Apple is reportedly working on a line of high end over-the-ear headphones following the somewhat surprising success of its dangly AirPods, according to a new Bloomberg report. Work on the noise-canceling headphones has been going for over a year, with plans to launch by the end of 2018 — though sources cautioned that … More »
Tell Me How You Really Feel? Pretty great ever since we heard there’s a new Courtney Barnett album coming out! While we wait for more new original songs, Barnett has shared a new cover from fellow Australian legends INXS, whose 1987 classic Kick she once performed in full. More »
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 Journal, Apple’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 10.4 version includes a breakthrough new tempo detection technology called Smart Tempo which will attempt to give musicians more creative control than ever before. A revamped array of sound presets and loops have been added in the update. New effect plug-ins have also been added, including a new algorithmic reverb plug-in, a Vintage EQ plug-in, and new multi-effect plug-in.
With the introduction of Smart Tempo, musicians and producers an create naturally in the program, without having to follow a metronome. Logic will then automatically map users tempos across the entire recording.
Logic Pro X 10.4 is available now as a free update for all existing users and is available for $199.99 on the Mac App Store. More information can be found here.
Photo Credit: Apple
iPhone owning DJs will now be able to record their mixes onto iOS supported devices via DJM-REC, a new app from Pioneer DJ.
DJM-REC allows users to transfer mixes directly from controller to an iOS gadget via the board’s USB send and return port. The app is able to “remote control” the peak limiter on the DJM controller collection, thus eliminating the potential for recording clips. The app additionally automatically records fader movements and time stamps, simplifying the tracklisting process.
Given that DJM-REC records via USB, DJs that download the app will not need to convert the audio file from analogue to digital — the mix will be ready for upload to a variety of social media platforms like YouTube and Snapchat from within the DJM-REC app.
The app is currently available for download from the Apple Store for £9.99. Intended downloaders will need to verify that their mixers are compatible with the app, as DJM-REC will only work with the DJM-TOUR1, DJM-900NXS2, DJM-750MK2, and the DJM-450 models.
Pioneer DJ have not indicated that an Android edition of the app is forthcoming, but if the iOS version proves to be successful, it’s safe to assume that Pioneer developers will look to expand operating system access.
Iovine recently sat down with Variety were he revealed he’s committed to doing whatever Apple needs him to do.
“I am almost 65, have been with Apple for four years, and in two and a half years, the [Apple Music] service has gotten to well over 30 million subscribers and Beats has continued its successful run,” he said. “But there’s still a lot more we’d like to do. I am committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band.”
While the details of Iovine’s present dealings with Apple have not yet been made public, Iovine’s relationship with Apple, or the possibility of the lack thereof, would likely warrant a major shift in the company, as he’s been in an executive role since the purchasing of Beats Electronics in May of 2014.
Photo Credit: Gus Ruelas
Billboard reports that Jimmy Iovine is set to leave Apple Music in August. Iovine got his start as a recording engineer, working with such fabled figures as John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty and by forming Interscope Records in 1990.
In 2008, Iovine teamed up with longtime colleague Dr. Dre — Iovine influenced Dr. Dre to sign Eminem back in 1998 — to co-found Beats Headphones. The duo expanded the Beats brand into the digital sphere in 2013 and before long Apple acquired Beats for $3 Billion. Iovine was appointed to an undisclosed position with Apple.
After more than three years with the company, Iovine is officially set to leave the tech giant. It is unclear what he may pursue in future endeavors.
Photo Credit: Billboard
Here’s hoping you’re over your Holiday Blues, consumers; because there’s lots more bad news on the way! In addition to Apple’s recent shitstorm, where the tech giant admitted to slowing down older iPhones through iOS, a quieter announcement has also emerged. The company will be phasing out music downloads in early 2019, shortly after the 2018 holiday season.
While considered an aggressive schedule by the company, this news actually might not seem too devastating for many consumers who already prefer their music streaming. Music downloads, like physical album purchases, have been declining for years, according to both the Nielsen ratings company and market research company Statista. Hell, the trend should be accompanied by a downward slide whistle (or something like that).
While it does make little sense for Apple to continue offering a service that its users are finding less valuable every year, the decision doesn’t mean the Cupertino company is suddenly listening to its customers or anything. With a track record of discontinuing its products (recently iPod Nano and Shuffle) as well as forcing limited hardware on its user base (uhh, a phone with no headphone jack??), the forthcoming choice is primarily one that makes financial sense for the company.
But it’s also a strategic move to combat its competitor Spotify, who counts 60 million paying subscribers, double that of Apple Music. With Spotify reported to be going public any second now, Apple Music is clearly aiming to optimize itself as a bigger player in the streaming music space.
When the digital download service ceases, Apple will transition any previous purchases over to Apple Music – failure to honor any past purchases would surely cause another PR nightmare. But for many, the streaming model is the dominant mode of consumption, and digital music purchases are a service that won’t be missed. But…EVEN STILL: