Spotify confirms that it has poached Apple Music’s Carl Chery

Spotify has confirmed reports earlier this week about it poaching Apple Music’s hip-hop and R&B curator Carl Chery. He’s joining Spotify as its new head of urban music, slotting neatly into the position previously filled by RapCaviar creator Tuma Basa. Spotify said that Chery will be based out of Los Angeles and ‘working closely with […]

Blockchain startup Soundpruf to pay artists AND fans for Spotify streams using cryptocurrency

We’ve heard about some intriguing music-focused blockchain startups in our time, but Soundpruf is taking a new spin entirely on the intersection between cryptocurrencies and music. “Soundpruf will offer a web/mobile software application, built on blockchain technology, that aggregates every user’s music listening portfolio and pays both artists and listeners in cryptocurrency for every streaming session (via […]

Spotify buys Loudr in latest publishing-royalties effort

Spotify’s latest acquisition is its latest move to tackle the problems it has faced identifying, tracking and paying royalties to music publishers and songwriters. The company has snapped up Loudr, which does exactly that, for an undisclosed amount. “Loudr will continue to provide select services to its publishing and aggregator partners, while contributing to Spotify’s continued […]

Spotify gets exclusive videos from Taylor Swift and The Weeknd

We reported last Thursday on Apple Music adding a dedicated music-videos category. Just after we clocked off for Easter, Spotify launched its own salvo in what’s shaping up as a new battle for ‘exclusives’ between the two companies (not to mention YouTube and Vevo). Taylor Swift debuted a new vertical-orientation video for her track ‘Delicate’ […]

Report claims Apple’s music app has 49.5m users in the US

Research firm Verto Analytics has put out some new numbers comparing Apple Music and Spotify in the US, but it’s important to understand exactly what it’s measuring. And what it isn’t. “This month’s Verto Index looks at the top streaming music properties, from Apple Music to TuneIn Radio, among U.S. adults (ages 18 and above)” […]

Spotify and Genius team up for Déjà Vu music podcast

Spotify’s latest podcasts move is a partnership with lyrics-focused firm Genius. The companies have collaborated on a podcast called Déjà Vu, which launched yesterday. It’s a panel-based podcast discussing “the ways that modern hitmakers connect to the iconic musicians from the past who paved the way”, focusing on a different current star each episode. “Does […]

Spotify launches Black History is Happening Now initiative

Janelle Monae is the first curator for a new Spotify initiative called Black History is Happening Now. She’ll get her own ‘hub’ within the music-streaming service to highlight her favourite established and emerging artists of colour, as well as a documentary film about the Afrofuturism movement. There’s more to this initiative though: Spotify is also […]

Spotlister founders deny it was a pay-to-playlist service

The founders of startup Spotlister have denied that it was designed as a way for artists and labels to pay for inclusion on Spotify playlists. The company shut down earlier this month after having its Spotify API key revoked, with an article on tech site Daily Dot referencing the site in the context of ‘playola’. […]

Spotify ‘super trials’ boost its quarterly subscriber gains

It’s hardly a shock to suggest that Spotify’s $1-for-three-months premium trials increase its subscribers. But Midia Research has calculated how much this boost is worth. “On average, Spotify’s global subscriber base grew by a net total of 2.8 million each quarter between Q4 2015 and Q4 2017 in the quarters that these ‘super trials’ were […]

Spotify says 2m listeners were ‘suppressing’ ads without paying

We already knew that Spotify had some ‘fake’ premium subscribers: people getting access to its premium tier without paying, through modified smartphone apps. Now we know how many: or rather, we know how many Spotify claims were doing this. “On March 21, 2018, we detected instances of approximately two million users as of December 31, […]

Spotify expects to have up to 96m subscribers by Christmas

Spotify has published some guidance on its financial outlook for 2018, including predicting that it will have 92-96 million premium subscribers by the end of the year. That would represent annual growth of between 30% and 36% from the 71 million subscribers that Spotify ended 2017 with. The new guidance also suggests that Spotify is […]

Spotify gets a new in-car integration with Cadillac

I love you for your pink Cadillac, crushed velvet seats, riding in the back, streaming Discover Weekly down the street… Spotify’s latest partnership will put its service onto the dashboards of Cadillacs (not just pink ones) through their ‘infotainment’ systems. Spotify and Cadillac have designed the app with a car-friendly interface, as well as prioritising […]

