The truth is in the code, and the code for the latest YouTube mobile app version is telling us the Google-owned streaming video subsidiary is nearing all-systems-go for a full-on music streaming service. It will offer free (ad-supported) and paid (ad-free) subscription models, automatic "radio" station creation, offline and background listening, and other features. Does that sound exactly like a Google-fired shot across the bow of Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Radio and Xbox Music Pass? It does to us.
YouTube is reportedly planning on launching its own on-demand music service, something said to be similar to Spotify but with video tossed into the mix. Furthermore, there won't be much of a wait for the service if the leak pans out, with the sources saying that the music service will launch sometime towards the end of this year.
Last week, a job listing for iTunes Radio surfaced, calling for a music programmer in Canada who would help with the platform, indicating that users in the nation would likely be seeing it soon. Now "people with knowledge of the situation" have surfaced, telling the folks at Bloomberg that English-speaking countries beyond the US will gain access to iTunes Radio early next year.
Pandora is no stranger to criticism when it comes to royalties, with some saying that it pays too little while the streaming radio service strives to gain lower fees. Back in November, for example, songwriter Ellen Shipley said a song she wrote was played 3.1 million times and earned her $39. A similar statement was made earlier this week by songwriter David Lowery, whose song was played 1 million times and earned a tad under $17. Pandora has responded in part to such claims, saying there are "falsehoods" that need cleared up.
Rdio announced its Family Plans subscription option back in August of 2011, allowing a main account to add on up to two sub-accounts for a special pricing structure. It has been a couple years, but feedback has finally been acknowledged and the plans have received a slight upgrade. Starting today, family plans can now have up to five members.
Pandora, which is about to face a big competitor when Apple irons out its remaining snags with iRadio, has just announced a new feature - Pandora Premieres. This station is unlike the rest, allowing users to listen to early album releases before they're available for purchase. While not much is available via it right now, more artists will be added in the future.
We heard rumors during the calm of the storm last night before Google I/O, and now it's official. Google today announced what they're calling Google Play Music All Access, which is the company's own take on music streaming, and they look to take on Spotify and Rdio, which are the two main heavyweights in this category.
Back on February 22, word surface at the Financial Times that Google would be launching a free music streaming service, possibly in addition to an ad-free subscription option. Not much information was offered at the time, except that it would allow the company to compete with some other big-name companies, and would give its users access to millions of tracks. Now sources have come forward stating the service will be announced tomorrow.
Spotify has recently acquired Tunigo, a music discovery app that creates themed playlists based on your mood. Spotify will transfer all of Tunigo's 20+ employees to its offices in both Stockholm and New York, where they will be focusing their efforts on Spotify's main service. Tunigo will still continue to run, however it's still unknown what Spotify plans on doing with it. It may integrate Tunigo's playlist feature into its service.
Spotify is expanding to more locations throughout the world today. The music streaming service announced today that users in Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Iceland, bringing Spotify's reach to 28 markets around the world. The expansion should increase the service's total number of users.
The free music streaming and recommendation service, Songza, has just secured $3.82 million in funding. Its funding was revealed in a recent SEC filing. Songza offers playlists created by "music experts". The playlists are configured based on the date, the time of day, your mood, and the type of activity that you're currently doing. Like other music streaming services, you can thumbs up or thumbs down a song to better adjust your playlists.