Pandora Takes On Spotify With Debut of Personalized Playlists

Pandora believes it can out-playlist Spotify. The music streaming service has released new personalized playlist options for users, catering to moods, activities and genres. The feature is powered by Pandora’s Music Genome, an information database that “has been in development for over a decade and is capable of classifying music at the song level across 450 different attributes — ‘genes’ that can be as specific as what types of strings are on the guitar,” reports TechCrunch. Pandora’s new feature arrives on the eve of Spotify’s public debut, slated for early April (as a direct listing rather than IPO).

Continue reading Pandora Takes On Spotify With Debut of Personalized Playlists

Hulu Acquires The VGP to Improve Recommendation Options

Hulu just bought the assets of The Video Genome Project (The VGP), whose technology automatically aggregates metadata around video content, classifies it into subgenres and then uses the data to connect titles. The VGP makes connections beyond obvious criteria such as genre, director or cast. Hulu says a “small team” from The VGP will join the company, and, with this technology, Hulu will be able to offer classifications similar to Netflix’s more granular offerings, such as “Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy Based on Books.” Continue reading Hulu Acquires The VGP to Improve Recommendation Options

Spotify Intern Creates System to Improve Recommendations

By analyzing the acoustic properties of songs on Spotify, intern and PhD student Sander Dieleman hopes to advance the streaming service’s recommendation algorithms to aid users in discovering new and lesser known music. Rather than basing recommendations on the choices people with similar tastes make, they would be based on songs the user listens to. This method, which requires deep learning, would then mix more obscure but user relevant songs into the recommendations. Continue reading Spotify Intern Creates System to Improve Recommendations

Amazon Launches Ad-Free, Streaming “Prime Music” Service

As expected, Amazon has launched Prime Music featuring more than one million songs and hundreds of playlists. The new service offers unlimited streaming without ads or restrictions. It is free to Amazon Prime members and could potentially help attract new subscribers (those who are interested can sign up for a free 30-day trial). Prime members can also listen to downloaded music offline on their Kindle Fire, HDX, iOS, Android and Mac/PC devices via Amazon’s Cloud Player. Continue reading Amazon Launches Ad-Free, Streaming “Prime Music” Service

Pro Music Curators Create Specialized Playlists for Listeners

The access to millions of songs on Spotify, Pandora and other online music streaming services has music fans feeling overwhelmed. Some fans are now turning to professional music curators to help them identify the best songs for their specific mood. Professional playlist makers typically do not compile mixes based on broad genres or decades, but instead, they create mixes for specific occasions or emotional states, such as a family road trip or a sad break-up. Continue reading Pro Music Curators Create Specialized Playlists for Listeners

Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

Amazon’s new Fire TV will serve as a game console in addition to streaming movies and TV shows. To help distinguish itself from industry giants such as Xbox One or PlayStation 4, Amazon plans to develop some of its own Android games. While Amazon Game Studios has not released a full list, sci-fi shooter “Sev Zero” has the potential to be the most popular. Amazon recently acquired Double Helix Games, the company that made the Xbox One launch title “Killer Instinct.” Continue reading Amazon Fire TV to Feature Android Games Created In-House

TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

TiVo co-founders Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay announced the launch of Qplay a little over a month ago. The service allows users to create personalized video streams called “Q’s” from various sources. Since the announcement, the app, service and TV adapter have only been available as an Early Adopter bundle for $49. Starting this week, the Qplay app is available for free for everyone (not including the TV adapter). The service has added video content from Reddit, College Humor, Funny or Die, The New York Times and Vanity FairContinue reading TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

Pluto.tv Creates Curated Channels Based on Online Videos

As online videos continue to become more popular, many viewers are faced with the challenge of navigating a flood of content. Pluto.tv has created topic-based video channels in the hopes of addressing this problem, and aims to give viewers the feeling of watching a 30-minute packaged television show compiled of a dozen or more short video clips. There are about 100 channels featuring categories such as Comedy, Music, Sports, Tech, Education and Kids. Pluto.tv has designed its interface to mimic a standard TV guide. Continue reading Pluto.tv Creates Curated Channels Based on Online Videos

Samsung Enters the Music-Streaming Market with Radio Service

Samsung launched a free radio-streaming service in the U.S. last week, which aims to attract customers for its Galaxy-branded smartphones while taking on the likes of Pandora, Spotify and Apple. The initially ad-free “Milk Music” combines content licensed from Slacker Radio’s catalog of about 13 million songs with music obtained exclusively for Samsung. It differs from other services in that users do not need to log in or even register. The application can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Continue reading Samsung Enters the Music-Streaming Market with Radio Service

Rovi Pays $69 Million to Acquire Voice Search Startup Veveo

Rovi announced that it is purchasing video discovery and voice search startup Veveo and the company’s IP for $62 million in cash and up to an additional $7 million based on performance milestones. The acquisition of Veveo’s technology is expected to bring new voice search capability to Rovi’s video discovery platform. Veveo uses natural language processing combined with semantic tech to integrate intuitive search and recommendation features into video discovery applications. Continue reading Rovi Pays $69 Million to Acquire Voice Search Startup Veveo

New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

What if every radio station was searchable and you could look up a song you wanted to listen to, pick one of the stations it was currently playing on, and listen? Radio Search Engine, a new venture by entrepreneur Michael Robertson, allows just that. The site indexes around 40,000 radio stations in real-time and allows users to tune in from the Web. Currently in beta mode, Radio Search Engine essentially turns thousands of radio stations into a searchable music jukebox. Continue reading New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

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

Heavy Metal and 3D Movie Join Forces To Rock Comic-Con

The art film company Picturehouse, which folded in 2008, will mark its return with the debut of an unusual combination of concert footage and scripted fantasy in “Metallica Through the Never” at next week’s Comic-Con in San Diego. The 3D IMAX film will be a loud re-introduction of the company as it looks to rebuild itself and make more films. Picturehouse is not generally known for music, but neither is Comic-Con. Continue reading Heavy Metal and 3D Movie Join Forces To Rock Comic-Con

Twitter Introduces New Music Charts that Track Popularity

Twitter has rolled out a new component to its #Music service for the Web that offers charts based on genre and artist popularity. The service is powered by the San Fancisco-based company We Are Hunted, which Twitter acquired in 2012. The charts provide compelling data that should be of interest to record labels and could potentially lead to artists engaging more directly with their fans on Twitter. Continue reading Twitter Introduces New Music Charts that Track Popularity