Amazon offers free ad-supported streaming service

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Amazon offers free ad-supported streaming serviceAmazon Music

On Monday, Amazon launched a free ad-supported version of their music streaming service across platforms. Users of the program will have access to playlists and artist-based radio stations, but will be unable to playback specific songs or download content for offline listening, according to Variety.

The new addition of a free service complements their paid program, which offers unlimited playback of user-chosen songs. The move into free ad-supported streaming will directly compete with Spotify‘s free platform. After Amazon’s announcement, Spotify’s stock closed the day nearly 5 percent down, according to Variety.

According to the most recent report from Statista (March, 2018) Apple Music and Spotify are the leaders in American monthly users, with 49.5 and 47.7 million respectively. Amazon Music sat at a comparably meager 12.7 million monthly users, losing out to the likes of iHeartRadio, Google Play Music, SoundCloud and Pandora Radio.

Music streaming usage has rapidly been on the rise for the better part of the decade. According to Statista, user penetration in the US is expected to rise 39.2% to 41.5% by 2023, while revenue is expected to grow 3.3% each year during the same time period. While an increasing number of players enter the streaming space, it will be interesting to follow who comes out on top and if Amazon will be able to pull users away from other more established platforms.

Apple Music debuts Replay, new personalized year-end mixes and stats

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Apple Music debuts Replay, new personalized year-end mixes and statsApple Replay Playlists

Whether it was Lizzo scoring your days or Diplo soundtracking your nights, 2019’s running playlist has certainly been a memorable one. Now, Apple Music users can go back and hear their year in review with the launch of new personalized playlists and statistic breakdowns called Apple Music Replay. While Spotify users have had this year end feature for some time, Apple is following suit this year, providing users with customized playlists with their favorite cuts of the year.

Where Apple Music Replay differs from Spotify’s Wrapped—Apple is tailoring an ongoing listening experience with retrospective lists so users can go back and revisit their personal rotations from previous years. Furthermore, Apple Music Replay will function as more than just a shareable snapshot of the year. The feature will continue to update throughout the year, giving listeners a real-time look at their current favorites week-to-week. Check out Apple Music Replay here.

Is the album antiquated? Many young music consumers have never heard a full album, survey finds

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Is the album antiquated? Many young music consumers have never heard a full album, survey findsAlbum Survey

To any music junkie, giving an hour or so to a truly great album is sacred practice—just think of what it can give back. But the fragmented nature of streaming and playlist culture has certainly obfuscated the value of the record, at least in the classic sense.

A recent survey on adults’ listening habits from French streaming service, Deezer, found that among the 2000 UK-based participants, approximately 15% under the age of 25 have never listened to an album in its entirety. Similarly, only 27% of participants said they like to listen to an album the way the artist intended (chronologically, letting each song play out). Grim news for the traditionalists among us. However the study found that 74% of its sample answered they were more apt to listen to the duration of an album after seeing a band or artist perform live, with 32% opting to regularly listen ahead of the gig.

Deezer’s results attest that just under half of participants (42%) employ sporadic listening methods: putting their digital libraries or playlists on shuffle or shopping around from favorited tracks. Overall, 49% of those surveyed maintain that they’re now listening to less albums in general, attributing the decline to an ill-defined lack of time. But hope is not lost for album auteurs: With vinyl sales swiftly on the rise yet again this year, it seems that people are indeed prioritizing the album.

In light of the UK Music-backed National Album Day (October 12) approaching, Dancing Astronaut asks readers to spend some time with a record this week, full-on. Whether it’s Zeppelin IV, Recess, Sgt. Pepper’s, or A Color Map of the Sun—it could reveal itself as something more than a sum of its parts.

H/t: Music Week

Spotify launches new Spotify Lite platform in 36 countries

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Spotify launches new Spotify Lite platform in 36 countriesSPOTIFY LITE Header

36 countries will serve as test grounds for Spotify Lite—a data, storage, and battery-sensitive alternative to Spotify’s fully fledged music streaming service. Spotify Lite, which first debuted in Brazil during the summer of 2018, uses no more than 10 MB of listeners’ smartphone and tablet storage space.

