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February 25 2014

February 20 2014

February 13 2014

Spotify Unveils Valentine's Day Playlists for Soulmates and Singles
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Whether you're planning a romantic date or celebrating the single life this Valentine's Day, you're going to want some tunes to guide you through the night

To help, Spotify released three Valentine's Day-themed playlists that feature popular love ballads for both the love-struck and heartbroken.

The first playlist is based on Spotify's analysis of which tracks have been streamed the most on Feb. 14 in recent years, with Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" claiming the top spot (well done, Spotify users). These tracks are loaded with inspiration for those struggling to find the right way to tell that special someone how much they mean. Read more...

More about Music, Entertainment, Spotify, Playlists, and Valentine S Day

February 10 2014

51 Songs to Pump You Up During the Winter Olympics
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The first weekend of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is in the books, with the first two days of competition delivering impressive performances and viral moments aplenty.

If you haven't managed to catch any of the thrilling action out of Sochi yet, it's definitely not too late to get excited about the Winter Olympics. And if you live far from Russia and are trying to catch these events in real time, you may need an adrenaline rush on par with a run through the slopestyle course just to stay awake.

That's why we put together this Music Monday playlist of pump-up songs that are sure to get your feet moving and your heart racing Read more...

More about Spotify, Music Monday, Entertainment, Music, and Sports

January 26 2014

Spotify Trolls Beats Music on Twitter, Tries to Win Back Users
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Spotify, like most major music-streaming businesses, has tried to play down the threat posed by Beats Music, a streaming service that the popular headphone maker launched this week.

"It's a competitor, for sure," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview. "But my way of looking at it is, if it gets people to understand the value of streaming, it is ultimately good."

That may be a nice way of framing it for the public, but Spotify is clearly keeping an eye on Beats and its potential to lure away customers. Perhaps the most obvious example can be found on Twitter. Read more...

More about Music, Spotify, Business, Twitter, and Beats Music

January 22 2014

If Music Services Influenced Grammys, This Is Who Would Win
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LOS ANGELES — Nominees for the 56th Grammy Awards on Sunday will be up all night to get lucky, including "Get Lucky" performers Daft Punk. But who will take home the coveted gramophone trophies? While observers continue to predict who will win, two music services — Spotify and Shazam — are placing their bets based on their users' engagement.

Spotify based its predictions, below, on streaming data to see which artists, songs and albums its users listen to the most. Last year, Spotify accurately guessed the winners for Record of the Year ("Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye feat. Kimbra) and Album of the Year (Babel by Mumford and Sons). Read more...

More about Music, Entertainment, Shazam, Spotify, and Grammys

January 20 2014

Spotify Now Lets Artists Sell Merch and Other News You Need to Know
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Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world.

Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting storiesSpotify has announced a brand new feature for artists: merchandise listingParamount has taken a major leap, telling industry execs it will only release films in digital format going forward. And lastly, Google disabled two spammy Chrome extensions over the weekend

Check out the video above for more on these stories. Read more...

More about Google, Paramount, Chrome, Spotify, and Entertainment

January 16 2014

Free Music Or Not, Spotify Still Has a Paid-User Problem

Update: Surprise! Rdio just announced its own free, unlimited streaming service. The same logic applies.

Spotify has a subscriber problem. Let me rephrase that—Spotify has a lot of problems. Refreshingly, none of its woes manifest in its end product—instant, glorious delivery of every song imaginable, right into your earbuds.

Unfortunately, its big problems—big like recording industry big—all throw the sweet, sweet tune of its on-demand digital jukebox into jeopardy. 

On Wednesday, Spotify announced that it would lift the ceiling on how many hours of music you could stream for free each month. Previously, the free, ad-supported membership tier allowed six months of unlimited Web streaming before kicking in with a time-limit cap. Now, ad-supported streaming on the Web has no limitations. (Mobile users, by contrast, can listen to unlimited music only if it's "shuffled," making it more like radio—or Pandora.)

Great news, right? Not so fast.

The Numbers Don't Add Up

For Spotify users, or would-be Spotify users, the latest move is just another awesome perk for a service that’s so chock-full of awesome perks that it’s basically just one big totally awesome perk. From the outside, things look great—you can listen to whatever you want (almost) for as long as you want (really)! In late 2013, Spotify got a $250 million shot in the arm, but its business model still can’t turn a profit if it doesn’t scale way up—and fast. 

Spotify pays out more than 70% of its revenues to rent the music it in turn lends out to subscribers. With its major record labels deals secured, Spotify is playing in the big leagues and paying through the nose for it. The company issued a lengthy blog post in December, detailing its goal of reaching 40 million paid subscribers—a wildly unrealistic figure. As of March 2013, Spotify had around 6 million paid and 18 million unpaid subscribers (24 million total).

To start making a profit, the company needs to convert free users into monthly paid users. It also needs a lot more users to make things scale at all, hence all the cool freebies. By all accounts, the math is a long way from making sense or making real money—enough real money to make a dent in that massive 70% figure.

