The past year was a good year for the music industry as sales rose to their best highest point in eight years. According to the IFPI’s annual Recording Industry In Numbers report, revenue from physical media fell by 8.7%, compared with 13.8% in 2010, but were vinyl sales up nearly 29%. Digital revenue continued to grow, increasing 8%, compared to 5.6% in 2010, with digital track sales growing 19% to 3.7 billion songs. Australia leads the way in the digital space with 60% growth, compared with 8% growth in the U.S. and 10% in the U.K. $1.27 billion in digital singles were sold in the U.S., while the U.K. accounted for $176.2 million. Digital sales made up 31% of the total revenue of the music market and reached $5.3 billion in sales. Overall global music revenue fell by just 3% in the last year, however. “2011 marked the least negative result in global recorded music sales since 2004, when revenues were flat,” the report read. The IFPI credits services like Spotify, iTunes, and unlimited-access operators like Rdio, MOG and Rhapsody for bringing new revenue models to customers that have helped the U.S. music market. More →
Spotify said Thursday that it now serves more than 3 million active paid subscribers per month, up from the 2.5 million subscribers it was serving in November. More than 20% of its active users pay for premium monthly access, the Financial Times said, which allows users to listen to an unlimited songs without ads or use Spotify on a smartphone. “We have achieved some pretty great results in terms of the ratio of paid users,” Spotify’s chief content officer and US managing director, Ken Parks said in an interview with the Financial Times. “We have an enormous internal effort to drive conversion and engagement with the service. We are very focused on growing in our existing 12 markets as well as expanding in other markets.” Parks also said that the company’s free-trial offer has helped convert users to paid accounts more rapidly. Spotify recently introduced “apps” for its service, which allows anyone, such as Rolling Stone or Billboard, to create playlists or add custom features. More →
Spotify announced on Wednesday that its BlackBerry client is now out of beta and officially available for download. Spotify is a free ad-supported desktop music service that allows its users to listen to any song they want, provided it has been licensed by Spotify. Users who want to take advantage of the service’s mobile features, which include offline caching and access to the full Spotify library, must pay a $10 monthly subscription fee. We’re fans of Spotify here at BGR so we highly recommend BlackBerry users give it a try. The download is free (remember, you’ll need a monthly plan to use it, though) and accessible from the BlackBerry App World now. The catch? You’ll need to own one of five BlackBerry models (BlackBerry Bold 9780, Bold 9700, Curve 9300, Bold 9000 or Curve 8520) in order to use the app, which means it looks like CDMA users are being left out in the cold for now.
Spotify on Friday unveiled Spotify Radio, a new service similar to Pandora that will roll out as an extension to the company’s desktop client. The service allows users to create artist-based stations that will stream an unlimited amount of music similar to the artist selected. Spotify Radio users can also skip an unlimited number of songs and save tracks as they play for on-demand listening later as well. The app and associated service are a welcome addition to Spotify, which has had very limited discovery features until now. The free Spotify Radio app is currently available as a preview and it is expected to land in Spotify’s app catalog within the next few days. Spotify has not indicated whether or not its new radio service will make its way to the company’s mobile apps. More →
Spotify’s New York City press conference just wrapped up and we spent some time checking out several of the popular music service’s new apps. There’s a new section on the left sidebar that lets you quickly access applications from LastFM, Rolling Stone, The Guardian and more. Rolling Stone and other publications will release playlists, some as frequently as each day, with bands the publications think Spotify users should take note of. The applications are seamless and are so tightly integrated with Spotify that they launch almost immediately. If you’re playing a song with tunewiki for example, simply tap the tunewiki application on the left sidebar and it immediately begins displaying song lyrics inside the software. We’re fans of Spotify here at BGR and we’re definitely looking forward to checking these features out a bit more when the app service officially goes live. Apps will be accessible to all users, whether they subscribe to Spotify’s premium services or not, and the beta should be made available today on Spotify’s website around 2:00 p.m. EST. Be sure to check out our full gallery below, and hit the break for a video from Spotify.
