TikTok Adds ‘Artist Accounts’ to Help Boost Music Streaming

TikTok is further entrenching itself in music streaming with its new “Artist Account” toolbox that allows followers to play tunes, buy merchandise and access news and information. The new feature is designed to allow artists to promote their work and increase discoverability using such tools as an artist tag and new release highlights on discovery pages. TikTok describes the Artist Account as a “toolbox of features” to support promotion and “forge a closer relationship between artist and fan on TikTok.” Available to every music creator that has uploaded at least four songs, more than 70,000 accounts are eligible from the drop. Continue reading TikTok Adds ‘Artist Accounts’ to Help Boost Music Streaming

YouTube Music Experiments with AI for Generating Cover Art

YouTube Music is rolling out an experimental feature that lets English-language users tap artificial intelligence to generate cover art for their playlists. Without leaving the app, creators can now “effortlessly explore from a range of visual themes and options to create one-of-a-kind cover art,” YouTube explains, adding the feature would be rolling out in different languages. That was one of a series of new personalization and discovery tools the streamer recently announced. The company is also adding “speed dial” so music fans can effortlessly revert to their favorite recent listening experiences. Continue reading YouTube Music Experiments with AI for Generating Cover Art

TikTok Dives into Live Music with Its First Concert Experience

After launching a subscription-only music streaming service in territories around the world this past summer, TikTok is now moving into concerts and e-ticketing. The ByteDance company’s first live global music event will be “TikTok In The Mix,” featuring Cardi B, Niall Horan, Anitta and Charlie Puth, along with surprise guests and new artists from the TikTok Elevate program. Taking place December 10 at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona, the show will integrate elements of the For You feed, with “a range of activities inspired by the TikTok community’s favorite trends.” Continue reading TikTok Dives into Live Music with Its First Concert Experience

Spotify Lets Artists Pay to Get Home Feed Recommendations

Spotify is adding a new tool called Showcase that lets artists promote their work in the app’s homepage feed. Showcase “appears as a mobile banner at the top of Spotify’s Home — the most visited place on Spotify, where millions of listeners come to decide what to listen to, resulting in billions of streams each day,” the streamer says, adding that “people who see a Showcase are 6x more likely to stream the promoted release.” The banners will carry labels indicating a recommendation is sponsored. The company is also launching a marketing tool called Songwriter Promo Cards to assist with discovery. Continue reading Spotify Lets Artists Pay to Get Home Feed Recommendations

Spotify Tweaks Contentious Policy on Hate Content, Conduct

Spotify introduced a “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy in May and, due to the dismay and confusion it sparked, the company is changing its policy, specifically canceling the portion related to the decision to remove artists from playlists if they were involved in “controversies.” Kendrick Lamar’s record label felt so strongly about the policy that it threatened to remove his music from Spotify, and company chief executive Daniel Ek was forced to admit the company could have done a better job in explaining the policy. Continue reading Spotify Tweaks Contentious Policy on Hate Content, Conduct

Spotify Launches New Tool, Enlisting Users to Add Metadata

Spotify has launched Line-In, a music metadata editor, and has begun collecting information from users, who are now able to add descriptions of genres, albums and songs on the platform. The move is an effort by the streaming service to better understand how listeners hear and interpret music — and to continue emphasizing the importance of data to its business. All contributed edits are treated as suggestions and are carefully reviewed before being added to the data that powers the service. The 10-year-old Swedish company is about to go public via a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO.

Continue reading Spotify Launches New Tool, Enlisting Users to Add Metadata

Facebook Strikes Significant Deals With MLB, Warner Music

Facebook and Major League Baseball have agreed to an exclusive deal through which Facebook now has rights to stream 25 afternoon MLB games live on its social media platform. This marks the first time a major sports league in the U.S. has agreed to broadcast regular season games exclusively on Facebook — and the decision was unanimous among MLB owners. Though neither party disclosed financial details, people close to the matter say it is valued between $30-$35 million. Facebook also signed a major licensing deal with Warner Music Group. Continue reading Facebook Strikes Significant Deals With MLB, Warner Music

