Top 10 Music Blogs

Music blogs aren’t as predominant as they once was. Certain reports place this down to social media and the rise of distribution opportunities like YouTube, Soundcloud and beyond. However, we still feel that there is a place in the social media world for great journalism and music blogs. Here are our top 10 music blogs:

  1. Pitchfork
  2. Drowned In Sound
  3. Your EDM
  4. Stereogum
  5. Dancing Astronaut
  6. Indie Shuffle
  7. EDM Sauce
  8. ThisSongIsSick
  9. Hypetrak
  10. OkayPlayer

Play Korg’s incredible Wavestation synth on your iPhone and iPad

Korg have released a digital mobile version of their powerful synth from the 90s so that you have all the power of the Wavestation in the palm of your hands.

Wavestation was an awesome wave sequence synthesizer released in 1990 by Korg. It featured advanced vector synthesis which combined and connected different waveforms to create new and unique sounds.

Korg have now released iWavestation for iPad and Iphone, an app that completely recreates the synth with a brand new design that brings a whole new experience to experimenting with the sounds and capabilities of the Wavestation. With all the sounds and functions taken directly from the original Wavestation the app faithfully recreates the synth in digital form whilst adding features like the visualisation of waveforms for in-depth tuning of your sounds.

iWavestation features:

  • A faithful reproduction of the original Wavestation sound: In addition to providing the sounds from all PCM memories of the Wavestation, the new iWavestation also reproduces in software every detail of the parameters, based on an analysis of the original hardware circuit diagram.
  • A new wave sequence view that can be graphically controlled: The iWavestation, we advance another step with a graphical user interface that takes advantage of the touch operations that are a characteristic of iOS. Even more than ever, we’ve updated the screen design with an emphasis on creating sequences.
  • 1,500 sounds, more than 700 waveforms, 55 effects, and a powerful random sequence engine: This new instrument includes a stupendous number of presets and waveforms, covering all models of the series. iWavestation also provides a new random sequence function which will give you different perspectives to inspire new sounds.
  • Produce music together with KORG Gadget integration: iWavestation can be used in conjunction with the “KORG Gadget” music production DAW app that has won numerous awards around the world. If both apps are installed, it can be used as the “Milpitas” gadget inside the KORG Gadget app.
Korg iWavestation is available from the Apple App Store now for $19.99.

You can now stream 4K video live on YouTube in 360-degrees

YouTube are pushing the boundaries of streaming video live by adding support for 4K live streaming, even with 360-degree videos.

All the way back in 2010 YouTube added support for 4K videos, basically ultra HD with over double the pixels of standard high definition video. Since then the niche resolution has grown massively and YouTube has become the largest library of 4K videos with millions uploaded since adding support for them.

YouTube have now taken 4K to the next step by making it possible to stream videos live in the “eye-popping resolution”. As if livestreaming in such a high resolution isn’t already impressive YouTube have made it possible to stream 360° videos live in 4K for the most immersive live experiences ever.

YouTube’s senior product manager Kurt Wilms said in the YouTube blog: “4K video isn’t just a little different from HD video; it’s a giant leap. It show 8 million pixels total, with an image that has four times more image definition than even 1080p video. What does this mean in real world terms? Live streams look better, show a more detailed, crisper picture, and aren’t as blurry when there’s fast action on the screen. Basically, 4K makes everything better to look at.”

YouTube resolutions upgrade 4K live streaming 360 streams

With 360-degree streaming in 4K YouTube’s virtual reality content is going to become more real than ever before. For example live streaming a concert in 4K with 360-degree view will look so crisp and real that you’ll feel like you are actually there in the middle of it all. The possibilities beyond that are limitless.

Whilst you will of course need a 4K monitor or TV to stream videos in that resolution 4K tech has become massively more affordable in recent years. With a bigger audience the more content for 4K is becoming available, made clear with YouTube’s update. YouTube’s update also comes as live streaming is becoming more and more pervasive, with YouTube reporting double the number of views on live videos since last year.

Wilms closed off saying: “Today’s an exciting day, and we can’t wait for everyone to experience the beauty of 4K live streams from their favourite creators.”

iHeartRadio take after Spotify with new streaming subscriptions

iHeartRadio are taking on traditional music streaming services with their new subscriptions allowing you to save and listen to tracks on-demand.

iHeartRadio revealed that they would be adding new listening options to their radio streaming service earlier this year. The beta versions of their new subscription tiers have now launched offering on-demand streaming for the first time through iHeartRadio through a partnership with Napster

iHeartRadio Plus is the cheaper option at $4.99 and allows listeners to replay songs when listening to radio stations and if they like it enough you can now save tracks to your own custom stations in the new ‘My Music’ section to listen to whenever with unlimited skips. iHeartRadio All Access offers a service more in-line with streaming competitors allowing “Unlimited access to millions of songs”, unlimited playlists and the option to save music for offline listening.

The service will still be differentiated from other streamers with it’s popular radio streaming offering unique music discovery options, which can now be easily saved on listening. iHeartRadio’s president Darren Davis said: “There’s just no-one who can do what we’ve done here combining music discovery and music collection and the power of the personalities of radio. ”

With 858 radio stations which have made up iHeartRadio’s service until now these new subscriptions show their first shift into on-demand streaming which is now dominating digital music services with massive streamers like Spotify and Apple Music re-enlivening the music industry.

