Emerging streaming platform Audius launches new mobile platform

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Emerging streaming platform Audius launches new mobile platform4 3 2

For years SoundCloud has felt like it’s on life support. Say what you will about the platform’s dwindling appeals, but if there’s one entity that’s a sure bet to eventually pull SoundCloud’s plug, it’s Audius. Younger, leaner, designed with artists in mind, and built for the streaming era’s new, more stabilized landscape, Audius is a decentralized digital streaming platform with a few very simple operating principles. Free music forever. No storage limits. No takedowns, ever. And best of all—crisp, high-quality audio. In the four months since Audius opened up shop, the platform has already scooped up more than 100,000 monthly active users. Now, with the launch of their new mobile platform, expect those numbers to skyrocket.

Audius is currently populated by some of dance music’s most in-demand artists, with more flocking to the platform by the day. Ahead of Audius’ mobile launch, Graves told Dancing Astronaut,

“[I’m] so stoked to have all the tracks in Audius on the go with the mobile app. Might have some unreleased stuff going up on there soon…”

Lido, who is currently packing one of the most anticipated electronic records of the year with his upcoming PEDER project elaborates,

“Audius is one of the most exciting things I’ve heard about in a while. This might really affect the community and life around underground music in a major way,”

The Audius mobile application is now available in the iOS app store, with an Android rollout expected to follow in the coming weeks. Audius is poised to alleviate a variety of pain-points still associated with SoundCloud and its competitions, and now, with the platform’s on-the-go functionality, it likely won’t be long before Audius begins gaining a larger marketshare at head-spinning speeds.

Download Audius mobile here

Lewis Capaldi and Ed Sheeran break UK streaming record

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Lewis Capaldi and Ed Sheeran break UK streaming recordEd Sheeran Press Photo 2 Credit Mark Surridge

More than 110 billion tracks were streamed in the United Kingdom in 2019, marking the region’s highest consumption of recorded music yet. According to figures released by trade body BPI, streaming hit a record high with total music streams in the year charting 114 billion and the equivalent of 154 million albums either streamed, purchased, or downloaded. The total streams for the year are up 3,000 percent from 2012. This is the fifth consecutive year that recorded music consumption has grown in the UK.

Best-selling artist of the year Lewis Capaldi topped the charts as the best-selling artist of the year—leading the most popular releases and top-selling albums. His breakthrough single, “Someone You Loved” had more than 228 million streams, and his debut album, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, sold more than 640,000 units across all formats.

Ed Sheeran followed Capaldi on the best-selling album list with No. 6 Collaborations Project. Other albums that made the top 10 included The Greatest Showman soundtrack, Billie Eilish‘s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, the “Bohemian Rhapsody” soundtrack, and George Ezra‘s Staying At Tamara’s.

Other significant figures included vinyl’s rise, record high cassette sales, and CD and download album sales declines.

“British music proved once again in 2019 that it has a bright future,” stated BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor.

H/T: Billboard

Photo credit: Mark Surridge

Streaming platform 8tracks shutters after 11 years

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Streaming platform 8tracks shutters after 11 years8trcks

Streaming platform and internet radio service 8tracks plans to close up shop on December 31. The company launched in 2008 and helped fuel the shift to streaming, allowing users to create, share, and surf through subscriber-created playlists of at least eight songs or more. Though, after 11 years the company is shutting down due to an inability to keep up with royalty payments among other factors.

In a blog post, founder David Porter describes the small company’s adjustment from paying royalties in a revenue percentage sharing model to paying per play in 2013, often making it difficult to keep up with payments as revenue fluctuated. Other issues like accessibility outside the US and Canada, the platform’s integration with SoundCloud, and Spotify’s dominating year-over-year collection of paid subscribers ultimately contributed to 8tracks’ eventual demise. Amid a major shift towards algorithmically curated music selection on platforms like Spotify over time, 8track’s closure comes as a tough blow for user-curated playlisting.

Read David Porter’s full blog post here.

Spotify names Billie Eilish’s debut LP the most-streamed album of 2019

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Spotify names Billie Eilish’s debut LP the most-streamed album of 2019Billie Eilish Debut Album E1554050828895

At just 17 years old, Billie Eilish has released Spotify’s most listened to album of the year, becoming the first female artist to ever claim the title. The California-based singer/songwriter amassed a walloping 6 billion streams for the year, and if her recent audio exposé “Everything I Wanted” is any indication, it seems like Eilish’s artistic discovery may be just beginning.

Spotify’s Most-Streamed Artist of 2019, however, goes to the universally adorned Post Malone, who leapfrogged his way to the head of the pack in the 12 weeks since the release of Hollywood’s Bleeding, the genre-bending vocalist’s third consecutive LP to seem destined for the upper echelon of critical acclaim. Streaming royalty Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran take the third and fourth spots of most-streamed artists for the year (with Eilish nabbing second).

Drake has had a light year in terms of releases, but it’s still strange not to see the crowned King of The Stream making any of the yearly lists. Fear not though, as the Canadian rapper wears his crown comfortably atop the Decade’s Most Streamed Artists, below.

Spotify’s Global Top Lists 2019:

Most-Streamed Artists

  1. Post Malone
  2. Billie Eilish
  3. Ariana Grande
  4. Ed Sheeran
  5. Bad Bunny

 Most-Streamed Female Artists

  1. Billie Eilish
  2. Ariana Grande
  3. Taylor Swift
  4. Camila Cabello
  5. Halsey

Most-Streamed Male Artists

  1. Post Malone
  2. Ed Sheeran
  3. Bad Bunny
  4. Khalid
  5. J Balvin

Most-Streamed Tracks 

  1. “Señorita” – Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes
  2. “bad guy” – Billie Eilish
  3. “Sunflower” – Post Malone, Swae Lee
  4. “7 Rings” – Ariana Grande
  5. “Old Town Road – Remix” – Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus

Most-Streamed Albums 

  1. WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? – Billie Eilish
  2. Hollywood’s Bleeding – Post Malone
  3. thank u, next – Ariana Grande
  4. No.6 Collaborations Project – Ed Sheeran
  5. Shawn Mendes – Shawn Mendes

Most-Streamed Podcasts

  1. The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal
  2. My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
  3. Gemischtes Hack
  4. Fest & Flauschig
  5. The Misfits Podcast

Most-Streamed Spotify Original Podcasts

  1. The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal
  2. Gemischtes Hack
  3. Fest & Flauschig
  4. Serial Killers
  5. Herrengedeck – Der Podcast

“A Decade Wrapped” Spotify’s Top Lists 2010–2019

Most-Streamed Artists of the Decade (Global)

  1. Drake
  2. Ed Sheeran
  3. Post Malone
  4. Ariana Grande
  5. Eminem

Most-Streamed Female Artists of the Decade (Global)

  1. Ariana Grande
  2. Rihanna
  3. Taylor Swift
  4. Sia
  5. Beyoncé

Most-Streamed Male Artists of the Decade (Global)

  1. Drake
  2. Ed Sheeran
  3. Post Malone
  4. Eminem
  5. The Weeknd

Most-Streamed Tracks of the Decade (Global)

  1. “Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran
  2. “One Dance”  – Drake, Kyla, WizKid
  3. “rockstar (feat. 21 Savage)” – 21 Savage, Post Malone
  4. “Closer” – Halsey, The Chainsmokers
  5. “Thinking out Loud” – Ed Sheeran

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