According to the Swedish streaming giant, the lite version of the application also requires less battery life, as several features characteristic of the original Spotify, like Connect, are not available on Spotify Lite. Users are also not able to enact advanced searches; the new Lite’s platform’s search function only furnishes links to albums and playlists, thereby enabling the alternative version to use less battery. Spotify Lite’s provision of lower-quality audio is one additional adjustment that leads to the app’s decreased battery use.

In contrast to the regular Spotify platform, Spotify Lite necessitates a minimal amount of data, and offers lite streamers an unprecedented amount of control over their monthly data usage. Spotify Lite downloaders can set a monthly mobile data cap for the app. Cap options include 250 MB, 500 MB, 750 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB, and 3 GB. App users will receive a push notification when they reach their predetermined data limit.

“With Spotify Lite, you can easily control your data and storage. It’s only 10 MB, so it’s quick to install and load while offering the same great listening experience that lets you discover, play, and enjoy millions of songs,” Spotify staff noted in a blog post featured on the company website.

Spotify Lite is currently only available on Android devices. The music streaming giant has not yet announced whether it would develop a lite edition of its flagship application for iOS.

Madeon joins Beats 1 family with new show, Good Faith Radio

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Madeon joins Beats 1 family with new show, Good Faith RadioMadeon Live

Madeon SZN continues this summer as the beloved French producer announces the premiere of his new Beats 1 show, Good Faith Radio. Amid an exciting stretch of new music and the debut of a new live set up cat Lollapalooza later this month, Madeon’s new radio program will serve as the perfect platform for his new material, with his new single “DREAM DREAM DREAM” arriving on the show’s inaugural episode on Wednesday, July 10 at 11:00 a.m. PST.

The Adventure producer’s newly inked deal with Apple Music aims to bring an open-format show to the streaming giant, described by Madeon as an interactive experience between the producer and his fans.

Following a Shelter reunion with Porter Robinson earlier this summer and the announcement of a 31-date North American tour, Madeon continues to extend his hot streak leading up to one of the most anticipated releases of the year.

Chance the Rapper brings mixtapes to streaming services, launches vinyl/new album pre-order

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Chance the Rapper brings mixtapes to streaming services, launches vinyl/new album pre-orderChance The Rapper By Mike Lavin @thehomelesspimp

Chicago’s Chance the Rapper is giving the people what they want this summer. In addition to launching the pre-order for his impending LP, or as he recently referred to it, his “Owbum,” due this July, he’s brought two of his widely revered mixtapes, Acid Rap (2013) and 10 Day (2012) to major streaming services. The mixtapes were previously only available via SoundCloud.

Both bodies of work, in addition to his third mixtape, Coloring Book (2016), are also available for vinyl pre-order via his website. The “Cocoa Butter Kisses” rapper is also offering fans a chance to secure access to his world tour pre-sale. More information on how to enter is available here.

Between his Super Bowl televised, Doritos-sponsored sighting alongside the Backstreet Boys this past February, Chance has also appeared on tracks in recent memory with the likes of Ed Sheeran, 2 Chainz, and YBN Cordae.

Photo Credit: Mike Lavin

Alison Wonderland’s secret house set at EDC uploaded to Pornhub [Stream]

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Alison Wonderland’s secret house set at EDC uploaded to Pornhub [Stream]Alison Wonderland Lose My Mind Tour 3

Alison Wonderland‘s performance at EDC Las Vegas was one of the festival’s top highlights of 2019. The Aussie beatsmith, who grabbed the runner up spot for Dancing Astronaut‘s top artist of the year in 2018, managed to squeeze in an extra performance at EDC this year, far from the larger-than-life main stage she commanded on the festival’s opening night.

