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

Jay Z Has Major Plans for Artist-Backed Streaming Music Service

Rap star and mogul Jay Z is giving artists unprecedented control over their music by owning a piece of his new music streaming service. Jay Z bought Tidal, a subscription streaming service, for $56 million and plans to go head-to-head with other streaming services such as Spotify. The platform is a new alternative for artists and labels frustrated with the free streaming model. Tidal will feature $10 and $20 subscription options that provide access to millions of songs and videos. Continue reading Jay Z Has Major Plans for Artist-Backed Streaming Music Service

Amazon Launches Streaming Music Update with Prime Stations

Amazon has introduced “Prime Stations” for users of its Prime Music iOS app. The mobile update is intended to help the music service better compete with the likes of Pandora and iTunes Radio. Prime Stations are ad-free stations that offer unlimited song skips. The updated app features personalized recommendations that are based on a user’s play history and will therefore become more accurate over time. Prime Stations can also learn from user feedback (thumbs up or thumbs down) to create better playlists. Continue reading Amazon Launches Streaming Music Update with Prime Stations

ASCAP Turns to Streaming Services for Collection of Royalties

ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) reported having its best year to date in 2014. The not-for-profit performance-rights organization, which collects royalties on behalf of over 500,000 musical artists and more than 10 million songs, collected a little over $1 billion in revenue for 2014. ASCAP said that it had improved its efforts in identifying songs being played via streaming services and in return created opportunities to pay more artists for their work. Continue reading ASCAP Turns to Streaming Services for Collection of Royalties

Milestone: iHeartRadio Exceeds 60 Million Registered Users

Last week, iHeartRadio announced that it had reached over 60 million registered users. The streaming service is distinct from its competitors such as Pandora and Spotify in that it also allows users to access stations for free without the need to register. Only those who opt for listening to playlists and accessing more personalized features need to register with the service. This unique model makes it difficult to compare to Spotify’s 60 million active monthly users or Pandora’s registered 250 million users. Continue reading Milestone: iHeartRadio Exceeds 60 Million Registered Users

Research Points to Mobile Revenue Reaching Box Office Totals

According to a recent study by SNL Kagan, mobile entertainment revenue is poised to match that of box office totals. Last year in the U.S., revenue generated by mobile games, videos, music and location-based services topped $9.14 billion (and has grown at a combined annual rate of 50 percent the last three years, notes the research). The 2014 total is getting close to the estimated $10.35 billion consumers spent on movie tickets in the U.S. Mobile games led the charge by far, earning more than $5.2 billion last year. Continue reading Research Points to Mobile Revenue Reaching Box Office Totals

Studies Show Listeners Still Turn to Radio for Music Discovery

Despite the rise of online streaming music services, the “local nature” of radio makes it the most popular platform for music discovery. According to Nielsen, some 243 million people still tune in to radio each week and 51 percent of listeners use radio to discover new music. That’s more than the number of people that find new music on services like YouTube or Spotify, but many music consumers use a combination of both traditional radio and online services to listen to their favorite tunes. Continue reading Studies Show Listeners Still Turn to Radio for Music Discovery

LINE Messaging App Plans to Start Subscription Music Service

The company behind the LINE messaging app is the latest to join the crowded music streaming business. LINE will launch “LINE MUSIC” in collaboration with recording labels Avex Digital and Sony Music Entertainment. The new venture is backed by about $4 million, but it will have to compete with established streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Google. LINE has achieved success with its messaging app, which now has over 500 million registered users. Continue reading LINE Messaging App Plans to Start Subscription Music Service

Health & Fitness is Fastest Growing Category on Google Play

Google released an end-of-year rundown that measures the most popular apps on its Play Store. This year’s fastest growing app category has been health and fitness, led by diet tracker MyFitnessPal. With 100,000 mobile health apps available now for Android and iOS, the global health and fitness app market is worth about $4 billion. In other categories, Facebook topped social, Netflix was the leader in entertainment, Pandora was the most popular music app, and Flipagram led the photography category. Continue reading Health & Fitness is Fastest Growing Category on Google Play

YouTube, Online Music Services Face New Wave of Opposition

In the wake of Taylor Swift’s stand against Spotify, a number of music companies are considering pulling their artists’ songs from YouTube and free music services. Global Music Rights (GMR) demanded that YouTube stop playing some 20,000 songs from its artists, including music composed by John Lennon, the Eagles, and Pharrell Williams. Sony is also considering pulling the music of its artists such as One Direction, Calvin Harris, and Carrie Underwood from Spotify. Continue reading YouTube, Online Music Services Face New Wave of Opposition

YouTube Music Key: A New Player in Subscription Streaming

For years, Google’s YouTube has been the most visited online destination for free music. And while other companies such as Pandora and Spotify have opted for a pay model to provide consumers with unlimited, uninterrupted music content, YouTube remained out of the subscription streaming business — until now. Last week, YouTube unveiled YouTube Music Key, a music streaming service that offers higher quality, access anywhere, ad-free music for $10 per month. Continue reading YouTube Music Key: A New Player in Subscription Streaming

New Google Chromecast Apps Turn the TV into a Game Board

Google’s Chromecast streaming device now supports new game apps that viewers can play on their TV screens. The games include both board game classics, like sped-up versions of Scrabble and Monopoly, in addition to new titles. Users must download the corresponding game app to their mobile phones and then they can use their phones to play the games on their TV screen. The relatively quick games are more like mobile games than they are like traditional video games. Continue reading New Google Chromecast Apps Turn the TV into a Game Board

Review: Google Nexus Player Should Appeal to Cord Cutters

According to reviewer Tim Moynihan writing for Wired, Google’s $99 Nexus Player, a new streaming box running Android TV, offers “the closest a platform has come to a usable form of the Web on your TV — the parts of the Web curated by Google, at least.” The Nexus Player provides a seamless way to navigate the Internet on your television with features such as voice command, YouTube streaming and the ability to cast practically anything from the Internet to your TV screen.  Continue reading Review: Google Nexus Player Should Appeal to Cord Cutters

Warner Music Group Partners with SoundCloud for Digital Edge

With about 175 million current users, SoundCloud far exceeds Spotify and Pandora, which combine for a total of about 116 million users. And while SoundCloud has yet to build any sort of real business with these numbers, it recently agreed to partner with a major record label. Rather than taking a traditional licensing route with its new Warner Music Group deal, the music-streaming site will offer WMG the option to advertise on some of its songs and share revenue with SoundCloud. Continue reading Warner Music Group Partners with SoundCloud for Digital Edge

Amazon Expands Entertainment Offerings with Comedy Service

As part of its continued media and digital content expansion to take on companies such as Netflix, Amazon is set to acquire online comedy service Rooftop Media. The service gives viewers access to live and on demand recorded content from comedy acts across the country. While specifics of the deal remain undisclosed, the 10-person company will be acquired by Audible, a growing seller of online audiobooks that Amazon purchased in 2008 for $300 million. Continue reading Amazon Expands Entertainment Offerings with Comedy Service

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