Streaming takedown of Palestinian artist’s song sparks criticism

A track by Palestinian artist Mohammad Assaf called ‘Ana Dammi Falastini’ has been removed from several streaming services. The post Streaming takedown of Palestinian artist’s song sparks criticism appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Exclusive: TikTok tests direct streaming links with Apple Music

TikTok is testing a new feature that integrates its app directly with music streaming services, starting with Apple Music. The post Exclusive: TikTok tests direct streaming links with Apple Music appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple adds more concert discovery features to Music and Maps apps

Apple is stepping up its efforts to help people discover upcoming music concerts in their locality, through guides and setlists. The post Apple adds more concert discovery features to Music and Maps apps appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Ed Sheeran may soon have first 1bn-stream track on Apple Music

Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ is the most-streamed track of all-time on Apple Music, with more than 930m streams. The post Ed Sheeran may soon have first 1bn-stream track on Apple Music appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music roundup: Live concerts, Hip-Hop DNA, Ninja Tune…

It’s a busy month for Apple Music, with three separate announcements in recent days around the service and its partnerships. The post Apple Music roundup: Live concerts, Hip-Hop DNA, Ninja Tune… appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

DiMA’s latest report explores country music’s streaming audience

The latest report from DiMA explores some of the data and trends around country music and streaming – in the US and globally. The post DiMA’s latest report explores country music’s streaming audience appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music Classical app goes live in the App Store

Earlier this month Apple said that its long-awaited Apple Music Classical app would be launching on 28 March. And lo, it has come to pass. The post Apple Music Classical app goes live in the App Store appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music Classical is launching on 28 March

Apple’s new Apple Music Classical app will launch on 28 March for iPhone, with an Android version to follow, the company has announced. The post Apple Music Classical is launching on 28 March appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Sonos doubles down on spatial audio with its latest speaker

Sonos has unveiled its latest speakers, and spatial audio is a key focus for the company in 2023 as its CEO has made clear. The post Sonos doubles down on spatial audio with its latest speaker appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Campaigns :: 8 February 2023 – Rihanna & Apple Music, Warner & Roblox, Spinnin’ Records, Dr Dre

Interesting and inventive new campaigns from Rihanna & Apple Music, Warner & Roblox, Spinnin’ Records, and Dr Dre. The post Campaigns :: 8 February 2023 – Rihanna & Apple Music, Warner & Roblox, Spinnin’ Records, Dr Dre appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music launches Replay 2023 and Rihanna Super Bowl promo

Spotify Wrapped makes waves in December, but Apple Music’s Replay promo is a year-round thing. The 2023 version is now live. The post Apple Music launches Replay 2023 and Rihanna Super Bowl promo appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music boss adds Apple TV+ business to his responsibilities

Oliver Schusser is one of the longest-serving executives in Apple’s music business, from the iTunes days through to Apple Music now. The post Apple Music boss adds Apple TV+ business to his responsibilities appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

More than 80% of Apple Music subscribers listen to spatial audio

Apple’s annual state-of-services post, this year written by services boss Eddy Cue, revealed new stats focused on its spatial audio feature. The post More than 80% of Apple Music subscribers listen to spatial audio appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Shazam offers predictions for breakthrough artists in 2023

After a flurry of 2023 predictions at the end of last year, Shazam has published its tips for emerging artists who could break through. The post Shazam offers predictions for breakthrough artists in 2023 appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Mystery around streaming release of ‘bootleg’ R. Kelly album

‘I Admit It’ came out on Friday on the major streaming services before being swiftly removed. The post Mystery around streaming release of ‘bootleg’ R. Kelly album appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Report: global music subscribers grew to 616.2m in Q2 2022

At the end of 2021 there were 523 million users of paid music streaming subscriptions. The post Report: global music subscribers grew to 616.2m in Q2 2022 appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music adds ‘Sing’ karaoke feature with adjustable vocals

Now subscribers can turn off/down the vocals on tens of millions of tracks to sing along, while seeing lyrics that are properly ‘real-time’. The post Apple Music adds ‘Sing’ karaoke feature with adjustable vocals appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music, YouTube Music and Deezer launch their annual recaps

With Spotify’s annual Wrapped promotion imminent, three other streaming services launched their recap features for listeners yesterday. The post Apple Music, YouTube Music and Deezer launch their annual recaps appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

‘From Apple Music With Love’ Christmas countdown promo returns

The Christmas season is well and truly underway for music streaming: all the services are rolling out their festive content and promotions. The post ‘From Apple Music With Love’ Christmas countdown promo returns appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music in Christmas covers battle

As in previous years, music streaming services are gearing up to celebrate Christmas with a battle royale of exclusive music. The post Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music in Christmas covers battle appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music names Bad Bunny as its artist of the year for 2022

Apple Music is stealing a march on its rivals by announcing that Bad Bunny is its artist of the year for 2022. The post Apple Music names Bad Bunny as its artist of the year for 2022 appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Will Apple Music subscription rise spur rivals to follow?

