streaming music

WWDC 2015; five things we expect to see from Apple

WWDC 2015; five things we expect to see from Apple

The last year or so has been an exciting one for Apple, with significant product refreshes made across the board. We’ve also seen two new products introduced with Apple Watch and MacBook. Some of the whispers circulating after Apple’s second Watch event suggested they’d exhausted themselves, and there would be little left for WWDC. Though a lot has come to pass lately, maybe Apple got some of their light work off the desks around campus, and are about to make even bigger things happen. Curious what may be in store? Read on.

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Tidal slammed as a ‘plutocracy’ by Mumford & Sons

Tidal slammed as a ‘plutocracy’ by Mumford & Sons

Tidal might be meant for artists, but not everyone likes what’s going on. With Tidal, exclusivity is traded for equity. If an artist promises to bring something unique to Tidal, they’ll get a 3% stake. It doesn’t scale, though — there are only so many 3% promissory notes one can give away. Perhaps that’s what’s leading to today’s fun news that at least one band, Mumford & Sons, isn’t buying what Jay-Z and friends are selling. In fact, they’re not interested in Tidal one bit.

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Report: Apple wants exclusive streaming rights from artists

Report: Apple wants exclusive streaming rights from artists

Apple is looking for exclusive content from big-name artists, says a new report. Specifically named were Florence and the Machine and Taylor Swift, but it’s possible Apple had even larger aspirations. In a recent interview, Kanye West hinted he recently turned down a multi-million dollar deal with Apple, though he didn’t really discuss what it entailed. The artists were approached to provide content for Beats Music, which has gone largely untouched since Apple purchased it last year. It’s also said to be the service Apple is leveraging for their rumored streaming service.

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Rithm wants to challenge Spotify with streaming music & chat

Rithm wants to challenge Spotify with streaming music & chat

As you may have noticed, streaming music is a hot topic lately. With Apple readying some sort of streaming service and Jay Z trying to democratize artist royalties with Tidal, there’s a lot of buzz about streaming lately. Much like messaging, streaming music is now ubiquitous, with most opting to subscribe rather than buy. A new service, Rithm, wants to encompass all your needs, offering both streaming and messaging in one place. They’re also undercutting the pricing model of $9.99/month by about 60%.

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Pandora CFO talks streaming music, calls Apple a ‘frenemy’

Pandora CFO talks streaming music, calls Apple a ‘frenemy’

We know how we feel about an Apple streaming music option, and we’re sure you have likely formed an opinion or two yourself. Will we ditch our chosen streaming option for Apple’s? Time will tell, as the service is believed to come to fruition at WWDC this year. Perhaps even more curious is the business side of all this, where Apple is coaxing record labels to let them stream music, and other services are already feeling the pinch. To that, Pandora CFO Mike Herring made some interesting comments about Apple recently.

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Apple tipped to be poaching Tidal talent for new streaming service

Apple tipped to be poaching Tidal talent for new streaming service

Streaming is getting serious, and finally beneficial for artists. With Tidal, Jay-Z created a service that gave much of the power back to artists. The catch was exclusivity on the platform, at least for a while, but the real goal is to change the tide of streaming. If a report on what Beats paid artists is accurate, or Taylor Swift’s battle with Spotify is an indicator, Jay-Z is hitting the right notes with Tidal. Apple, believed to be readying a new streaming service, is now said to be toying with Tidal, and trying to poach artists away from the service.

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Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service relaunching with ‘new direction’

Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service relaunching with ‘new direction’

After a dust-up that saw minority shareholders attempt to block Jay-Z’s acquisition of Aspiro, things are moving forward. In the bid, Jay-Z acquired hi-definition streaming service Tidal, which seems to be the real goal in acquiring Aspiro. Today, Tidal is being relaunched, and is allegedly going to start challenging others like Spotify or iTunes for new releases from big-name artists. If successful, expect the new Beyonce album to hit Tidal unannounced instead of iTunes.

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Apple, Beats to take on Spotify but maybe on equal grounds

Apple, Beats to take on Spotify but maybe on equal grounds

It is no secret that Apple is out to get the music streaming industry. After all, it bought Beats not just for its accessories but also for its streaming service. It is even said that Beats' own Chief Creative Office, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, is also at the front of reshaping the iTunes app to integrate streaming functionality. It is also probably common knowledge that Apple is eying a piece of the pie that Spotify currently holds so dearly. What might come as a surprise and a disappointment is that Apple's streaming service might be as expensive or even more than Spotify.

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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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