The Hot 25: February 23, 2018

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The Hot 25 is the definitive playlist series running through dance music culture and hand­-delivering you the essential tracks of the week. Whether it’s the hottest or quickest trending tracks, brand new music from your favorite artists, or songs from the unknown that should be landing on your radar, Dancing Astronaut brings you 25 carefully selected records that reflect what’s happening in our world. Follow to the Hot 25 here to keep up-to-date every Friday.

This week’s playlist saw dance music titans like DJ Snake, David Guetta & Martin Garrix alongside newcomer Brooks, and Dillon Francis take a break from producing radio hits with new originals. Next, UK rising force Sigala teams up with Paloma Faith for their radio-destined new single, “Lullaby.” For the listners of heavier genres, Dr. Fresch and BIJOU employed rap talent Denzel Curry for a screeching new tune called “Revelation.” Finally, this week’s remixes were on point with favorites from Owen Norton, Young Franco, and Crankdat.

Additionally, we’ve provided our top picks from within The DA Hot 25, highlighting two standout tracks.

The Heat of the Week: Wolfgang Gartner & k?d – Banshee

Dancing Astronaut’s breakout artist of the year, k?d, joins forces with electronic dance music legend, Wolfgang Gartner, for their time-traveling, electro thrasher, “Banshee.”

The Breakout Select: Fatboy Slim – Right Here, Right Now (CamelPhat Remix)

Grammy-nominated super producers, CamelPhat, resurrect Fatboy Slim‘s timless classic, “Right Here, Right Now,” adding a pumping four-on-the-floor arrangement and amplifying effects.

The Hot 25: February 16, 2018

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hot 25

The Hot 25 is the definitive playlist series running through dance music culture and hand­-delivering you the essential tracks of the week. Whether it’s the hottest or quickest trending tracks, brand new music from your favorite artists, or songs from the unknown that should be landing on your radar, Dancing Astronaut brings you 25 carefully selected records that reflect what’s happening in our world. Follow to the Hot 25 here to keep up-to-date every Friday.

This week’s playlist come bearing new originals from favorites like Diplo, David Guetta, Seven Lions, and KSHMR. Illenium and Kill the Noise finally bring their snarling dubstep super-collaboration, “Don’t Give Up on Me,” to life. LA-based production wizard, Hoodboi, introduces a new smoother, sonic identity with “Glide” in conjunction with Tkay Maidza. Piano-smashing duo, The Him, add a dancier, more energetic touch to Kygo‘s “Kids In Love” in their shimmering new remix.

Next, Australian powerhouse, Alison Wonderland, gives us a look into her next album with, “Church.”  Finally, other undercard names that made this week’s round up include OFFAIAH, Robotaki, Lookas, Speaker of the House, Disciples, and more.

Additionally, we’ve provided our top picks from within The DA Hot 25, highlighting two standout tracks.

The Heat of the Week: The Chainsmokers – You Owe Me

The Chainsmokers boldly introduced their post-Memories Do Not Open.. sound with “Sick Boy” earlier this year that steared their project more in the pop direction with a punk twist. Their follow-up piece, “You Owe Me,” continues to boast an emo tinge, however, the drop towards the end of the track is reminiscent of the duo’s past indie-electronic sound.

The Breakout Select: SUMR CAMP – Drop

Originally making their debut with an official remix of Marshmello’s “Silence,” SUMR CAMP continues to open a window into the mystery producer’s sound with “Drop,” a grinding, hypnotic house tune.

Generate unique Spotify playlists with this new browser application

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Spotify premium users can now build their very own algorithmic playlists thanks to a new web-based application, Nelson, that allows users to tweak Spotify’s various inputs and API recommendations.

Spotify’s developer blog goes into depth about the various variables that can be tweaked for a unique experience. Nine items such as acousticness,  danceability, energy, tempo, and valence — which is a measure from 0.0 to 1.0 describing the musical positiveness conveyed by a track — are just a few of the elements that can be changed in Nelson’s selection slider.

Ultimately, these valued selections created a unique playlist incorporating both its user’s slider and selected genre preferences.

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It’s important to remember that the app’s more of a toy and internal project than an actual tool. When selecting “Club,” “Dance,” “EDM,” “Electronic,” “Post-Dubstep,” and the following parameters:
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Tracks from Zedd, Burial, Disclosure, and Avicii all appear on the same playlist.

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It’s hard to say exactly how much these disparate artists will vibe with listeners’ preferences, but Nelson certainly offers an intriguing degree of transparency into the streaming giant’s practices. Try it here.

