Web-based streaming music provider Spotify is reportedly preparing to launch a new service that will add new radio and content discovery elements to its portfolio. Citing multiple unnamed sources, Bloomberg on Thursday reported that Spotify is developing a new online radio service that will compete directly with Pandora. Due to launch by the end of this year, the ad-supported service will allow users to stream unlimited music through Spotify’s software, and the service may launch with new music content that is not currently available to Spotify customers. It is unclear exactly how the new offering will differ from Spotify Radio, which was unveiled late last year as an artist-based streaming radio service available for free to all Spotify users. The company’s current core product allows Spotify’s 10 million users to stream music from its online catalog in an iTunes-like player that also allows subscribers to search for content, create playlists and share content with friends. More →
We can’t say it comes as much of a surprise, but Google has just taken the wraps off of a service many of us have been waiting for years to see… or should we say, hear. Google’s freshly unveiled Music Beta service will give users a cloud-based solution for storing and streaming their digital music collections — and we mean, their entire collections; Google’s service supports the storage of up to 20,000 songs as opposed to the 1,000 tracks supported by Amazon’s Cloud Drive product, which Music Beta will compete with directly. Google’s Music Manager app supports Windows and Mac, and it allows users to upload their tracks directly to Music Beta. The Web-based music manager is a full-featured music player that supports organization, playlist creation and plenty more. The related Android app features all of the same functionality as the Web player, and playlists created on one device will instantly be available on all devices. Recently played music is always cached by the mobile player, and albums can also be downloaded and stored for playback when data connections are unavailable. Music Beta is available initially by invitation only, and it is free — at least, it’s free during the beta period. Google’s updated music app with Music Beta support is available in the Android Market beginning today.
Pandora just announced that it has added a few comedy genres to its streaming radio offering. Much like you’d rate a song or artist, you can give each comedy track a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, and Pandora’s “Comedy Genome Project” will recommend different performers based on your tastes. Users can choose a specific comedian, or can select a specific genre such as “political comedy,” “working class comedy,” “PG comedy,” or comedy from the 60, 70s, 80s, 90s, or 2000s. Slacker Radio has had this feature for a while, but if you’re looking for some Lisa Lampanelli to spice up your lunch break, than Pandora should now have you covered as well. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Back in March of this year, Microsoft proudly announced that Pandora would be one of its big-name Windows Phone 7 launch partners. In an interesting turn of events last week, however, the popular Internet radio provider said on its Twitter account that it has no plans to develop an app for Microsoft’s new platform. Following reports of Pandora’s statement, the company reiterated its position:
I’m not sure if/when we will be available on [Windows Phone 7]. Appreciate everyone’s enthusiastic suggestions. I’m passing the feedback on.
We can’t imagine that Microsoft was lying when it boasted of Pandora’s imminent arrival on the Windows Phone 7 platform, but now Pandora is saying its future on the OS is uncertain. Pandora’s change of heart is yet another blow to Microsoft’s mobile platform as the company struggles to get popular apps on its new OS. Pandora Radio is one of several widely popular apps that would help ease customers’ transitions to WP7, though two of Pandora’s biggest competitors — Slacker and Last.fm — have developed and deployed Windows Phone 7 apps.
UPDATE: A Pandora spokesperson gave BGR the following statement with regard to the company’s plans for Windows Phone 7:
While we’re excited to see companies innovating and while we’re not ready to make an announcement specifically related to the Win 7 phone, we generally want to be everywhere our listeners want us to be.