Streaming music service Spotify has launched in Germany, overcoming long-standing music licensing headaches to bring free and paid plans to its thirteenth market. As expected, Spotify is offering its usual free plan - supported by adverts - as well as two premium plans, with €4.99 for ad-free listening with Spotify Unlimited, and €9.99 for Spotify Premium with mobile access.
In just three months it appears that Spotify's own Spotify Apps platform has sprouted up some undeniably successful offshoots including such gems as their own versions of Soundrop, Tunewiki, and SpotOn Radio, and the report coming in today is that there's some impressive numbers to go with the tunes! First Moodagent, an app we checked out when the Spotify Apps platform was first dropped - it's boasting a cool 3.5 million playlists a week now, each of them inside their own "playlists to match your mood" umbrella with "Happy Quick" taking the crown over the now not as heavy "Angry" mood.
Spotify has been around for a while in the US now and in other countries for longer. The streaming music service has proven to be very popular and gives access to a wide variety of music. Spotify claims it's always on the lookout for ways to improve the music listening experience and land more users. It has announced two new features that users of the service will appreciate.
HTC could take on Spotify and Pandora with a streaming music service for its mobile devices, sources indicate, building on its Beats Audio investment with more unique features to differentiate its smartphones. The company is working with music producer and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine on the unnamed streaming service, GigaOm's sources claim, in addition to new music-centric hardware such as Bluetooth-connected speakers that might debut as soon as Mobile World Congress later this month.
As the 2012 election season for the President of the United States comes down upon is in a hailstorm of advertisements and pushes to do the right thing, so too do the brand collaborations begin - right here with Spotify. Though we've already seen the President go on Google+ to do a fireside chat after his State of the Union address just a few days ago, this is the first real place, I'd say, we're seeing Obama really jam on the youth-tip to get back in touch with the citizens of the United States so they can vote for him in 2012. While Barack Obama has never been one to get too far away from this environment, you're going to see one whole heck of a lot more of this tech-related business as the elections come up - what better way to start than with some Spotify music?
Apparently not enough people liked iLike. The service that was once seen as a potential revolution to the online music industry has shut its doors and is now officially finished with its operations. The service was acquired by Myspace in 2009. Perhaps that was a sign that it wasn't exactly destined for greatness. Nevertheless, it came onto the scene as a powerful new player and now remains as an example of how dynamic this social online landscape is.
Secretive licensing deals and "insufficient transparency" could scupper Spotify and other cloud-jukebox services, U2 manager Paul McGuinness has warned, suggesting that "we're unlikely to give [debut records] to Spotify" as the streaming music platform is more promotional than a money-spinner. McGuinness sees "the Spotify model" as part of the future of music, Digital Music News reports, but the supergroup manager also criticized confidentiality agreements between the service and labels as failing to show exactly what the benefits to musicians might be.
Spotify has reached a new milestone, hitting 3 million paying subscribers, up from 2 million in September and 2.5 million in November. The conversion ratio of paying subscribers has also increased, with the new figure representing 20 percent of Spotify's active user base, whereas that ratio was 15 percent last March.
Rhapsody has acquired Napster in Europe, grabbing an instant user-base boost in the UK and Germany, and continuing to ramp up the pressure on streaming darling Spotify. Current Napster subscribers in Europe will be shifted over to Rhapsody's system in March 2012, gaining a new web-based client and mobile apps, but keeping their existing library of tracks and albums.
Details of the draconian music licensing deals Spotify has been forced to agree to by record labels have leaked, amid suggestions that the streaming music service will never be profitable. The terms - which apply to other streaming media services as well, such as Rhapsody - conspire to undermine the streaming companies' negotiating power, GigaOm reports, with such gems as huge upfront payments and payout deals based on the biggest income of either minimum subscriber fees, per-play costs or total company revenue.