Instagram looking to take a bite out of YouTube with new 1-hour uploads feature

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IGTV instagram launch

Instagram announced they will allow users to upload videos up to an hour long, a significant increase from previous one-minute limit. The Facebook-owned social media platform looks to compete with the media megalodon, YouTube, owned by Google.

These videos will be housed on IGTV, currently accessible in the top-right hand corner of the Instagram homescreen on mobile. IGTV is also available as a stand-along app on iOS and Android, featuring the most popular videos from internet celebrities.

CEO Kevin Systrom mentioned that it’s time for video to evolve and move forward. On the new platform, anyone can be a curator, not just celebrities. Currently, new and smaller accounts will not be able to upload hour-long videos. Users have the option to scroll through recommended videos, popular videos, curators they’re following, and continue watching previously started videos. Curators also have the option to add links in the descriptions of their videos to drive traffic elsewhere.

There are no ads on IGTV…yet. Instagram also isn’t paying it’s curators, unlike its parent company’s failed Facebook Watch video hub. With over 1 billion users on Instagram, IGTV certainly has leg to stand on. eMarketer predicted Instagram will earn $5.48 billion in U.S. ad revenue, without IGTV.

As younger generations are cutting the chord and looking towards various mediums to consume content, Instagram now has an opportunity to take over TV on mobile.

H/T: Tech Crunch

Photo Credit: @igtv.official/Instagram

Elon Musk blasts streaming services for “crazy low payouts”

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Music creatives have long gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to music streaming royalties. Once the honey pot is divvied up between streaming platforms and music labels, artists and songwriters walk away with only a small piece of the pie.

Mercurial tech baron and founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, is the latest powerful voice to recently speak out on the issue of unequal distribution. The issue is no new struggle in contemporary capitalism, either. The fact of the matter is: when big business is involved, individuals lose out.

But it seems Musk now has a direct stake in the issue considering he’s now dating Canadian singer/songwriter, Grimes. The couple made their first public appearance as a couple at the Met Gala last week in New York City.

The conversation arose over Twitter when Musk was asked about his favorite Grimes song; for which, by the way, he has two:

One conscientious fan tweeted the tech baron wondering which streaming platform fans could engage with in order to most directly benefit Grimes financially.

Musk responded with an infographic showing Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube as the bottom three platforms in terms of gross payout per stream. XboxRhapsody and Tidal are among the top when it comes to artist payouts, with Apple MusicAmazon, Deezer, and Google falling somewhere in the middle.

While the issue of online streaming payouts continues to be a new frontier for the music industry — especially as it converges with tech giants and new platforms who want a piece of the pie — Musk should be commended for bringing the issue into public conversation. At the very least, it is a genuine show of online activism when powerful tech elites raise their voices for unheard, underpaid artistic creatives who often get no say in the matter.

Justice debut new ‘Stop’ music video, announce live streaming performance at Google I/O

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Justice have shared the new music video for “Stop” from the duo’s lauded 2016 LP WomanThe new feature, animated by another French creative pairing, illustrators Mrzyk & Moricea, accents the dreamy, slow-burn disco cut with a synesthetic dose of neon that perfectly completes the song’s retro aesthetic. Scaling back the album’s psychedelic dance ballad to a leaner radio edit, the “Stop” video winds and weaves through a spacial landscape of shifting imagery, projecting some of Justice’s most iconic visual staples along with plenty of stimulating graphic symbolism.

The video comes in conjunction with more good news for Justice fans. The French electro visionaries are currently amid a packed international touring circuit in support of their most recent studio album, and they’ve just added a rare live stream event to their itinerary. Adding to their list of high-profile performances, Xavier and Gaspard have been announced as the musical headliners for this year’s Google I/O conference. The set will be live streamed on YouTube on May 9 from Shoreline Amphitheater, and will include opening support from Phantogram, as well as a live debut of the new “Stop” music video.


Google to release updated all-in-one ‘AIY’ kits for beginners

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Tech junkies seeking AI immersion can find an introductory foothold in Google’s new DIY AI starter packs.

Dubbed “AIY” kits, the pre-packaged set up acquaints those who are new to AI with the burgeoning technology. In the past, the kits were geared more toward those with an existing knowledge of AI, but Google will now cater to novices via a joint release of updated AIY Vision and Voice kits that will include all a beginner needs to get started.

Both the Vision and the Voice kits will come with a Raspberry Pi Zero WH board, and a pre-provisioned SD card. The Vision kit additionally arrives with a Raspberry Pi Camera v2. Google has also released a companion Android app that assists purchasers in the process of setting up their kits.

The Vision and Voice packs, priced at $90 and $50 respectively, will become available in Target’s online and retail stores in April.

H/T: engadget

YouTube Will ‘Frustrate’ Users With Ads So That They Will Pay for Music

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As reported by Bloomberg, YouTube is increasing the number of ads that some users will see between music videos. The newly developed strategy will help convince more of its billion viewers to pay for a subscription service from the Google-owned streaming site. “You’re not going to be happy after you are jamming ‘Stairway to Heaven’

The post YouTube Will ‘Frustrate’ Users With Ads So That They Will Pay for Music appeared first on EDM Sauce.

