Excision drops new album “Apex” – LISTEN HERE

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The bass heads of the EDM community are fed today. Last night, Excision dropped his new album Apex early. The bass legend didn’t hold back with his hard-hitting tracks and mind-blowing bass. The album starts off with Excision’s signature deep bass, dinosaur sounds. The song has a quick build up into hard-hitting, fast beats which set

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Spotify is now testing unlimited ad skips for free-tier users

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Spotify is now testing unlimited ad skips for free-tier usersSpotify Testing Skippable Ads

Spotify continues to tinker with its free-tier user experience by testing a new feature they’re calling “active media.” Non-premium members will be able to skip unlimited ads. The new feature would be rolled out with the aim of providing a more relevant experience for both users as advertisers. Users would effectively choose which ads appeal to them most, while advertisers would not be charged for any ads users choose to skip, ensuring their audience on the platform is more open to their message.

Although the streaming giant is currently limiting the feature’s test run to Australia, it appears likely that more users could gain this ability in the near future. A spokesperson for the company confirmed they “will consider expanding to additional markets in the future,” and remain “committed to our freemium model and will continue innovating our products to ensure the best experience on both our free and premium tiers.”

Spotify’s support of both subscription models isn’t shared by all. Billboard announced in May that it would begin weighing streams via paid subscriptions more heavily than streams via free, ad-supported accounts. Paid subscriptions require 1,250 streams to equal one album unit on the Billboard 200, while free-tier streams must total 3,750.

H/T: Pitchfork

Apple Music surpasses Spotify subscriber numbers in North America

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Apple Music surpasses Spotify subscriber numbers in North AmericaJess Watters 500955 Unsplash

Apple announced Q3 financial results on July 31, showing $53.3 billion in revenue. This presents a 17 percent year-over-year increase, marking the tech company’s best June quarter ever. CEO Tim Cook commented, “Our Q3 results were driven by continued strong sales of iPhone, Services and Wearables, and we are very excited about the products and services in our pipeline.”

“Our strong business performance drove revenue growth in each of our geographic segments, net income of $11.5 billion, and operating cash flow of $14.5 billion,” says Apple CFO Luca Maestri. “We returned almost $25 billion to investors through our capital return program during the quarter, including $20 billion in share repurchases.” iPhone sales increased 1 percent YOY bringing in $41.3 billion, whereas wearables and other products brought in $3.7 billion, a 37 percent increase YOY.

Apple Music received a nod, adding the streaming service has more than 50 million current subscribers and free trial users; Apple Music revenues grew more than 50 percent during the quarter. Cook mentioned this made Apple Music the market leader in North America (by a fraction) as both Spotify and Apple report around 20 million users in the region. The CEO also mentioned Apple is leading the global streaming leader in Japan.

Outside of China, there are less than 200 million people streaming around the world, so music streaming is still a growing market. Cook added, “But really the key thing in music is not the competition between the companies that are providing music, the real challenge is to grow the market. It does seem to me there’s an extraordinary opportunity in that business to grow the market well and I think if we put our emphasis there, which we’re doing, that we’ll be a beneficiary of that — as other people will as well.”

A major difference between Apple Music and Spotify is Apple does not have a free service beyond its three-month trial period.

H/T: Billboard

Photo credit: Jess Watters/Unsplash

Spotify now boasts 83 million subscribers, reports second quarter loss

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Spotify now boasts 83 million subscribers, reports second quarter lossGettyimages 474099442

At the end of 2018’s second fiscal quarter, Swedish streaming giant Spotify has shared new reports on the company’s performance since their debut on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year. Boasting 83 million premium subscribers and 180 million monthly active users, Spotify will be looking to hold onto and expand their share of the market, though Apple Music has been providing some stiff competition in the US market this year.