If Apple’s move paves the way for its rivals to follow suit, this may be a significant moment. Can we quantify the impact? The post Will Apple Music subscription rise spur rivals to follow? appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music takes spatial audio to Mercedes-Benz cars

Spatial audio is currently one of the key selling points for Apple Music, and now it’s making its way into one of the most logical environments for this technology The post Apple Music takes spatial audio to Mercedes-Benz cars appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music for Artists gets new profile and lyrics features

Apple has added more features, including a profile section where musicians can create a customised bio by answering a series of short questions. The post Apple Music for Artists gets new profile and lyrics features appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple Music preps Wizkid concert and adds Flo to Up Next promo

Apple Music is getting back to its live roots by returning to the Roundhouse venue in London for a concert. The post Apple Music preps Wizkid concert and adds Flo to Up Next promo appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple debuts Apple Music Sessions and Antidote Editions

Apple has unveiled two new ways for artists to work with Apple Music on exclusive material. The post Apple debuts Apple Music Sessions and Antidote Editions appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple and Amazon get enhanced versions of Mabel album

Artist Mabel released her new album ‘About Last Night…’ on Friday (15 July) complete with enhanced versions for two of the biggest streaming services. The post Apple and Amazon get enhanced versions of Mabel album appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Apple’s services are now bigger than Mac and iPad combined

No surprise that Apple continues to be in rude health as a business, posting revenues of $92.28bn in the first quarter of 2022. The post Apple’s services are now bigger than Mac and iPad combined appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

The latest new artists backed by Spotify and Apple Music are…

Spotify and Apple Music have revealed the names of the latest musicians they are supporting in their emerging artist programs. The post The latest new artists backed by Spotify and Apple Music are… appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Giles Martin on The Beatles and spatial audio: ‘This format is about creation’

“This format is about creation. Okay, I’ve done the Stones and I’ve done INXS and The Beatles in spatial audio… but they’re legacy acts. What’s much more interesting is what’s about to happen!” Giles Martin is the son of Sir George Martin, the original producer of The Beatles, but he’s an acclaimed producer in his […]

More than 40m Apple Music listeners have tried spatial audio

The launch of Apple’s iOS 15 software this week has brought with it some new features for Apple Music, including ‘dynamic headtracking’. What’s that? A feature that reorients Apple’s spatial audio around the movements of the listener’s head, if they’re using the company’s AirPods Pro and AirPods Max ‘phones. More than 40 million Apple Music […]

Sandbox Issue 272: DSP’s Emerging Talent Programmes – how do you get on one, what happens if you do, and is there a catch?

Lead: Each DSP has a programme dedicated to supporting new artists: weaponising the platform by endorsing them to a large audience, and hopefully accelerating their careers. Places on these programmes are, of course, keenly sought after – so what is experienced by that lucky few? Is it really the win-win it seems? What do artists need […]

Apple expands its ‘Up Next’ program for emerging artists

Thus far, Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ program has picked emerging artists from across the world for promotion on the streaming service, with a global focus. Now it’s going local too. Apple is expanding the program for individual regions, kicking off with the US, UK, Japan, France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, India, Canada, Australia, South Africa and […]

Verzuz switches Apple Music for Triller following acquisition

It’s just under nine months since Instagram livestreams brand Verzuz signed an exclusive deal with Apple Music. However, that deal is now at an end according to Variety, after Verzuz was acquired by Triller’s parent company Triller Network. The deal will see Verzuz founders Swizz Beatz and Timbaland getting shares in Triller Network, a portion of which […]

Spotify and Apple Music reveal latest emerging artist picks

The major streaming services are continuing to choose emerging artists for their respective promotion schemes. Spotify and Apple Music announced their latest picks yesterday. Spotify has gone with Norwegian artist Girl In Red as its latest ‘Radar’ artist in the US. She’ll be getting the full playlisting / Spotify Single / mini-documentary / billboard ads treatment, ahead […]

Apple Music launches ‘Behind the Songs’ songwriters section

Apple Music has a new hub focusing on songwriters, producers and session musicians. It’s called ‘Behind the Songs‘ and launched on Friday as a home for related playlists like ‘Songbook’ and ‘Behind the Boards’, as well as Apple Music Radio shows including Nile Rodgers’ ‘Deep Hidden Meaning’. There will also be original video series including […]

Spotify, Apple and Amazon set for UK streaming inquiry hearing

When YouTube, SoundCloud and Twitch took part in a DSPs hearing at the UK’s streaming economics inquiry recently – well, Twitch’s rep didn’t get to speak – we knew there’d be another session for the big guns of the audio streaming world. Now it has been confirmed for next week: Tuesday 23 February. Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music […]

Apple hails Apple Music’s ‘record year’ (without user figure)

It’s our strong suspicion that Apple Music will soon have more than 100 million paying users, and that Apple is waiting for that milestone before updating its official stat from the 60 million figure it revealed in June 2019. If so, that’s why a new users stat is missing from Apple’s announcement reviewing its services’ performance in […]

Apple Music Awards return with big gong for Lil Baby

It’s nearly a year since Apple Music held its first awards, anointing Billie Eilish as its inaugural ‘global artist of the year’ with additional prizes for Lizzo and Lil Nas X. Now the awards have returned for a second year, with an announcement today to be followed by a week of performances and online content across Apple’s services […]

