The music industry saw both good and bad news this week, including Lil Peep’s passing, Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, Google investing $70 million to counter major labels, and more.
In the wake of “fake news” and the age of online journalism, where the dissemination of falsehood runs rampant, Facebook has made an effort to intervene. By implementing “Trust Indicators” — that go live on the site today — when users click on a news story, they will be provided with additional context regarding the article’s reporter and publisher. The reader will have the option of reviewing the publisher’s ethics policy, reporting standards, and ownership structure, as well as the individual journalist’s reporting history and credentials.
According to a statement from Facebook, these efforts to provide news stories with background are to help people “make more informed [news] decisions, advance news literacy and education, [by] working to reinforce indicators of publisher integrity on our platform.”
This decision comes in the wake of several other media platforms and news outlets joining The Trust Project, including Twitter, Google, and The Washington Post. The Trust Project is a nonpartisan effort to restore public faith in the media. It was created by award-winning journalist, Sally Lehrman of Santa Clara University’s Applied Ethics Department, and is being funded by Craigslist founder, Mark Newmark.
“An increasingly skeptical public wants to know the expertise, enterprise and ethics behind a news story. The Trust Indicators put tools into people’s hands, giving them the means to assess whether news comes from a credible source they can depend on,” said Lehrman.
Google has yet to apply its own version of Trust Indicators, though it has agreed to participate in the cause. On November 16, Google Product Manager Jeff Chang said in a blog post that Google is still sorting out how precisely the indicators will appear next to the article. Chang said Google plans to utilize Trust Indicators within Google News, Google Search, as well as “other Google products where news can be found.”
Photo Credit: Mediaite
H/T: Tech Crunch
Spotify has halted the production of its current original video series, duly cancelling its unreleased shows as the music streaming platform’s foray into video proved ineffective.
Spotify has expended much energy developing an array of original video productions after deeming original video a potential source of un-infringed funds. More than 80% of Spotify’s revenue stream is paid out to record labels and other industry entities, rendering Spotify’s streaming business a particularly costly venture with a comparatively slim payout for the platform itself. Spotify has lead streaming rivals like Apple Music and Google through the existence of its free access tier, an offering subsidized by advertising that accounts for a mere 10% of the platform’s annual revenue.
After reporting fiscal losses for the year of 2016 at approximately $637-million on a revenue of $3.4-billion, Spotify identified original video as a solution to the company’s losses. Whereas the majority of Spotify’s content requires royalties and other licensing costs to be paid in association with use of such content, original video would be license-free. Spotify’s efforts to develop original video series, however, have not been particularly fruitful, as users of the streaming service gravitate towards Spotify’s musical offerings, paying little mind to the platform’s original video innovations.
Despite the video productions’ lukewarm reception, Spotify has actively attempted to build its original video platform, striking licensing deals with networks like Comedy Central and ESPN. Spotify has also explored a documentary style approach to original video, producing series like Spotify Landmark and Flash Frame that air interviews with a variety of artists, including Blink-182 and Green Day.
While Spotify will not abandon its original video pursuits altogether, the platform will increasingly focus on developing video formats “unique” to the platform.
H/T: The Verge
Google has created a new product called the Google Home Max and has brought Diplo and Valentino Khan on board to promote the launch. The Home Max supports a variety of streaming services, including Spotify, YouTube Music, and Google Play. Unlike the Google Home Mini, which aims to compete against Amazon’s Echo Dot, the Home Max looks to compete against the still unreleased Apple HomePod, or the Sonos Play:1.
“Just like the Pixel reimagined the camera, we’ll do the same with sound, the speaker needs to adjust to your home. So today, we’re announcing smart sound, that allows the speaker to adjust to you: your home, your preferences.” -Rishi Chandra
Google Home Max costs $399 and will come out in the US in December with a free 12 month subscription to YouTube Music. Google enlisted Diplo to tell us how he’s critical of the quality of sound from devices and why having them in every room of his home for listening is essential to his life.
DJ culture has a rich and full history, sprawling across genres and around the world. However, if one event is heralded as the keynote of turntablism, it is Kool Herc’s party on Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx, held on August 11, 1973.