So Spotify had 6 million paid users by March 2013. A year later all we know is that Spotify has “over 6 million,” which basically means “fewer than 7 million or we would have issued a press release.” (A Spotify spokesperson confirmed that the company hasn't updated its subscriber numbers since March.)

The company said it added one million paid subscribers between December 2012 and March 2013 … but then what happened? The competition is stiffer than ever and naturally everyone’s fighting over the same piece of pie: paid subscribers. The timing of Spotify’s hourly limit lift isn’t a coincidence, either. Direct competitor Deezer hit 5 million paid subscribers in November 2013. Worse yet, Beats Music comes out swinging in less than a week, asking the same $10 a month for its hip, heavily-branded digital DJ service.

No New Paid Users? That's Bad News

Companies are notoriously tight-lipped with numbers that won’t wow you—but hey, look over here, free music! It’s tough to say how well Spotify’s freemium conversion plan is going, but you can be sure any cash in its pockets (like say, an infusion of $250 million) is going straight toward getting more listeners in the door in a hurry. For Spotify, once you get them in and show them around, they might like the place enough for fork over monthly payments. That’s the idea, anyway.

But the pool of potential paid subscribers is ever-shrinking. It’s understandably difficult to find music listeners enthusiastic enough to actually pay to hear music when they can find it elsewhere for free—and hey, maybe you’re even the one giving it to them.

The elusive paid users must be serious enough about music to pay (a little) for it, but casual enough about music to listen to it on a streaming service to begin with. Count out vinyl devotees, anyone who makes a living in the music industry and anyone who misguidedly thinks streaming services are screwing artists (hint: look higher up).

While Spotify casually stuffs cash into its already excellent, cash-glutted product in order to attract new users, it seems blissfully unaware that the mythical paid subscriber might just prove to be its white whale.

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Spotify and Pandora Brace for Beats Music to Drop
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This post was updated on Jan. 16 at 10 a.m. ET.

The launch of Beats Music is causing a bit of stir among its online music streaming competitors.

Pandora Music announced today the introduction of personalized music streams that will incorporate listener tendencies to generate a list of artists.

"Personalized station recommendations on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets will provide listeners with up to 6 suggested artist stations to add and listen to at a time, based on current listening preferences, taking into account your station list and what you have told us you like or dislike through thumb interactions," Pandora said in a blog post. Read more...

More about Streaming Music, Spotify, Business, Media, and Music
Spotify Scraps Time Limits and Other News You Need to Know
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Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world.

Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting storiesSpotify symbolically staked its claim on the music streaming market Wednesday. The company announced it will no longer set limits on free, ad-supported streaming. Yahoo COO Henrique de Castro has parted ways with the company after 15 months. According to an internal memo, he was fired by CEO Marissa Mayer. And a report from Computerworld details a major security flaw in the Starbucks mobile app: It stores user’s passwords, email addresses and usernames in plain text, making them vulnerable to hackers Read more...

More about Yahoo, Starbucks, Spotify, First To Know Series, and Music

January 14 2014

23 Songs to Help You Get Back to Work
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While it may be tempting to lament over the end of the holidays, it's best to face the facts: Vacations end, and you have to get back to work.

After all, your to-do list won't go away with neglect, and you'll feel better accomplishing tasks in a timely fashion. Fortunately, we put together a Spotify playlist to help motivate you to work.

So, throw on our playlist, grab a cup of coffee and start promoting synergy like a boss. You don't want to be stuck late at the office, while all your friends are having fun at happy hour

Have something to add to our playlist? Share with us in the comments, below, or on Spotify, and we'll add it. Read more...

More about Productivity, Community, Social Media, Spotify, and Entertainment

December 17 2013

36 Songs to Celebrate the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday it has whittled down the original list of 16 nominees to six artists that will be inducted in 2014

Grunge pioneers Nirvana made it into the hall on the band's first try after becoming the youngest act ever to be nominated for entry. 1980s pop duo Hall and Oates and tongue-wagging rockers KISS were also selected for entry, with solo artists Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt completing next year's shortlist.

In Mashable's Hall of Fame poll from October, Nirvana registered more than 25% of the 2,511 votes from our readers, followed by by KISS with 12% Read more...

More about Music, Entertainment, Kiss, Spotify, and Nirvana
40 Songs to Get You in the Holiday Spirit
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'Tis the season for blasting holiday music for hours on end.

With Christmas less than ten days away, we're right in that middle of that time of year when it's socially acceptable to listen to copious amounts of holiday music. After all, once the calendar turns to 2014, it'll be a long time before we "Jingle Bells" again.

To help you embrace this festive season, we've rounded up some of our staff's favorite holiday jams for this week's Music Monday playlist

Have something to add to this playlist? Share it with us in the comments, below, or on Spotify, and we'll add it to the playlist. Read more...

