within mobile apps? It could not. “Consumers spent a combined total of $50.1 billion worldwide on the App Store and Google Play in the first half of 2020,” claimed app analytics firm Sensor Tower. “This was 23.4 […]

Hipster Bait turns music discovery into an AR scavenger hunt

“Unreleased rock songs are hiding all around North America. That’s right. You could be sitting on a song right now,” is the blurb from new app Hipster Bait’s website. Launched for Android and iOS devices, it’s an “interactive rock’n’roll music discovery game” that uses augmented reality (AR) technology. The idea: every week the company will ‘release’ […]

Deezer gets promotional push on Huawei’s AppGallery

Chinese technology firm Huawei is a controversial company in the west, but it is still hugely successful globally, having shipped 240m smartphones in 2019 alone. A trade ban with the US has meant the company can’t preload Google’s Android apps on those handsets however, so Huawei has developed its own ‘AppGallery’ app store as an alternative to […]

Sandbox Issue 255: K-Pop. What the Global Music Industry can learn from South Korea

Lead: K-pop is eating the world whole and is changing what marketing – especially superfan-centric marketing – can do. We speak to those working in and around the K-pop world to learn how the genre markets itself, where its acts engage with their fans to build incredible levels of loyalty, why trans-media marketing underscores everything they do […]

Grid app aims to help events return with social distancing

Concerts are returning in some countries as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease, but with a variety of social distancing measures. Grid is a new app that’s positioning itself as helping: not just music concerts, but other kinds of hospitality and events businesses too. The app can be used for mobile ticketing and checking in to events; to […]

BTS take over Uno! mobile game and donate to Crew Nation

Music Ally knows card game ‘Uno!’ best for being second only to Monopoly in the chart of ‘games most likely to cause almighty family rows at Christmas’. What we don’t know it for, until now, are digital marketing campaigns with world-famous K-Pop groups. But yes: BTS are taking over the mobile game version of ‘Uno!’ […]

djay and VirtualDJ apps get real-time stem separation features

We’ve reported recently on one trend in DJ apps, which is Spotify shutting down their access to its API, forcing those that use streaming services as a source to turn to other DSPs, or even license directly. Still, those DJ app companies are also pressing on with new features, with two of them – Algoriddim and VirtualDJ […]

DanceFight gets people to challenge friends to dance battles

The search for ‘the next TikTok’ is – spoiler alert – going to turn up a LOT of apps that are not, in fact, the next TikTok. Which is to say, there’s an explosion in experimentation around short-form social video, often with music too, but many of these apps will struggle to cut through the noise […]

Vibe app promises personalised music to help your wellbeing

Canadian startup Lucid has launched its first music app, called Vibe. The app “draws upon cognitive science, music theory, and artificial intelligence to develop a personalised profile for each user” before offering them playlists “to help you reach a mental goal”. Said goals including calm, focus, sleep, energise and ambience – the latter is a mixture […]

Classical streaming service Idagio to launch in Japan

Classical music streaming service Idagio is launching in Japan later this month, tying in with its live video stream of a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra on 21 June. The Japan launch will include Idagio’s catalogue of more than 2m tracks, and its ‘Global Concert Hall’ series of livestreams. There’s certainly an audience to […]

Pacemaker DJ app secures extension to Spotify API shutdown

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Spotify was ending its support for DJ apps, meaning that they’d be unable to use its API to provide music for their users. One of the main DJ app makers, Algoriddim, is switching to Tidal and SoundCloud, while another, Pacemaker, recently told Music Ally that it would be striking its own […]

Spotify talks Apple complaint as Hey email app sparks row

We reported yesterday on the news that the European Commission is launching two formal investigations of Apple, including one sparked by anticompetition complaints from Spotify and an e-books / audiobooks firm (not Amazon, but Rakuten subsidiary Kobo). Yesterday afternoon, Spotify held a Zoom call with journalists to offer its views on the news. You can read our […]

Cameo now helps fans buy a Zoom call with celebrities

Cameo is the app that lets people pay for celebrities to record personalised video messages for them (or friends and family as a gift). We wrote about it last June when the company raised a $50m funding round, noting that Snoop Dogg and Ice T were among the musicians available on Cameo. Now it has launched […]

New Snapchat features include music lenses and mini apps

Yesterday, Snapchat’s parent company Snap, Inc announced a swathe of new features for the social app, including some that are directly relevant to music. One of those features is dedicated music lenses, explained yesterday – this link takes you to the relevant part of the YouTube video of the event – as “our new category of music lenses, […]

BBC Sounds app expands its wellbeing and workout mixes section

Spotify and other streaming services have been luring talent away from radio for a long time now, with British public-service broadcaster the BBC suffering particularly from the brain drain. However, it’s also making its own moves that encroach onto what streaming services do. Witness last week’s announcement that it is expanding the ‘Mindful’ and ‘Pace Setter’ […]

Music apps firm Gismart adds artist partnerships scheme

Gismart is the company behind music-making apps like Beat Maker Go, Piano Crush and WeDrum, as well as non-music ‘hyper-casual’ games like Cool Goal, Domino Smash and, er, Pregnancy Idle 3D Simulator – a catalogue that’s so far generated 500m downloads. Now it has launched a new partnership programme aimed at musicians called ‘Games for Artists’. Through […]

Music app Endlesss hits Kickstarter target for desktop app

We’ve reported regularly on British music-making app startup Endlesss: from our interview with its CEO last year to its recent launches of an iOS app and its own record label. Now Endlesss is turning to crowdfunding to take its next step: the development of a desktop (Mac and Windows) application and a network for musicians to collaborate. It’s called Endlesss […]

New TikTok rival Zynn pays its users for watching videos

A new social-video app called Zynn has been making waves by springing from nowhere to top Apple’s App Store chart in the US. It looks a LOT like TikTok: you can create and watch 15-second videos (“with massive music library”). But as it turns out, the app didn’t just spring from nowhere: Turner Novak of investment firm […]

AiMi app uses AI to provide adaptive electronic music

Aimed at electronic music fans, a new app called AiMi is using AI technology to turn existing tracks from artists into adaptive experiences for listeners. The idea: listeners set the ‘energy’ rate they want, based on a scale of 1 to 10, and the app delivers a flow of continuous music to suit their requirements. AiMi uses […]

