Facebook Expands Watch Party, Playlist Makes Music Social

Facebook is expanding its Watch Party feature globally, to all Pages and all users. The company debuted the feature to all Groups in July 2018; in the following months, users streamed more than 12 million Watch Parties, which allow remote viewers to watch and comment together in real time. According to Facebook, these Watch Parties have resulted in eight times as many comments as the number generated by non-live videos in Groups, which the company regards as a “key metric” that the feature does indeed encourage engagement. Meanwhile, a new app named Playlist is bringing similar social interaction to music. Continue reading Facebook Expands Watch Party, Playlist Makes Music Social

Google Looks to Personalize Music with New Release Radio

Google just announced that New Release Radio is now opened up to all users. The new feature uses machine learning to analyze the user’s taste in music and then suggests new music based on those tastes. The feature will introduce both albums and singles that have debuted in the last two weeks; Google promotes it as “a really quick way to check out all-new music that’s tailored just for you.” Samsung Galaxy S8 users have had early access to New Release Radio since June, as a result of Google’s global partnership with the electronics giant. Continue reading Google Looks to Personalize Music with New Release Radio

Twitch Debuts Mobile App Updates Including Cam Streaming

Amazon-owned Twitch updated both its iOS and Android apps with a new navigation bar, interface options, recommendation algorithm and mobile streaming. The features will make it easier to use the camera for selfie-style videos and likely result in more content on the platform. Although Twitch has been focused on live gaming-related video — with a total market worth $4.6 billion — it has begun to include non-gaming content as part of Twitch IRL. Twitch also opened subscriptions to affiliates that don’t have as many viewers as a Twitch Partner. Continue reading Twitch Debuts Mobile App Updates Including Cam Streaming

Samsung Updates Smart Hub with Emphasis on Sports, Music

Searching for and organizing content is a fact of life with smart TVs. Samsung has updated its Smart Hub to make that experience — on the TV and smartphone — much easier, especially with regard to sports and music. The company demonstrated its new Smart Hub “experience” at CES 2017. The user no longer needs to search for where his or her favorite team can be found on OTA channels and streaming services. Instead, the user tells the Hub what teams he follows, and the Smart TV will give him channels, schedules and scores. For music, Samsung’s Hub now offers Shazam. Continue reading Samsung Updates Smart Hub with Emphasis on Sports, Music

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

Jay Z to Perform Free Concert Only for Tidal Music Subscribers

Rapper and producer Jay Z is promoting his new artist-backed music streaming service Tidal with an exclusive concert. “Tidal X: Jay Z B-Sides” will be held May 13 in New York City. The only way people can get tickets is by submitting a playlist on Tidal. The artist plans to play songs that he has not performed in over 10 years. The concert announcement follows in the wake of Jay Z vehemently defending Tidal on Twitter after other musicians had criticized the service for being too elitist. Continue reading Jay Z to Perform Free Concert Only for Tidal Music Subscribers

Yekra Adds Blockbusters, Customized Playlists to Movie Player

Yekra, a Los Angeles-based startup, distributes movies by embedding them in websites. With Yekra’s improved movie player, websites can directly distribute relevant movies to their visitors, and make money doing it. Website owners can choose movies for their customizable playlists from Yekra’s 250-film library, including blockbusters such as “The Dark Knight,” “The Great Gatsby” and “The Lord of the Rings.” In the past two years, Yekra has made $2.5 million in sales. Continue reading Yekra Adds Blockbusters, Customized Playlists to Movie Player

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

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

Music: Prince Sues Facebook Users for Copyright Infringement

Known for filing copyright infringement lawsuits, musician Prince has targeted 22 individuals for posting links of his live concerts and posting them on Facebook and blogs, and filed a lawsuit for $22 million in damages. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California. Only two of the defendants are referenced by their real names in the lawsuit, and the others are referenced by their online usernames.  Continue reading Music: Prince Sues Facebook Users for Copyright Infringement

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

YouTube Nation: DreamWorks Produces Daily Highlight Show

YouTube is teaming up with DreamWorks Animation to produce its first daily program. The new short program, “YouTube Nation,” will be available on the YouTube Spotlight page. The show will highlight the most exciting content and creators on YouTube. This will give channels and videos an opportunity to grow and build a loyal audience. DreamWorks will be responsible for production of the show, while YouTube will oversee sales and marketing. Continue reading YouTube Nation: DreamWorks Produces Daily Highlight Show

Beats Creates Playlists Based on Your Mood, Location, Friends

A new streaming service, Beats Music, is hitting the market in a new AT&T subscription model that will bundle it with smartphone data service, and offer it to as many as five users on the same plan. It will also stand alone as an app for smartphones with free and paid versions, available next week. Beats comes at a time when music lovers have the option to stream, download or listen to the radio, and the streaming market in particular is saturated with endless options of services. Continue reading Beats Creates Playlists Based on Your Mood, Location, Friends

Gracenote is Working Toward Personalizing Radio Ads in Cars

Gracenote is trying to make radio ads more relevant — and hopefully less annoying — by personalizing them and introducing ad targeting to terrestrial radio consumers in vehicles. In Las Vegas next month, the company will be promoting the next generation of its automotive platform at the Consumer Electronics Show. Sony, which acquired Gracenote in 2008, is said to be looking to sell the audio-recognition software business to focus on fewer products. Continue reading Gracenote is Working Toward Personalizing Radio Ads in Cars

Google Glass Software Update Delivers Compelling Features

Google has released a Glass software update that includes some substantial new features. Update XE12 provides users with the ability to snap a photo with a discreet wink, adds a lock screen function for improved security, offers options for uploading Glass-shot videos directly to YouTube, and intros Hangouts integration for messaging and chatting with friends. Additionally, the Google Play Music app is available and the long-awaited MyGlass app for iOS is being rolled out. Continue reading Google Glass Software Update Delivers Compelling Features

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