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Tesla is talking to the music labels about creating its own streaming service
The bigger question: Why doesn’t Tesla simply integrate existing services, like Spotify or Apple Music, into all of its cars from the start — especially since Tesla already does a deal with Spotify for Teslas sold outside the U.S.? “We believe it’s important to have an exceptional in-car experience so our customers can listen to the music they want from whatever source they choose,” a Tesla spokesperson said. “Our goal is to simply achieve maximum happiness for our customers.”
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2 days ago by motiveunknown
Inside Spotify's Financials: Is There a Path to Profitability Or an IPO?
To be sure, there is probably a demand for a Spotify IPO right now, even without the path to profitability evident. But at what valuation? That is the crux of the dilemma facing Spotify. Without the clear path to profitability, analysts speculate the valuation would be lower than desired by Spotify management and shareholders, since Spotify’s investment bank and its consortium of underwriters would be setting the valuation. But some analysts -- and some newspaper reports -- have publicly speculated that instead of doing a public offering, Spotify could just do a listing on one of the stock exchanges. That strategy gambles that the market would set a higher valuation now than  one set by the underwriters.
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2 days ago by motiveunknown
YouTube chops 360 video in half with new VR180 format
That said, 360-degree video will still be alive and well on the site, and YouTube isn’t stepping away from supporting it, but VR180 may make it a bit easier for creators to get their feet wet without taking the plunge all at once. With VR180, creators have a lot more freedom to fall back on the laurels of traditional video capture while also building content that will give something extra to VR users. “Creators don’t have to change their production techniques,” said YouTube’s lead VR product manager Erin Teague. The best feature of the new format is that creators now have a bit more freedom to share normal videos that give something a little extra to users with mobile headsets like Cardboard and Daydream. Interestingly, YouTube is also making the videos viewable on the PlayStation VR YouTube app, which launched in January.
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2 days ago by motiveunknown
Spotify is waking up to what it could be: MySpace, but better
Joining forces with the immensely popular Messenger app signals Spotify’s intent to move in on at least part of the space that MySpace once occupied: the sharing aspect. It may have fierce competition yet. Facebook itself is said to be interested in striking music deals in order to host official music videos and let users add soundtracks to their personal videos. Even MySpace realized the lack of a proper social-music platform—one that goes beyond streaming services’ utilitarian aim of delivering songs alone—in 2013, when it, in a last-bid attempt to save itself from utter irrelevance, made a pivot to music and video content. Between 2013 and 2014, the previously decaying site grew 469%.
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2 days ago by motiveunknown
Snapchat should be worried about Instagram's daily active user growth
Here’s why the milestone is important: Instagram is gaining users at a faster clip. Instagram Stories went from 200 million daily users in April to its current 250 million, which is roughly 2 months. It took roughly 3 months for the company to go from 150 million daily users in January to 200 million in April of this year. This is in contrast to Snapchat, which only added 8 million daily users to reach 166 million in Q1 2017 from 158 million in Q4 2016. Instagram Stories could see increased engagement from brands. The latest user milestone could be leveraged to get more brands to post and use Instagram Stories, as brands now know the feature is getting more eyeballs. Instagram also already rolled out 15-second video ads between stories in January, which provides another potential avenue for revenue for brands.
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2 days ago by motiveunknown
YouTube will finally display vertical video properly (yay?)
There are few things YouTube commenters like to call people out on more than shooting a vertical video. But they’ll have one less reason to do so after the YouTube app’s latest update. The update finally allows YouTube to properly display vertical video, filling up the whole screen instead of the usual heavy letterboxing. In fact, YouTube says video will “dynamically adapt to whatever size you choose to watch it in,” so other aspect ratios will see an improvement as well (such as watching video on a 3:2 tablet).
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2 days ago by motiveunknown
Now Apple wants to reduce royalty rate it pays record labels
According to a report from Bloomberg, the Cupertino giant’s long-term licensing deals with the labels for both Apple Music and iTunes are due to expire at the end of this month. As part of the re-negotiations, Apple is apparently asking to bring its label revenue share rate down from 58% closer towards Spotify’s equivalent. Bloomberg’s sources suggest that, like with the Spotify deals, labels are broadly open to the discussion with Apple – so long as the company commits to agreed subscriber growth targets, as well as continued promotion of iTunes in key download markets.
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
Spotify now lets you build playlists with friends inside Messenger
The feature, called simply Group Playlists for Messenger, is accessed through Spotify’s existing Messenger app. This is found by tapping on the blue plus sign to the right of the input box in Messenger, then selecting the Spotify Messenger extension in the list that appears. From there, the person creating the playlist – who must be a current Spotify user – clicks the new “Create” button at the bottom of the screen, gives the playlist a title, then sends it into the group chat session. The thumbnail preview shared to the group will show the playlist’s name and offer a button below to add songs.
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
Ticketmaster’s chatbot for Facebook is actually not terrible
The bot’s natural language processing works well and not as programmatically as some others I’ve had to deal with. Instead of walking someone through a transaction using prompts that feel unnatural, the bot can recognize prompts like “What’s happening tonight?” and come up with responses. The bot will literally show you every event that Ticketmaster is serving up in an area (in a place like LA, that can be a little overwhelming). It’ll also respond to requests about the schedule for specific artists… so if there’s a band you want to see and don’t know whether they’ll be coming to your area, the message bot can tell you (so long as they’re playing at a Ticketmaster venue).