Spotify and Deezer reveal latest artist partnerships

Spotify and Deezer have announced their latest artist-focused partnerships. For Spotify, that’s an initiative called ‘Louder Together’ which is an extension of its Spotify Singles program. The new thing isn’t just about getting artists in the studio to record covers, but rather about organising collaborations between different artists on original songs. Artists Sasha Sloan, Nina […]

Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music attract US young adults

Research firm Morning Consult has published the results of its latest survey, of 2,201 American adults, focusing on the music-streaming market. It found that 30% said they have a Pandora “subscription”, while 21% have Spotify and 15% Apple Music. We’ve put subscription in quote marks because, unhelpfully, Morning Consult is talking about free users as […]

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 […]

10 key talking points from the Spotify investor day

Spotify held its ‘investor day’ event earlier this evening, revealing that it will go public on 3 April in the process. You can read our liveblog of the event here. But what did we learn from the nearly-three-hour series of presentations from Spotify’s management? Here are some takeaways to chew on. The post 10 key […]

Spotify investor day liveblog: Daniel Ek and team make their pitch

Spotify is going public next month, and today is the company’s ‘investor day’ where its key executives outline its pitch to potential shareholders ahead of the listing. Unusually, Spotify is streaming the event live to anyone who wants to watch. The event is expected to last two hours, starting at 1pm Eastern-time. Music Ally is […]

Classical streaming service Grammofy returns – using Spotify

Grammofy was a classical music-focused subscription-streaming service that launched in May 2016 in the UK and Germany, but then shut down in November 2017. At the time, the company said that despite “continued growth and vigorous efforts” it hadn’t been able to “build the necessary mid-term financial solidity to fund the man-hours needed to continue […]

Spotify supports Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds’ new publishing firm

Artist, songwriter and producer Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds is launching a new publishing company called Good Vibes Music Group. One of the most interesting things about it is the publisher’s relationship with Spotify. Good Vibes is hunting for emerging songwriters by holding ‘Discovery Song Camps’ in LA, Atlanta, Nashville and London in the coming months, with […]

Spotify launches its self-serve Ad Studio in the UK and Canada

Six months on from its public-beta launch in the US, Spotify’s Ad Studio is expanding to the UK and Canada. The self-serve advertising platform lowers the minimum price of an audio-ad campaign on Spotify, opening it up to smaller businesses – music companies included. Spotify says that 1,025 advertisers have created 4,736 campaigns using Ad […]

Humble Angel boss wants self-serve artist ads on Spotify

As the founder of Playlists.net and subsequently a playlists/streaming-focused executive at Warner Music, Kieron Donoghue knows a thing or two about the streaming ecosystem. Now running indie label Humble Angel Records, he’s published a blog post calling for Spotify to offer better and more-affordable self-serve advertising options for artists on its platform. Donoghue compares Spotify […]

Spotify is testing playlists that are auto-mixed – even when on shuffle

Here’s something to try on Spotify, if you have a few minutes. Using its desktop client, turn off the ‘crossfade’ feature in advanced settings, turn shuffle mode on, and play the first track on this Drum & Bass Fix playlist, and see what happens with the transition to the next track. For us, at least, […]

Spotify and Smirnoff launch ‘unconscious gender bias’ campaign

Like us, you’ve probably been wondering when a prominent vodka brand would weigh in to 2018’s music-industry debates around diversity and inclusion. Congrats if you had ‘early March’ in the sweepstake: Smirnoff has teamed up with Spotify on a marketing campaign called the Smirnoff Equaliser. It’s based on the fact that the top 10 tracks […]

New study explores impact of user-centric music-streaming payouts

‘User-centric’ streaming payouts refers to a proposed system where the royalties generated by someone’s subscription would be divided only between the artists that they listen to, rather than going into a central pool divided by market-share on the platform as a whole. ‘If you only listen to Ed Sheeran, your money only goes to Ed […]

How would user-centric payouts affect the music-streaming world?

‘User-centric’ licensing is where the royalties from a streaming subscription only go to the artists who that subscriber listens to, rather than into a bigger pool split by overall share of all the streams on the platform. There have been calls for streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music to switch to user-centric systems, partly […]

Spotify files for its DPO: so what do you need to know?

