Spotify launches in the Middle East, North Africa

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Spotify launches in the Middle East, North AfricaSpotify

Spotify continues its worldwide takeover, furthering its reach by launching services in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

As of November 13, users can access Spotify in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories and Egypt. Countries including Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen are not part of the new services. Spotify launched in Israel earlier this year.

The music streaming service been available unofficially in the Middle East for years via accounts registered to other regions. This, however, makes it official.

“Spotify is launching in MENA with a full Arabic service, dozens of locally curated playlists for every mood and moment, and access to a full catalog of millions of songs, for both our free and premium users,” global head of markets Cecilia Qvist said in a statement.

The service will cost about half of the $9.99 users in the United States pay: 19.99 United Arab Emirates dirhams in the UAE, SAR 19.99 Saudi riyals in Saudi Arabia, 49.99 Egyptian pounds in Egypt, and $4.99 in the rest of the MENA region.

H/T: Billboard

Apple Music launches Preferred Distribution Program, could signal independent artists uploads underway

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Apple Music launches Preferred Distribution Program, could signal independent artists uploads underwayApple Music Interface

Apple Music has officially ushered in its Preferred Distribution Program, which will see the streaming platform work with music distributors CD Baby, The Orchard, and Kontor New Media, to extend premium Apple Music and iTunes privileges like advanced analytics and early access to “Sales and Trends features,” to clients of the three designated distributors.

To qualify for “Preferred Plus” partnership with Apple, distributors must meet a 40,000 songs per quarter expectation. The tracks that count towards this minimum should have a low Apple Music “rejection rate.” A step below “Preferred Plus” tier, the “Preferred” partnership rank, requires a distributor to produce 10,000 songs each quarter.

Apple Music launches Preferred Distribution Program, could signal independent artists uploads underwayScreen Shot 2018 11 12 At 11.57.22 AM

While Apple has yet to reference the longer term potential of its newly established Preferred Distribution Program, it is possible that the function could precede an Apple-supported feature that would allow independent artists to act as their own distributors in sharing their music directly to Apple Music and iTunes, akin to Spotify‘s similar model. Spotify instituted its own “preferred” group of digital distributors, and is notable for doing so prior to Apple.

H/T: DJ Mag

NMF Roundup: Hotel Garuda delivers infectious melody on ‘One Reason,’ ORIENTAL CRAVINGS embody Alison Wonderland’s ‘Sometimes Love,’ Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ receives a disco edit + more

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NMF Roundup: Hotel Garuda delivers infectious melody on ‘One Reason,’ ORIENTAL CRAVINGS embody Alison Wonderland’s ‘Sometimes Love,’ Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ receives a disco edit  + moreAlisonWonderland SHAKYBEATS2017 0505 192823 8517 PP Copy

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday.

Electronic artists have blessed out eardrums once again with heavy-hitting percussive projects, sultry harmonies, catchy melodies, and crisp vocals. Fatboy Slim‘s festival classic, “Praise You,” receives a funky edit from Purple Disco Machine. Hotel Garuda lends his crafty melody-chop work alongside Imad Royal and Kiah Victoria, while Taska Black continues to show why bitbird is bending boundaries in the future bass space. Midnight Kids and Tritonal do what they do best with uplifting atmospheres and infectious melody drops. Former member of Krewella — Kris “Rain Man” Trindl — caresses Vikki Gilmore’s vocals amongst bouncing guitars and driving harmonies on “Take It Closer.” JayKode and ORIENTAL CRAVINGS go hard on their projects for Flux Pavillion & Doctor P‘s Circus Records imprint and a remix of Alison Wonderland‘s single with SLUMBERJACK, “Sometimes Love,” respectively.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Shaky Knees

Steve Aoki recruits K-pop sensations, BTS, for new ‘Neon Future II’ single, ‘Waste It On Me’

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Steve Aoki recruits K-pop sensations, BTS, for new ‘Neon Future II’ single, ‘Waste It On Me’Steve Aoki Press

Steve Aoki has been on a roll this week. First he became the first modern dance music producer to be featured in the Smithsonian, and now, after teasing fans about a big announcement, he’s brought forth a full track list to accompany his Neon Future III album announcement–plus a new single.

