Amazon still leads in smart speakers; but Google is really snapping at its heels

It’s not going to surprise anyone that in the latest totting up of smart speaker shipments Amazon’s Echo is leading the pack. The latest numbers come from Strategy Analytics, looking at the smart speaker market globally in Q2 2018. The headline figures are that Amazon shipped 4.8m speakers in Q2, giving it a 41% market […]

Smart speaker sales, forecasts and market share: Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomePod and more

The music industry is intensely interested in the growth of the market for smart speaker devices: Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomePod and other speakers controlled via voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri respectively. Research firms are also interested in this market, putting out regular estimates of how well these devices are selling […]

New for Spotify: Google Clock deal and Archie motion-comics

Spotify already has a pretty close relationship with Google for integration into its Google Home family of smart speakers. Now the companies are collaborating on one of the most well-used apps on Android devices: its clock app. “Starting today, you’ll be able to wake up to your favourite music on Spotify with the Google Clock […]

Music bodies up efforts ahead of crucial Article 13 vote

It’s now one day until a crucial vote in the European Parliament on the EU’s draft Copyright Directive, and music bodies are leading the charge of creative industries in urging politicians to support the proposed legislation – and specifically its Article 13, which focuses on the obligations of online platforms around copyrighted content being uploaded […]

YouTube Music rolls out: ‘Leading with audio is the key for us’

YouTube Music Premium, the new subscription tier for Google’s video service, is launching fully in 17 countries today, including 12 additional markets to the five that were announced in May. The UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Canada, Norway, Ireland, Finland, Norway and Sweden are among the countries joining the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico […]

Deutsche Grammophon and Google to digitise archive tracks

Happy 120th birthday, classical-music label Deutsche Grammophon. The celebrations will include an interesting partnership with Google Arts & Culture to digitise a stash of rediscovered and previously-unreleased tracks from the label’s archives. The recordings were made from the early 1900s, and include “a reading from one of his novels by iconic Russian author Leo Tolstoy, […]

Report claims Google beat Amazon for Q1 smart-speaker shipments

In well-established hardware markets like smartphones, the main research firms tend to agree – more or less – on the main market-share figures. For smart speakers, it seems there is more room for disagreement, aided by the fact that the main players aren’t publishing many figures themselves. For example, check out research firm Canalys’ latest […]

Google and OK Go launch ‘sandbox’ for use in classrooms

US band OK Go’s latest brand partnership is with Google, and it has an educational focus. The pair have launched something called the OK Go Sandbox, which they describe as “a collection of materials created for and with K-12 educators: design challenges, educator guides, and more”. K-12 meaning primary and secondary education: so the full […]

Google publishes latest report on how it tackles ‘bad ads’

Among the areas of historical tension between music rightsholders and Google has been the use of its advertising network on piracy sites. Although in this case, Google has been pretty responsive, regularly providing updates on how it’s cracking down on ‘bad ads’ and advertisers across that network – something that’s not just about piracy. The […]

Google shows off NSynth Super neural synthesizer instrument

Last year, we wrote about a Google research project called Magenta, which is exploring the intersection of machine-learning / AI and creativity, music included. Among its releases was a ‘neural synthesizer’ called NSynth, which used AI technology to “learn the characteristics of sounds, and then create a completely new sound based on these characteristics”. Now […]

Google’s latest search feature is official posts from musicians

The question of what appears in Google search results when people look for their favourite music artists has sparked controversy in the past: rightsholders regularly attacked Google for returning links to illegal downloads. They’ll be happier about Google’s latest search feature, which has been announced tonight. It’s called ‘search posts’, and will offer social network-style […]

Mobile World Congress kicks off with Android Go and Galaxy S9

The mobile-phone industry has swooped in to Barcelona for the annual Mobile World Congress event this week. Expect all manner of new smartphones to be announced, as well as related technologies. The news got underway this weekend with a pair of Android handsets at opposite ends of the smartphone spectrum. The Alcatel 1X is a […]

Lyor Cohen: ‘The music industry will recognise us as a huge value contributor’

Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of music, has told Music Ally that 2018 will be “the year of music for YouTube and Google” and suggested the animosity between the video platform and the music industry will soon be a thing of the past. “It’s too easy of a soundbite – ‘value gap’,” he said. “I […]

Analyst claims YouTube is ‘probably’ a $15bn business

How much money does YouTube make from advertising? Parent company Alphabet has never announced that, leaving analysts to make their best guesses. In 2013, eMarketer claimed that the site was generating $5.6bn in annual revenues, for example, while in 2015 UBS suggested that had grown to $8.5bn. A recent claim from Nomura that an advertising […]

Google tickets: FanFair Alliance sees ‘room for improvement’

Yesterday, we reported on Google implementing its new policy for secondary ticketing ads on its search engine. Now UK lobbying group FanFair Alliance has issued its response, which welcomes the changes while urging Google to go further. “FanFair unequivocally welcomes the updates to Google’s ad policies. As a result of these changes, we are already […]

Google ‘tightens standards’ on secondary-ticketing search ads

Google has implemented a new policy on secondary-ticketing websites, which will now have to ‘radically increase their transparency’ to be certified to book advertising on its platform. To be certified, secondary sites will have to not ‘imply’ that they are a primary marketplace; prominently disclose their status as a ticket reseller / secondary marketplace; prominently […]

NPR / Edison: One in six Americans now own a smart speaker

January has already seen a flurry of new research into smart speakers, timed to coincide with the CES show in Las Vegas. The latest example comes from NPR and Edison Research, who surveyed 1,816 Americans in November and December. 16% said that they own a smart speaker, which scales up to around 39 million people […]

Spotify and Deezer lobby EC (again) over big-tech gatekeepers

Spotify and Deezer’s CEOs have both signed a letter to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker calling for the EC to ensure they get a “level playing field” on platforms owned by large US technology companies including Apple and Amazon. The pair – along with a group of European games companies – are calling for “clear […]

Google tightens rules on ticket-reseller advertising

Google is updating its rules on how ticket-resellers can advertise on its search engine, with the changes due to take effect in January 2018. Secondary ticketing services globally will have to be certified with Google before they can advertise using its AdWords platform. “To be certified, resellers can’t imply that they are the primary or […]

Controversy sparked by plans to row back US net neutrality

There are some lobbying rows that pit the creative and technology industries against one another: the US Stop Online Piracy Act in 2012, for example, or the current debates in the US and Europe over safe harbour. But in other cases, the two industries stand together. Net neutrality – the principle that all traffic on […]

Google Assistant gets its own Shazam-style music ID feature

Google really does mean business in 2017 when it comes to parking its tanks on Shazam’s lawn. The company’s recently-unveiled Pixel 2 smartphones include a feature to automatically identify music that’s playing around their owner. Now the company’s voice-assistant Google Assistant can perform a similar trick, simply by being asked ‘What song is this?’ or […]

Apple and Google app stores reached new heights in Q3 2017

The latest report from research firm App Annie claims that combined app downloads on iOS’ App Store and Android’s Google Play were nearly 26bn in the third quarter of this year. That’s up 8% year-on-year, and as App Annie points out, the figure relates to new app installs, not reinstalls or app updates. The post […]

Aller à la barre d’outils