“Feels great to have the cat out of the bag. Transparency breeds trust,” tweeted Spotify CEO Daniel Ek last night. The cat in this instance being Spotify’s long-awaited filing for its direct public offering (DPO), which was published last night. The document offers the most detailed insight yet into Spotify’s current business and future prospects. […]

Brit Awards: Stormzy and Dua Lipa triumph as host shades Spotify

Apple Music and YouTube may have been the key digital and sponsorship partners for last night’s Brit Awards, but it was Spotify that got an (admittedly-unwanted) shout-out from the event’s host, comedian Jack Whitehall. Speaking about two-gong winner Dua Lipa: “If she had a pound for every time someone listened to her on Spotify, they […]

Spotify is ‘on its way’ to creating its first hardware according to job ad

As we suggested last time the ‘Spotify making hardware’ speculation bubbled up, it would be surprising if the company *wasn’t* mulling physical products, given its current reliance on devices from Apple, Google and Amazon as its route to market. So, the latest evidence of Spotify’s ambitions – again, from a recruitment ad on its website […]

Spotify tests on-demand access to some playlists for free users

“Does Anyone’s Spotify Look Like This?” wrote a plaintive poster on Spotify’s Android support forums a couple of weeks ago, with screenshots showing what appears to be a stripped-down, spacier user interface for the streaming service’s mobile app. This being the internet, the comments on the short thread include “I really do not like it. […]

Expansion on the agenda for YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify

Three separate stories this morning come together into a strand illustrating 2018’s status as a continued landgrab for new music-streaming subscribers. YouTube is finally readying a global push for its YouTube Red tier; Apple Music is launching its student membership plan much more widely across the world; and Spotify is offering lovebirds a Valentine’s-themed two-month […]

Nelson lets people play with Spotify recommendation engine

Nelson: not just the chap whose statue stands on a column in Trafalgar Square seething at pigeons. Nelson is also the name of a “friendly in-browser Spotify jukebox” that’s gone live this week. Using Spotify’s recommendations API and web playback SDK, it’s a nifty way to play with Spotify’s recommendations engine. After logging in with […]

Spotify adds songwriting and production credits to its desktop app

Spotify is adding credits for songwriters and producers to songs on its service, although for now they’ll only appear within its desktop app. From today, listeners can right-click on a track and choose a ‘Show Credits’ option to see the credited performers, songwriters and producers in a pop-up window. The post Spotify adds songwriting and […]

Sony Music launches dance label with Tencent Music

Fresh from its stock-swap with Spotify, Tencent Music has another interesting partnership with a western firm: Sony Music. The pair have teamed up to launch Liquid State, a label that will focus on dance music from Asian artists, as well as live events. “Liquid State has been created to support and enhance the discovery and development […]

Joe Elliott of Def Leppard talks streaming, Hysteria and label rows

When you have sold over 100m albums and shift more tickets today than you did in your supposed peak in the 1980s, you are “not exactly hurting” for money and can therefore afford to take your time when considering the leap into new, digital revenue streams. This, according to Def Leppard’s lead singer Joe Elliott, […]

CMO Seth Farbman on Spotify: ‘It’s maybe more like a republic than a democracy’

Seth Farbman used to be chief marketing officer at clothing retailer The Gap. Now he’s marketing a music-streaming service, as CMO of Spotify. Farbman joined Music Biz and Music Ally’s NY:LON Connect conference in New York this morning for a fireside chat on how he sees the world. The moderator was Music Ally’s head of […]

Spotify debuts ‘Spotlight’ format for podcasts, audiobooks and news

Spotify’s latest announcement focuses less on music, and more on the other kinds of audio content available on the streaming service: podcasts, audiobooks and news. The company is launching a new ‘multimedia format’ called Spotlight, which will show photos, video and text as people listen to spoken-word content. The post Spotify debuts ‘Spotlight’ format for […]

Spotify tells label story with Warp Records ‘history lesson’

To the list of ‘surprising things we’ve seen on Facebook in 2018’ we can now add ‘Nightmares on Wax talking about the early days of Warp Records’. Not that this is surprising in itself, but the source of the video is interesting: Spotify. The streaming service has created the minute-long promo featuring musician George Evelyn […]

David Lowery publishes 2018 ‘streaming price bible’

Musician David Lowery has published the latest data on payouts from a range of streaming services, sourced from “a mid-sized indie label with an approximately 200+ album catalog now generating over 200m+ streams annually”. It’s a very interesting snapshot as ever: both of average per-stream payouts and of the market shares of the various services. […]

Huffington Post pulls artist’s report of Spotify meeting

An article by musician Blake Morgan about an artists meeting held by Spotify has been ‘unpublished’ by Huffington Post, in a move that’s already giving the piece a wider airing on other sites. “If anyone were to dispute your account of the meeting in question, we wouldn’t be able to verify or stand behind the […]