Shazam reveals that it now has 200m monthly active users

The last time we had a figure for how many users Apple’s music-identification app Shazam had, it was 478 million annual active users in 2018. It’s not the most satisfying of metrics for gauging an app’s popularity, but thankfully there’s now an update. According to Apple, Shazam now has 200 million monthly active users. The company completed […]

Unilad Sound is now an official Apple Music playlist curator

Earlier this month, we wrote about how online brand LadBible had put Craig David and KSI on people’s desks via an augmented reality music video. Now another part of the LadBible empire, music community Unilad Sound, has announced a big partnership. It’s joining Apple Music as an official curator, initially with four flagship playlists. ‘Certified’ will feature guest […]

Apple Music makes Beabadoobee its latest ‘Up Next’ artist

Keeping all the music streaming services happy as an artist can be tough: Katy Perry was one of the most famous examples of a musician being penalised on one service for giving a rival an exclusive. So we doff our cap to Beabadoobee and her team at Dirty Hit for juggling the partners without tension. In 2020 […]

Apple Music gets more exclusive Ministry of Sound mixes

Apple Music and Ministry of Sound have a well-established partnership now, and it’s yielding some new mixes for listeners on the streaming service. There’s a mix version of Ministry’s new ‘The Annual 2021’ compilation, but also some mixes harking back to past glories for the dance brand. Pete Tong and Boy George have remixed the first […]

Apple Music goes Boss-eyed with its Bruce Springsteen Week

Apple Music is pushing all the boats out for the release of Bruce Springsteen’s 20th studio album ‘Letter to You’. There’ll be a week of radio shows on its new Apple Music Hits station, plus an album listening party and live Q&A, and a documentary on the Apple TV+ service, which drops on Friday alongside […]

Apple Music TV channels classic MTV with music videos

Live radio is already one of Apple Music’s big differences to its streaming rivals. Now it’s trying out MTV-style music television, although for the most part without the VJs. Instead, Apple Music TV is a 24-hour channel broadcasting music videos via the Apple Music and Apple TV apps, as well as on the web. For now, it’s […]

Apple Music adds Defected and Glitterbox DJ mixes and live sets

The latest external playlist curator getting some love from Apple Music is independent dance label Defected Records, including its Glitterbox brand. It’s providing Apple Music with some exclusive DJ mixes and live sets, kicking off with a selection including sets from Ibiza in 2019 (Roger Sanchez, Gorgon City, Sam Divine) and from the recent Glitterbox Virtual […]

Keith Urban premieres new album with Apple Music livestream

Apple has a history of music-related livestreams: for example the broadcasts of its London iTunes-branded concerts back in the day. There’s something interesting happening this year around livestreams and artists though. We wrote about Apple Music’s virtual listening party for Victoria Monét in August, and now it’s repeating the trick for country star Keith Urban. 1,000 of […]

Apple One bundles range from $14.95 to $29.95 a month

Apple’s ‘Time Flies’ press launch last night focused on Apple Watch and iPad but not iPhones, as predicted. However, there were also some big services announcements, including the long-anticipated Apple One bundle. Well, bundles: there are three of them, which will launch this autumn. The ‘Individual’ tier includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and […]

Loup Ventures claims Apple Music will make $8.6bn in 2020

Investment firm Loup Ventures keeps a close eye on Apple’s business, including its music activity. Now it has put out some estimates for Apple Music’s progress. “Apple Music has room to grow with 82m subs out of 980m active iPhone users (8%) paying for the service,” wrote managing partner Gene Munster in a blog post. […]

Apple Music Radio adds live country and hits stations

Spotify’s ‘audio first’ strategy involves an aggressive move into spoken-word content with podcasts (and soon audiobooks?) to compete with live radio. Apple Music has followed a different path, with the Beats 1 live radio station part of its service since launch. Yesterday it got a rebrand – to Apple Music 1 – and two new sister stations: Apple […]

‘Apple One’ entertainment bundles could debut in October

Apple may be preparing to launch its long-awaited bundles of entertainment services, with music included. Bloomberg reported that the bundles – working title: Apple One – are “planned to launch as early as October alongside the next iPhone line”. It went on to suggest that the basic bundle will include Apple Music and Apple TV+, with more expensive […]

Apple Music hosts virtual listening party for Victoria Monét

Apple Music is working with artist Victoria Monét on “an exclusive virtual listening party” taking place this Thursday (6 August) to celebrate the release of her new album ‘Jaguar’ the following day. The event will be presented by Apple Music’s ‘Today’s Hits’ playlist and hosted by Beats 1’s Nadeska Alexis. According to Broadway World, this is […]

Snoop Dogg / DMX Verzuz battle broke viewing records

Fresh from striking an exclusive deal with Apple Music, the Verzuz battles series garnered its highest viewing figures yet from its latest episode. That’s the one where Snoop Dogg and DMX went head to head in a ‘battle of the dogs’ last Wednesday (22 July). Verzuz posted the stats itself, noting that the battle had […]