Facebook launches Collab, an experimental music-making app

Facebook’s experimental apps team, NPE, is launching a new app – and it’s focused on music. The app is called Collab, and it’s launching today for iOS as an invitation-only beta that, in the team’s words, “brings together creators and fans to create, watch, and mix and match original videos, starting with music”. The app […]

SendMusic launches app for professional music-files sharing

We first wrote about startup SendMusic in late 2018, when it emerged as a way to help musicians, producers and music industry colleagues to send big files to one another, including for promotional purposes. Now there’s an update: SendMusic has launched its official iOS app. “You can now send, receive, listen and reply all in one place… […]

Social video editing app Trash adds features for musicians

We reported on the launch of Trash last June: an AI-powered video editing app launched by Hannah Donovan, formerly of Vine and This Is My Jam. Then, in January this year, her pitch won the startup showcase section of the NY:LON Connect conference in New York, with Donovan explaining that Trash had been licensing music for use in […]

Houseparty app launches ‘In The House’ events for co-viewing

Video-chatting app Houseparty has been one of the big hits of the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside Zoom, with people using it to chat to friends and family, and sometimes to play its embedded games. Now Houseparty is exploring music and livestreams through a three-day event called ‘In The House‘, which launches tomorrow (15 May). It’ll be […]

Former Crowdstar execs launch Top Mix music app

A new music app called Top Mix is promising that “anyone can make music with the swipe of a finger”. Released for iOS, it’s the work of a team led by former executives from social mobile gaming company Crowdstar. Top Mix is free to download, and in its App Store blurb’s words “allows you to mix songs […]

Now That’s What I Call Windowing: Now 105 goes app-first

In the middle of April, music compilations brand Now That’s What I Call Music added a free ad-supported tier to its previously subscription-only app. Now it has made its latest album, Now 105, available exclusively through the app for its first week of release. The album went live on Friday (1 May) ahead of its physical and […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (23 April)

Start today with YouTube’s announcement of a slate of Covid-19 related original shows, with several involving music. Stay Home With: Yungblud will explore the UK artist’s quarantine life, with viewers encouraged to donate to the No Kid Hungry charity, for example. Also positive is Abbey Road Studios’ new Topline Songwriting Competition, with songwriters, artists and producers invited to […]

Facebook is taking on Twitch with an app to watch gaming

Facebook is launching a new app today: Facebook Gaming. It’s training its sights squarely on the territory occupied by Twitch: people playing games and streaming the footage online for others to watch. According to the New York Times, the launch has been brought forward from June. “Investing in gaming in general has become a priority […]

Beatstream Box Office adds tech for ticketed live-audio streams

Startups and services based on live music are having to pivot quickly (if, hopefully, temporarily) amid the Covid-19 pandemic. We wrote about ticketing app Dice’s launch of a livestreaming-focused Dice TV feature last week, and now fellow British startup Beatstream Box Office is making its own changes. The company’s main business is giving fans paid access to […]

Dice ticketing app adds livestreams with new Dice TV feature

We’ve already seen the biggest companies in the live music world, from Live Nation to Eventbrite, reveal some of their plans for cost reductions to help them get through the coronavirus crisis. What about smaller startups whose businesses are based on live music though? Ticketing app Dice is one of them, and this morning it has revealed part […]

Now That’s What I Call Music app adds free, ad-supported tier

The Now That’s What I Call Music (‘Now’ for short) compilation series has been running since 1983, evolving in the streaming era with playlists on the big DSPs, but also its own subscription-based mobile app. It costs £4.99 a month and has a tightly-focused catalogue of chart hits. Now the app has added a free tier, […]

Houseparty video-chat app signed up 50m new users in last month

50 million people have signed up to video-chatting app Houseparty in the last month alone, according to its CEO Sima Sistani, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg. The app is riding the same stay-at-home wave as Zoom (which has grown from 10 million daily active users at the end of 2019 to more than 200 million […]

CNN buys ‘private discovery’ app Canopy to focus it on news

CNN has acquired the assets of startup Canopy and hired the company’s development team to work on NewsCo, the codename for the broadcaster’s planned news and information platform. We’ve written about Canopy several times: it was co-founded in 2018 by former Spotify executives Brian Whitman (previously co-founder of The Echo Nest) and Annika Goldman. The idea was […]

Mobile video service Quibi launches to mixed reviews

Music Ally has been covering the build-up to the launch of mobile video subscription service Quibi for a while now, including the $1.75bn of pre-launch funding that it has raised, and its plans for a music-focused show. Now Quibi has launched, to reviews that are the classic mixed bag. Engadget nailed its colours to the mast with the headline ‘Quit […]

Dolby On could help musicians sound better on Twitch livestreams

Audio company Dolby has just launched its Dolby On app for Android, following its earlier release for iOS. It allows users to record high-quality audio and video on their smartphone. More interestingly, however, the company has also announced that the iOS version of Dolby On now works with live-video platform Twitch, enabling users to livestream […]

Calm and Headspace lead list of top meditation apps in the US

Meditation apps is a space that we’ve been following for a while now, as more of those apps license music and form partnerships with the music industry in other ways. Given the current global situation, it should come as no surprise that mindfulness apps of all kinds are seeing a spike in downloads. Analytics firm […]

Music-making app Endlesss officially launches its iOS app

We wrote about music-making app startup (and extra-sibilant scourge of auto-correct systems) Endlesss several times in 2019: for example when the company pitched at and co-won the Midemlab startups contest last June, then when we interviewed CEO Tim Exile the following month. The company’s app has been available on an invitation-only basis since then, but today sees its official commercial launch […]

Instagram and TikTok ‘sidekick apps’ were hot in 2019

A new report from research firm Sensor Tower has found that a third of the biggest new apps in 2019 were “sidekick apps” for the likes of Instagram and TikTok. What are sidekick apps? They are apps that work in conjunction with ‘mother’ apps, adding new features or enhancements that the original app is lacking. According to […]

Is Triller music’s next big launchpad?

