streaming music

Universal wants Spotify to tighten leash on freemium model

Universal wants Spotify to tighten leash on freemium model

There is very little doubt that, at least in the West, digital music has eclipsed sales of physical media like CDs. But it seems that even in the digital land there is a bit of unrest. Streaming services, particularly Spotify, are largely seen to be eating into the numbers of digital downloads, provided by the likes of iTunes. But the Universal Music Group, one of if not the world's largest music company and who holds a 5 percent stake in Spotify, wants even more and wants Spotify to "urge" its free users to upgrade to paid.

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Streaming now trumps CD sales, but that’s not the whole story

Streaming now trumps CD sales, but that’s not the whole story

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), who likely keep track of info like this pretty closely, revenue from streaming music has outpaced CD sales for the first time ever. Streaming services like Spotify, Play Music All Access, and Pandora helped contribute to $1.87 billion in revenue for 2014, while CD sales were $1.85 billion. It’s a 6% revenue hike for streaming, which now accounts for 27% of total recording industry revenue. Industry growth was flat from 2013 to 2014, says the RIAA.

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Rhapsody now streams full tracks inside Twitter app

Rhapsody now streams full tracks inside Twitter app

You’ve probably seen tweets with links to songs, but playing one in-line will be new to many. Today, Rhapsody is announcing they’re letting twitter users share roughly 32 million tracks, which can be played back without leaving the Twitter app. People who may not have Rhapsody accounts can listen to the full track for free, too. Even better, each play will feed the artist royalties, which could bring a new monetization for ‘viral’ songs. The new feature takes effect today.

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Report: Apple seeing pushback on iTunes streaming price point

Report: Apple seeing pushback on iTunes streaming price point

The promise of a streaming iTunes library is still on the horizon, reportedly coming to us during WWDC later this year. The idea is simple: take iTunes, and open it up for streaming. The actual execution isn’t so easy. Apple has to re-negotiate existing distribution contracts with record labels to get them to allow for streaming. We’d once heard Apple was aiming for a $7.99 price point for streaming, but a new report says record labels aren’t going for it; they want Apple to charge $10 or more, monthly.

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Apple reportedly aiming for paid iTunes streaming — no free option

Apple reportedly aiming for paid iTunes streaming — no free option

Remember the Taylor Swift/Spotify slap-fight? She yanked her music because the streaming service wasn’t paying enough, and they retorted she was making a ton of cash. It drug on for a bit, but she was ultimately right — streaming doesn’t pay artists enough, especially when it’s free for consumers. In discussing their new iTunes music streaming option, Apple execs are reportedly telling record labels to “get behind a paywall”. As such, their new service is not believed to offer any type of free tier.

Google now lets you store 50,000 tracks in Play music

Google now lets you store 50,000 tracks in Play music

If you uploaded music to Play Music, but ran through the 20,000 song limit pretty quickly, we’ve got great news. Today, Google has upped the ante on Play Music’s song upload limit. Now, you can upload up to 50,000 tracks to Play Music, so music buffs (and former iTunes users) can now upload a much larger library. Best of all, this storage option costs you nothing — it’s 100% free, and doesn’t count against Drive or other Google-y cloud storage, like Gmail.

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Rdio, AEG bring custom curation for live music fans

Rdio, AEG bring custom curation for live music fans

Concertgoers who purchase tickets via AXS, a subsidiary of AEG, might end up getting free streaming music. In a new partnership, tickets purchased via AXS will also get users a free 30-day trial of Rdio. The month-long free subscription is for unlimited streaming, but comes with an added bonus. Depending on your ticket purchase history, Rdio may be able to customize your new profile with music you’re into. If an artist you’ve seen live adds music to Rdio, you’d even get notified.

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Report: Apple plans iTunes streaming option at $7.99/month

Report: Apple plans iTunes streaming option at $7.99/month

We’ve been speculating on it for some time, but with good cause. Apple’s iTunes business model is dated and tired, which is evident by so many reports of digital sales giving way to streaming music. Some sort of iTunes streaming was expected — necessary, even — so the speculation was much less wishful thinking and much more giddy expectation. Details are starting to emerge about Apple’s latest streaming offering, suggesting we’re getting just about everything we want, even cross-platform streaming for Android users.

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Jay-Z getting into streaming music with Aspiro bid

Jay-Z getting into streaming music with Aspiro bid

In a $56 million deal, rapper and entrepreneur Shawn Carter (you know, Jay Z) is getting into the streaming music business. Via Project Panther Bidco Ltd, which is owned by Shawn Carter LLC, H.O.V.A. is trying to buy Aspiro, the Swedish streaming company behind WiMP and Tidal. The WiMP service is only available in various spots throughout Eastern Europe (mainly Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, and Germany), but Tidal is available in the US and UK. Aspiro’s board is unanimously recommending the deal to shareholders.

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Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes: the strangest album you’ll ever hear

Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes: the strangest album you’ll ever hear

Pay what you like for this album made by Jeff Bridges - yes, that Jeff Bridges: the actor - and discover what it means to be famous. Discover what it is to be a person like Jeff Bridges, complete with Spoken Word interludes between songs played on wind instruments as well as the guitar. If you do pay, you'll find your cash going toward "No Kid Hungry", which does actually happen to be a real non-profit organization, despite its strange name and connection to this man.

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