Codeko partners with JUUL for newest release, ‘Woke Up’

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Codeko partners with JUUL for newest release, ‘Woke Up’Codeko Press Shot

Codeko has quickly been gaining momentum in dance music all while studying physical sciences at Cambridge University. The England native has mastered high profile remixes, recently putting his own spin on Elephante‘s “The In Between.” Now he is onto putting out his own original releases, and his latest addition to this growing collection of original works is “Woke Up” featuring Xuitcasecity.

The track features the producer’s own vocals, and has catchy future bass drops that make this track equally suited for set lists as it is for radio play. He spoke on how he came up with the idea for the track, calling it his “favorite release to date.”

“I came up with the idea for ‘Woke Up’ a few months ago just before I graduated from university, and actually wrote/produced & sung it all myself. Implementing a hip-hop verse into a dance track convincingly seems rare at the moment, and I am really excited about how the verse slots in & how well the record retains it’s electronic roots. Its my favourite track I’ve made to date.” -Codeko

The artist also partnered with JUUL for the release, announcing a contest where fans can win a free year of JUUL if fans save the track on Spotify. The winner will receive a JUUL starter kit and 40 JUUL pods.

DJ Snake scripts Spotify history as ‘Let Me Love You’ surpasses one billion streams

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DJ Snake scripts Spotify history as ‘Let Me Love You’ surpasses one billion streamsSelena Cardi Ozuna Dj Snake Taki Taki Video

October has only just begun, and yet DJ Snake has already secured a chart-topping single alongside Cardi B, Ozuna, and Selena Gomez on “Taki Taki.” Now, he’s scripted Spotify history. DJ Snake became just the fifth artist to have two tracks garner a respective one billion streams each after his 2016 Justin Bieber collaboration, “Let Me Love You” surpassed the one billion stream count, following in the footsteps of his joint project with Major Lazer and in 2015, “Lean On.” The achievement situates Snake among the ranks of Drake, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, and Bieber himself — all fellow artists to have accomplished the same feat.

DJ Snake recently teased the full-length music video that remains yet to come for “Taki Taki” with a tantalizing teaser of the complete visual. The music video will make its debut on October 9, directed by Colin Tilley, whose credits include DJ Khaled and Rihanna‘s “Wild Thoughts” music video, and Kyle‘s “iSpy,” among many others.

China’s largest streaming service, Tencent, goes public on NYSE

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China’s largest streaming service, Tencent, goes public on NYSETencent Media2

Tencent Music Entertainment has officially gone public in the United States. China’s leading music-streaming company operates three of China’s largest digital services: QQ Music, Kuwo and KuGou. They also have their hands on a karaoke app, WeSing. In total, the company has amassed more than 800 million monthly active users.

Total revenue of the company in 2017 was reportedly $1.66 billion, and 2018 plans to see even bigger returns. The IPO values the company around $30 billion, according to expert analysts, which is comparable to Spotify‘s $29.5 billion evaluation when the Swedish streaming giant went public earlier this year. Spotify is now currently valued at $32 billion.

There’s a noticeable difference between the two competing, yet complementary, streaming companies. While Spotify, who owns nine percent of Tencent from a share swap earlier in 2018, has been losing money year after year because of their cheap product and large royalty payouts, Tencent has been largely profitable for the last two years. A reasoning for this is Tencent Holdings diverse portfolio of other digital businesses such as a gaming platform, social network and the popular messaging app, WeChat. Spotify simply focuses on music streaming.

QQ Music has multiple entertainment experience offering including listening subscriptions, concert tickets and exclusive song downloads. Online music services accounted for only 29.6 percent of TME’s revenues in the first half of 2018. Other social entertainment services such as in-car audio, event ticketing, online karaoke and sales of headphones and karaoke microphones, made up the other 70.4 percent. These numbers will be closely watched by investors interested in the music space.

H/T: Rolling Stone

Sirius XM buys Pandora for $3 billion

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Sirius XM buys Pandora for $3 billionBN TU532 33G4r M 20170609090453

Sirius XM has signed on to purchase Pandora for $3 billion, further diversifying its offerings to online music streaming. The deal comes just one year later after the Sirius XM Holdings took an initial 19 percent stake in Pandora by investing $480 million into the company.