It’s not quite a case of: “Come in, TikTok – your time is up.” However, Triller has been growing sharply in recent months and is starting to break tracks and acts in its own way. For now, the audience skews towards both the US and hip-hop, but the app has global ambitions and wants to […]

New Sonos app and operating system coming in June

Sonos is launching a new app in June, alongside new software for its speakers. Well, some of its speakers. The app and software is called ‘Sonos S2’, and it will be compatible with many existing Sonos devices and all its new ones. However, some of the company’s older hardware will not support it – what […]

Carrie Underwood launches fit52, her own fitness app

American artist Carrie Underwood has a new sideline in 2020: as a fitness guru. Her book ‘Find Your Path: Honor Your Body, Fuel Your Soul and Get Strong with the Fit52 Life’ came out last week, complete with a deck of 52 cards that help people exercise at home. Now, to borrow a phrase from […]

Sandbox Issue 247: All Triller, No Filler: Music’s next big launchpad?

Lead: Triller is not a TikTok killer – but it is certainly proving to be a hearty contender. At the moment, it is strongest in the US and it skews heavily towards hip-hop as its in-built soundtrack. Its ambitions are, however, more global and the genres it covers will naturally expand as it grows internationally. […]

Musiio launches self-service dashboard for AI catalogue-tagging

AI-tagging startup Musiio has launched a new service that will make it easier for music companies to use its technology. It’s called Musiio App, and is aimed at independent labels, production houses, sync companies, DJs and other creatives. Anyone with a catalogue of music, who wants to make it easier to tag those tracks and search […]

After 400m downloads, music apps firm MWM raises €50m

French company MWM is responsible for a suite of apps including DJ app edjing; music-making apps like Beatwave 3, Beat Maker Pro and Drum Machine; musician tools like Tuner and Metronome; and educational apps Piano, Guitar and Drums. Those apps have been downloaded more than 400m times so far, putting MWM up there with Gismart in terms […]

Spotify refreshes its mobile app design on iOS

Spotify has given its mobile app a spring clean, for now on Apple’s iOS, although we’d imagine that Android will follow in due course. Spotify is pitching the app’s new design as “a more streamlined, easy-to-use interface with fresh designs to actionable icons”. That includes a big, green ‘shuffle play’ icon; and grouping actions (like, […]

Indian music discovery app Flutin takes investment… from Sega

Indian startup Flutin has taken new investment from an unusual source: games firm Sega, of Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Drive / Genesis fame. Sega has invested an undisclosed amount in Flutin, which the latter company says will help it expand in markets like the US. “They believe in us because of the approach we […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Flutin, India’s new music discovery app

Indian startup Flutin has a bold, dual-pronged mission: to round up millions of music fans and serve them – for free – new music that they’ll love; and to provide artists with an easy-to-reach fanbase that’s eager to engage and even purchase. Dig a little deeper into the company, and there are some interesting lessons on how […]

Pandora Apple Watch app can now stream music without a phone

Streaming service Pandora has launched a new ‘standalone’ app for the Apple Watch, which will let people stream music and podcasts directly to the smartwatch rather than via an iPhone. “The standalone Pandora app means that you can control your personalized listening experience directly on your Apple Watch without needing to pull out your phone […]

Once-hot mobile game-show HQ Trivia has now shut down

In early 2018, HQ Trivia was the hot new thing in startup-land: an app where people could take part in a live-video game show and win real money. The company raised $15m in funding and at its peak had more than two million people playing at the same time. Since then, though, HQ Trivia has […]

Ninja Tune releases a sequel to its Jamm music-making app

Back in 2013, we reviewed Ninja Jamm, a music-remixing app launched by independent label Ninja Tune. It was good fun, and according to Ninja Tune, it was downloaded more than 600k times. Now it’s getting a sequel called Jamm Pro, which launched for iPad this week. It’s a more powerful music-production tool than its predecessor, complete with […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Jambl, the music-making app for non-musicians

Music is different to other creative acts: there’s a palpable barrier to entry compared to, say, photography. Jambl aims to change that by making music-creation fun, simple and entertaining, but with a full industry vertical behind it. Can hits be made, remixed, identified, and fully exploited, all in one platform? Jambl, which recently received half […]

AI-powered Symphonia app turns singing into instrumental music

French startup Symphonia claims that its iPhone app is “the future of music composing”. Released this year, it uses AI to help people turn their musical ideas into actual music. “Just sing a melody. And Symphonia automatically detects the notes you sing and magically transforms them into amazing musical instruments in MIDI format,” explains its App Store blurb. “Thanks […]

Radiant app taps Spotify for ‘digital radio hosted by AI’

There’s a theory that if music streaming wants to grab more listeners and advertising revenues from radio, it needs to become a bit more radio-like. From Spotify’s ‘Your Daily Drive’ playlist blending podcast clips and music to startups like Stationhead and Super Hi-Fi, there have been various moves on this front. Now another startup is […]

Concord and Queen drummer back audio tech startup Iris

It’s clearly the week for starry seed investors. Snafu Records has Abba’s Agnetha Fältskog but another new startup, Iris, can boast Queen drummer Roger Taylor as one of its early backers. Its promise: “a revolutionary new audio technology that heightens audio quality whilst simultaneously activating the brain”, which (if all goes well) will be integrated by […]

Sandbox Issue 245: Catalogue Marketing Rejuvenated

Lead: With pretty much everything available at all times, the fundamentals of catalogue marketing have had to bend to the needs of the streaming market and the social media landscape. There is still a role for the deluxe anniversary boxset, but finding new ways to shake up the old and shine new light on both […]

Despite TikTok / Triller boom, Dubsmash does 1bn monthly video views

Before TikTok (and the Musical·ly app it merged with) took the world by storm with music-soundtracked short videos, there was Dubsmash. The lip-syncing app was a craze back in 2015, but that popularity quickly ebbed away, and then Musical·ly and now TikTok took its core feature and ran with it. But Dubsmash isn’t dead. Far […]

Algoriddim updates djay app with Tidal and SoundCloud support

Music apps firm Algoriddim has updated its djay app, both the desktop and smartphone versions, to allow integration with Tidal and SoundCloud for both live audio and video mixing. Users do, however, need to either be Tidal subscribers or have a SoundCloud Go+ premium subscription to avail of the new features. The VJ side of it comes […]