More about Music, Holidays, Community, Spotify, and Entertainment

December 12 2013

Spotify May Kill Pandora and iTunes, but Not Just Yet
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Spotify may eventually make your iTunes and Pandora accounts obsolete, but don’t delete them just yet

Spotify's introduction of free streaming on-demand music to mobile devices, announced Wednesday, will not cause an overnight collapse of the major online music players, and may provide a short-term boost for services that still sell music. The more serious questions surround the long-term implications for a music industry already grappling with change.

Music lovers still buy musicSales of music on iTunes have not only weathered the storm of online music streaming, but benefitted from it. Even with the growth of streaming music, per-buyer spending on downloads rose 6% in 2012, according to NPD Group,market advisory service that tracks sales. Read more...

More about Itunes, Pandora, Streaming Music, Spotify, and Iheartradio
Spotify's Free Mobile Offering: Everything You Need to Know
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Spotify on Wednesday expanded the free tier of its service to all devices, including smartphones and tablets

In the past, free Spotify users could only access Spotify Radio on mobile devices and tablets, but like other radio services, this prevented them from listening to a specific artist or music in their own playlists. The new offering expands on-demand listening to free users on tablets, and allows smartphone users to listen to their own playlists or music from a specific artist in shuffle mode.

Spotify created the following chart, which shows the access options that users have: Read more...

More about How To, Streaming Music, Spotify, Music, and Tech

December 11 2013

Every Day It's Shufflin': Spotify Still Limits Mobile Music

Popular music streaming app Spotify is going free today. Sort of.

At an announcement in New York City, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek announced Spotify for free, a new service from the company that will allow users on iOS and Android devices to stream music for free in shuffle mode. Spotify charges $10 a month for full access to the app on mobile devices and today’s announcement does not effect that plan.

Spotify also announced full access to its tablet app for free, making it similar to the free access to playlists and songs that users get on the desktop. The tablet and desktop app now both work on a “freemium” model that gives users a certain amount of access to Spotify with embedded advertisements. The freemium model will not be available for smartphones.

Spotify Shuffle for free on mobile devices is akin to other music streaming apps like Pandora or Rdio. It streams music tuned to the listener’s interest, but gives users more granular control over what they listen to. The free model will not allow for on-demand music or full search queries. What Shuffle boils down to is that you can shuffle all of your own playlists, your friends’ playlists or an entire artist’s catalogue. Users will not be able to drill down into individual albums.

One of the greatest strengths of Spotify is the ability to search for any artist and stream to their music on the spot. Users that pay the $10 for Spotify Premium will continue to get that ability on any device.

Spotify also announced today that it is concentrating on creating a bigger global footprint and is adding 20 new markets to its footprint, bringing its total to 55. Ek announced that Spotify users have streamed 4.5 billion hours of music this year and have created 1.5 billion playlists. Spotify announced earlier this year that it has 24 million subscribers, 6 million of which pay for Spotify Premium. 

The company also announced that the entire catalogue of Led Zepplin will be available through the app, exclusive to Spotify. 

Tags: spotify
Led Zeppelin Joins Spotify After Long Holdout
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Spotify has acquired the rights to the catalogue of Led Zeppelin as the streaming music service continues to add classic acts to its roster and lock out competitors from featuring popular artists.

The news, initially reported by The New York Times, was announced at Spotify's event on Wednesday. It is the most high-profile rights acquisition since Spotify brought Pink Floyd to its service earlier this summer and added Metallica's category later last year.

Led Zeppelin has been one of the major holdouts from the streaming music industry; he has sold more than 111 million records, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The agreement marks another victory for Spotify as it seeks to maintain its market lead on smaller competitors such as Rdio and Rhapsody, which will now have no chance of featuring Robert Plant's soaring vocals or Jimmy Page's violin-inspired guitar theatrics. Read more...

More about Streaming Music, Spotify, Led Zeppelin, Entertainment, and Music
Spotify Expands Free Streaming to All Devices
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Spotify announced on Wednesday that it is expanding its free streaming option to all devices. This means non-paying users can listen to individual tracks and albums of their choice using the Spotify app for iOS and Android tablets

The announcement, which was previously rumored, took place during an event at the company's U.S. headquarters in New York City

"We've found that users are increasingly listening to music in the home not on their computers but on their tablets," said Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek. It made sense, Ek added, to start treating a tablet just like a regular computer. Read more...

More about Music, Streaming Music, Spotify, Streaming Music Services, and Media

December 10 2013

Vote for Your Favorite Song of 2013
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The debate over who won the year in music has plenty of unforgettable talking points: Daft Punk returnedJustin Timberlake and Jay Z joined forces. And headline magnet Miley Cyrus shocked everyone with her controversial MTV VMAs performance with Robin Thicke, earned the record for most views on a music video in 24 hours for "Wrecking Ball," and even helped "twerk" get added to Oxford Dictionaries Online.

But ultimately, it's about the music. Which song deserves to be crowned the song of 2013?

We rounded up 40 of the year's most inescapable songs for this week's Music Monday playlist, which you'll find below the poll Read more...

More about Music, Community, Spotify, Music Monday, and Entertainment
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