Pandora Unveils AMPcast Social Audio Messaging for Artists

Pandora just launched AMPcast, which lets a musician communicate with his fans via audio messages that he can record on his mobile phone and post to run in conjunction with his music streams. Pandora, which has 80 million users, is competing in this space with Spotify, which has acquired startups to expand messaging and social networking. AMPcast also competes with Superphone, a new service from musician Ryan Leslie that uses SMS and users’ phone numbers to directly message fans. Continue reading Pandora Unveils AMPcast Social Audio Messaging for Artists

Dr. Dre Stars In, Exec Produces Apple’s First Scripted Series

Funded by Apple, Beats co-founder/rap star Dr. Dre is starring in and executive producing a six-episode series, “Vital Signs.” Although it isn’t known whether any Apple platform — including Apple TV and the iTunes store — or traditional TV distributor will be involved, it is likely that Apple Music will distribute the series. Sources who have seen show descriptions report that Sam Rockwell (“Poltergeist,” “Seven Psychopaths”) and Mo McCrae (“Murder in the First,” “Sons of Anarchy”) are among the additional cast. Continue reading Dr. Dre Stars In, Exec Produces Apple’s First Scripted Series

Jaunt Releases New VR Music Experience for Google Cardboard

Virtual reality developer Jaunt has created a new app for Google Cardboard that allows users to experience performances by musician Jack White in a 360-degree, stereoscopic 3D virtual reality experience. The app, called “Jack White: THIRD-D,” is part of Google’s rollout of a new page in its Play store dedicated exclusively to content for Cardboard. Google claims that it has shipped more than 500,000 Cardboard devices as the demand for virtual reality has risen. Continue reading Jaunt Releases New VR Music Experience for Google Cardboard

Artists Get Major Cut from BitTorrent Premium Content Bundles

File sharing network BitTorrent is now giving all artists the option to distribute their content in paid content bundles. A paygate-based distribution model is a major departure for the site that is infamous for its pirating. BitTorrent will get a 10 percent cut of the revenue from these paygate premium content bundles, while artists will earn a whopping 90 percent cut. The artists will also get access to valuable data about the consumers who are buying their content on BitTorrent. Continue reading Artists Get Major Cut from BitTorrent Premium Content Bundles

YouTube to Block Artists Who Don’t Sign Up for New Service

Content from indie artists could disappear from Google’s YouTube “in a matter of days.” As YouTube prepares to launch its ad-free streaming music service, it also plans to block videos from independent labels and artists that choose not to sign up for the new subscription offering. While YouTube has signed licensing deals with the major labels, it says it will block others from using its entire platform if they do not agree to terms of the upcoming premium service. Continue reading YouTube to Block Artists Who Don’t Sign Up for New Service

Amazon Prime Ready to Launch its Anticipated Music Service

Amazon has reportedly reached agreements with record labels in order to launch a streaming music service by June or July. The Prime music service does not plan to feature recent song releases, but will offer a catalog of tracks and albums that are six months old and older — providing an additional benefit to Prime members who already enjoy access to movies and TV shows via Instant Video, an e-books lending library, and free two-day shipping on products ordered through the retail site. Continue reading Amazon Prime Ready to Launch its Anticipated Music Service

Billboard and Twitter Introduce First Real-Time Music Charts

Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts is a collaboration between Billboard and Twitter where fans help rank the most popular songs shared on the social network in the U.S. The first chart, the Billboard Trending 140, is a ranking of songs shared in the U.S. measured by acceleration over the past hour. A real-time view of the most shared tracks over the past day is available. The second chart, the Emerging Artists chart, is ranked by the number of times each song by an up-and-coming artist was shared over the past day. Continue reading Billboard and Twitter Introduce First Real-Time Music Charts

Apple to Buy Beats for $3 Billion: Largest Deal in its History

Apple announced yesterday that it has agreed to purchase Beats Electronics for $3 billion, in a deal that is expected to help the tech giant better compete with subscription-based music services. As anticipated based on earlier reports, Apple will offer the Beats streaming music service, built on curated playlists, and its premium headphones under a separate Beats brand, while the iTunes music store and streaming radio platform will be offered alongside the Beats music service. The Beats deal marks the largest acquisition in Apple’s history. Continue reading Apple to Buy Beats for $3 Billion: Largest Deal in its History

New Startup Adventr Will Help You Easily Make Interactive Videos

Adventr has launched a new drag & drop editing platform that allows users to create interactive videos. The New York City-based startup is backed by musician John Legend, and was founded by Devo Harris, better known as Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Devo Springsteen. The service essentially works by overlaying graphics on video, and giving users multiple choices. Adventr also allows users to share their videos on Twitter, Facebook, and any website that supports the VPAID format. Continue reading New Startup Adventr Will Help You Easily Make Interactive Videos

Major Record Companies Invest $3M Each in Shazam Music App

Music-identification app Shazam has landed investments from the industry’s biggest record labels, including Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. London-based Shazam’s most recent valuation was $500 million. Its value for the labels involves its potential as a marketing partner. Not only does the app enable users to identify music playing on the radio or TV, but it lets them share a song’s name via social media, download it from iTunes, or stream it via services such as Spotify. Continue reading Major Record Companies Invest $3M Each in Shazam Music App

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

Vevo Announces Original Content, Expanded Pact with Twitter

Vevo, YouTube’s single largest music supplier of videos, does not just distribute music videos. At the 2014 NewFronts presentations, Vevo introduced seven new original series that explore different aspects of music and the artists that create it. Vevo also announced deals with Twitter to promote videos and Mirriad to integrate brands into their new content. The digital music video powerhouse also plans to host a live concert in the fall of 2014. Continue reading Vevo Announces Original Content, Expanded Pact with Twitter

Rdio to Launch Free, Ad-Supported Music Service This Year

Music service Rdio is planning a free, ad-supported offering to launch later this year. The service is also expected to add more non-music content and morning shows from Cumulus, which became a significant investor in Rdio last year. Some of that may include sports and talk show content from WestWood One, which Cumulus recently acquired. Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey introduced the new ad-supported model during a Q1 earnings call earlier this week. Continue reading Rdio to Launch Free, Ad-Supported Music Service This Year

Labels File Copyright Suit Against Pandora Under State Law

Major record labels Sony, Universal and Warner Music, along with indie label ABKCO, filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan last week, claiming that streaming music service Pandora is violating New York’s common-law copyright protections by using songs recorded prior to 1972 without licenses. The suit acknowledges that older songs are not protected under federal copyright, but contends that Pandora needs permission to use them under state law. Continue reading Labels File Copyright Suit Against Pandora Under State Law

New Billboard Charts Will Measure Music Popularity on Twitter

Billboard and Twitter announced yesterday that the companies plan to launch Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts in May — regularly updated lists of the songs most frequently discussed and shared via Twitter in the U.S. The real-time charts will be published on Billboard.com and Billboard’s Twitter feed. While music is currently the most widely discussed topic on the social network, with seven of the top 10 accounts belonging to pop stars, Twitter has been largely unsuccessful in exploiting its music-related traffic. Continue reading New Billboard Charts Will Measure Music Popularity on Twitter

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