Judah & The Lion promote new album with Beat Maker Go app

Gismart is the company behind music creation apps such as Beat Maker Go, Piano Crush and DJ It. Those apps have, as of December, been downloaded over 500m times. Now American band Judah & The Lion are using the Beat Maker Go app as part of the promotion for their new album. This is all […]

Vine successor Byte is now available on the app stores

In certain social-media circles, it’s been a familiar sight to see people sighing wistfully about how much they miss Vine – even though that app’s short-video creativity is alive and well on TikTok. Still, there’s been some excitement about the fact that Vine’s original co-founder Dom Hofmann was working on a new app for sharing six-second […]

Music startup Voisey: ‘It’s not an application, it’s a movement’

Will the next TikTok – i.e. a social app craze – be about making music? Norwegian / British startup Voisey hopes so. Its app aims to combine early SoundCloud’s zealous userbase, early Hype Machine’s excitement of discovery; Snapchat’s intimacy; and TikTok’s front-facing camera appeal. Its songs are created in two ways: producers can upload short […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Voisey is the TikTok for music creation

If co-founder Olly Barnes’ infectious optimism is correct, Voisey is a phenomenon-in-waiting. It’s an app that has the potential to shake up how songs are made; tap into hitherto locked-away artistic talent; develop a new breed of pop star and pop songs; and maybe even bypass the traditional label system. Sounds too good to be […]

TikTok was the second most-downloaded mobile app of 2019

App analytics firm Sensor Tower has published its year-end report on the apps market in 2019. Among its conclusions: TikTok was the second most-downloaded app across Apple and Google’s app stores in 2019, behind only WhatsApp, with nearly 750m downloads over the year. That put TikTok ahead of Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat, with the caveat […]

Music discovery app Lüm adds virtual gifting feature

US startup Lüm launched a music discovery app in July 2019: the latest attempt at a smartphone app to help music fans find new artists to listen to. The company has since closed a $1.4m seed funding round, and says that it has “grown to over 15,000 fans, 22,000 artists and has over 60,000 tracks […]

People spent $115bn using WeChat ‘mini programs’ in 2019

Tencent’s messaging app WeChat is already a huge moneymaker in terms of the way people in China use it to pay for all manner of goods and services. One of the keys to this are the ‘Mini Programs’ launched by developers and brands for WeChat: essentially apps within the app. How much money is being […]

Sandbox Issue 243: The Last 10 Years and The Next 10 Years of Music Marketing

Welcome to the first Sandbox of 2020. Lead: It is now 10 years since we published the very first edition of Sandbox, so to start a new decade we speak to marketers from around the world about the tools and trends that shaped the past decade of music marketing as well as the ones they believe […]

Indian artist Sukhbir Singh invests in music startup Flutin

Music Ally last wrote about Indian startup Flutin in October 2019, when the music-discovery app announced that it had been downloaded more than 9.7m times, and had built an audience of 370,000 daily active users streaming around 3m tracks a day. Now Flutin has announced that it’s teaming up with Indian artist Sukhbir Singh, who is investing […]

Keaton Henson releases album through meditation app Music Zen

The latest artist experimenting with releasing music through meditation apps is Keaton Henson, the British folk-rock musician and composer. His new album ‘Louise’ Piano’ is coming out through Music Zen, the mindfulness app developed by music-apps firm Gismart. It’s the first time an artist has written exclusive music for the app, although the model has been […]

We’ve tested Bytedance’s Resso app: here are our first impressions

Earlier this month, we reported on Resso, the new music-streaming app that TikTok’s parent company Bytedance is testing in India and Indonesia. We asked journalist Amit Gurbaxani, who has written regularly for Music Ally about the music industry in India, to try the app and offer his first impressions. “The most distinct thing about Resso, […]

AI-music startup Popgun launches consumer music-making app Splash

Our recent interview with Stephen Phillips, CEO of AI-music startup Popgun, outlined his belief that an app for teenagers to make AI-powered music might be the ultimate ‘end-game’ for this technology. Now his company has launched… a music-making app for teenagers! Well, any-age people really: the key is that they don’t need prior musical knowledge to […]

After 500m app downloads, Gismart kicks off external investment with Jambl

British music-apps developer Gismart has quietly become one of the bigger firms in the apps world, with more than 500m downloads of its products – which include Beat Maker Go, Piano Crush and DJ It. Now the company is starting to invest in external firms, starting with one of the winning music/tech startups from this summer’s Midemlab contest: Jambl. […]

Famous Media wants to create ‘TikTok with Tinder-style voting’

Take two trends: swipe-voting and short-videos. Mash them up, and what do you get? US startup Famous Media hopes you get a recipe for success. It’s working on an app called Famous for which its high-concept pitch is “TikTok with Tinder-style voting”. Its profile on investment site AngelList explains more. “Famous merges the youthful appeal of Instagram and TikTok […]

Portes aims to connect artists and fans while respecting privacy

Artists connecting with fans and rewarding superfans has been a trend in our industry for years. Doing that while respecting their digital privacy is… a somewhat-newer trend. Something that’s trying to walk this line is Portes, a new platform and app launched by startup OCL. The app is available on iOS, with Android to come. “Use […]

Sandbox Issue 241: Music Merchandising Moves On

A T-shirt or a flimsy tour programme was the bulk of merchandise in the “old days” – mass-produced items to shift quickly when an act was on tour. Fortunately, things have changed dramatically in recent years – with a clear drive to be as environmentally aware as possible. Print-on-demand technology is also allowing acts to […]

Interactive AR music-player wins Abbey Road Red’s 2019 hackathon

17 teams of developers are getting well-earned rests today after taking part in the Abbey Road Red hackathon at London’s famous Abbey Road Studios over the weekend. The focus was ‘The Power of Immersion’ with augmented-reality technology to the fore, courtesy of strategic partner Facebook – with its Spark AR tools. Top prize in the […]

Facebook’s experimental-apps team launches Aux music app

Facebook has launched a dedicated music app! But hold your horses: Aux is the work of the social network’s ‘NPE Team’ division, which was created in July this year to work on experimental new apps. “A way for Facebook to develop new types of experiences for people and to try different ideas by creating small, focused apps in order […]