Apple Music bags exclusive deal for Instagram Verzuz battles

One of the hits of the Covid-19 lockdown has been the Verzuz battles on Instagram, where high-profile artists go head-to-head for… well, they’re less battles and more mutual love-ins, exchanging their hits in an atmosphere of respect. Anyway, they’ve been hugely popular on Instagram Live: Jill Scott and Erykah Badu attracted more than 740,000 viewers […]

Apple Music launches At Home With Sessions with Arlo Parks

Spotify Singles has been combining artists’ re-recordings of their own songs with covers of other musicians’ tracks for some time. Now Apple Music is getting in on the idea with its new ‘At Home With Sessions’. Emerging British artist Arlo Parks is the first to feature, reworking three of her own tracks. As the name […]

Report: Amazon Music subscriptions grew by 104% in last year

Research firm Counterpoint Research has published its latest estimates for the size of the music streaming market globally. It claims that by the end of March there were 394m music subscriptions globally, representing year-on-year growth of 35%. Counterpoint also offered its estimates for some of the biggest players, suggesting that Spotify accounted for 33% of […]

Apple Music launches Africa Rising artist discovery initiative

Apple Music really is going big on music from Africa. The service’s latest move is a bi-monthly ‘artist program and companion playlist‘ which it says will focus on emerging talent from across Africa. Every two months, a new artist will be chosen to focus on – Nigerian-born Omah Lay is the first – with plans to “use […]

Apple Music’s new ‘INDIY’ playlist focuses on DIY artists

Our first response to Apple Music’s new playlist ‘INDIY‘ is wondering how to pronounce it: is it ‘indie’ or ‘indie-why’ or ‘in-D-I-Y’? Whatever: its focus is on independent artists who, for the most part, are self-producing and self-releasing their music. It’s also mining a particular musical landscape: “the dissolution of borders between indie and R&B” […]

Report: there were 400m music subscribers globally at end of Q1 2020

There were 341 million people using paid music subscriptions at the end of 2019, according to global music industry body the IFPI. Now we’ve got an update on that figure, albeit from a different source. Consultancy firm Midia Research has published its music subscriber market share figures for Q1 2020, claiming that by the end of March […]

Afropop star Rema is Apple Music’s new ‘Up Next’ artist

Apple Music is placing a big strategic focus on Africa this year, and the latest emerging artist to join its ‘Up Next’ programme is the latest example. Nigerian Afropop star Rema will be getting some promotional welly from Apple’s streaming service this month, building on the success that has seen him already become the 18th […]

Apple Music adds Africa Now Radio and producer playlists

Apple Music’s growing focus on African music and artists continues, with a new show on its Beats 1 radio station called ‘Africa Now Radio‘. Hosted by Nigerian DJ Cuppy, it’s a spin-off from Apple Music’s ‘Africa Now‘ playlist, and will be playing new African music across genres including Afrobeats, highlife, alté, amapiano and kuduro. The […]

Lil Baby album gets digital ‘deluxe’ treatment with music videos

In the streaming age, what is a ‘deluxe’ album anyway? It’s more than just extra tracks and alternative versions. A number of artists have explored Spotify’s ‘enhanced’ playlists format, which inserts videos between the music tracks, for example. And video is also at the core of the strategy for the deluxe version of Lil Baby’s […]

The power of smaller playlists. Why big is not always best.

*This topic was discussed in-depth on Music Ally TV. Watch the show in full here   In a world where the playlist is king, it is hardly surprising that getting on New Music Friday (NMF) has become the be-all and end-all of music streaming marketing, an opportunity to get your track in front of 8m people worldwide, […]

Apple Music adds artists’ audiobooks for streaming

We’ve written a fair amount about the differing strategies of Spotify and Apple Music when it comes to spoken-word content. Spotify is piling in to podcasts and giving them equal billing to music on its ‘audio-first’ platform, while Apple is keeping Apple Music and Apple Podcasts as separate entities and apps. But wait: Apple Music […]

Apple Music paid subscriptions are ‘up strong double-digits’

Apple published its latest quarterly financials yesterday, for the first quarter of 2020 (the company’s fiscal Q2). Services were once again a standout category for the company, setting another quarterly record of $13.3bn in revenues. There was also an announcement (of sorts) about Apple Music’s growth within that segment. “Apple Music and cloud services, both set […]

Apple Music adds 52 new countries taking its total to 167

Apple Music is expanding again, with its footprint now taking in an additional 52 countries. That means the service is now available in 167 countries, with Africa and Latin America prominent in the list of new additions – the former in particular, where the rollouts include 25 countries. MBW reported that the expansion includes the launch of Apple’s […]

Apple Music Browse page is tuned for self-isolating listeners

We’ve been writing about what streaming services are doing to support music-industry relief efforts and artists, but the coronavirus pandemic is also having an impact in how they’re recommending music (and other content) to their listeners. We wrote about Deezer’s new ‘Stay at Home’ hub earlier this week, but Apple Music is also adapting to the time […]