Though the impressive 83 million paid subscribers is an increase of ten percent since last quarter and, at $1.49 billion, revenue is at an all time high, the company posted a loss of $461 million, over twice as much as their loss at this time last year. To Spotify’s credit, they claim that over $30 million of that loss came from the price of going public back in April. Even with these losses, Spotify’s stock price is steadily rising, likely thanks to the vast amounts of revenue, investment, and cash flow at the company’s fingertips. With online streaming platforms are consistently securing more listeners and paid subscribers, the DSP arms race remains a fascinating industry to watch unfold.

H/T: Billboard

New Raiden remix featuring Bright Lights

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Sometimes, great tracks take a while to make their way to the surface. That is no exception for the new festival mix of “Heart of Steel” by Raiden. The remix came out more than a year and a half after the original version of the song. Collaborating with Bright Lights, the pair brings us an

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Ekali, Hekler & Tynan release new track Blood Moon

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Who says new music has to be on Fridays? Ekali, Hekler and Tynan released the new track “Blood Moon” yesterday via Soundcloud. This out-of-this-world track features super-bassy trap sounds and is bound to be a hit in underground shows, as well as big festivals. Blood Moon hit Reddit last night, so it is soon to

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Best Buy Officially Stops Selling Physical CDs

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Physicals CDs are no more… at least at Best Buy anyway. One of the worlds leading technology stores has officially gotten rid of physical CDs. It is no surprise that it has come to this. The world no longer needs to purchase a physical album to listen to their favorite songs anymore. Streaming is the

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The Music Modernization Act takes another step towards fair compensation for music curators

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The Music Modernization Act takes another step towards fair compensation for music curatorsJomar 271602 Unsplash

The Music Modernization Act (MMA) has passed unanimously in the Senate Judiciary Committee, taking music creators a step closer to appropriate licensing and royalty rules for the streaming era. It now has to pass a full Senate vote before hitting the president’s desk.

The music copyright overhaul essentially partners Apple Music, Spotify, and publishers under a single licensing agency, streamlining the license management process. Songwriters and accredited artists will be paid out for songs recorded before 1972, while new rights will be granted to music producers and mixers. Older musicians who missed the streaming boom and studio engineers look to benefit here in the form of royalty checks coming their way if passed.

One of the most important facets of the bill is an overall standardization of payment rates between distribution services and rights-holders. It’s about time music law addressed the streaming industry because the current system is still set up for physical music copies.

Although the MMA has received criticism for its lack of consideration towards medium-sized business, most in the industry are in favor, seeing this as a long-awaited, financial organization of the current music landscape. D.I.Y. musicians, and musicians who own their own rights might still have trouble policing ineffective or inefficient licensing practices. More established artists, publishers, studio producers, and labels labels will benefit, giving them more time to focus on creating music and less time worrying about licensing and royalty structures. It’s a step in the right direction on this long trek towards fair compensation for music creators.

H/T: Rolling Stone

Photo Credit: Jomar/Unsplash

Ekali Releases Part 5 of his Awakening Mix Series

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Ekali is having a big year. With collaborations with Skrillex, NGHTMRE, ZHU and more, it’s only up for Ekali. Today, the artist released the fifth installment of his Awakening remix series. The mix features remixes of artists such as Dua Lipa, Cashmere Cat, Troyboi and more. The mix features a variety of sounds and feelings.

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‘What Would Diplo Do?’ is now streaming on Hulu

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What Would Diplo Do

Viceland’s original short What Would Diplo Do?, starring James Van Der Beek as Diplo and Dillon Francis as Diplo’s friend Jasper, is now streaming on Hulu. The show, which had also been streaming on Viceland for free prior to the Hulu addition, premiered last August as a hilarious tongue-in-cheek series offering a glimpse of “the life” of the superstar DJ.

In the time since the show’s aired, the Dawson’s Creek alum’s grade A impersonation has even seen great success on Twitter. James Van Der Beek’s @_diplo_Twitter handle has gone on to entertain an entire industry with witty criticism and clever comebacks.

Stream WWDD here.