H/T: The Verge

Apple Music set to outpace Spotify as top music streaming platform in the U.S. by summer

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Watching how the digital streaming platforms’ subscribers race has unfolded over the last half decade is a fascinating study in new digital capitalism. Music streaming platforms have to navigate perhaps the most heated online competition to win their consumers, catalyzing moves like partnering with artists for high-profile releases a la Drake‘s Views on Apple Music, or Kanye West‘s The Life of Pablo Tidal exclusive, to deeply discounted student pricing and inventive co-branding ventures. Chief among the DSPs clawing for your business is Spotify, though in the United States, Apple Music is mounting a steady comeback, and reports show Apple could claim the country’s No. 1 spot as soon as this summer.

According to a report by The Wall Street JournalApple’s U.S. subscriber base is growing at a rate of 5 percent per month, well surpassing Spotify’s 2 percent monthly growth. By this summer, Apple will likely close the gap in subscriber numbers completely. Sources even expounded to WSJ that if official numbers included users in trial periods, Apple Music would already have an edge on Spotify’s subscriber count in the U.S. Considering Apple Music’s launch was less than two years ago, compared to Spotify’s July 2011 U.S. debut, the numbers — even just as projections — are quite impressive.

Analysts believe this rapid rise in Apple Music’s adoption rate is due to all Apple technology coming with the digital streaming platform already pre-loaded on all devices, and the upcoming launch of Apple’s home assistant, the HomePod, could likely reinforce another considerable spike in subscribers.

Despite growing competition from Apple, the Swedish music streaming giant still dominates the top spot globally, boasting 70 million users in its most recent report, compared to Apple Music’s 36 million global tally. However, the momentum shift in the U.S. comes at an interesting moment, with Spotify gearing up for their highly anticipated public stock offering.

As the DSP arms race continues to develop, one thing remains certain: competition is fierce, and it seems that this buyer’s market will only continue to get better.

The Hot 25: February 2, 2018

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hot-25

The Hot 25 is the definitive playlist series running through dance music culture and hand­-delivering you the essential tracks of the week. Whether it’s the hottest or quickest trending tracks, brand new music from your favorite artists, or songs from the unknown that should be landing on your radar, Dancing Astronaut brings you 25 carefully selected records that reflect what’s happening in our world. Follow to the Hot 25 here to keep up-to-date every Friday.

This week’s playlist highlights new originals from dance staples Armin van Buuren, Steve Aoki, and Zeds Dead. Indie-electronic darlings CHVRCHES emerges with a shimmering new single, “Get Out.” Slushii teams up with serial collaborator and masked friend Marshmello for a pop punk meets future bass in “There x2.” Additionally, Dutch favorite Mike Williams injects a pumping new overcoat to Dada Life‘s “We Want Your Soul.”

Australian favorites Peking Duk continue to take their brand and gritty melodic sound global with “Wanted.”  Finally, other notable releases made the list from Mija, 3LAU, Just Kiddin, Slander, and more.

Additionally, we’ve provided our top picks from within The DA Hot 25, highlighting two standout tracks.

The Heat of the Week: Chromeo – Bedroom Calling (feat. The-Dream)

Funk masters, Chromeo, take the wheel and supply fans with a time travel back to the disco era with “Bedroom Calling.” Fun, sexy, jubilant, “Bedroom Calling” is a quintissential  Chromeo track and is polished off with a feature The-Dream.

The Breakout Select: Axwell / Ingrosso – Dreamer (Alpha 9 Remix)

Arty made major strides when he started to focus on his progressive alias Alpha 9, and this week, he applies his euphoric touch to Axwell / Ingrosso‘s aptly titled monster, “Dreamer.”

Inverness deals positive vibes on new remix of Lauv’s ‘Paris In The Rain’

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From making beats in his Illinois bedroom to performing at EDC New York a few years ago, Inverness has caught the attention of the right people in the right places. His debut single “Working On You” not only scored a spot on Spotify‘s coveted New Music Friday playlist, but also caught wind on the Viral 50 chart, leading to official remixes for RL Grime and more.

His new remix of Lauv‘s track “Paris In The Rain” is definitely one to vibe with, as the former NYU student compliments the vocals with light claps, plucked violin samples, smooth synths, and an overall assortment of feel-good sounds. This production style is bound to turn some heads as Inverness prepares for a debut EP release later in 2018.

Spotify now shows songwriter credits

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Spotify has been continuously making moves in right direction over the past few weeks, rolling out updates that aim to make listening to music easier and help its users see all the people behind their favorite tracks.