Apple Music’s new personalised playlist is Get Up! Mix

Although Apple Music has made human curation a big part of its brand (especially when execs are throwing shade at Spotify in interviews) that hasn’t stopped it from developing its own series of algo-personalised playlists. Now Favourites Mix, Chill Mix and Friends Mix have a new team member: ‘Get Up! Mix‘. Like the others it’ll […]

The Weeknd sets Apple Music record, holds Spotify listening session

It’s fair to say that The Weeknd’s new album ‘After Hours’ is expected to have a big debut this weekend. The streaming services are certainly throwing their weight behind it. Apple announced yesterday that the album has broken its record for Apple Music pre-adds (people pre-saving it to their libraries). MBW reported that by yesterday, […]

Super-bundle plans reportedly missing from Apple Music’s new deals

Amid all the blow-by-blow speculation about the progress of Spotify’s licensing renewals with major labels, it’s been easy to forget that – sit down for this revelation – other streaming services also have deals that periodically need to be renewed. Apple Music, for instance, which according to the Financial Times has quietly sealed its new deals with […]

Music streaming services support International Women’s Day

This Sunday (8 March) is International Women’s Day, and as has become traditional, the big music streaming services are all celebrating the occasion. Spotify will be launching a new ‘Women’s History Month’ hub on Sunday, with all-women playlists and podcasts, as well as IWD-themed takeovers of some of its popular playlists. Apple is hosting a […]

The Trichordist publishes per-stream royalties data for 2019

Every year, artist-rights blog The Trichordist publishes an updated ‘streaming price bible’ comparing the per-stream payouts of the major music streaming services. The latest version, for 2019, was published overnight, and as ever is based on “a mid-sized indie label with an approximately 350+ album catalog now generating over 1.5b streams annually”. Among its findings: Spotify’s […]

Apple Music’s latest exclusive is a Coldplay EP and short film

We have written many times that the DSP thirst for exclusives from major artists has moved away from the album and towards things like videos, live performances and session singles. The new EP from Coldplay suggests a testing of the water as to what an act will give a DSP on an exclusive basis that […]

Dave to top the bill at Apple Music’s first ‘Agenda’ UK concert

Artist Dave was the star of the Brit Awards earlier this week, with his new verse for his song ‘Black’ calling Prime Minister Boris Johnson a racist; drawing attention to the differing media coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex (aka Kate and Meghan); calling for more conservation and less deforestation; and slamming […]

How many users do Spotify, Apple Music and other big music streaming services have?

Sometimes the statistics around how many people are streaming music – and how many are paying for it – can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. Recently, for example, we’ve seen one story suggesting that Amazon was “on course to overtake Apple Music” based on comparing an Amazon figure from January 2020 with one from Apple […]

Justin Bieber launches an exclusive music video on Apple Music

Single-DSP exclusives for music are increasingly rare, but as we’ve reported over the last year or two, the content around them, from videos to live sessions, is very much fair game. Justin Bieber is the latest example: he’s released an exclusive video for ‘E.T.A.’ off his new album ‘Changes’ on Apple Music. And according to Apple, it’s […]

Rough Trade is now a playlist curator for Apple Music

Apple Music is pressing on with its work to sign up external brands and music companies as playlist curators, alongside its in-house editorial team. The latest to join is independent music retailer Rough Trade, which will be maintaining some Apple-exclusive streaming playlists. “Launching as a curator on Apple Music to champion the most exciting new […]

Apple Music’s ALT CTRL playlist gets a Beats 1 show

Apple Music has steadily been creating spin-off Beats 1 radio shows for its big editorial playlists, with the alternative-focused ‘ALT CTRL’ the latest to get the treatment. Beats 1’s Hanuman Welch will host the weekly radio show, which will focus on the latest alternative tracks to hit the playlist, as well as an interview with whoever […]

Services revenue still growing strongly for Apple

Apple reported its latest quarterly financial results yesterday, for the final quarter of 2019 – the company’s fiscal Q1. They were good: “Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever,” according to CEO Tim Cook, who highlighted sales of iPhone 11 smartphones as well as new records for Apple’s services category (which includes Apple Music) and Wearables, Home and Accessories category […]

Orville Peck is Apple Music’s first Up Next artist of 2020

There’s joy to be found in the fact that on the day Spotify launches a playlist for pets, Apple Music is making Orville Peck the latest emerging artist to be chosen for its Up Next initiative? Orville being the famously non-flying duck-puppet British TV star of the 1980s. You won’t catch Orville Peck singing saccharine songs […]

Music Ally Report 426: Trends of 2019

This year we’ve picked 42 (also the answer to life, the universe and everything as fans of Douglas Adams will know) of the trends and moments we found most significant in 2019. What are they? *takes deep breath* industry growth; the European Copyright Directive and Music Modernization Act; Spotify’s two-sided marketplace; Apple Music’s bundled future; […]

Billie Eilish wins big in Apple awards and Spotify 2019 stats

What we need, said almost nobody in the music industry, are a few more awards ceremonies. But now we have two, from the world’s biggest subscription music-streaming services. Spotify’s first awards will take place in Mexico City next March, driven entirely by its data, but Apple Music’s first event took place overnight, chosen purely by the company’s […]