With this move, Sirius stands to make a major transition from streaming done mostly in the car – where most of its users listen – to on-demand music streaming where most activity is done at home or via a mobile device. It will also benefit both companies’ negotiating power with labels and other music-rights holders. While speculation can only confirm the future scaling of benefits available to both companies’ users, with Pandora’s user base of 74.7 million and Sirius XM’s paid subscriptions boasting 36 million users, the buyout will create a user base to rival Spotify, which leads in paid subscriptions at 83 million users as of June.

Once the deal goes through, the newly formed audio entity will be worth $30 billion, well competing with Spotify’s valuation of $23 billion after the company went public earlier this year.

H/T: The Wall Street Journal

Spotify and Ancestry to curate personalized ‘soundtracks of heritage’

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Spotify and Ancestry to curate personalized ‘soundtracks of heritage’Screen Shot 2017 09 25 At 1.07.22 PM

Spotify and genealogical historical record company, Ancestry, will work together to curate personalized playlists comprised of the top releases from the cultures of the listeners’ ancestors. Ancestry.com users’ AncestryDNA test results will identify the specific cultures to which participants’ ancestors belonged. Spotify and Ancestry will then use that information to craft playlists that encompass the top releases across the cultures of one’s ancestors. “Someone with Chinese heritage might get classical musician Wu Fei on their playlist, while a person with a Spanish background might get the rock band Los Sírex. This will ‘encourage [Ancestry’s] audience to explore the soundtrack of their heritage,’” said Spotify’s Head of Partner Solutions, Danielle Lee.

Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Ancestry, Vineet Mehra says the joint initiative between Spotify and Ancestry is about “so much more than the stats and the data and the records.” “How do we help people experience their culture and not just read about it?” Mehra adds. “Music seemed like an obvious way to do that.” Those interested can see how diverse their current musical preferences are via Spotify and Ancestry’s “Musical DNA pie chart,” accessible here.

H/T: HYPEBEAST

Spotify now allows independent artists to publish music directly to the platform, effectively bypassing distributors

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Spotify now allows independent artists to publish music directly to the platform, effectively bypassing distributorsSpotify Testing Skippable Ads

Originally tested among a small sample size of independent artists, Spotify For Artists will now assume full functionality on September 20. New Spotify For Artists accounts will enable select independent artists who maintain their own copyrights and are not required to meet label or distribution agreements to directly upload their releases to the digital streaming platform. The feature allows the artists to immediately make new music available via the platform, or to alternatively schedule songs to go live at a predetermined time, but the central and, for Spotify, unprecedented liberty that the accounts extend to indie artists is the freedom to bypass music distributors, placing the musicians in control.

Spotify plans to extend a limited number of invitations to the Spotify For Artists accounts to a “few hundred U.S.-based independent artists.” Those interested in acquiring one of the accounts can sign up for a mailing list that will announce ensuing invites to come in the time that follows Spotify’s official launch of the new function. “We’ve focused on making the tool easy, flexible, and transparent,” Spotify For Artists’ Kene Anoliefo said. “There will be no limit or constraint on how often [artists] can upload. We think that can open up a really interesting creative space for artists to begin sharing their music to their fans on Spotify.” Artists who independently upload to Spotify will receive royalty payments through Stripe, and can expect to receive 50 percent of Spotify’s net revenue, as well as 100 percent of royalties on their own music.

Spotify For Artists effectively alters the process by which independent artists in charge of their own copyrights disseminate music and earn compensation. Spotify For Artists account represent a seamless all-in-one method by which to distribute music, track streams, in-app followers, royalties, and incoming payments from Spotify.

H/T: Billboard 

Former Spotify sales executive sues company for alleged gender discrimination

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Former Spotify sales executive sues company for alleged gender discriminationSpotify Ceo Daniel Ek Credit Wsj

Former Spotify sales executive Hong Perez has filed a lawsuit against the streaming giant for gender discrimination and defamation. The lawsuit alleges that Spotify was the host of a “boys club” culture that led to “systematic discrimination” against women, and directly names Perez’s prior boss, Brian Berner, as a key perpetrator in the organization of “boys’ trips” that excluded comparatively better qualified women from attendance on trips to large scale events like the Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and 2017.

Perez’s complaint claims that Berner’s ethical misconduct at the company prompted her removal from Spotify’s staff, after Berner supposedly accepted free tickets to Madison Square Garden and carried out an unapproved discounting deal. Perez alleges that her former supervisor blamed her for the code of conduct violations, which led Spotify to fire Perez. Perez’s case maintains that Berner was not only negligent and unprofessional in his company interactions, but “was well aware of [fellow] male employees violating the code of conduct, yet did nothing.”

