‘Battle royale’ game Fortnite is generating $100m a month

We first wrote about Fortnite: Battle Royale last month, when Drake popped up on Twitch playing the game against a popular streamer. But the rise of Fortnite is well worth following for its own merits: a gaming brand that’s come from nowhere to generate more than $100m a month from in-game purchases, and become a […]

Research claims 3% of YouTube channels get 90% of views

Views are no longer the most important currency on YouTube: it’s been watch-time for a while now – as shown by the fact that the platform’s new minimum requirements for ‘partner’ status include 4,000 hours of watch-time in the last year, rather than a certain number of views. So, a new study of YouTube based […]

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 […]

Mobile games developer Supercell made $2.03bn in 2017

Finnish mobile games firm Supercell has published its financial results for 2017, revealing that it made $2.03bn of revenues, and a profit of $810m. The twist: the company did that without even releasing a new game that year. Supercell only has four games available: Hay Day and Clash of Clans were originally released in 2012, […]

Music/tech people share book tips and advice for younger selves

A pair of interesting articles on blogging platform Medium may provide some industry inspiration today. First, there’s Idagio product director Bas Grasmayer’s piece asking “what people in music tech would tell their 18 year-old selves”. From former Geffen CTO Jim Griffin (“Get 8+ hours of regular sleep a night. Doing it right is like the […]

YouTube explains how it’ll punish ‘egregious’ creators

Vlogger Logan Paul wins this month’s award for being the least self-aware social-media influencer on the planet. Shortly after sparking outrage with a video shot in a Japanese forest infamous for attracting suicide attempts, Paul had attempted to make amends with a suicide-awareness video and numerous apologies. Only to then return to his vlogging by… […]

eMarketer claims Facebook is losing more younger users

‘Young people are ditching Facebook’ is a tech-industry trope that’s been running for at least five years now, without yet having an obvious impact on the social network’s growth or revenues. However, eMarketer’s latest report at least has data to back up its claim: “This year, for the first time, less than half of US […]

YouTube to expand gaming ‘sponsorships’ to other channels

YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki has outlined her ‘five priorities for creators in 2018’ in a blog post, which includes a promise to prioritise transparency and communication for YouTube’s community of video-makers. She also said that YouTube will expand its monthly ‘sponsorship’ model (under which fans can sponsor their favourite YouTube gamers for a monthly fee) […]

Deloitte makes tech, media and telecoms predictions for 2018

What does the year ahead hold for technology, media and telecoms? Consultancy firm Deloitte has published its annual ‘TMT’ trends report with plenty of topics to chew on. Here’s a grab-bag of some of its most interesting predictions: More than one billion smartphone users will create augmented-reality content at least once in 2018, with 300 […]

Transsion enjoys smartphone success in India and Africa

Anyone thinking about music in emerging markets may already be following the story of Chinese tech firm Transsion Holdings, which has several mobile-phone brands as subsidiaries including Tecno, Itel, Infinix and (via a 2017 takeover) Spice. The South China Morning Post has the latest profile of the company’s success in India and Africa, claiming that […]

Hulu now has 17m subscribers after adding 5m since 2016

Video-streaming service Hulu has announced its latest milestone: 17 million subscribers. That’s up from 12 million in May 2016, which means the service has averaged just 263,000 net new subscribers a month over that period. Compare that to Netflix, which has been adding around five million subscribers a quarter in recent times, albeit with a […]

Data suggests Snapchat is still mainly a messaging app

We know from Snapchat’s last quarterly financial results that the social app had 178 million daily active users, but the company hasn’t broken down what those people are doing within its app. The Daily Beast has now got its hands on some internal metrics that show how popular – or unpopular – individual sections of […]

Report: Apple’s ARKit has been used by 825 apps so far

App analytics firm Apptopia claims that 825 iOS apps released in 2017 used Apple’s ARKit augmented-reality framework. That included around 300 when the technology went live in Apple’s iOS 11 software in September, plus another 525 over the final three months of 2017. The post Report: Apple’s ARKit has been used by 825 apps so […]

Some big YouTubers may be seeing a decline in views

Business Insider has been mining some stats for some of the most well-known YouTubers, and has identified a decline in their monthly views during 2017. PewDiePie, Zoella and DanTDM all saw their monthly views fall in the last year, as well as the number of new subscribers to their channels every month. The piece notes […]

Apple tipped to merge Mac and iOS apps starting in 2018

Bloomberg has an interesting piece about Apple’s potential plans to bring its iOS and MacOS app ecosystems together. “Starting as early as next year, software developers will be able to design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it’s running on the iPhone and iPad operating system […]

Apple changes its guidelines on template-based iOS apps

We reported earlier this month on new Apple guidelines that seemed to squash iOS apps created using template-based tools – for example, the various platforms that help musicians create and release their own mobile apps. After protests, Apple has changed the guidelines, which should mean these platforms can continue operating. The rules did say that […]