Motive Unknown boss expands on concerns over Apple/Linkfire deal

Last week, we reported on Linkfire’s data-attribution deal with Apple Music, as well as the strings attached which included the stipulation that to get the data, people had to put Apple Music in top spot on their smart-link landing pages. When we wrote our story, criticism of these requirements had been led by Darren Hemmings, founder of […]

Linkfire gets Apple Music attribution data – with strings attached

Music-marketing firm Linkfire had a big announcement yesterday: it has a deal with Apple Music to provide more attribution data on what fans are doing on the streaming service after clicking or tapping through from artists’ smart-links. “No more guessing about streaming performance and fan engagement,” as Linkfire explained it in an email to its […]

Apple Music reveals new ‘Up Next’ artist and launches country radio show

Apple Music has anointed its latest ‘Up Next’ artist, who’ll be getting a boost across the company’s music platforms. It’s Canadian artist Jessie Reyez, who’s actually been doing pretty well on Apple Music for some time now – the company says it’s been playlisting her since 2016, and that she has more than 325m streams […]

Apple Music’s ‘Rap Life’ playlist spawns a Beats 1 radio show

Earlier this month, we reported on suggestions from Apple that there will be more Beats 1 radio shows based on Apple Music’s flagship playlists. Lo and behold, one launched on Friday. ‘Rap Life With Ebro Darden’ is based on the recently-rebranded ‘Rap Life’ hip-hop playlist, and is hosted by Apple Music’s global editorial head of hip-hop and […]

Entertainment bundles are coming: the question is the terms

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Apple wants to launch a new model of paying for music, and major labels are ‘wary’ of the implications. No, you haven’t time-travelled back to the early 2000s and the negotiations ahead of the launch of the iTunes Store, album-unbundling included. What’s causing the wariness in 2019 […]

Apple Music UK launches a Black History Month ‘superroom’

In the UK, October is ‘Black History Month’, a celebration of the contributions made by black Britons down the years. Apple is celebrating the month too with what it’s describing as a ‘superroom’ on Apple Music. It includes guest playlists from black British artists including Beverley Knight, Slick Rick, Jorja Smith, Craig David, Mabel and Wretch […]

Apple Music launches its official web-app in beta

It’s taken a while, but Apple Music is finally available as a web app, rather than just through iTunes and its native apps for other devices. The new web client went live in beta yesterday, and lets subscribers search for and play music (including from their cloud libraries), and browse Apple Music’s collection of playlists and […]

Sandbox Issue 235: Talking TikTok Triumphs

Lead: TikTok is  an essential consideration for artist marketing in 2019, particularly for pop acts. But for all the strategies and careful coordination, the best things on the app are often those that blindside everyone. We spotlight the best recent uses of music (and surprise catalogue reappearances) on TikTok in recent months and also look […]

Mabel and Marshmello flex their curation skills on Apple Music

Are streaming exclusives dead? Not quite, but they tend to veer towards the promotional side of things nowadays: an album will be available everywhere, but (for example) live EPs are fair game for single-service exclusives. Witness Mabel’s ‘Stripped Session’ acoustic EP, which is exclusive to Apple Music. She is also the latest artist to turn […]

Apple Music’s Shazam Discovery Top 50 chart focuses on emerging artists

Apple Music is getting a new weekly chart, driven by data from Shazam, the music-identification app that Apple acquired in September 2018. The chart is called Shazam Discovery Top 50, and is a global chart ranking 50 “up-and-coming songs from breaking artists”, based on what Shazam’s users have been tagging that week. The chart will […]

Apple Music brings its artist analytics out of beta

We’ve heard regular praise for Apple Music’s analytics tools since they launched in 2018 as a beta version. Now the dashboard is coming out of beta and is open to all artists. Also new: there’s an iPhone app for the service alongside its website, matching the strategy adopted by Spotify for its own analytics. That rivalry […]

Apple Music’s A-List rebranding continues with ALT CTRL

Apple Music appears to be moving through its flagship ‘A-List’ genre playlists one by one, rebranding them Spotify-style with their own identities. The company recently revamped its ‘The A-List: Hip Hop’ playlist as ‘Rap Life’, and now it’s the turn of its indie-focused sister playlist ‘The A-List: Alternative’. It’s now called ‘ALT CTRL’, according to Billboard, […]

Apple Music produces exclusive video for artist Peggy Gou

The latest musician getting some love – and indeed, some video budget – from Apple Music is Berlin-based artist and DJ Peggy Gou. Her latest music video, for her track ‘Starry Night’, was “produced in partnership with Apple Music” and is currently exclusive to the service. Its release will be accompanied by Gou’s second interview on […]

Apple rebrands its flagship hip-hop playlist as Rap Life

However deliberate it was when they were originally created, Spotify’s playlists have got one thing very right in the current streaming age: RapCaviar, Viva Latino and others have become strong brands in their own right. Apple Music has been doing interesting things with its playlists too – for example commissioning artists to create original, varied […]

LGBTQ brand Gay Times is the latest Apple Music curator

The latest guest curator on Apple Music is Gay Times, the European LGBTQ media brand. It’s making a series of exclusive playlists for the streaming service, while the companies are also collaborating on a joint advertising campaign in the UK featuring artists including Kim Petras, Girli, Vincint and Alma, which ties in with this month’s […]

