Spotify Offering 3 Months of Premium for 99 Cents

Spotify are getting into the festive spirit by offering users in the US free months of their premium tier for just $0.99.

From now until the 31st of December you can get a Spotify Premium account, normally priced at $9.99 a month, for just 99 cents for three months. This translates to 33 cents a month, or roughly one-thirtieth of the price.

This isn’t the first time Spotify have offered this deal, as they made it available to users in May this year. It is clearly a valuable offer allowing users to trial the premium tier cheaply and then decide whether they feel it worth the full price. Spotify gained over 6 million paying subscribers through the offer earlier this year.

As the most-subscribed streaming service in the world Spotify are quickly gaining on 100 million total users. Spotify’s chief revenue officer Jeff Levick told an advertising conference earlier this year that they expect to have reached 100 million users by the year’s end, predicting 25 million of those to be paying subscribers.

Spotify’s premium tier offers users unlimited listening to all of the music available on their catalogue, ad-free. Premium subscriptions also allow you the ability to save songs for offline play so you can listen in places without internet or to save your mobile data bills racking up

Unfortunately for those of you outside of the US the offer is only available for users within the United States. For those of you lucky to be in the US and looking for unlimited, ad-free streaming this christmas head to and sign up now, for just 99 cents.

Pope Francis Releases His Prog-Rock Album First on Deezer

It’s official – the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, is a Deezer geezer.

Pope Francis has released his long awaited “prog-rock” album and, until it’s official release today, had it streaming exclusively on Deezer. Additionally the Pope also has a lifetime subscription to Deezer’s Premium+ service, for unlimited music streaming in the Vatican.

“Pope Francis: Wake Up!” is the title of the album which features 11 tracks of antiphons featuring a mix of (sort of) rock guitar mixed with choral synths. The album is being promoted as “sacred hymns, re-imagined by contemporary composers and musicians with Pope Francis’ voice, while he recites in four different languages excerpts of the most significant speeches he has made”.

On the album the Pope speaks different segments in Italian, Spanish, English and Portuguese. Issues covered through the Pope’s recitals include peace, the environment, family and charity.

The disappointing factor of the album is that the Pope doesn’t actually sing, or provide anything musical at all really. But it’s still fairly groundbreaking to see the Pope involved in such an endeavour, not to mention his use of digital music streaming services, a still contemporary form of distributing and accessing music.

You can listen to ‘Wake Up!’ by Pope Francis on most if not all streaming services right now or purchase the physical release from various retailers.

What do you think of the Pope’s musical venture? Let us know in the comments below.


Mumbai’s ‘YouTube Space’ Production Facility Will Be Available Soon

YouTube announced new ‘YouTube Spaces’ for Toronto and Mumbai at VidCon 2015, now Mumbai’s space is almost ready.

YouTube Spaces are production spaces created to collate an area’s YouTube talent into one space designed for creativity, learning and collaboration with some of the YouTube Community’s finest. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced at VidCon 2015 that they would be adding spaces in Mumbai and Toronto.

With Mumbai’s YouTube Space Indian content creators will have access to professional video production facilities that have been created in partnership with Whistling Woods International film school. The Mumbai ‘Space’ will be located on the Whistling Woods school campus in Mumbai’s Film City complex.

Last week at the Film Bazaar in Goa YouTube’s head of content operations, Satya Raghavan, said: “The space will launch next week and will be open to anyone interested in creating professional looking content.” Raghavan added that with the network of facilities around the world Mumbai’s YouTube Space will “help in accelerating potential creative collaborations between content creators from different countries”.

The YouTube Space in Mumbai will be open to content creators and students at Whistling Woods International film school allowing them access to high-end audio, visual and editing equipment. In addition there will be training programs, workshops and community events available.

At her talk in July’s VidCon Susan Wojcicki, YouTube CEO, expressed the importance of YouTube’s relationships with its creators, saying: “YouTube succeeds only if you, our creators, succeed. You’re the reason that we’re all here today; you’re the reason that VidCon exists in the first place.”

Mumbai joins Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, New York, São Paulo, Berlin and Paris, all with their own YouTube Spaces. There is still no more news as to when exactly the YouTube Space in Mumbai will be officially opened other than sometime this week, judging on Satya Raghavan’s statement.

YouTube’s Offline Mode Now Available in Egypt and Other Middle Eastern Countries

YouTube have officially launched their offline viewing mode in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Yemen and Algeria.

YouTube revealed in a blog post for Google Arabia that offline viewing would now be available in those 5 countries, allowing mobile users to save videos to watch later, without an internet connection. This comes two years after Google announced the offline-viewing mode which has been slowly rolled out to various regions across the globe since.

According to the post there has been an increase in smartphone use in the middle east however a lack of high-speed Internet networks has restricted the potential use of these devices online. In addition internet prices can be a lot more expensive where Egyptian Streets report that in Egypt an internet connection has an average cost of $16.83 per mbps, compared to the global average of $5.58 per mbps.

Google took it upon themselves to indirectly help certain middle eastern countries explore the internet a little easier with offline videos, reducing constant buffering and sidelining the lack of freely available wi-fi as in many western countries.

YouTube product manager Matthew Darby said of the introduction: “Starting today, the majority of YouTube videos in Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Libya and Yemen will become available for people to view offline, from popular talk shows to local comedy. Making these popular videos available for offline playback will help more people move past the challenges of data connection, speed and cost to enjoy a smooth buffer-free version of their favourite content.”

On their blog post YouTube say: “Offline playback is just a start. We’re working on even more ways to make video content more affordable and accessible to our growing base of mobile users in the region.”

To enjoy videos offline users simply have to tap the ‘offline icon’ on a YouTube video when watching on a smartphone. Once you’ve saved a video they can be played as many times as you like over 48 hours, after which they will be removed from your app.

Unfortunately offline-viewing in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Yemen and Algeria will not include music videos.

Shazam Collaborate with Manor Marussia F1 Team

Shazam are partnering with Manor Marussia F1 team to become their official music partner for the 2016 racing season.

In an attempt to reach a larger audience and bring in more Formula 1 fans Manor’s racing team Marussia have partnered with the music discovery app Shazam. The app, used by over 120 million people every month, will be featured on the chassis side of both of Manor Marussia’s MR03B race cars.

The senior vice president of Shazam, Miles Lewis, said: “We are delighted to form this partnership with the Manor Marussia Formula 1 Team. Their organic approach is creative, flexible and an exciting new way to engage fans with the integration of technology and music. At Shazam we see sport and entertainment as intricately connected and we believe music can form the bridge between the two.

“Shazam is a world-class platform which has developed tools for enabling multi-generationals to discover and connect with music. As we continue to actively expand across media platforms, we are excited to work with Manor’s digital infrastructure and build bridges with Manor’s fan base and more broadly into the sport.”

Both companies will use their individual audiences to engage race and music fans alike and promote the F1 team, their drivers and their portfolio of challenger brands using music. This is all part of the teams “enhanced fan engagement strategy” that aims to target F1 fans and broader audiences beyond F1.

Abdulla Boulsien, Manor Marussia’s team director said: “Our team has always prided itself on being fan-forward, but in 2016 we plan to kick things up a significant notch in the fan engagement stakes. Our new partnership with Shazam will be a major strand within that strategy and already we are working hard on developing an innovative programme that will enable fans to get even closer to the team – and the world of F1 generally – through music.

“Shazam is very much a next-generation brand and it is exciting for us to be tapping into as yet uncharted territories in F1 and discover new audiences. We look forward to seeing Shazam on the MR03B for the first time this weekend in Abu Dhabi.”