Get a look at the technology behind Google’s touchscreen AI synth [Watch]

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Ai synth

Google’s position at the forefront of technological innovation finds a new mode in the touchscreen hardware synth recently unveiled by the company. An alternative to synths that traditionally combine waveforms to generate sound, the touchscreen, AI assisted synth uses NSynth machine learning technology to “interpret” a range of inputs and generate new sounds.
The NSynth technology enables Google’s synth to register sounds as numbers in order to mathematically produce a novel series of numbers after the synth’s analysis of the original set of inputs. The synth then coverts its newly conceptualized string of numbers back into sound, thus producing sounds that are both new and nonpareil. Sounds that exemplify the synth’s uncanny ability to create the unique audio include a car’s engine combined with a sitar, and bass sound paired with that of thunder, in addition to various others.

Those interested can experiment with the NSynth technology in order to fully experience the synth’s anomalous kind of machine learning on Google’s web version of the synth.
The synth’s hardware allows its users to transition between four parameters on its X/Y pad, and to play and sequence sounds via MIDI, while “morphing between the sound sources in real time.”
Although Google will not commercially market its AI synth, it will release the technology as an open source Github download. Post download, users will have the ability to add their own features to the technology.

H/T: DJ Mag

YouTube launches new, low data application in 130 countries

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YouTube Connect

YouTube intends to make big moves as 2018 commences, with the launch of their new application YouTube Go. The video streaming giant is introducing it’s newest product in 130 countries after a successful beta test in India last year and an ensuing trial run in 14 additional countries. YouTube Go provides a redesigned version of YouTube’s mobile interface that’s designed for users in areas with poor connectivity as well as those facing expensive or limited access to cellular data.

The new application gives users the ability to download videos for offline viewing, normally a feature included in the company’s $10 monthly YouTube Red subscription package. Through YouTube Go, users can avoid draining additional cell data by sharing videos locally through a direct device-to-device connection. YouTube Go is also getting a number of feature updates from Google, including functions that will allow viewers to stream and download higher quality content, share multiple videos at once to other devices, as well as a user-personalized feed of suggested content.

The app’s roll out is currently confined to Android users. The international debut of YouTube Go will also skip countries with developed digital infrastructures, such as the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though future developments could aim to expand the new platform’s availability.

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

See Google’s most frequently searched albums, artists, and songs of 2017 [Full List]

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There is perhaps no end of year list that best bespeaks the nation’s interests in 2017 than Google‘s “Year in Search 2017.” A compilation of the most frequently searched values over the course of the year, the reflective record offers insight on search engine’s top-searched albums, artists, and songs in 2017.

Google’s Top Albums/New Releases list charts Taylor Swift‘s album, Reputation, as the most heavily searched album of the year, trailed by Jay-Z’s 4:44. Kendrick Lamar’s Damn comes in at third place. Shifting over to Google’s Top Music Artist section, Linkin Park arises as the top-searched artist of 2017. Rapper Cardi B takes silver, with Lil Pump registering as the third most Googled artist of the year.

When it comes to Top Songs, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” reigns supreme, omnipotently followed by Lamar’s “Humble,” and Migos’ “Bad and Boujee.” The full list of Google search superlatives appears below.

Top Albums / New Releases
1. Reputation (Taylor Swift)
2. 4:44 (Jay Z)
3. Damn (Kendrick Lamar)
4. Everybody (Logic)
5. More Life (Drake)
6. Harry Styles (Harry Styles)
7. Issa Album (21 Savage)
8. Divide (Ed Sheeran)
9. True to Self (Bryson Tiller)
10. Flower Boy (Tyler, The Creator)

Music Artist
1. Linkin Park
2. Cardi B
3. Lil Pump
4. Joyner Lucas
5. Jason Aldean
6. Danielle Bregoli
7. Post Malone
8. Aaron Carter
9. Remy Ma
10. Montgomery Gentry

1. Luis Fonsi — “Despacito” featuring Daddy Yankee
2. Kendrick — “Humble”
3. Migos — “Bad and Boujee”
4. Taylor Swift — “Look What You Made Me Do”
5. Cardi B — “Bodak Yellow”
6. Lil Pump — “Gucci Gang”
7. Camila Cabello — “Havana” featuring  Young Thug
8. Ed Sheeran — “Shape of You”
9. Future — “Mask Off”
10. Ariana Grande — “Side to Side” featuring Nicki Minaj

Those interested in viewing the top global Google searches by country can see Google’s international top-searched lists here.

Read More:

Beatport reveals its most popular song, label, & artist of 2017

The Hot 25: December 8, 2017

SoundCloud reflects on the year in music in its 2017 Playback

H/T: Complex

Google Debuts New Addicting DDR Like Game Where You DJ As Christmas Present Wrapping Elves

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As the holiday season is upon a few time honored traditions return as well. Starbucks debuts their holiday season cups, people get really upset over the Starbucks cups, and of course a serious line up of New Year’s Eve events. This year the holiday season has brought us a new surprise from Google. (W)Rapping Elves

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