Students’ Apple Music web player has attracted nearly 200k users

Apple Music doesn’t (yet) have a web-player version of its service: for now it’s native apps for the various Apple devices, plus PCs and Android. Now four students from the University of Kent in the UK are trying to plug the gap with an open-source web player for Apple Music called Musish. “Since its release only […]

Apple to hold ‘Up Next’ performances at stores in US and Europe

We’ve been reporting regularly on emerging artists given Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ seal of approval. Now the company is expanding the program with plans for a series of live performances in Apple Stores in the US and Europe. Up Next Live will see Bad Bunny, Daniel Caesar, Khalid, Ashley McBryde, King Princess, Lewis Capaldi and Jessie […]

Analyst claims Apple Music could be worth up to $20bn

“Apple Music could be worth more than half of Spotify if Apple is forced to divest it to comply with antitrust-related actions,” claims a report on financial news site Barrons. Which, we have to say, is an extremely big ‘if’ right up front: thus far, complaints about Apple giving its own music-streaming service an advantage over rivals […]

Are Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube the new record labels?

Spotify is signing direct licensing deals with some artists and testing the ability to allow others to upload directly to its platform. YouTube and Apple Music are creating content and putting marketing budget behind artists. And Apple Music has also acquired Platoon, the British startup which helped a number of emerging artists to develop, including […]

Report predicts Apple will soon retire its iTunes software

Apple is killing iTunes! So said dozens of headlines this weekend, which all lead back to a single sentence in a Bloomberg article claiming that “The company is launching a trio of new apps for the Mac – Music, TV, and Podcasts – to replace iTunes”. It follows up with “Without iTunes, customers can manage their Apple […]

The Night League teams with Apple Music for ‘Sounds of Ibiza 2019’

Apple Music has enlisted its latest brand to be a playlist curator: dance-music company The Night League. It has created a series of playlists that will sit within Apple Music’s ‘Sounds of Ibiza 2019’ hub, including collections based on specific Ibiza club brands like Ushuaïa, Hï Ibiza and ANTS. Guest DJs and residents from the clubs are […]

How music companies are gaming streaming with “playlist stuffing”

Kieron Donoghue – founder of Humble Angel Records and former VP of global playlists strategy and curation at Warner Music – has been blogging about the trend of “playlist stuffing” that he has been spotting on streaming services. As songs qualify as a stream and, therefore, a payment after 30 seconds, he says a key tactic has […]

EU to formally investigate Apple following Spotify’s anti-trust complaint

It is a dispute that has been brewing for a long time and which went public in recent months. Now, according to the FT, the European Union is preparing to formally investigate Spotify-led anti-trust complaints about Apple and its App Store. In brief, Spotify is arguing that Apple is “tilting the playing field to disadvantage competitors” […]

Apple names Pink Sweat$ as its latest ‘Up Next’ artist

Philadelphia-based R&B star Pink Sweat$ is the latest artist to get the Apple ‘Up Next’ treatment, following in the footsteps of the likes of Billie Eilish, Juice WRLD, Bad Bunny and H.E.R. The campaign will include a short film (shot on an iPhone XS for some double-branding sparkle) talking about his background and creative process […]

Fuga joins preferred-distributor lists of Spotify and Apple Music

Spotify and Apple Music have both updated their lists of ‘preferred’ music distributors in recent weeks, with Fuga the prominent new addition to both. The company is now listed alongside The Orchard as a “preferred label distributor” for Spotify, which (in the company’s words) “meet our highest standards for providing quality metadata and protecting against infringement”. Meanwhile, […]

Apple under fire in US for Tiananmen Square song removal in China

When we wrote about songs by certain Hong Kong artists being removed from Chinese music-streaming services last week, we noted that it appeared to be local services as well as Apple Music, despite initial headlines focusing on the latter. However, back in the US it’s Apple’s involvement in this censorship that’s drawing criticism from politicians. “It’s […]

Julian Casablancas discards Spotify and Apple Music utterly, begrudgingly praises YouTube

Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Cult Records has been speaking to Billboard about his various music projects, his record label and dealing with the creative process. But buried in the middle of the interview he talks about his dislike and distrust of most streaming services – and what their rise means for artists and labels. “In […]

Polyglot marketing: streaming’s many and varied global battle lines

The IFPI’s global sales figures for 2018 were, once again, all about streaming driving the industry’s recovery. The overall market was up 9.7% (both downloads and physical declined sharply), while streaming jumped 34% and now makes up 46.9% of revenues globally. The jostling for dominance in this booming market is something that will continue apace, […]

The Battle of Billie Eilish: Spotify, Apple and YouTube scrap it out

Original content is a big strategic focus for the major streaming services in 2019, as is ‘claiming’ as many rapidly-emerging artists as possible, in terms of creating said original-content for and with them. Billie Eilish, whose debut album ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ is out today, looks set to become one […]