Jean-Michel Jarre launches EōN – an ‘infinite music app’

Musician Jean-Michel Jarre is launching an “infinite music app” called EōN, which uses an algorithm to turn beats, melodies and chords he recorded into an endless stream of music. The app is being released for Apple’s iOS devices as a paid download: it costs $8.99 and is available now on the App Store, having been unveiled […]

Top apps in Q3 included TikTok, Spotify and YouTube Music

App-analytics firm SensorTower has been releasing some of its data tracking Android and iOS apps globally in the third quarter of 2019. That includes quantifying the top 20 apps by overall downloads, with TikTok in second place – behind only WhatsApp – with 176m new installs in Q3. SensorTower noted that this was 13% growth quarter-on-quarter, although […]

Deezer launches dedicated app for 360 Reality Audio tracks

Deezer is one of the streaming services supporting Sony’s new 360 Reality Audio format. As it turns out, that support won’t just be playing out within Deezer’s existing mobile app. The company has launched a standalone app called 360 by Deezer for Android and iOS devices. It requires a paid subscription to work, and will play what […]

Indian music-discovery app Flutin says it has 370k daily users

We’ve written a lot about the big music-streaming services in India like Gaana and JioSaavn, but this week brought news of an interesting-sounding music-discovery startup there. It’s called Flutin, and its schtick is building algorithmic playlists for users based on their musical preferences, activities, location and other data. The company says its app has been downloaded […]

Zya’s Ditty music app is shutting down this week

Music Ally first wrote about Zya in November 2011: it was a “cloud-based music platform that empowers everyone – regardless of ability or musical preference – to make music in a revolutionary 3D environment”. It went on to make a splash at SXSW 2012 with the added spin of incorporating licensed tracks. In April 2013, the company behind Zya […]

Cardioid app offers context for Spotify’s algo-personalised playlists

In March this year, Music Ally wrote about a new music app called Crush, which aimed to bring together Spotify with artists’ own social-media feeds, to help listeners find out more about the musicians they were listening to – while listening. Seven months on, Crush is relaunching today with a new name, Cardioid, and a revamped iPhone app. […]

Instagram’s Threads is a new ‘camera-first messaging app’

The history of Facebook going into battle against Snapchat using its Instagram subsidiary is well established now: for example the moment when Instagram nabbed Snapchat’s ‘stories’ feature in 2016. Now a new front in the battle has been opened up, with a standalone app launched by Facebook called Threads from Instagram, which rolled out globally yesterday. […]

Facetune-maker Lightricks launches social apps for businesses

Facetune is a popular app among young people who want to digitally tweak their selfies before sharing them with the world. Its developer, a company called Lightricks, is now expanding into apps for businesses wanting to give their own social profiles a boost (albeit not quite in the same way as Facetune). The company has launched […]

RIAA targets Telegram in latest ‘notorious markets’ piracy list

US music-industry body the RIAA has submitted its latest list of sites and apps raising piracy concerns, for consideration for the next ‘notorious markets’ list produced by the US Trade Representative. Some familiar names are included from the stream-ripping and MP3-download areas, but there’s also a new villain in the RIAA’s view: messaging app Telegram. […]

Zen 8 app adds AI music to Instagram and Snapchat stories

As Music Ally has been covering the latest wave of AI-generated music startups, we’ve argued that one of the most interesting uses for this technology is social – a way to create background music for videos and other posts in apps like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat. That’s one reason why the acquisition of AI-music startup Jukedeck by […]

YouTube Music app to be pre-installed on new Android devices

The transition continues from Google Play Music to YouTube Music. Google has announced that the latter app will now be pre-installed on all devices running the latest versions of its Android operating system. That’s Android 9 and Android 10, to be specific. For now, this is likely to to be something of a niche: as a guide, Google’s […]

Maroon 5 team up with Apple for iOS photos-app promotion

Apple’s new iOS software (iOS 13) launched earlier this month, and one of its features suddenly has an interesting music angle. The feature is called ‘Memories’ – it actually launched three years ago, but was updated within iOS 13 – and automatically edits together photos and videos for particular events in someone’s camera roll. Now […]

Ticketing startup Dice expands to Italy, with FKA twigs

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with ticketing startup Dice – in March, when the company launched in the US. Now it’s expanding again, this time to Italy. Dice’s app is now live there, complete with an exclusive deal to sell tickets for FKA Twigs’ next Milan concert in November. Dice also says […]

Sandbox Issue 235: Talking TikTok Triumphs

Lead: TikTok is  an essential consideration for artist marketing in 2019, particularly for pop acts. But for all the strategies and careful coordination, the best things on the app are often those that blindside everyone. We spotlight the best recent uses of music (and surprise catalogue reappearances) on TikTok in recent months and also look […]

X Ambassadors launch video for blind and partially-sighted fans

What does a music video made for blind and partially-sighted people look like? Artist X Ambassadors have worked with Microsoft to find out. The ‘audio-only music video’ is for the band’s track ‘Boom’, and has been released as an application for computers, mobile devices and Microsoft’s mixed-reality HoloLens headset. It uses a spatial-audio technology called ‘Windows […]

Russian startup Fluent launches its adaptive-music app

The idea of adaptive-music apps, where music adapts in real-time to what you’re doing, has been around for a long time – from the heyday of British startup RjDj to 2019’s LifeScore. Now there’s another startup exploring the potential: Moscow-based Fluent, which has launched its “immersive music” app for iPhone. Its pitch: “Spotify plays static files. AI generates bland, soulless […]

Big Ear Games sees more potential for music-learning apps

The intersection of mobile gaming and music education is a category Music Ally has been tracking since 2011, when a Finnish startup called Ovelin started to get attention for a music-learning game called WildChords. It later rebranded as Yousician, and as of summer 2019 has generated more than 100m downloads of its apps. Now history might […]

Spotify and YouTube Music top latest music-apps downloads chart

App-analytics firm SensorTower has been casting its eye over the music world again: publishing its estimates for the most-downloaded music apps globally in July. Its stats come from analysis of Apple and Google’s app stores, although not other third-party Android app stores (notably in China, where those stores are extremely popular). Spotify tops the chart covering overall […]