Perez cites all-male excursions to strip clubs, an HR executive’s comment that his curse word of choice is “c*nt,” and a CFO’s remark that he “does not care about diversity at the company” as further instances of the accused internal hostility at Spotify. “At Spotify, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at any level,” a representative for the Swedish media platform told Variety“While we cannot comment on the specific details of a pending litigation, these claims are without merit.”

H/T: High Snobiety

Spotify abandons prior download cap, now allows subscribers to save up to 10,000 tracks per device

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Spotify abandons prior download cap, now allows subscribers to save up to 10,000 tracks per deviceSpotify Testing Skippable Ads

While its questionable whether most casual Spotify subscribers would ever need to download 3,333 tracks, Spotify’s latest update expands the streaming service’s previous song download cap of 3,333 tunes per device. Spotify confirmed that they had increased the number of jams a listener could save on September 12.

“At Spotify, we’re always working on improving the experience for our users,” the company told Rolling Stone. “We can now confirm that we have increased the number of offline tracks per device — from 3,333 on three devices to 10,000 tracks per device for up to five devices.”

Some Spotify users noticed the newfound increased download capability before Spotify formally acknowledged the change. The prior limitation of 3,333 songs per device ranked as one of the top complaints among Spotify listeners, but it’s happy downloading for all subscribers given the streaming giant’s policy shift, which now allows for a total of 50,000 saved tracks across five devices.

H/T: Rolling Stone

Less than a year after signing licensing deals with the majors, Spotify is stirring the pot once again

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Less than a year after signing licensing deals with the majors, Spotify is stirring the pot once againSpotify Major Labels Min

Spotify is trying out new business models that test its relationship with major labels. Just a year after renegotiating licensing deals with major labels, Spotify is pushing back against what got them into the industry’s good graces in the first place. The Swedish streaming giant and the record companies that produce its content continue to publicize their tumultuous relationship.

Spotify has already expressed interest in acquiring music by licensing directly from independent artists. They rely heavily on Universal, Warner, and Sony to supply their 35-million-song catalog and recently have been paying advances to management firms and other artist-representation groups in order to obtain direct deals. The major labels see this as Spotify cutting into their territory, and with the current licensing deal, Spotify is not allowed to compete in a substantial or meaningful way with labels’ main businesses. CEO Daniel Ek said “We are not acting like a record label;” however, industry veterans told The New York Times they are growing weary.

Another strain on the relationship comes from music videos. Spotify has started offering video with audio on mobile devices, and they have to pay majors to publish their videos. This has caused disputes over how much the streaming behemoth owes for using those videos. Universal Music Publishing executive Marc Cimino told Bloomberg they want “to allow our digital partners to experiment and at the same time make sure our songwriters are paid properly.” On the other hand, Spotify is arguing their platform’s method of distribution is worth more than what’s credited.

As the methods of distribution shift, this contentious relationship between music licensincing and publishing appears natural. It’s highly unlikely labels or publishers will ever abandon Spotify entirely; however, labels are making it clear they’re restricting Spotify’s leverage in the industry.

H/T: Rolling Stone

Drake, Tiësto, and Calvin Harris dominate Spotify’s most-streamed songs of summer list

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Drake, Tiësto, and Calvin Harris dominate Spotify’s most-streamed songs of summer listDrake Air Ma Plus

Summer coming to an end begs the question, “What was the song of the summer?” Spotify analytics have some answers, touting Drake, Cardi B, Calvin Harris, Post Malone, and XXXTentacion as artists of the summer.

Drake’s “In My Feelings” was streamed more than 393 million times between June 1 and August 20 — more than any other song during that time period. Aside from the Kiki challenge, the Toronto rapper dominated the summer charts, racking up five total tracks on Spotify’s top global songs of the summer list.

“Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B came in second with 293 million streams, falling 4 million streams ahead of the third most-streamed song of the summer: “I Like It” by Cardi B, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin. XXXTentacion was the second most-streamed artist of the summer, following his death.

On the electronic side of things, Calvin Harris came in at No. 7 with “One Kiss” featuring Dua Lipa. Tiësto and Dzeko came in at No. 14 with their hit single “Jackie Chan,” featuring Post Malone and Preme.

H/T: Complex

Photo Credit: Prince Williams/Getty