The new Aoki heat, “Waste It On Me” is a collaboration with none other than Korean powerhouse group BTS. The track is a momentous one, in that it’s their first song to be released entirely in English. Aoki has been teasing this collaboration for some time now, beginning with him posting a slew of photos with the group this past May; and the release is certainly recompense for the wait.

Featuring bass valleys that ascend into crescendoing vocal highs, the track tells the story of young, capricious love. While definitely a commercial track, Aoki finds a way to organically infuse nuanced elements into the production.

BTS commented on the collaboration, saying, “We’re happy for this meaningful and heart-felt collaboration… We hope this would be a good present for our fans.”

BTS and Aoki began their musical relationship back in 2017, when the latter remixed BTS’s hit single, “MIC Drop” with Grammy-nominated rapper Desiigner. The release went on to eclipse the Billboard US World Digital Chart in 2017-2018, amass over 7 million streams on Spotify, and become the highest-charting song by a K-pop group in US history.

Aoki’s full track list of Neon Future III reveals additional scintillating collaborations, such as tracks with Bella Thorne, Mike Posner, and Bill Nye among others. “Waste It On Me” featuring BTS is out now via Ultra Music.

 

Track List 

Steve Aoki – Neon Future III (Intro)
Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson – Just Hold On
Steve Aoki – Waste It On Me ft. BTS
Steve Aoki & Nicky Romero – Be Somebody ft. Kiiara
Steve Aoki – Pretender ft. Lil Yachty & AJR
Steve Aoki – A Lover And A Memory ft. Mike Posner
Steve Aoki – Why Are We So Broken ft. blink-182
Steve Aoki – Golden Days ft. Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World
Steve Aoki – Our Love Glows ft. Lady Antebellum
Steve Aoki – Anything More ft. Era Istrefi
Steve Aoki x Lauren Jauregui – All Night
Steve Aoki – Do Not Disturb ft. Bella Thorne
Steve Aoki – Lie To Me ft. Ina Wroldsen
Steve Aoki, Daddy Yankee, Play-N-Skillz & Elvis Crespo – Azukita
Steve Aoki & TWIIG – Hoovela
Steve Aoki & Don Diablo x Lush & Simon – What We Started ft. BullySongs
Steve Aoki – Noble Gas ft. Bill Nye

 

El-P Calls Out Spotify For Not Protecting Artists Against Fraud

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El-PRun The Jewels rapper and producer El-P is calling out Spotify for what he alleges to be a lack of protection against fraud on the platform. The musician recently took to Twitter to respond to a fan who noticed that music from another artist had been included on the El-P artist page. “No matter how … More »

New study shows music is an integral part of our lives

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New study shows music is an integral part of our livesEric Ward 250010 Unsplash

According to a new consumer report, music listeners devour nearly 18 hours of music per week on average — about half of a full-time job.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is the non-profit institution that represents the recording industry worldwide. They recently released their annual music consumption report, noting the 17.8 hours a week consumers listen to music mostly happens in the car. This makes sense when thinking about daily routine commutes back and forth without audio, which sounds like torture.

The report also showed 86 percent of the listeners tested use an on-demand streaming service such as Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube. Fifty-seven percent of users who pay for these streaming services are between the ages of 16 and 24 years old, suggesting it’s mostly young drivers listening to Spotify, Apple, or YouTube on their commute to school or work.

IFPI CEO Frances Moor says the report “tells the story of how recorded music is woven into the lives of fans around the world. As it becomes increasingly accessible, it continues to be embraced across formats, genres and technologies.”

H/T: DJ Mag

Photo credit: Eric Ward/Unsplash

Research shows music industry losing $2.6B a year due to retail stores’ improper streaming

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Research shows music industry losing $2.6B a year due to retail stores’ improper streamingSpotify Enterprise

According to a Nielsen Music study, the music industry is missing out on $2.65 billion annually due to businesses using personal music accounts in their storefronts. The culprit is mostly small businesses that are using consumer accounts not intended for commercial use.

