Spotify’s Soundtrap Expands its Free Toolset for Podcasters

Acquired by Spotify in 2017, cloud-based audio recording studio Soundtrap just expanded its free tier for podcasters, now offering access to an unlimited number of projects and 2,210 loops. All creators using Soundtrap will now have unlimited free storage for podcasts and songs. Founded in 2012, the Swedish-based company has offered four subscription tiers, ranging from $10 to $17 per month, all supporting an unlimited number of projects, 550 instruments and 4,100 loops. Soundtrap’s free tier previously limited users to five projects and 900 loops. The number of available instruments will remain the same. Continue reading Spotify’s Soundtrap Expands its Free Toolset for Podcasters

Drake’s Album Sets Records, Apple Music Surpasses Spotify

Drake’s new album “Scorpion” has set multiple Apple Music records; it quickly became the fastest-growing album in the service’s history, topping Apple Music charts in 92 different countries. Meanwhile, according to “confidential details” shared with Digital Music News by a “U.S.-based, major distributor,” Apple Music now has more paid subscribers in the U.S. than Spotify. The report notes that Apple Music and Spotify both have more than 20 million U.S. subscribers. However, Apple’s stronger rate of growth suggests it is on a trajectory to increase its lead in America. Continue reading Drake’s Album Sets Records, Apple Music Surpasses Spotify

Spotify Expands Free Offerings, Looks to Extend Market Lead

Spotify is offering more free music in an effort to ultimately increase its number of paid subscribers. The popular streaming service has introduced an updated version of its free mobile app that offers non-paying users more on-demand tracks from 15 pre-populated playlists. Some of the playlists — such as “Discover Weekly” — are personalized for individual users. Spotify, already the world’s largest paid music service (and now a public company), is expanding its freemium model with the goal of one day reaching billions of users, while maintaining its lead over #2 subscription service Apple Music and other competitors. Continue reading Spotify Expands Free Offerings, Looks to Extend Market Lead

Amazon Considering an Ad-Supported Version of Prime Video

Rumors are rife that Amazon is — or is not — developing a free ad-supported version of its Prime streaming video service. Sources say that the company is already talking with media companies on providing content to the service. Current Prime members pay $99 per year for free shipping and access to ad-free TV shows and movies, including original programming. The new service could heat up the competition for eyeballs, as even more streaming services debut. Facebook, for example, launched Watch, a video hub with commercials. Continue reading Amazon Considering an Ad-Supported Version of Prime Video

‘Pokémon Go’ Is Still Popular: Passes $1.2 Billion in Revenue

According to the latest figures from Apptopia, mobile AR game sensation “Pokémon Go” has reached 752 million downloads and has earned more than $1.2 billion in revenue. The freemium game supports in-app purchases; total revenues for last year topped $950 million. The game “had about 60 million monthly players in June, with 20 percent of them opening the game at least once a day,” reports VentureBeat. “While that’s down from the app’s peak last August, which was at 100 million monthly users, it’s still a huge number.” Apptopia breaks down the game’s players: 57.4 percent are male, 38 percent are millennials (ages 19-34), and 32.5 percent are 18 or younger. Continue reading ‘Pokémon Go’ Is Still Popular: Passes $1.2 Billion in Revenue

Adele’s New Album to Launch Today, But Not for Streaming

Adele’s long-awaited new album “25,” her first in nearly five years, is scheduled for release today, but will not be made available via top streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. Less than one day before the album’s launch, major music services were reportedly informed that the singer’s new songs would not be made available for streaming. With the music industry in flux, especially in regards to distribution platforms, most artists need to accept the royalty payments and terms of service related to streaming offerings. However, top acts such as Adele, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift may have the power to set their own terms. Continue reading Adele’s New Album to Launch Today, But Not for Streaming

Streaming Services May Revive Falling Music Industry Revenue

Worldwide recorded-music revenue fell below $15 billion in 2014 for the first time in years, but the growth of streaming music services may have helped slow the decline, according to a new report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. For the first time, digital music sales exceeded CD sales. Revenue from streaming services rose 39 percent, and if the trend continues, the music industry might start to see a rise in revenue as early as next year. Continue reading Streaming Services May Revive Falling Music Industry Revenue

Tidal Could Come Through on Promise to Change Music Industry

Tidal, Jay Z’s new artist-backed music streaming service, is the latest addition to a crowded field of companies offering music online. Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and others have featured similar music libraries — until now. Jay Z’s hit album “Reasonable Doubt” disappeared from Spotify earlier this week, while several top artists started to release content exclusively on Tidal. The competition puts increased pressure on music fans to subscribe to one or more streaming services. Continue reading Tidal Could Come Through on Promise to Change Music Industry

Free-to-Play “Fable Legends” Arrives to Video Game Consoles

British video game developer, Lionhead Studios, recently announced that it plans to launch a new game console version of its free-to-play “Fable Legends” video game. The company, which was acquired by Microsoft back in 2006, believes that in offering the game for free, it can potentially attract millions of gamers that may eventually start paying for added gameplay features. The game, which will contain as many free features as possible, will be available to PC and Xbox gamers. Continue reading Free-to-Play “Fable Legends” Arrives to Video Game Consoles

Mobile Gaming Revenue on an Upswing, Supercell is Top Earner

Revenue from mobile gaming is expected to rise 16.5 percent this year to $3.04 billion, surpassing the revenue growth of e-books, music, and videos. An estimated 60 percent of that growth is expected from in-app purchases. Mobile gaming companies will likely make most of that revenue from only a few strong-performing games because the revenue distribution is highly skewed towards the top. Currently, European gaming companies are making the most successful mobile games. Continue reading Mobile Gaming Revenue on an Upswing, Supercell is Top Earner

Federal Regulators Analyze the True Cost of Freemium Games

Federal regulators are beginning to look into video games that follow the freemium model to determine whether or not they mislead consumers about costs. The idea behind this model is that users can download the game for free, but they need to pay in order to get further within the game. By claiming that the game is free, vulnerable players, such as children, can get sucked in before paying more and more money without realizing the true cost. Continue reading Federal Regulators Analyze the True Cost of Freemium Games

CES 2014: Gaming Trends to Expect in Las Vegas Next Month

Once an afterthought at the International CES, gaming stole the show at last year’s confab, due in part to strong offerings from NVIDIA and Valve’s hotly-anticipated foray into hardware. With the release of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 still fresh, Kickstarter supercharging virtual reality and more independent developers than ever before, we are expecting even bigger gaming news to be announced during January’s show. Continue reading CES 2014: Gaming Trends to Expect in Las Vegas Next Month

Pandora Limits Free Mobile Streaming Due to Royalty Costs

Rising royalty costs are causing a problem for Pandora, the popular music streaming service that will now have to limit the amount of free music users can access on mobile devices. According to a blog post from Tim Westergren, the company’s founder, users will face a limit of 40 hours per month on mobile devices, a change to take effect this week on the free streaming service. Continue reading Pandora Limits Free Mobile Streaming Due to Royalty Costs