BBC hopes to compete with Apple and Spotify for UK podcast listening

British broadcaster the BBC has just published its ‘annual plan’ for the next year, outlining its strategic priorities. One of them is its BBC Sounds app, which the corporation says has now been downloaded more than 1.8m times in the UK, and attracts a weekly audience of more than one million listeners. “A major part of our […]

Report 422: Playlisting’s next leap forward

Playlists have been referred to as everything from the new album, the new compilation, the new greatest hits, through to the new radio, the new MTV and more. Whether you’re a pop act trying to build a truly global audience or just trying to make a living from making mood music, if you’re not on […]

Report claims Apple Music’s Android app has 40m installs

Apple Music will add 3.8 million new users in the first quarter of 2019… on Android devices. This, at least, is the claim by research firm SensorTower, in its latest report. It also reckons that Apple Music has now been installed 40m times from Android’s Google Play store since its launch in 2015 – and that […]

Apple Music gets ‘Browse’ tweaks and live gigs in Milan

Apple Music’s iOS app appears to be getting a spring-clean ahead of tonight’s big services press-launch from its parent company. 9 to 5 Mac reported that the app’s ‘Browse’ screen has been freshened up. “Previously, the Browse tab was laid out with a single horizontally-scrolling carousel of featured content and then a list of navigation options, […]

Apple Music hails Billie Eilish, throws more shade at Spotify

There’s a really interesting stat in the latest profile of Apple Music’s work with artists: more than 800,000 of its users have already pre-added Billie Eilish’s new album, which comes out next week. Pre-adds being Apple Music’s version of ‘pre-saves’ on other streaming services – and which unlike those rivals, is built in to its […]

Dean Lewis is the next Apple Music ‘Up Next’ artist

Australian singer/songwriter Dean Lewis is the latest artist to get Apple’s ‘Up Next’ seal of approval. The nod comes ahead of the release of his debut album ‘A Place We Knew’, although Lewis’ music has already notched up more than 1bn streams globally, of which 750m-plus were for his track ‘Be Alright’, and another 200m […]

Apple hits back at ‘misleading rhetoric’ of Spotify anti-trust complaint

Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission over Apple’s stewardship of its App Store earlier this week, but now Apple has hit back with a statement criticising Spotify’s “misleading rhetoric” – including jabs at the streaming service’s recent appeal against new songwriter-royalty rates in the US. “At its core, the App Store is a […]

Apple is giving playlists the album-artwork treatment

We’re ashamed to confess that we haven’t given that much thought to the artwork for the programmed playlists on music-streaming services. That said, we suspect a fair few of those services haven’t really made it a priority either, beyond ensuring the right artist or mood-signalling image is present with the correct corporate branding. So it’s […]

UK broadcaster Fearne Cotton turns curator for Apple Music

We’re not sure how well-known Fearne Cotton is outside the UK: in Music Ally’s homeland she’s become a familiar face and voice through her TV and radio broadcasting. Now she’s become the latest curator on Apple Music. This is a proper partnership: Cotton is maintaining four different playlists on the streaming service, which is promoting […]

Mahershala Ali launches Black History Month Apple Music playlist

Apple Music execs will have been cheering the Oscars ceremony on Sunday. Not because they all love Sophie from Peep Show (well, not just that) but because another winner on the night has just curated a playlist on the music-streaming service. Double Best-Supporting-Actor winner Mahershala Ali is behind the ‘Represent: Mahershala Ali’ playlist on Apple […]

Apple Music makes Tierra Whack its latest ‘Up Next’ artist

Interscope Records’ Tierra Whack is the latest artist to be given the ‘Up Next’ treatment by Apple Music. An interview with her aired on Apple’s Beats 1 radio station yesterday; she’ll perform on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show on 4 March as part of its partnership with Apple Music; and there’s an Up Next film […]

Apple Music lets subscribers give a free month to a friend

Here’s an interesting new tactic for music-streaming marketing: Apple Music is encouraging subscribers to get their mates onto the service too. “Give Apple Music to your friends,” explained a promotion that was push-notified to subscribers, according to news site AppleInsider. “Apple Music is better with friends. So give one of yours a free month.” The deal […]

Apple Music used Shazam for extended-trial Grammys promotion

We’re getting a sense of how music-identification app Shazam, acquired by Apple in September 2018, will be used by the company to promote Apple Music. Last night, anyone tagging a track during the Grammys ceremony unlocked a ‘Grammy Awards experience’ listing the songs performed during the event. There was also a special offer: new subscribers (to Apple […]

Apple Music announces Wi-Fi partnership with American Airlines

In January, United Airlines caused a stir with a promotional banner at one of its events, announcing that Apple was its biggest corporate customer, spending $150m a year with the airline – including $35m on flights to Shanghai in particular. When a photograph of the banner leaked, it was widely reported, sparking a swift statement […]

British DJ Charlie Sloth confirms he’s joining Apple Music

Hip-hop DJ Charlie Sloth left the BBC’s Radio 1 under a cloud last year, having invaded the stage at an industry-awards ceremony when another broadcaster won the category he was nominated in. At the time, Sloth had already announced plans to depart – the controversy meant that happened 10 shows earlier than expected – with […]

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