We’re live from Spotify’s New York City press conference where CEO and founder Daniel Ek took the stage to announce several new Spotify features, most notably applications. Ek confirmed that Spotify will launch a “truly integrated” application platform inside Spotify that will be “tailored to you and your user tastes.” Third party developers can easily build HTML5 apps using a simple API. The first generation of applications will be featured within the “Spotify platform.” Read on for more. More →
Spotify on Wednesday announced that it now has 2.5 million subscribers around the world paying for its service. The company has roughly 10 million paid and free listeners combined. Spotify’s recent launch in the U.S. is seen as having been a big boost for the company, and its Facebook integration is said to have bolstered new subscriptions as well. The company offers an on-demand music service that allows users to stream to unlimited ad-supported music to computers for free. Ads can be eliminated for a $4.99 monthly fee, and Spotify can be streamed to mobile devices as well for an addition $5 each month. More →
Spotify announced on Monday that it will hold a press conference on November 30th in New York City during which the company’s CEO Daniel Ek, and “special guests,” will discuss “what’s next” for the company. It’s entirely unclear what the event might cover, given the service only recently launched this summer in the United States. It is possible the Spotify will announce an iPad application, although that might be too minor an event to warrant a press conference. Perhaps the company will introduce a music store to go head-to-head with iTunes and Google Music, but we haven’t heard any rumors suggesting that might be a possibility.
Google recently sent out invitations to an event on November 16th, during which the company will make a “special announcement.” The invite’s tagline says: “These go to eleven,” a famous quote from the popular comedy This is Spinal Tap that takes you behind the scenes of a rock band. The quote suggests Google’s event will have some sort of music focus, however Google also sent along an image of a T-Mobile logo spray painted on a building, so perhaps we’ll hear about a new phone instead. We’ll keep you updated with all of the details when the event kicks off at 5:00 p.m. EST on November 16th. Hit the jump for a teaser image provided by Google. More →
During an event in New York City on Monday, Microsoft announced that the popular music service Spotify will launch for Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) devices sometime during the day. Spotify allows users to stream free ad-supported music from a computer, but access to the service from mobile devices requires a $9.99 monthly subscription option. The monthly fee also gets rid of ads and allows users to store playlists on a mobile device for offline playback. Spotify is already available on Android and iOS, and the service has been very successful in the U.S. since launching this past July.
Spotify now has more than 250,000 subscribers in the United States, Reuters reported recently. The service also now has more than 2 million paid subscribers around the globe. The figures have not yet been confirmed by Spotify, but Reuters said CEO Daniel Ek disclosed the numbers in September. Spotify, which made its U.S. debut in July, offers users free ad-supported access to a library with millions of songs. It also offers a $4.99 monthly option with unlimited streaming and no ads, or a $9.99 subscription that supports offline mode, access from mobile devices, ad-free music playback and unlimited streaming. Its recent partnership with Facebook has been seen as a driving force for its success in the United States. The company also announced on Friday that its service is now available on Boxee. More →
Facebook will launch a music service on September 22nd, CNBC reported today. There are currently no details on whether it will be a streaming subscription service or simply a music storefront similar to iTunes, and Facebook has not yet confirmed the announcement. Business Insider said the Facebook music service will integrate with other third party services such as Spotify and Rdio. CNBC also suggested Facebook will work with MOG, another music service that has a long-standing relationship with Facebook. Spotify and Rdio currently allow users to integrate with social networks to share songs and playlists with friends. More →
Sonos released a new sibling in their audio lineup recently, and it’s called the PLAY:3. You can think of it as a smaller PLAY:5 (what used to be called the S5), and it is definitely up to par with the level of quality that Sonos is known for. There isn’t an actual subwoofer, rather a tweeter and a couple mid-range speakers, though the unit does offer decent bass and low-end performance. You can also create a stereo pair with two PLAY:3 units if you’d like, using one for a left channel and one for the right channel to fill your entire room with audio. The fact you can add all kinds of music services like Spotify, Pandora, Napster, Rhapsody, Rdio, Last.fm, iheartradio and many more, including your local iTunes library, is straight up mind blowing — all your music in true Sonos fashion is at your fingertips, and it just works. At $299, the PLAY:3 makes jumping into a Sonos setup relatively inexpensive, and a setup consisting of a few PLAY:3 units and PLAY:5 units can really create the perfect music listening experience in your home.