Spotify Chief Exec Responds to Taylor Swift Pulling Her Music

Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Ek defended his streaming service in a statement released Tuesday in response to Taylor Swift’s decision to pull her entire collection of songs from Spotify. Swift, whose latest album “1989” sold almost 1.3 million copies in its first week, pulled her collection from Spotify because she believes the company does not fairly compensate music creators. Ek, however, pointed out that his company has now paid $2 billion in royalties and helps prevent piracy. Continue reading Spotify Chief Exec Responds to Taylor Swift Pulling Her Music

Streaming Services Grow While iTunes Music Sales Decline

Music sales via Apple’s iTunes Store have dropped about 14 percent since the start of the year. Meanwhile, streaming services now supply one-third of the recorded music revenue in the U.S. The total number of streams reported for services such as Spotify and Pandora have increased 46 percent this year over 2013. This shift may be one reason behind Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics. The company is reportedly planning to relaunch Beats next year as a part of iTunes. Continue reading Streaming Services Grow While iTunes Music Sales Decline

Consumers Transitioning from Purchasing to Renting Media

Apple and Amazon, two of the world’s most successful retailers, find themselves struggling in today’s market to increase the sales of books, movies, music, and games because of a shift in consumer priorities. It seems that consumers no longer want to buy media; they want to rent it. The two companies can be considered largely responsible for creating the problem because they made it so easy to rent books and stream music that consumers didn’t feel the need to buy media anymore. Continue reading Consumers Transitioning from Purchasing to Renting Media

Google Play Adds Songza Playlists for its Music Subscribers

Subscribers to Google Play Music All Access will now be able to pick from activity-based Internet radio stations powered by Songza. Songza curates Internet radio offerings based on time of day and activities. Google acquired Songza back in July, but this is the first time it has integrated Songza’s offerings. The tech giant is playing catch-up in the Internet radio business to iHeartRadio, Slacker, Beats Music and Spotify, which already offer activity-based music playlists. Continue reading Google Play Adds Songza Playlists for its Music Subscribers

Spotify Lowers Music Streaming Prices with Family Discount

Subscription music service Spotify introduced a new family plan that will allow subscribers to add up to four more Spotify accounts for half-price. Under the new plan, Spotify would charge $10 for the primary account holder and $5 for each additional account holder. Other streaming music services are also trying to lower prices as CD and download sales continue to plummet. Apple, which owns the Beats Music streaming service, is negotiating with record labels to cut prices. Continue reading Spotify Lowers Music Streaming Prices with Family Discount

Deezer Plans to Bring High-Fidelity Elite Music Service to U.S.

Deezer, a French subscription service available in 180 countries, announced its plans for availability in the U.S. In a partnership with Sonos, the company plans for a high-fidelity version called Deezer Elite. Deezer reaches five million paying subscribers in a model similar to Spotify, Rhapsody and Beats Music. However, Deezer plans to offer songs at a faster bit rate in order to create smaller file sizes for computer storing and transferring, and in the process attract a more affluent group of audiophiles.  Continue reading Deezer Plans to Bring High-Fidelity Elite Music Service to U.S.

YouTube Music Key: Google’s Upcoming Subscription Service

YouTube’s anticipated premium music service will likely cost $10 per month and be called “YouTube Music Key,” although the Google-owned company has yet to confirm. YouTube is already one of the biggest sources for free online music, but since it requires video, it has not taken the place of services such as Beats Music, Rdio or Spotify. The planned premium music service could change that by making the audio easier to access on mobile devices and providing an offline way to hear songs. Continue reading YouTube Music Key: Google’s Upcoming Subscription Service

Rhapsody Expanding Music Services with Carrier Partnerships

With two million paid subscribers, Rhapsody International says it is the clear number two streaming music service, behind Spotify. The parent company of Rhapsody and Napster points to international expansion and carrier partnerships as reasons for its success. The services also use locations to help identify artist preferences, boosting international popularity. Through joint ventures, the company hopes to continue growing its audience, despite Spotify’s popularity. Continue reading Rhapsody Expanding Music Services with Carrier Partnerships

Nokia Plans to Spin-Off MixRadio Music Service as Standalone

As a result of Microsoft’s recent downsizing, Nokia has plans for its MixRadio streaming service to become a standalone company. While the app will still be included in handsets running Windows Phone software, MixRadio will now have the opportunity to pursue other platforms including iOS and Android. MixRadio offers themed playlists — online and through an app — free with no advertising. The service also provides users with an option to pay monthly for enhanced features. Continue reading Nokia Plans to Spin-Off MixRadio Music Service as Standalone

Music Streaming Up 42 Percent While Digital Downloads Fall

Streaming is the new face of digital music consumption, according to Nielsen’s 2014 Mid-Year Music Industry Report. In the U.S., on-demand streaming was up 42 percent from last year with over 70 billion songs (audio and video) streamed in the first half of 2014. Digital track downloads fell 13 percent to 593.6 million, compared with 682.2 million last year. The entire music industry’s sales, including albums, streaming, and downloads, dropped 3.3 percent. Continue reading Music Streaming Up 42 Percent While Digital Downloads Fall

Google Acquires Songza: Music Service with Focus on Context

Google is buying online radio service Songza for an undisclosed amount, in a move that could lead to increased competition with Apple, Amazon and others. The Pandora-like service anticipates the kinds of songs users want to hear with contextual playlists, a model that could be key to a future focused on the Internet of Things. The deal comes after Apple purchased Beats Music, Amazon launched its Prime Music service, and Google’s own YouTube readies a music service for this summer. Continue reading Google Acquires Songza: Music Service with Focus on Context

Apple Reportedly Getting Ready to Spend $3.2 Billion on Beats

Insiders say Apple is in talks for a proposed $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, which would provide Apple with Beats’ headphone business and recently-launched subscription music service. Although Apple disrupted the music business when it launched iTunes in 2003, it has recently faced declining download sales as consumers increasingly turn to subscription services. If the Beats deal goes through, it would be Apple CEO Tim Cook’s boldest and most expensive acquisition to date. Continue reading Apple Reportedly Getting Ready to Spend $3.2 Billion on Beats

Spotify Launches New Online Portal for Musicians and Managers

Spotify launched “Spotify for Artists” this week, a new website designed primarily for musicians and music managers. In an effort to quell industry critics, the site provides details regarding how the Spotify business model works, how the company calculates payouts for musicians, and how much the artists can expect to earn as the company expands. Spotify is also opening up its analytics for free, and has made e-commerce partnerships that incorporate merchandising. Continue reading Spotify Launches New Online Portal for Musicians and Managers

Beats Music: New Streaming Service Set for January Launch

There has been a great deal of speculation in recent months regarding Beats Music, the new streaming service from the makers of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, that intends to take on Spotify and others. Most reports had indicated the launch date was being pushed beyond 2013, but little was known about the service or its status. Now it looks like the target launch is January. Newspaper ads are appearing that simply read “coming soon” and a blitz of TV ads are expected. Continue reading Beats Music: New Streaming Service Set for January Launch

Beats Music Leans on Human Curation to Edge Out Competitors

Beats Music, a soon-to-be-released digital subscription service created by Jimmy Iovine, has a unique plan to attract subscribers and outdo competitors such as Radio and Spotify. This plan involves human curation, and while the company has declined to specify exactly how this will work, freelancers involved in the project have provided a certain amount of information. Essentially, unique playlists will be compiled by musicians, music writers and freelancers. Continue reading Beats Music Leans on Human Curation to Edge Out Competitors

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