Whilst it may be easy to draw comparisons with iHeartRadio’s new offerings to other streamers radio currently remains at the heart of iHeartRadio. Davis said that their 2 new tiers “turbocharges the live radio experience, instead of being another me-too version of Spotify and all the rest.” Davis isn’t concerned with attracting paying subscribers, saying that their established audience and plethora of radio stations give them “the biggest megaphone in America to music fans”.

The beta versions for Plus and All Access are available now on iOS and Android  with a full launch for the subscriptions scheduled for January.

“Unstoppable” Drake tops Spotify for the 2nd year in a row in their 2016 top lists

Spotify have revealed the top streaming lists for 2016 taking a look back at the year in music and seeing who dominated the platform.

Today Spotify released their annual look back at the year after 2016 has shown an incredible increase in music streaming popularity. The lists highlights the success of artists like Rihanna who takes her second year as the most streamed female artist on Spotify, whilst Drake continues his domination of the service taking the top streamed position for the second year in a row.

Spotify’s chief content & chief strategy officer, Stefan Blom said: “Drake has been unstoppable this year – he’s a true global superstar. With the top album and the top song this year, as well as his successful Summer Sixteen tour, Drake continues to engage his fans in a way that only Drake can; it’s no surprise he is dominating the music industry.”

Drake isn’t the only success story to come out of music streaming this year however as services saw their best year ever, adding phenomenal numbers of new users. Streaming’s giant rise in 2016 has been so significant that it has driven the first increase in recorded music revenue for years as well as climbing to become the biggest earner for major record labels Warner Music Group and Sony Music.

Spotify’s Discover Weekly has had a great first, full year of release with Discover Weekly tracks being streamed over 9 billion times this year alone. Thanks to features like Spotify’s lauded Discover Weekly playlists listeners have been able to discover more new music than has ever been possible before.

Spotify’s Global Year in Music 2016

Most Streamed Artists

For the second year in a row, Drake was the world’s most streamed artist with over 4.7 billion streams this year, more than doubling his record of 1.8 billion streams last year. In fact, Drake is the most streamed artist of all time on Spotify with over 8.7 billion streams.

Here are the top five artists for 2016:

  1. Drake
  2. Justin Bieber
  3. Rihanna
  4. Twenty One Pilots
  5. Kanye West

Most Streamed Female Artists

Putting in ‘work’ this year with over 2.5 billion streams, Rihanna takes home the title of most streamed female artist for a second year in a row with Ariana Grande, Sia, Adele and Fifth Harmony rounding out the top 5:

  1. Rihanna
  2. Ariana Grande
  3. Sia
  4. Adele
  5. Fifth Harmony

Most Streamed Male Artists

Behind Drake and with the help of his late 2015 release of his album, Purpose, Justin Bieber shoots to the number two spot on the list of most streamed male artists followed by Twenty One Pilots, Kanye West and Coldplay:

  1. Drake
  2. Justin Bieber
  3. Twenty One Pilots
  4. Kanye West
  5. Coldplay

Top Five Breakout Artists

One Direction fans still have love for ZAYN, putting him on top of this year’s list of breakout artists along with FRENSHIP, Anne-Marie, Madeintyo and Rob $tone. These breakout artists made their mark in 2016:

  1. ZAYN
  2. FRENSHIP
  3. Anne-Marie
  4. Madeintyo
  5. Rob $tone

Most Streamed Tracks

Drake’s One Dance made history this year by overtaking last year’s winner Lean On by Major Lazer (ft. MØ and DJ Snake), as the most popular song ever on Spotify with almost 970 million streams.

  1. One Dance (feat. WizKid and Kyla) – Drake
  2. I Took A Pill in Ibiza – Seeb Remix – Mike Posner
  3. Don’t Let Me Down (feat. Daya) – The Chainsmokers
  4. Work (feat. Drake) – Rihanna
  5. Cheap Thrills – Sia

Most Streamed Albums

After dropping Views in April, Drake’s album has racked up over 2.45 billion streams on Spotify in 2016, making it the most streamed album of the year. Here are the top 5 most streamed albums for 2016:

  1. Views – Drake
  2. Purpose – Justin Bieber
  3. ANTI – Rihanna
  4. Blurryface – Twenty One Pilots
  5. Beauty Behind The Madness – The Weeknd

Most Popular Playlists

Of Spotify’s 2 billion+ playlists, Today’s Top Hits was the most popular this year with over nearly 12 million followers

  1. Today’s Top Hits
  2. Rap Caviar
  3. Hot Country
  4. Peaceful Piano
  5. Baila Reggaeton

Fun Facts:

Top Artists by Genre:

Emerging 2016 Genres:

  1. Ambient Fusion
  2. Witch House
  3. Indie Emo
  4. Underground Latin Hip Hop
  5. Baile Funk
  6. Dangdut
  7. Hoerspiel
  8. Speed Garage
  9. Brazilian Gospel
  10. World Meditation