Streaming’s latest challenge is ‘fake features’ on tracks

Spotify’s management team must quiver every time they see the word ‘fake’ deployed in a headline, given past controversies around ‘fake artists‘, ‘fake albums‘ and ‘fake streams‘ on the service. But here we are with another one for the list: fake features. OneZero has a story about how “scammers are gaming Spotify by faking collaborations […]

SoundCloud creates artist shortcuts alerting fans to new uploads

SoundCloud has added a new feature to its iOS app that will alert users to new uploads (or reposts) from favourite acts as soon as they open the app itself. The company claims that in early testing of the feature it saw engagement with an act’s music increase by over 25%. In a blog post about […]

Startup Landmrk launches ‘Virtual Tours’ feature for artists

We’ve written about British startup Landmrk regularly over the past couple of years: its platform enables artists (and other kinds of brands too) to create virtual ‘treasure hunts’ that encourage fans to explore the real world to find digital content. Obviously, there are some issues with the ‘explore the real world’ aspect right now, what […]

Stem launches ’Scale’ feature for artist and label advances

Distributor Stem is the latest non-label company to start offering advances to its clients – although in this case, those clients include independent labels as well as individual artists. Its new feature is called ‘Scale’, and it will involve Stem drawing on a $100m pot (supplied via a capital partnership with investment firm CoVenture) to offer […]

Tidal launches personalised video-mix playlists feature

Tidal has launched a new feature called ‘My Video Mix’ which, as you will have guessed from the name, offers a series of video playlists to users. Blending human editors’ recommendations with machine-driven picks based on users’ listening habits, My Video Mix will serve up to eight different playlists grouped by artist and ‘music clusters’. […]

TikTok reaches 1.5bn downloads and tests shopping features

As parent company Bytedance prepares to launch its dedicated music-streaming service, TikTok has reached a new milestone. Well, it has according to research firm SensorTower, anyway. It claims that TikTok has now been downloaded more than 1.5bn times from Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play, including 614m downloads in 2019 alone. “It’s currently the third most […]

Instagram’s in-test ‘Reels’ feature takes aim at TikTok

‘Killer’ is one of the most overused words in the field of tech journalism, when it’s appended to the name of digital services thought to be under threat from a rival or copycat launched by a much-bigger technology company. Was Apple Music a ‘Spotify-killer’? Nope. Was Google+ a ‘Facebook-killer’? Absolutely not. Vine’s killer turned out […]

Twitter launches feature for people to follow ‘topics’

Early next week, there’ll be a new way for Twitter users to keep up with the subjects they’re interested in. It’s a new feature called ‘topics’ which launches on 13 July, and it involves following topics – more than 300 at launch covering entertainment, sports and gaming – rather than just following people/profiles. Following a […]

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 […]

Soundcharts launches new media-monitoring feature for artists

Music-analytics platform Soundcharts has a new feature: ‘Mentions’. It promises ‘global media and web monitoring’ for artists, tracking where they’re mentioned in three categories of media: ‘music media’, ‘verified media’ and ‘unverified sources’. Artists will be able to dig in to the data by country; traffic rankings; and sources like news sites, blogs and discussions. […]

Spotify makes Canvas less blank

The Canvas feature on Spotify (where a short video loops on the mobile app instead of just having the single or album artwork) is opening up to more users via the Spotify for Artists tool. Music Ally first spotted the feature at the start of last year – back when it didn’t even have an official […]

Pandora ramps up personalisation features in its mobile app

It might sound strange to see a streaming service making a big announcement about ‘personalisation and discovery’, given how core (and, some argue, commoditised) these features are in the current music-streaming landscape. Well, perhaps not ‘commoditised’ as such, but every service now has its personalised playlists, its home-screen recommendations and so on. It’s what listeners […]

YouTube Music adds feature to switch between audio and video

YouTube’s latest improvement to its YouTube Music app focuses on the boundary between audio and video. Since launch, people have been able to choose to listen to audio-only versions of songs in YouTube Music, or watch their music videos. What’s new this week is the ability to flick between those two modes while listening/watching. “No […]

Facebook to launch more money-making features for creators

Facebook has announced a range of new ways for ‘creators’ to make money from their activity on the social network. While aimed mainly at YouTubers and other social stars, some of them may well be useful for musicians too. They include the expansion of a feature called ‘stars’ from gaming streams, which are akin to […]

Tidal adds ‘interactive credit pages’ for listeners to explore

The latest streaming service upping its efforts to credit more people who worked on recorded music is Tidal. It has launched a new feature that it’s describing as “interactive credit pages” which it promises will help listeners “explore everyone, from the unheralded background singers and lyricists, to the producers, and mixing engineers’ who are instrumental […]

Facebook and Instagram expand their music features to Brazil

Facebook hasn’t just been rolling out UGC-focused music features across its apps in the last year: it has also been expanding those features regularly to new markets. The latest is Brazil, where Facebook and Instagram users can now share music in their videos and posts, as well as using Facebook’s Lip Sync Live feature. “In […]

Spotify explains how its ‘Fans Also Like’ feature works

Artists’ profile pages on Spotify include a ‘Fans Also Like’ tab, showing a range of artists considered to be similar to them. How does it work? Well, yes, it’s based on who fans of that artist also like, but Spotify has published a blog post outlining its methodology in a little more detail. “The more fans two […]

Spotify tests ‘Storyline’ feature for artists’ stories

There’s a flurry of headlines along the lines of ‘Spotify tests its own version of stories’ today, referring to the ephemeral posts that have become the driving force for apps like Instagram and Snapchat. That’s not quite the case: Spotify *is* testing a new feature called ‘Storyline’, but it’s not about the company’s 217 million […]

You’ll soon be able to build your own Instagram camera effects

There’s something we missed in Facebook’s raft of announcements at its f8 developer conference earlier this week. The company is “opening Instagram to the entire Spark AR creator and developer ecosystem”. What’s that? Spark AR Studio is Facebook’s tool for developers to build augmented-reality content, thus far mainly focused on its Facebook Camera feature. Now, that’s fully […]

Artists will be part of Instagram’s new shopping feature

Instagram wants people to start buying the clothes and accessories that their favourite celebrities (‘influencers’ included) are showing off in their posts. It’s launching a new feature called ‘Shopping from Creators’ next week, with a small group of public figures on Instagram. “Instead of taking a screenshot or asking for product details in comments or […]

Mixcloud adds more creators to its Select subscriptions

In December 2018, streaming service Mixcloud launched a new program called Mixcloud Select, to enable curators and channels on its platform to charge fans monthly subscription fees. Yesterday, the company announced a new group of musicians and curators who are going to be using the feature. They include The Pharcyde, Anja Scheiner, Worldwide FM, Dekmantel, J. […]

SoundCloud adds more ‘handcrafted’ playlists to its service

Good playlist curators are in demand in the modern streaming market. The latest service shouting about its tune-pickers is SoundCloud, which launched a selection of new “handcrafted” playlists yesterday. They include the rap-focused ’Noise and 808s’ and ‘Drippin’; electro playlist ‘Speed Bumps’; ‘DTFunk’ which promises to soundtrack “a freaky first date”; and ‘The Morning Mourning Playlist’ for […]

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