Spotify announced on Thursday that it will be acquiring The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company that has helped power Rdio, Vevo, iHeartRadio and dozens of other services in the past. Spotify has already claimed its spot near the top of the music streaming service market, but with The Echo Nest on board, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek believes his company will be able to strengthen its bonds with brands and partners even further. More →
We all love music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora but how good are they for the artists who make our favorite music? The Guardian reports that cellist Zoë Keating, who releases all her recordings independently, has released numbers showing how much money she made from various sources over the past year and music streaming revenues are a paltry portion of her total income. More →
Music streaming companies are pulling out all the stops lately, whether to pre-empt tomorrow’s launch of the much-hyped Beats Music service or to stay ahead of the intense competition. This includes Spotify, which announced today a partnership with Topspin that allows artists to list their merchandise on Spotify for free. More →
Spotify on Wednesday announced that its lifting all limitations from its free desktop version, allowing users in all countries where the service is available to listen to music for as long as they want, and play their favorite songs for as many time as they want. “In the past, we had to restrict your listening time to some hours a month once a 6-month unlimited grace period had passed,” Spotify writes. “But now, if you haven’t noticed, there’s no more time limit if you are using Spotify for free.” The free version will still serve ads in between songs, while the paid Spotify Premium version will remove ads and offer other perks such as track downloads and better audio. More →
Spotify finally caved to the pressure last week and introduced its own ad-supported free streaming feature for mobile users. The smartphone version is restricted to Shuffle Play and artist/album radio stations, but that hasn’t stopped users from downloading Spotify in droves. According to CNET, Spotify saw four times the number of downloads since the feature launched last week. The company hasn’t released any official numbers yet, but there’s little doubt that free streaming would fail to draw a crowd. Spotify also climbed into the top 10 in the App Store in 20 markets, including the U.S. after the rollout. There’s still plenty of catching up to do before Spotify can overtake Pandora, but it’s certainly on the right track.
The music streaming business just got a whole lot more competitive. According to CNET, Spotify is finally launching ad-supported streaming for smartphones and tablets. Previously, the app was only accessible to premium members, but now everyone can listen to Spotify’s enormous library on their mobile devices. With Pandora holding strong as the leader in the field, and Apple trying to lure users back to its own homegrown service, the freemium move could give Spotify a major edge. There is a small catch: although the tablet app is nearly identical to the desktop app, free users will not be able to search for individual songs. Instead, Spotify Shuffle (as the company has named it) will give you the ability to shuffle through artist playlists, preset playlists or playlists you have created yourself. The new mobile service will be available starting on Wednesday.
Spotify is apparently interested in expanding its mobile music services by offering users free (ad-supported) on-demand access to streaming music. The company’s current offer lets users stream unlimited music on their smartphones and tablets from a catalog of over 20 million tracks for $10 per month, or stream Pandora-like radio with ads for free. According to The Wall Street Journal, Spotify has inked deals with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group for an enhancement to its ad-based services that will allow on-demand music streaming. More →
Spotify has always been a double-edged sword for artists. Streaming music is a gargantuan business and one of the best ways to quickly attract an audience, but the pay rates are minuscule for all but the biggest acts on most services. Some artists have even publicly condemned Spotify, but up until now the company has never released official numbers to back up its claims that it shares an appropriate portion of its profit with the musicians that populate the service. More →
Despite stiff competition from other popular music streaming services, Spotify has held its own since its release in 2008. The Wall Street Journal reports that Spotify raised $250 million in its latest round of funding, bringing the total value of the company above $4 billion. Spotify made a splash when it came stateside in 2011, but has continued to grow ever since, now reaching 32 markets. According to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, the conversion rate from free to paying subscribers is relatively large, a vital aspect of the service’s continued success. Despite its slightly lower valuation, Spotify managed to generate more revenue last year than Pandora. The new trend for billion dollar companies, going public, is something Ek doesn’t spend much time dwelling on. “If we think that the goal is better aligned by going public, sure we’ll contemplate it,” said Ek.
The impact of Spotify on artists has been a hot topic in the past year. Another grim new data point comes from Finland, where one of the most popular artists of the country has released detailed statistics about his streaming royalties. “Levoton tyttö” was one of the biggest summer songs in Finland, topping 1 million Spotify plays by June. The artist, Anssi Kela, received precisely €2,336.90 (USD $3,159.72) in royalties for his blockbuster song. That is the consolidated number from all streaming services, though Spotify dominates the Nordic region. More →
Tango and Spotify are kicking off a collaboration aimed at offering a new music sharing opportunity for Tango messaging app users. Anyone using Tango can get access to 30 second clips of any Spotify song — and then share them with their friends. People can access full-length songs via the music service. Spotify has 24 million active users and according to Tango’s Eric Setton, the company’s messaging app has now hit 60 million monthly active users globally. More →
In some ways, Sweden is the chilly laboratory of the global music industry. The local hero, Spotify, took over the country already at the end of 2011 as the cool animation by Digital Music News demonstrates. In 2009, streaming music was just 7% of music sales in Sweden. In 2013. streaming had exploded to 70% of the entire music industry sales. As the streaming revolution took off, something curious happened in Sweden: National music sales started growing robustly again, from $150 million in 2012 to nearly $170 million in 2013. More →
Artists may like griping about subscription-based music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora, but they appear to be doing a lot to kill off music piracy. TorrentFreak reports that music piracy in Norway has completely fallen off a cliff, as data from Ipsos shows that Norwegian Internet users pirated just 210 million songs in 2012, down from 1.2 billion in 2008. The survey also shows that roughly 47% of Norwegian Internet users say that they now subscribe to a music streaming service such as Spotify, and that more than half of those subscribers pay for a premium option. Or put another way, it seems as though opening up more avenues for people to pay for music will decrease their willingness to pirate copyrighted material.