Music Publisher Files $1.6 Billion Copyright Suit Against Spotify

Wixen Music Publishing filed a $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit in a California federal court against popular music streamer Spotify. Wixen claims that the Stockholm-based service used thousands of songs — including those by the Doors, Tom Petty and Neil Young — without a direct or compulsory license and without compensating the music publisher. According to Reuters: “Wixen also alleged that Spotify outsourced its work to a third party, licensing and royalty services provider the Harry Fox Agency, which was ‘ill-equipped to obtain all the necessary mechanical licenses.’” Spotify, which has grown in value to $19 billion, recently filed IPO documents with the SEC. Continue reading Music Publisher Files $1.6 Billion Copyright Suit Against Spotify

Pandora Readies Subscription-Based On-Demand Streaming

Pandora is expanding beyond its flagship free Internet radio, with two new monthly subscription options. According to sources, the company is near to inking deals with major record companies. Up until now, Pandora hasn’t needed to secure rights because listeners can’t get specific songs on demand, and the company has limited service in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, where music licensing is automatic in exchange for payments. The new tiers will debut first in the U.S. and then other English-speaking countries. Continue reading Pandora Readies Subscription-Based On-Demand Streaming

Pandora Integrates Ticketfly, Adds Concert Recommendations

A Pandora listener will now be shown concert recommendations based on the music she listens to, and a click on a concert will forward her to Ticketfly’s app or website. This is the first step in integrating Pandora’s streaming music service with Ticketfly, a concert ticketing service Pandora bought for $450 million in October 2015. Concerts are shown via the app’s feed, push notifications on mobile devices and a weekly email. Ticketfly generates notifications as soon as a concert promoter creates an event. Continue reading Pandora Integrates Ticketfly, Adds Concert Recommendations

Apple Changes its App Store to Address Developer Complaints

Apple is now addressing developer complaints with changes to its App Store. Among those changes, Apple will allow more app subscriptions and start running ads with App Store search results. Creators of smaller, independent apps say discovery is difficult in the massive App Store. Other apps, such as those for workplace productivity, are difficult to make profitable without subscriptions. Up until now, Apple has only allowed subscriptions for a few categories, including music streaming, news publications and dating services. Continue reading Apple Changes its App Store to Address Developer Complaints

Latest T-Mobile Promotion Offers Stock Shares to Customers

T-Mobile chief executive John Legere says he will give away a share in the company to every account holder with a voice plan, a deal that’s also good for new customers. Those who have been T-Mobile customers for at least five years will also get two shares for every new customer they refer. T-Mobile says it has more than 30 million postpaid phone customers. The stock is currently trading at $43.07 per share, which would value the promotion at $1.3 billion if every customer takes Legere up on his offer. Continue reading Latest T-Mobile Promotion Offers Stock Shares to Customers

Spotify Now Producing Original Music-Focused Video Content

Music streaming service Spotify, which boasts 75 million users, plans to debut 12 new original video programs around music themes. The new programs, which will feature performances, pop culture, musical storytelling, animation and videos about music culture, will be produced and streamed beginning this summer. Spotify had announced a year ago that it planned to move into video. The content will initially be available in four regions — the U.S., U.K., Germany and its home market Sweden — out of the company’s 59 markets. Continue reading Spotify Now Producing Original Music-Focused Video Content

RIAA Now Counts Streaming in Determining Platinum Records

The organization that awards gold and platinum record certifications to top selling artists has updated the way it counts album sales to include streaming data. The Recording Industry Association of America will now count 1,500 audio or video song streams as ten track sales, which equals one album sale. An artist’s album will achieve gold record status when it sells more than 500,000 copies and platinum record status when it sells more than 1,000,000 copies. Continue reading RIAA Now Counts Streaming in Determining Platinum Records

SoundCloud Debuts New ‘Stations’ Feature for its Mobile Apps

Music streaming service SoundCloud intends to make music discovery easier through its new “Stations” feature for iOS and Android apps. Stations can create an endless playlist of music based on a search term or track. The new feature populates these stations with songs related to a user’s “Likes” on the streaming music platform. Users have long sought such a feature to make discovery easier. SoundCloud’s latest update makes it more comparable to paid streaming services like Pandora, Apple Music and Spotify. Continue reading SoundCloud Debuts New ‘Stations’ Feature for its Mobile Apps