This report was paid for by Soundtrack Your Brand, who offer music streaming for businesses starting at $26.99 a month. They surveyed 5,000 small business owners in the US, US, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Germany, and France. The data found that most of these businesses simply use an employee’s streaming account.

When music is played to benefit a business, a business licenses is needed. These rights are not included in the standard consumer streaming accounts that most small businesses use. Results estimated 21.3 million businesses are using the consumer streaming account instead of obtaining the proper business license.

80.3 percent of the small businesses surveyed mentioned music is important to their business, and 86 percent said they were willing to pay a bit more for the proper license. More than half the businesses were unaware their methods of playing music was illegal. In the US, 71 percent of businesses were unaware.

Co-founder and chairman of Soundtrack Your Brand, Andreas Liffgarden (formerly Spotify‘s global head of telecom business development) said, “Lack of innovation has driven small businesses to choose consumer services, as they are far more accessible and easy-to-use than most business alternatives. We need a new generation of B2B streaming services, attractive to business owners, that make sure music makers get fair compensation.”

H/T: Billboard

Photo Credit: Mia Shanley/REUTERS

This Spotify Commercial Has Been Banned In The UK For Being Too Scary

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SpotifyA Spotify ad has been banned in the UK for being too scary. The ad, which first ran online before YouTube videos this summer, is centered around a creepy doll that pops up every time Camila Cabello’s “Havana” plays. “The fact that the ad was set inside a home, including a bedtime setting, and featured … More »

Codeko partners with JUUL for newest release, ‘Woke Up’

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Codeko partners with JUUL for newest release, ‘Woke Up’Codeko Press Shot

Codeko has quickly been gaining momentum in dance music all while studying physical sciences at Cambridge University. The England native has mastered high profile remixes, recently putting his own spin on Elephante‘s “The In Between.” Now he is onto putting out his own original releases, and his latest addition to this growing collection of original works is “Woke Up” featuring Xuitcasecity.

The track features the producer’s own vocals, and has catchy future bass drops that make this track equally suited for set lists as it is for radio play. He spoke on how he came up with the idea for the track, calling it his “favorite release to date.”

“I came up with the idea for ‘Woke Up’ a few months ago just before I graduated from university, and actually wrote/produced & sung it all myself. Implementing a hip-hop verse into a dance track convincingly seems rare at the moment, and I am really excited about how the verse slots in & how well the record retains it’s electronic roots. Its my favourite track I’ve made to date.” -Codeko

The artist also partnered with JUUL for the release, announcing a contest where fans can win a free year of JUUL if fans save the track on Spotify. The winner will receive a JUUL starter kit and 40 JUUL pods.

DJ Snake scripts Spotify history as ‘Let Me Love You’ surpasses one billion streams

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DJ Snake scripts Spotify history as ‘Let Me Love You’ surpasses one billion streamsSelena Cardi Ozuna Dj Snake Taki Taki Video

October has only just begun, and yet DJ Snake has already secured a chart-topping single alongside Cardi B, Ozuna, and Selena Gomez on “Taki Taki.” Now, he’s scripted Spotify history. DJ Snake became just the fifth artist to have two tracks garner a respective one billion streams each after his 2016 Justin Bieber collaboration, “Let Me Love You” surpassed the one billion stream count, following in the footsteps of his joint project with Major Lazer and in 2015, “Lean On.” The achievement situates Snake among the ranks of Drake, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, and Bieber himself — all fellow artists to have accomplished the same feat.

DJ Snake recently teased the full-length music video that remains yet to come for “Taki Taki” with a tantalizing teaser of the complete visual. The music video will make its debut on October 9, directed by Colin Tilley, whose credits include DJ Khaled and Rihanna‘s “Wild Thoughts” music video, and Kyle‘s “iSpy,” among many others.