Spotify and Apple show narrative ambition with new audio stories

There is more to non-music audio than podcasts, as we’ve been pointing out recently. The latest proof comes from Spotify and Apple, with their latest content experiments. Spotify has released nine new audiobooks on its service. Well, we say ‘new’ – they are all classic, public-domain books – ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Frankenstein’ etc – but brand new recordings […]

Sony unveils its first 360 Reality Audio smart speakers

Sony’s consumer electronics arm has been showing off its new smart speakers, which are its first to use the company’s 360 Reality Audio format. They do stick to some Sony traditions though: numberwangtastic product names: the SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 will be launching in the next couple of months. Both devices will offer a choice of voice […]

Apple News updates show how Apple and Spotify’s audio strategies differ

Spotify’s ‘audio-first’ strategy – as originally outlined here – is about one audio app to rule them all, currently focused on music and podcasts, with an eye to other kinds of content in the future. All delivered through the same app. Apple’s strategy is markedly different: its audio is split between three different apps. Music in Apple […]

Broccoli Content CEO challenges Spotify to sign Equality in Audio pact

We wrote about the Equality in Audio Pact earlier this month. Launched by podcast producer Broccoli Content, it was a list of five pledges that audio production companies could make, including paying interns; hiring LGBTQIA+, black people, people of colour and other minorities for projects that aren’t just related to their identity; releasing race pay gap data; […]

Startup Dirac raises $6m and adds Spotify veteran to board

We’ve covered a number of startups in the ‘audio tech’ sector in recent times: among them Accusonus (which raised $3.3m in November 2019); Sonarworks (which showed off a personalised audio app called SoundID in January); and Tunefork (whose app for people with hearing loss impressed at Midemlab 2019). Now there’s another one for the list: Swedish startup Dirac, which describes […]

Sony 360 Reality Audio will launch with four streaming services

Technology firm Sony has revealed more of the plans for its 360 Reality Audio format, which was announced earlier this year. From late autumn, there will be around 1,000 songs available in the format through four streaming partners: Amazon Music HD, Deezer, Tidal and Nugs·net. All three major labels are working with Sony to provide content, although […]

Calm raises $88m: should meditation be on Spotify’s audio radar?

Spotify said yesterday that podcasts are just the ‘start’ of its ambitions to focus on all forms of audio. What next? We’d suggest that meditation / mindfulness will be high on the company’s radar – and not just because one of its first subscription-bundle partnerships was with meditation app Headspace back in 2016. Investor interest […]

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