Just like TikTok, Smule is bigger than you think in India

Yesterday was the second day of the All About Music conference in Mumbai, exploring various facets of the music industry’s development in India. Among the speakers was Jesse Gillette, SVP of business development at Smule, one of the longest-established social-music apps companies. The session yielded some interesting stats on its scale in India. Smule has 40 million users […]

Facebook reportedly working on new Instagram spin-off: Threads

It always sounds like big news when Facebook is ‘secretly’ working on a new standalone app, but experience has taught us that such apps often end up quietly shutting down – perhaps useful for experimental purposes, but not exactly making a dent in the mobile-social landscape. Slingshot, Riff, Rooms, Moments… Anyway, that’s useful context not […]

Feed.fm talks music in fitness apps: ‘It’s about ROI’

Music is proving its value to fitness apps and other health-focused startups, according to Lauren Pufpaf, co-founder and COO of B2B music firm Feed·fm. Health and fitness is a key vertical for her company, which handles licensing and playlist curation through to the APIs / SDKs and analytics required to offer music within such apps. ClassPass, […]

Sandbox Issue 234: The New Era Of Music Videos

Lead: In the 1970s, “pop promos” (as they were called) were the preserve of the mega-star act, but after the launch of MTV in 1981 they became standard practice across the industry. The arrival of YouTube in 2005 may have blown apart MTV’s dominance but the format of music videos did not change much; it […]

Gismart tackles drums and DJing in latest ‘music edutainment’ apps

Gismart is one of the companies exploring the potential of music-creation apps, claiming more than 400m downloads so far for apps like Beat Maker Go, Hello Piano and Guitar Play. Its latest two apps launched this week. Go Drums promises to teach people the rudiments of drumming through a collection of mini-games and educational lessons, while DJ […]

Aussie fans can create videos with Ed Sheeran’s official app

The launch of a smartphone app for fans to create and share their own videos with Ed Sheeran’s music (legally!) forming the soundtrack should be big news. But it seems that the Ed No. 6 app is only available in Australia for now. It’s been launched by Warner Music Australia for Android and iOS smartphones, with […]

Magic Leap adds background-music feature to spark new apps

Augmented-reality startup Magic Leap started shipping its Magic Leap One Creator Edition AR headset in August 2018, and music has been part of it from the start, thanks to the Tónandi music-manipulation app that the company developed with Sigur Rós. Now Magic Leap is keen for other kinds of music experiences to be available for its […]

Above & Beyond release album through meditation app Calm

Calm is becoming quite the place for artists to release their music. The meditation app got an exclusive on Moby’s new album ‘Long Ambients 2’ in March this year, then earlier this month Sigur Rós launched a ‘Liminal Sleep’ playlist within the Calm app, also as an exclusive. Three makes a trend: electronic trio Above & Beyond are […]

Sandbox Issue 233: Shopping Around: Making Online Stores Add Up

Lead: Working with D2C experts is one part of the business, but changes in how social media sites are structuring themselves can offer acts new ways to sell products to fans of all stripes. We look at where social platforms are being best used to sell merchandise, how casual fans (and not just superfans) can […]

Apple denies App Store search results favour its own apps

Apple is under scrutiny once more for the way it runs its App Store – and the sensitive question of whether its own apps and services are prioritised above those of other companies. This time it’s the Wall Street Journal with an investigation into the results of searches on the App Store. “Searches for ‘music,’ ‘audiobooks’ and […]

Music’n’meditation app Wave raises $5.7m for its launch

We’ve been writing about the monster funding rounds and music activities (e.g. an exclusive Moby album) for mindfulness startup Calm recently, while rival Headspace was one of the first companies to partner with Spotify on bundled subscriptions. Now there’s another player in the music+meditation sector: Wave. It has raised just under $5.7m in seed funding to […]

Spotify officially launches its ‘Lite’ app in 36 countries

‘Introducing Spotify Lite’ is the title of the streaming service’s latest announcement, although its new app won’t need much introduction to anyone who’s been following Spotify’s business in the last year. The company began testing its data-saving app in Brazil in July 2018; it launched in Malaysia in April 2019; and then in India in May, still described by […]

South African music-streaming app My Muze reaches 1m downloads

South African telco Vodacom’s My Muze music-streaming app has been downloaded more than 1m times since its launch in April this year. Those downloads have come on Android alone, although the service is available in a web-browser version for Apple devices, according to the Financial Mail. It also reported on how Vodacom has been pricing the […]

Report: TikTok was installed 344m times in first half of 2019

Thanks to Apple’s official response to Spotify’s complaint to the European Commission, we know that around 680,000 of the latter company’s subscribers are paying their monthly fees through the iOS in-app purchases system. But what about the wider apps economy? Analytics firm SensorTower has put out its latest figures on how that’s growing, and which apps are benefitting from […]

Meditation app Calm raises $27m more funding at $1bn valuation

We’ve written about meditation startup Calm several times this year: for example when it raised an $88m funding round in February (an announcement that made us wonder whether Spotify would be doing more with meditation), and when it was the exclusive distribution partner for a new album by artist Moby the following month. Now there’s some more news – […]

Chinese government to ‘curb industry chaos’ with audio apps

The Chinese government has launched a crackdown on audio apps, with one prominent music-streaming service included. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced that 26 audio platforms that spread “historical nihilism and obscene pornography” are the first batch of services it has taken action against. The announcement promises a “comprehensive centralised rectification of the audio industry” that […]

Cameo raises $50m for its celebrity-shoutouts app

Startup Cameo has an app that lets people pay between $5 and $3k to get personalised video messages from celebrities, including Snoop Dogg – also an investor in the company. Now Cameo has raised a $50m funding round to continue building a business that it claims is currently generating around 300k transactions a month, with the company […]

Former This Is My Jam exec launches AI video-editing app Trash

The Guardian’s piece on the launch of a new app called Trash mentions that it’s from the ‘ex-head of Vine’, but Music Ally also remembers Hannah Donovan as the co-founder of music-discovery site This Is My Jam back in the day. Her new venture isn’t specifically about music, but it could certainly be useful for musicians. Trash […]