Spotify tests new feature using video loops as song artwork

Spotify is testing a new feature that replaces static artwork for songs on its service with GIF-like looping videos uploaded by their artists or labels. In place of the full-screen artwork (accessed by tapping the now-playing bar at the bottom of the screen) there was a looping video featuring cats, prawns and the band’s singer. […]

Reports claim Spotify has already filed to go public

Spotify may go public in the first quarter of this year, according to several reports citing the company’s confidential filing of documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in December. “All indications are that Spotify wants to list in Q1, and timing of the confidential F-1 filing would support such a calendar,” claimed Axios. […]

Publisher Wixen hits Spotify with a $1.6bn lawsuit

If Spotify was hoping 2018 would see its publishing woes die down… well, Wixen Music Publishing has put those hopes to rest. The publisher has filed a lawsuit seeking damages of at least $1.6bn for Spotify’s use of songs written by Tom Petty, Rage Against The Machine, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks and other artists/songwriters. The […]

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 […]

Sandbox 193: Playlisten without prejudice

Lead: Labels and artists spent 2017 getting their heads around how playlists have created a new centre of gravity for the record business. The old ways of promoting a record (discounting at retail, plugging at radio, pitching to the specialist music press) have all gone and now playlists are the conundrum everyone wants – and […]

Spotify talks playlists, skip rates and NF’s Nordic-fuelled success

“I would once and for all like to kill the myth that it’s just about something called skip rate.” Spotify’s Nordic head of shows and editorial Daniel Breitholtz was keen to make something clear in his speech at the Slush Music conference in Helsinki today: the streaming service’s editors aren’t ruled by skip rates when […]

BTS included: Spotify hails its 6.6bn K-Pop streams since 2015

Spotify users have streamed 6.6bn songs from K-Pop artists since the company launched its K-Pop hub in 2015, racking up more than 14.4bn minutes of listening. That’s according to a blog post published by Spotify yesterday hailing the growth of streams for South Korean pop artists on its service since its hub went live in […]

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile launch ‘mixtape exchange’

We’re big fans of the recent album by Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, and we’re also impressed by the inventive Spotify-fuelled marketing campaign around it. So is Spotify: the streaming service has featured the campaign as a case study on its Spotify for Artists blog. The post Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile launch ‘mixtape exchange’ […]

Epidemic Sound gives its side of the Spotify ‘fake artists’ controversy

“We were on our summer break, because we’re Swedes and nobody works for two months in July and August. But that’s when the whole fake-artists thing hit, so we were surprised, but mostly offended. Granted, we hadn’t been telling the story that much, but there was nothing fake about this…” The summer of 2017 is […]

Spotify will make London its latest R&D hub

You’ve likely heard about Spotify’s swanky new US headquarters in New York, but the company is also doubling down on its presence in London. Spotify said yesterday that it will be making that office its latest ‘R&D hub’ to set it alongside the company’s Stockholm, Gothenburg, New York, San Francisco and Boston offices. The post […]

Spotify correcting data glitch that saw label playlists’ follower counts fall

A technical error has led to a sharp drop in the follower counts for a number of Spotify playlists, but the streaming service says it is working to correct the problem. Several labels have contacted Music Ally this week saying that follower counts on some of their playlists had dropped suddenly, in some cases by […]

Domino turns Franz Ferdinand Spotify pre-save into a fan club

The ability for fans to ‘pre-save’ an album on Spotify has become an increasingly-common marketing tactic since Kobalt pioneered the idea last year with Laura Marling. Now independent label Domino Records is trying something a bit different with the idea: its pre-save campaign for Franz Ferdinand’s new album is structured as a “fan club”. “Subscribe […]

Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud launch European lobbying coalition

Music-streaming services Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud are among the founder members of a new coalition that plans to represent the European digital music industry in Brussels. Streaming service Qobuz, B2B firm 7digital and music-analytics startup Soundcharts are the other three founding members of Digital Music Europe. Its president will be Deezer CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht, while […]

Spotify data shows ‘listening diversity’ is up 40%

Spotify says it’s experiencing “an explosion in listening diversity” on its service, by which it means the number of artists the average listener streams in a week. “Since 2014, the average number of artists each listener streams per week has increased 37 percent, from just under 30 to about 41 artists per week so far […]