After announcing last week that it will be crediting remixers for their reworks of tracks back to 2015, the platform has released another update that shows songwriting credits for songs. In a Feb. 2 blog post on the Spotify for Artists site, the company announced that going forward, Spotify users can right click on a track in the desktop application and select “show credits” to see information on performers, songwriters and producers.

“At launch, we’re showing information we have from record label-provided metadata, and we’ll also display the source of the credits,” the blog post states. “We realize some of this may be incomplete or may contain inaccuracies, but this is just a first step: the feature will continually evolve to provide better functionality, and incorporate more information from industry partners.”

In addition to these two updates, the company also recently announced it’s testing a Pandora-like playlist application.

Zhu officially confirms Tame Impala collaboration is underway, announces new label

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Zhu confirmed a big collaboration and primed 2018 as another banner year the Mind of a Genius producer. Right as the calendar flipped, rumors of an impending collaboration with Aussie psychedelic rock luminaries Tame Impala began to circulate, with video clips capturing the alleged ID beginning to trickle in soon thereafter.

During a recent performance in China, Zhu took the opportunity to officially confirm to fans that the collaboration does in fact exist and it is underway, and later confirmed in a statement by the “Waters of Monaco” producer’s management team.

Zhu’s exciting news didn’t stop there though. The aforementioned performance in China came as part of a launch event for a new Chinese electronic dance music label called Liquid State, which will host releases from Zhu, Alan Walker, and burgeoning Chinese artists, among others in 2018. Liquid State is backed by Sony and Chinese streaming and tech powerhouse Tencent Music Entertainment. The new imprint will develop dance content with the intent of leveraging Tencent’s streaming services QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music to distribute said content. The move was effectively sealed by a reported 10% equity swap between Tencent and Sony’s licensing partner, Spotify, in December. Tencent, by comparison, boasts nearly double the users as Spotify across their three platforms.

Spotify is testing a new Pandora-like playlist app

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spotify-stationsRemember the good ol’ days where the concept of “playlisting” didn’t exist aside from the “Top Tracks 2012” playlist someone spent hours creating in iTunes? This is when Pandora‘s non-interactive streaming service thrived in generating stations based on artist or genre, yet always creating chaos when an unstoppable ad came on. Now, with an on-demand streaming option, a recent acquisition by Sirius XM, and a ton of competitors, there’s no telling what the app’s future may hold, especially with a new Spotify app called Stations.

Stations is Spotify’s new take on non-interactive listening in the form of stations or playlists, described as “the easiest way to listen to the music you love. Totally free.” Currently, the ad-supported service is available exclusively for Android devices in Australia and not yet accessible in other territories. In the app’s description, the company explains that it plays music instantly when opened and can be changed by scrolling through other station options in large font. Similar to Spotify’s core algorithm, Stations will personalize your selection once it collects enough user data.

While Spotify claims it is simply testing a new product, this could take the Swedish entity one step closer to conquering the streaming market.

H/T: TechCrunch

Songwriters win big as Copyright Royalty Board boosts streaming pay nearly 50 percent

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Washington DC, United States landmark. National Capitol building with US flag.

Since the dawn of streaming nearly 10 years ago, writer royalties have been based on a strict percentage of each streaming service’s revenue, putting songwriters at the mercy of corporate decision-making. In a court ruling issued Jan. 27 in Washington D.C., the Copyright Royalty Board has voted to increase songwriter rates for music streaming by 43.8 percent over the next five years.

President and CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association, David Isrealite, calls the victory “the biggest rate increase granted in CRB history.” The federal decision ruled in favor of the NMPA and the Nashville Songwriters’ Association International, requiring Amazon, Apple, GooglePandora and Spotify to pay more for the use of music.

“Crucially, the decision also allows songwriters to benefit from deals done by record labels in the free market,” Isrealite says. “The ratio of what labels are paid by the services versus what publishers are paid has significantly improved, resulting in the most favorable balance in the history of the industry.”

For every $3.82 to the label, writer/publishers get $1.00.

“The CRB was a long and difficult process but songwriters and music publishers together presented a powerful case for higher streaming royalty rates,” says Bart Herbison, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. “Songwriters desperately need and deserve [these] rate increases.”

The change will be insignificant to the bottom lines of tech giants Apple, Amazon and Google. Yet, smaller streaming services like Spotify and Pandora may feel the cost. Arguing in favor of the status quo were Amazon, Google, Pandora and Spotify. Apple broke with the ranks, however, conceding that the current royalty rate was much “too complex” and “economically unsound.” Apple advocated for “a single per-play rate that is the same for all services,” which signals an artistic sympathy that may have interesting market implications moving forward.

Via Variety