Pioneer Jaron Lanier on the difference between VR and AR

While we’re on the subject of different kinds of reality, Jaron Lanier is a useful man to listen to, having been one of the original pioneers of virtual reality technology. Wired has been talking to him about the difference between VR and ‘mixed reality’ (MR), and his thoughts may prove handy for any music companies […]

EA forced into last-minute changes by ‘loot box’ controversy

We write and think a lot about how music companies and artists could be interacting with their keenest ‘superfans’, including the fine line between offering them more ways to support an artist without seeming to be ‘milking’ them of their money. Other industries are thinking about this too, of course, and not always getting it […]

Twitter rolls out 280-character limit more widely

Given everything else that’s going on in the world, you’d hope people won’t get too carried away getting angry about Twitter doubling the character limit in its posts. Having tested a new 280-character limit earlier this year, the feature has now rolled out to everyone bar Japanese, Korean and Chinese users, for whom Twitter says […]

Snap stock drops after disappointing quarterly results for Snapchat

Are the wheels well and truly coming off the Snapchat bandwagon? Parent company Snap, Inc published its latest quarterly financial results last night, and while its revenues grew by 62% year-on-year to $207.9m, the company’s net loss ballooned to $443.2m compared to $124.2m this time last year. The post Snap stock drops after disappointing quarterly […]

Social stars launch their own video-streaming service

There’s a new video-streaming service in town, called Zeus, but its founders are social-media stars rather than tech entrepreneurs or media companies. Zeus is due to launch in early 2018, co-founded by Andrew ‘King Bach’ Bachelor, Amanda Cerny and DeStorm Power. According to Variety, the service will focus on categories including comedy, beauty, fashion and […]

Games firm CCP pulls back from virtual reality investment

Many people in the music industry have high hopes for virtual reality technology, and Universal Music’s announcement this week of a partnership with startup Within is an example of the partnerships being struck around VR. But here’s some news from the games industry that may spark caution: one of the key evangelists for VR in […]

YouTube stars had greater role in Apple iPhone X launch

A number of journalists are huffing and puffing this week, after it emerged that Apple cut back advance access to its new iPhone X for technology writers, while giving handsets to a handful of YouTube stars. “Apple provided the iPhone X to a small number of traditional testers for about a week, while limiting most […]

Former WMG boss Edgar Bronfman Jr starts new VC firm

We haven’t heard much (in a music-industry sense) from Edgar Bronfman Jr since he sold Warner Music Group to Access Industries in 2011, then stepped down as chairman a few months later. Some interesting news this morning though: Bronfman is starting a new venture-capital company called Waverley Capital, which Bloomberg reports will be raising a […]

Study predicts sharp growth for average iPhone app spend

American iPhone owners spent an average of $47 on apps in 2016 according to research firm SensorTower. But it expects that to grow to $63 this year, $77 in 2018 and $88 in 2019. That’s 86% growth from 2016 to 2019, although the app category hoovering up the lion’s share of this spending will come […]

India becomes world’s second-biggest smartphones market

China is the country with the highest smartphone shipments in the world, followed until now by the US in second place. Two different research companies reckon that India has just overtaken the latter country. Canalys claims that more than 40m smartphones shipped in India in the third quarter of this year, representing growth of 23% […]

Netflix raises $1.6bn for content acquisitions and originals

Netflix had already announced plans to spend between $7bn and $8bn on content in 2018, but there was a question about how the publicly-listed company planned to finance that investment in licensed shows and films, plus its own originals. Now that question has been partially answered: yesterday Netflix raised $1.6bn of debt funding through a […]

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 […]

A new Silicon Valley trend: disconnecting from social media

What does it say about the culture we’re currently living in that several of the key people who created the ‘like’ button for Facebook are now disengaging from social media? The Guardian published a thought-provoking piece this weekend about how some people in Silicon Valley are rearing back from the culture they helped to create. […]

YouTube takes on Netflix and Hulu: ‘Like it or not’

YouTube CEO Susan Wojkicki and content boss Susanne Daniels have been talking about the company’s plans to continue investing in original shows and events. Their interview with The Hollywood Reporter includes some bullish quotes on the prospects of competing with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. “I want our shows to resonate in a big […]

Microsoft mixed-reality headsets available to pre-order

Fresh from pulling out of the music-streaming market via a partnership with Spotify, Microsoft has announced the next moves in its quest to be a big player in ‘mixed reality’ – devices that blend augmented and virtual reality technology. Microsoft is opening up pre-orders for the first batch of Windows Mixed Reality headsets, with five […]

Snapchat launching global partnership with artist Jeff Koons

Snapchat launched a teaser website yesterday with a 24-hour countdown to… Well, people didn’t know what, until a Business Insider journalist tried setting their computer’s clock forward 24 hours, and discovered all the website’s secrets. And they are: a partnership with artist Jeff Koons that will scatter a number of his artworks and installations across […]

Smartphones reaching usage tipping-point in the UK

2017 is set to be a tipping point in the UK for the way people access the internet, with smartphones overtaking desktop and laptop computers for the first time. That’s in terms of time spent a day, according to research firm eMarketer. It claims that this year, Brits will average one hour 59 minutes on […]

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