MelodyVR reveals beta smartphone app and ‘Viewer’ hardware

One of the things holding back music virtual-reality startups so far as been the slower-than-expected growth of VR-headset ownership. Now startup MelodyVR is making moves to tackle that challenge. First: it’s launched a closed beta of its app for Android and iOS devices, with plans for a commercial launch this summer. It’ll offer the company’s […]

Mobile music-video creation app Voisey raises funding round

Voisey is a music-making app that gets people to sing or rap over pre-produced beats, then create one-minute videos (including split-screen duets) to share with friends. Think Smule’s Sing! Karaoke meets TikTok. Voisey soft-launched in Norway in December 2018, then in the UK in January 2019, with plans to debut in the US this summer. The […]

Fortnite publisher Epic Games buys social-video app Houseparty

Having raised a $1.25bn funding round, and with its Fortnite game continuing to be a licence to print money, publisher Epic Games is on the acquisition trail. It recently bought Psyonix, the developer of popular game Rocket League. Now it has diversified into social media. Epic has bought startup Houseparty, whose “face-to-face social network” is […]

Mobile games are 10% of app time but 74% of app spending

More games stats? We got ‘em! Well, analytics firm App Annie has got ‘em, at least. It’s published some new data on the mobile games market, as a sub-sector of mobile apps. “33% of all mobile downloads and 10% of time spent on mobile are now games,” explained the company in its latest blog post. […]

TikTok parent Bytedance launches Feiliao messaging app

TikTok may be taking over the western world (in terms of downloads at least, as we reported last week) but its parent company Bytedance has just launched a new app in China. It’s called Feiliao, although TechCrunch reports the English-language version of the name is ‘Flipchat’. “Here are your familiar chat, audio and video calls. In […]

TikTok was the third most-downloaded app globally in Q1 2019

Social app TikTok may be at a point in its lifetime where big numbers around its growth are counter-productive – at least in one specific context: licensing negotiations with the music industry. The bigger TikTok gets, the keener rightsholders will be to point out how important music has been to its growth, and why any […]

BBC promises to build ‘public-service’ recommendation algorithm

UK public-service broadcaster the BBC is hoping to jog people out of their algorithmic comfort-zones with recommendations in its BBC Sounds app. The broadcaster’s director of radio and education James Purnell announced the plans at the Radio Festival 2019 conference in London. “The BBC rests on three foundations: to entertain, yes, but also to inform and educate. […]

Create Music Group’s new app will manage songwriting splits

Music firm Create Music Group has launched a new app aimed at songwriters. It’s called ‘Splits’ and it aims to help writers nail down the royalty-splits for their work as early as possible in the process. The promise is that it takes just a few taps to create a new agreement, add collaborators with their […]

Dating app Tinder now has a ‘Festival Mode’ for music fans

Dating at festivals has come a long way since the days of drinking seven cans of mind-altering cider then finding a friendly face in the crowd. In 2019, inevitably, the culture of swipe-right dating apps is coming to music festivals too. Specifically, Tinder has added a ‘festival mode’ to its app, to help people hook […]

Audzilla app will blend fans’ concert videos with HD audio

Here’s a startup so new, its website isn’t quite up and running yet. However, Los Angeles-based Audzilla does sound interesting from its just-added profile on investment site AngelList. “Audzilla is a music technology that allows fans to create one of a kind fan generated videos at live events by streaming the high definition audio from the soundboard […]

Childish Gambino gets his own Google-powered multiplayer AR app

“The experience begins with the opening of an AR portal. Walk through it to explore an augmented cave where you can find and interact with hidden glyphs while still being able to see out into the real world…” No, not the introduction to the latest Pokémon Go-style game. It’s Google’s blog post about its latest collaboration […]

$100m-funded Luminary podcasts app to launch on 23 April

Music Ally wrote about Luminary earlier this year: it’s a US-based podcasting startup that emerged from stealth mode brandishing pre-launch funding of $100m, plus plans to launch more than 40 podcasts with hosts like Lena Dunham, Malcolm Gladwell, Trevor Noah and Conan O’Brien. But the company was more than just a podcast production-studio: it had plans […]

Requestify is the latest spin on social, digital jukeboxes

The US in particular has seen several ‘digital jukebox’ startups in the last decade: often focused around people requesting songs from a smartphone app to play in the bar/space where they’re hanging out. Requestify, from Norway, is interesting because it’s doing more than just that. So yes, it’s a “fully app-driven social jukebox designed to […]

Jam Session app hopes to spark social co-listening

Music Ally has seen a few startups try to make ‘co-listening’ a thing in our history, from Turntable and the original incarnation of Soundrop a few years ago to the radio-like Stationhead now. Next to try is a US startup called Jam Session, which is currently in beta. It’ll be an app that “lets you listen […]

Beat The Intro mobile game will push new releases and deep catalogue

A new music-based game has launched that claims it will create “new revenue and promotional opportunities for the music industry”. Beat The Intro says it has licensed “millions of tracks” already and, as its name suggests, tests how well users know music and how quickly they can identify a track. A short song intro is played […]

China to introduce ‘youth mode’ time limits for short-video apps

The challenge of levering children off their favourite app is one being grappled with by parents across the world, whether it’s YouTube, Fortnite, TikTok or Roblox. Now the Chinese government is introducing regulations that will crack down on one particular sector: ‘short-video’ apps including TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin and rival Kuaishou. “From June, all such […]

Report claims mobile app spending will reach $156bn by 2023

Newsflash! People quite like apps, and spend a fair amount of money on them – and that’s probably going to continue for the foreseeable future. And on that bombshell, we return you to your regular music-industry bulletin… No, research firm SensorTower has at least put some numbers on this predicted growth for the apps market. “User spending […]

Report claims Apple Music’s Android app has 40m installs

Apple Music will add 3.8 million new users in the first quarter of 2019… on Android devices. This, at least, is the claim by research firm SensorTower, in its latest report. It also reckons that Apple Music has now been installed 40m times from Android’s Google Play store since its launch in 2015 – and that […]

Sandbox Issue 224: Up Hit Creek. THE DRY STREAMS PARADOX

Lead: The Dry Streams Paradox is when there is a huge gap between the number of streams an act gets and the number of fans they have or can reach. Just because someone plays one of your songs, it does not follow that they even know what your name is. Does this all mean that […]