To celebrate the 44th anniversary of this cultural shift, Google has turned their homepage doodle into an interactive turntable feature. Prefaced with a history of the event, Google offers a tutorial of basic turntable tips and goes on to provide a crate of records full of classic hip hop, funk, and soul tracks. Gain achievements for scratching and other mixing techniques while jamming to George Clinton, Prince Paul, Grandmaster Flash, and more. Although DJing has come a long way from the underground parties in the Bronx, the end goal of soundtracking a night and getting people to dance has held constant over the years and is still thriving.
LCD Soundsystem‘s forthcoming comeback album is proving to be one of the most hotly-anticipated electronic outputs of the year. Following a Columbia Records co-sign last year, the band has returned with top-notch live performances, and now fans are eagerly awaiting the group’s inbound studio record, which according to James Murphy, is currently being pressed to wax as of this writing. Congruent with the album’s summer rollout, Murphy and company are planning the wide scale launch of their new virtual reality experience, due sometime this summer.
The new VR experience was recently debuted at Google’s three-day I/O developer’s conference along with a live streamed performance from LCD at the event as well. Immersive individual dance parties were soundtracked by a new tune from the group’s upcoming album called, “Tonite.” The new track and accompanying music video are due later this summer as well, presumably ahead of the album’s full release.
A visit to tonight.dance confirms the new VR experience launch. LCD Soundsystem’s follow up to This Is Happening could land as soon as mid-July, though fans may be lucky enough to digitally dance themselves clean before the album officially hits shelves. Preview clips of the new VR experience below:
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Are the ugly emoji’s one of the few things holding you back from turning to Android? Whether you hate them or love them, Google is finally ditching the ugly blob emoji and redesigning them for the release of Android O. Google will be following the footsteps of Apple in terms of their more circular emoji
The post Google Is Finally Redesigning Their Ugly Emojis For Android appeared first on EDM Sauce.
When you Google search a business, say a hoity-toity café, oftentimes a nifty little graphic will pop up telling you when the establishment is at its busiest, AKA when finding a seat is next to impossible. Now, Google is offering a similar feature for parking availability on Google Maps.
Using historical data to plot out busy times and calculate a parking rating of Easy, Medium, or the “park 4 blocks away and then some” Limited rating. This new offering isn’t going to make finding that elusive parking spot any easier to find, but at least you’ll know what you’re getting into beforehand, and have the option to plan ahead.
This will be exceptionally useful in traffic impacted cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, San Francisco, Austin, Miami and others who regularly experience a lack of good parking choices for nights out on the town – and the last ting you want is to miss your favorite opener at a show because you couldn’t find a parking space.
Right now, the parking availability calculation is only based on historic data, but its only a matter of time before they take advantage of anonymous location services to plot out availability in real time.
I think I already know the answer, but I’m going to pose the question anyway for rhetorical purposes: remember late last year when Spotify was reportedly in serious talks to purchase SoundCloud? Spotify backed out of that theoretical deal even later last year according to TechCrunch, and the unofficial reason had to do with the Stockholm- and London-based streaming service preparing to go public in 2017. An acquisition as large as SoundCloud would’ve complicated that process according to my non-expert brain, and a couple of months ago, when the deal imploded, a Spotify source told TechCrunch that it didn’t need “an additional licensing headache in a potential IPO year.” Oh, what could’ve been and what ultimately wasn’t due to legitimate, albeit suited concerns.
What’s the oft-repeated consequence of “snoozing”? With Spotify now temporarily out of the picture, Music Business Worldwide is now reporting “high-level rumors” that the omnipresent Google is now the top contender to purchase SoundCloud. The rumored price of $500M is a notable slice from the $1B that SoundCloud was allegedly seeking from Spotify, so apparently this is a transaction for which SoundCloud execs seem to be semi-desperately itching, especially given their reported losses. It’s actually kind of exciting to think about what Google could do with SoundCloud, given their tentacles and Android development in particular.
I guess, stay tuned?