Google Home smart speakers are now available in India

India is clearly the next battleground for smart speakers. Shortly after Amazon launched its Alexa-powered Echo devices there, Google has followed suit with its Google Home and Google Home Mini. The speakers are being sold for Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499 respectively (around $154 and $69). “Google Home understands Indian accents, and will respond to […]

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 […]

Why don’t streaming services know who wrote The Beatles’ songs?

The latest twist in the controversies around ‘notices of intent’ (NOIs) in the US concerns the most famous band of all-time: The Beatles. The Music Tech Policy blog notes, with clear scorn, that Google, Amazon and Spotify have all filed NOIs for works by The Beatles, including ‘Love Me Do’, ‘With A Little Help From […]

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 […]

Telegram blocks channel after music-piracy complaint

Sorry, at the time of writing Taylor Swift hasn’t put her new album ‘Reputation’ on streaming services as a post-Thanksgiving gift to fans. Today’s Taylor story focuses on another aspect to the album’s rollout: cracking down on piracy. Messaging app Telegram has blocked one of the channels (i.e. messaging groups) on its service after a […]

Vita Bergen use Google Translate for their new tour

From taxis to restaurant menus in foreign climes, Google Translate has often been a useful travel tool for Music Ally. We’ve never thought of performing a song with it though. Leave that to Swedish indie-pop band Vita Bergen, who have teamed up with Google to put its translation tool to musical use. The band will […]

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 […]

Spotify expands its partnership with Google Assistant

After Google’s press event last night, Spotify put out its own related announcement: an expansion of its partnership with Google around the latter’s Google Assistant voice-controlled helper. Owners of a Google Home smart-speaker have been able to control Spotify using voice commands since its launch, but now those commands will work with Google Assistant on […]

Aller à la barre d’outils