Making her way to the Art Car for a secret strictly house set, the Run producer gave unsuspecting fans an encore performance glued together by floor-ready dance cuts. Best of all, the secret set was uploaded to Pornhub for everyone’s streaming pleasure. It had to live somewhere, right? The set comes as a highly recommended listen, though, you might want to hold off on clicking the link below while you’re at work or school. Enjoy.

Spotify files complaint against Apple Music, citing ‘unfair advantages’

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Spotify files complaint against Apple Music, citing ‘unfair advantages’Spotify Daniel Ek Press

The fight to be crowned king of streaming continues as Spotify and Apple Music duke it out March 13. The most recent development comes after Spotify founder Daniel Ek and his team filed a complaint against Apple alleging “unfair advantages” in regards to Apple’s App Store.  After “careful consideration” and what seems like previous efforts to resolve the conflict with Apple, the Spotify team proceeded forward with the European Commission.

Spotify’s complaint centers around the issue of Apple’s App Store policies and logistics that would require Spotify to pay a supplementary tax and subsequently inflate the membership price above that of Apple Music.

“Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30 percent tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from our free to our premium service,” Ek said. “If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our premium membership well above the price of Apple Music. And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn’t something we can do.”

The Spotify founder also pointed out discrepancies where apps like Uber were not affected by Apple’s tax policies, noting that “app stores should not be allowed to control the communications between services and users, including placing unfair restrictions on marketing and promotions that benefit consumers.”

Ek made it clear that this is not a “Spotify-versus-Apple issue,” but rather an issue about “competition on the merits.”

H/T: Complex

Streaming services now account for 75% of music industry revenue

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Streaming services now account for 75% of music industry revenueStreaming Services

The music industry has been dancing on the precipice of a sweeping streaming takeover for years. According to a recent report from the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), that transition was solidified with a reported music streaming growth of 30% in 2018 alone.

The $7.4 billion in categorical revenue came from predicted streaming mammoths like Spotify and YouTube, as well as digital radio hubs like Pandora and SiriusXM. The music business at large was heftily bolstered by paid subscriptions to these streaming domains, accounting for over half the industry’s yearly takeaway for the first time ever.

While digital downloads in recent years accounted for nearly half of industry sales, it spent 2018 continuing its swift decline, finishing with approximately $1 billion in total revenue, dropping a sizable 25% from 2017, and garnering just 11% of the industry pie. Mirroring downloads is physical sales, down 23% in 2018 alone, with $1.15 billion in sales.

A bright spot for the latter sector, however, came in the form of a firm incline in vinyl sales, which saw its most profitable year ($419 million) since 1988, which should come as no surprise to those who’ve been tuning in to industry trends of the past decade or so.

The 2018 report in full can be found here.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Tomorrowland kicks off One World Radio streaming platform, Steve Aoki spins at launch

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Tomorrowland kicks off One World Radio streaming platform, Steve Aoki spins at launchOne World Radio 1

To commemorate the festival’s landmark 15-year anniversary and cater to ever-mounting live-streaming demand, Tomorrowland has implemented a new multi-purpose streaming platform, One World Radio, accessible through its official website.

In addition to providing accessibility to live sets, the station will host a variety of exclusive mixes and special guest appearances. One World has secured Armin van Buuren as a station regular, locking him in for one weekly prime-time mix every Friday, while Aussie sister duo, Nervo, will host a Top 30 segment, fleshing out the People of Tomorrow-curated hottest tracks of the week.

To bolster the launch, Tomorrowland organizers invited Steve Aoki, who is also performing at this year’s installment, to spin a 15-minute set on the festival’s home turf, in Boom, Belgium. Eric Prydz, Nina Kraviz, Alesso, and The Chainsmokers are just a few of the most illustrious faces on the 2019 lineup, which exceeds 1000 artists throughout its two-weekend duration: July 19-21 and starting back up July 26-28. Tickets to Tomorrowland are completely sold out.

Photo Credit: Tomorrowland