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
The Secret Lives of Playlists
Pay-to-playlist is real. For labels to influence Spotify-created playlists, Jeff describes a whole network of back-scratching and gatekeeping. While money might not be directly changing hands between majors and Spotify for direct access to playlist, there is a bigger picture where labels and Spotify provide value for each other - things like driving social traffic by getting artists to post Spotify links, doing paid media, and advertising. “If you can go to these [streaming] accounts and say, we have a $5,000 ad plan, and we are going to drive exclusively to Spotify...” he explains. Well, isn’t that a relationship they will want to keep mutually beneficial?
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
Sean Parker has left Spotify’s board; Padmasree Warrior, Thomas Staggs join in lead up to IPO
As Spotify inches its way to a public listing, the streaming music company — which now has 140 million users — has made some significant changes to its board of directors. Sean Parker, the early supporter and investor who once founded digital music service Napster and helped usher Facebook into the world, has left Spotify’s board of directors, along with Klaus Hommels, another early Spotify backer. At the same time, Spotify has appointed four new heavy-hitters to raise its corporate profile among investors: Padmasree Warrior, the ex-Cisco CTO and CSO who is now CEO of electric car maker NIO; Disney’s former COO Thomas Staggs; ex-YouTube exec Shishir Mehrotra, and investor Cristina Stenbeck have all joined the board.
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
Dave Allen leaves Apple Music, joins marketing startup
After spending three years in Apple Music’s Artist Relations team, Gang of Four bassist Dave Allen has joined Portland creative agency North Inc. as Director of Artist and Music Industry Advocacy. Allen was one of the artists involved in Apple Music’s launch in 2015 alongside Dr. Dre and Trent Reznor. While there, he spearheaded partnerships with artists and managers and previously worked in a similar role at Beats when it was being acquired by Apple in 2014.
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
Instagram Is the True Currency of Relevance for Hip-Hop’s New Wave
Yachty may be the most visible artist to take this route, but he’s far from the only one. This year's XXL Freshman list is comprised of a new wave of artists that rely heavily on Instagram and SoundCloud rather than the traditional infrastructure of rap stardom to fuel their burgeoning careers. As Indify recently pointed out, the relevance benchmark by which most of the 2017 XXL Freshmen were selected is the size of their Instagram following, with most artists’ Gram stats surpassing their presence elsewhere, including Spotify. Whereas SoundCloud has begun to usurp traditional streaming services in terms of breaking new artists, Instagram has directly led to the rise of several of this year’s XXL Freshmen and has contributed to maintaining relevance for countless others.
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
Snapchat launches location-sharing feature Snap Map
Snapchat’s next big feature wants to get you to meet up with friends in real life rather than just watching each other’s lives on your phones. Snap Map lets you share your current location, which appears to friends on a map and updates when you open Snapchat. It’s rolling out today to all iOS and Android users globally. “We’ve built a whole new way to explore the world! See what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!,” Snap writes on its blog. [Update: Snap Map was based on Snapchat’s secret acquisition of social map app Zenly for $250 million to $350 million]
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
Capitol Music Group Relaunches Priority Records as an Indie-Leaning Distributor
Now, CMG is relaunching the legendary imprint as an indie-leaning, versatile distribution wing focused largely on emerging hip-hop acts. Overseen by CMG chairman/CEO Steve Barnett, COO Michelle Jubelirer, new executive vp Dion “No I.D.” Wilson, CFO Geoff Harris and Motown president Ethiopia Habtemariam, Priority will be run by L.A. radio veteran William "Fuzzy" West and A&R executive Serge Durand to help push Capitol deeper into the hip-hop market.
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
Dailymotion reboots itself with new premium video service
Speaking today at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity , Dailymotion CEO and chairman Maxime Saada took the wraps off the company’s new look. Going forward, Dailymotion says it will concentrate on four themes: news, sports, music, and entertainment. In terms of advertisers, it will be focused on the market for 18 to 49 year olds. In a press release, Dailymotion said that “users will have access to exclusive content,” though it was not clear whether that would require a subscription or just the creation of an account.
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
How To Get Verified And Use Analytics On Shazam
Join Shazam’s community of artists on the blue carpet! Getting verified on this platform is simple and can help you to connect with more fans. Shazam is the place where the world discovers music…and often where artists can engage with fans long before other social networks. Join the likes of Armin van Buren, Major Lazer, and more!
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
MPAA & RIAA Demand Tough Copyright Standards in NAFTA Negotiations
The MPAA and RIAA have made their positions clear in submissions to the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Both want allies Canada and Mexico to commit to tightened copyright law, including restrictions on safe harbor provisions that go beyond current US practice.
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3 days ago by motiveunknown
Spotify is testing ‘Sponsored Songs’ in playlists
Spotify users have noticed a new opt-out setting appearing both on desktop and in-app: Sponsored Songs. Sponsored content in general is not new for Spotify — last year they allowed their most popular playlists to be sponsored by brands — but allowing labels to promote individual songs certainly is. A representative from Spotify confirms to The Verge that Sponsored Songs is a test program that will only appear to users on the free tier. Sponsored Songs don’t appear as banners like the platform’s existing ads, but are integrated into playlists you follow. In the example below from Liam Maloney, the sponsored song — “Call Me” by NEIKED — is featured above the playlist.
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5 days ago by motiveunknown

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