Ducktails albums pulled from several streaming services

Several albums by Ducktails – the project for American independent musician Matt Mondanile, formerly of Real Estate – have been pulled from streaming services. Pitchfork claimed that distributor The Orchard was responsible for the takedowns on Spotify and Tidal, with three albums – two released through Domino and one through his own label – affected. […]

Lessons from Kobalt’s Laura Marling pre-save campaign

At our recent Sandbox Summit conference, Kobalt Music Recordings’ David Emery outlined three lessons learned from running a Spotify pre-save campaign for Laura Marling. Now he’s turned the talk into a blog post, which makes good reading for any music marketer. We reported on his thoughts about getting away from your desk and inbox to […]

Apple HomePod keeps Siri voice commands for Apple Music

Business Insider has chosen its words carefully in an article about Apple’s new smart speaker: ‘Spotify won’t work with Siri on Apple’s HomePod’. It’s sparked by a message published by Apple for app developers about the SiriKit tools for HomePod: “With the intelligence of Siri, users control HomePod through natural voice interaction. And with SiriKit, […]

Why the Release Radar playlist is Spotify’s secret weapon

How to get songs onto popular Spotify playlists like New Music Friday and RapCaviar is a hot topic for labels in 2017. But it seems that they’re all being outperformed in terms of streams by a playlist that can’t be pitched to: the algorithmic Release Radar. That’s according to Bryan Johnson, director of artists and […]

With 16m music subscribers Amazon is no longer a dark horse

We’ll stress upfront that this isn’t an official announcement from Amazon: the company hasn’t abandoned its policy of keeping its key music stats to itself. Instead, this is an estimate from Midia Research, claiming that with 16 million subscribers across Prime Music and Music Unlimited, Amazon is now the third biggest music-subscription service in the […]

Spotify investor claims Spotify could be worth $100bn one day

Shock news! An investment firm thinks that one of the companies that it has a stake in will see its valuation increase fivefold in the coming years! GP Bullhound’s claim that Spotify’s valuation will shoot up from $20bn when it goes public to $100bn in the future should probably be filed alongside recent claims by […]

CD Baby joins the pre-saves party on Spotify

In December 2016, Kobalt launched a campaign for Laura Marling that enabled fans to ‘pre-save’ her next album, automatically adding it (and its advance tracks) to their Spotify playlists as soon as they were available. Since then, other labels and distributors have developed similar tools, capitalising on a feature in Spotify’s API that hadn’t previously […]

Spotify launches ‘Rise’ programme for emerging artists

A few years ago, Spotify had an initiative called ‘Spotlight’ which picked out its new acts to watch, promoting them in its local markets. Hozier, Tove Lo and Jack Garratt were among the beneficiaries. But Spotlight didn’t happen at the start of 2017: we were told at the time that the plan was to replace […]

Spotify launches new playlist-pitching system for labels

Spotify has moved to formalise the process by which major and independent labels pitch for slots in the Browse section of its service, with a quota-based system applying to global and local playlists. The move comes after longtime discussion within the industry about the extent to which Spotify promotes its own in-house curated playlists over […]

Sources claim Spotify is on course for a $4bn year – but losses also grow

Sources claim Spotify is on course for a $4bn year – but losses also grow The post Sources claim Spotify is on course for a $4bn year – but losses also grow appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Spotify launches iOS app for musicians

Spotify has launched a new mobile app, but this one has a very specific group of users in mind: musicians. The Spotify for Artists app goes live today for iOS, with the music-streaming service promising that an Android version will follow “really soon”. The company is describing it as “a one-stop shop to track your […]

What more could Spotify and Apple Music do for music marketers?

Streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and their rivals have been working hard on back-end features for labels, managers and artists. But could they be doing more? The closing panel at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit conference in London today invited the audience of music marketers to suggest a wishlist of new features. The session was […]

‘Spotify Teardown’ book sparking controversy before release

A team funded by the Swedish Research Council are writing a book about Spotify’s history, but ‘Spotify Teardown: Inside the Black Box of Streaming Music’ is already creating controversy in the service’s homeland. The book is due to come out next year, the tenth anniversary of Spotify’s commercial launch. The controversy is less about the […]

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 […]

Spotify mechanical-licensing woes mount with new legal filings

Spotify’s mechanical-licensing problems in the US aren’t easing. In fact, they’re escalating. Hundreds of artists and songwriters have put their names to a legal objection to Spotify’s proposed $43m settlement over mechanicals. The signatories include Tom Petty, Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine, Rivers Cuomo from Weezer, Kenny Rogers, […]

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