Tuner app will build on Spotify to offer ‘the new radio’

There’s a little bit of confusion around the name of this new app: its profile on investment site AngelList refers to it as Tuner, while its website refers to it as Brassroots. We’ll surmise that a rebranding is underway, although from what to what we’re still unsure about – it’s also possible that Tuner is the company name and […]

New Moby album is exclusive on… meditation app Calm

Moby has a new album out, and it’s streaming exclusively on one service: but NOT a music-streaming service. Although we rather gave that away in the headline, didn’t we… Yes, ‘Long Ambients 2’ is being made available exclusively through meditation app Calm, with six tracks designed to help people relax and get to sleep. Calm has […]

Stage is the latest startup planning live concerts in VR

Things have gone a little quiet around music and virtual-reality technology in recent months, don’t you think? There are still startups developing the technology with apps and services up and running, but the hype around VR possibly being The Next Big Innovation for live music has certainly died down. Perhaps partly as the interest in […]

Ticketing app Dice launches in the US – in LA and New York

British ticketing app Dice has been expanding in Europe for some time, but now it’s targeting the biggest music market of all: the US. The app is now available in the US with a roster of concerts initially in Los Angeles and New York, including exclusive partnerships with a selection of venues. The launch isn’t […]

Report 421 :: AI on the Prize

Artificial intelligence is a hot ticket in the music industry and is spinning off in a variety of exciting new directions. It is being used to create music but also to power recommendations, to better understand the contexts of listening and to patch the leaks in the hull of metadata. It is, therefore, the Swiss […]

Startup AI Music has launched its first app: Ossia

British startup AI Music has been talking since last year about its plans for ‘shapeshifting’ music – using AI to shift recordings between different genres and moods. Recently, the company released its first demonstration app, showing how music listeners can interact with its technology. The app is called Ossia, and for now it’s available as […]

Dubsmash has relaunched as an app focused on dance challenges

The last time Music Ally wrote about social-music app Dubsmash was in December 2016, when it had just raised a $9.6m funding round in order to fight back against fast-rising rival Musical.ly, which was gaining more traction with a similar app for shooting and sharing lip-sync videos. We know how that story ended: Musical.ly’s user-base continued to […]

Classical streaming app Idagio has passed 1m downloads

Idagio is one of the companies (see also: Primephonic) trying to build a business out of a music-streaming service focused purely on classical music. It has a new milestone to report: more than 1m app downloads globally, with an admittedly-less-useful stat that it now has subscribers in 180 countries. It’s taken four years to reach the […]

Pitchfork calls TikTok ‘the great music meme scam’

Pitchfork spares no punches in its profile of social-video app TikTok, drawing an unflattering comparison between the value of its parent company Bytedance, and the level of royalties being paid to musicians for use of their work. That said, a tale does emerge of viral TikTok videos sparking streams of music on YouTube and other platforms […]

Israel and Wales get new local-focused music-streaming services

Shiri? Isn’t that what you talk to on your iPhone when you’ve had a few-too-many gins? But no: Shiri is actually a new music app launched by the National Library of Israel, with a catalogue of more than 400k tracks by Israeli artists. It’s been launched to promote local musicians, as well as to make […]

India draws up new rules for ‘intermediary’ apps like TikTok

Social apps from overseas, particularly China, have been dominating the upper reaches of app stores in India. Now the government is responding, with new regulations aimed at ‘intermediary’ apps that get their content from users. The Financial Times reported that any such apps with more than five million users in India ‘need to set up […]

Apple clarifies rules for iOS in-app subscriptions

Apple has published some new rules for how in-app subscriptions should be advertised to people using iOS apps. Those rules include clearly explaining the terms of a subscription to new customers, including the billing amount. “In the purchase flow, the amount that will be billed must be the most prominent pricing element in the layout. […]

WaveAI launches its Alysia app as an AI ‘singer-songwriter’

We’ve written about startup WaveAI in recent months, with its plans to launch an AI-music-creation app called Alysia. This week, the app went live on Apple’s App Store for iPhones and iPads. It’s pitched at music fans as well as musicians: they can choose background music in a range of styles and genres, then generate […]

Research firms publish apps and games market data for 2018

If you’re following the mobile apps and gaming markets, a couple of reports published yesterday will make interesting reading. App Annie has put out its annual ‘The State of Mobile’ report, which claims that across Apple’s App Store, Android’s Google Play and third-party Android app stores in China, there were 194bn worldwide downloads in 2018. […]

Sandbox Issue 219: The Tools and Trends That Will Shape 2019

Lead: A new year and a new slate. To kick off the year, we speak to marketers around the business and around the world about what tools they think will be indispensable and what trends they believe will shape 2019. From AR filters and scarcity to algorithmic personalisation of playlists, the continued rise of Latin […]

TikTok culture is wider (and possibly crueller) than its app

Many people in the music industry are trying to get a handle on social-video app TikTok: particularly how young people are using it, and what kind of culture is growing around their shared clips. If you’re one of those people, New York magazine’s exploration of TikTok is well worth a read – especially because it […]

AR-powered ‘David Bowie is’ app launches as $7.99 download

The ‘David Bowie is’ exhibition was a real treat for keen (and even casual) Bowie fans, debuting at the V&A Museum in London in 2013 before touring the world. Last year, plans were revealed to turn the exhibition into an augmented-reality app, and this week it’s been released for Android and for iOS by Sony […]

Manager Jake Udell thinks artist subscriptions WILL work

Monthly subscriptions are doing a pretty good job for the music industry in the context of Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services. The idea of individual artist subscriptions has been tested regularly by startups and crowdfunding platforms, without yet catching on. Something admitted by manager Jake Udell in his latest blog post, which focuses on […]

TikTok ‘Lite’ apps have been installed 12m times already

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify are among the apps that have launched ‘lite’ versions aimed mainly at markets where mobile networks are slower, and/or where mobile data is more expensive. Now social-video app TikTok has quietly followed suit, launching a pair of ‘Lite’ apps (one with a lower-case ‘l’ in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and other […]

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