How to get verified as an Artist on Spotify music streaming service

Verifying your artist page on Spotify let’s users know they’re listening to the real deal and gives you unique control over the look of your profile.

Having a verified artist profile on Spotify doesn’t mean you just get a nice blue tick next to your name. Getting yourself verified on Spotify means that you can:

  • Merge your user account with your artist page
  • Share your playlists, listening and sharing with your fans
  • Update directly from your discography
  • Brand your playlists with images and descriptions
  • Edit and change your artist images
  • Followers get notified when you release new music, create playlists, announce nearby gigs

To get your verification on Spotify and access to your artist profile there are a few things you will need to do first. Firstly you will need a user profile on Spotify, this can be your own personal listening account or just a new profile you’ve created. This profile will be merged with the artist profile when you’re verified. You will also have to make sure that you have:

  • Over 250 followers on your profile
  • Music available to stream on Spotify
  • A username that is unique to your artist

Once you’ve made sure that you have all of the requirements you can fill out the Spotify Verification Form from here:

What are you waiting for, start working to get yourself verified on Spotify today!

It can take up to 4 weeks after sending the Verification Form for Spotify to process your form. Spotify will either verify you and you’re good to go or let you know what needs to be done so that you can become verified if they couldn’t accept your application.

There are no heroes in YouTube’s new ‘YouTube Heroes’ program

Once again YouTube are at the centre of controversy over what’s best for them and what’s best for users, but this time they want to make you the bad guys.

YouTube have launched a new initiative called YouTube Heroes that hopes to make you, the YouTube user, into what is essentially a free employee for perks. YouTube have been having trouble keeping all the millions of hours of video content on their site “advertiser friendly” so to make sure they can profit they want YOU to clean up the world’s biggest video hosting site.

This all harks back to an unannounced decision by YouTube last month that led to a large number of videos, new and old, being removed for “inappropriate content”. The reason? They wanted to make sure that all their content is advertiser friendly; in other words – “we care more about appeasing businesses than creating a happy environment for creators and viewers.” Not an actual quote FYI

What deems the content inappropriate is apparently objective and means anything involving:

  • Nudity or sexual content – fair enough, a lot of kids use the site it’s not Pornhub.
  • Violent or graphic content – well again fair enough if it’s real violence, but where do we draw the line? Do special effects/fake dramatised violence count? YouTube becoming vague…
  • Hateful content – Of course no-one should be subject to abuse but what constitutes hateful content is different to YouTube than normal people. Would a criticism count as hate? Are we allowed to say anything negative or must it be explicitly malicious? Parody videos have been a harshly censored medium for this rule.
  • Spam, misleading metadata, and scams – Fully supportive of this one.
  • Harmful or dangerous content – “Don’t post videos that encourage others to do things that might cause them to get badly hurt, especially kids.” Again fair enough obviously, but we don’t know where the line is. YouTube have been enthusiastic in blocking borderline content that many would deem okay, but creates a chance that they’ll make less money due to the nature of the content.
  • Copyright – Incredibly important but we all know by now that YouTube’s copyrighting systems are broken, right? They’ve improved a lot recently but are still the cause for a lot of grief.
  • Threats – This one is also fair, though good luck trying to clean up the YouTube Comments sections from threats and hateful content.

Whilst most of these categories make sense it’s the extent to which YouTube will bend these rules to make sure that every piece of content is sellable to advertisers. This leads to a lot of blurred lines and a lot of subjectively unfair takedowns. In addition YouTube dropped these regulations on users without warning meaning many users who had videos up from over the years, involving elements of this content when it was allowed, were retrospectively punished.

Now back to YouTube Heroes. The new Heroes program gives you incentive to be that one kid in class who always reminded the teacher the class had homework. It sets you up to moderate all the content you come across, report anything you see which might not follow the rules and, most horrific of all, collect points for each action.

“As a YouTube Hero, you’ll help other people and become eligible to receive great perks, like access to exclusive workshops, and sneak preview product launches.”

The tasks for YouTube Heroes include tasks that I think will improve the platform, such as captioning/subtitling videos which for deaf users or the hard of hearing is massively positive and something that could never be done en masse by YouTube themselves. Their priority however seems to be encouraging users to find content that comes under their “Non-advertiser friendly” categories and flagging them.

Essentially YouTube want their user base to moderate their content for them, inevitably leading to power complexes, unfair takedowns, and as far as I’m concerned a split in the community that is already falling apart thanks to “YouTube Drama“.

As far as I’m concerned the point-earning system is the step that takes it too far. Giving incentive to your users isn’t wrong, but giving them mostly valueless incentive to remove videos creates an unhealthy precedent. Rewards include early access to new features, access to exclusive workshops, potential to go to YouTube events. It’s nothing major but will no doubt be enough to convince users to get trigger happy with their flagging.

We’ll have to see how long this lasts and how much it will impact on YouTube but we’re calling it now: YouTube Heroes will not be a success, and will most likely be a disaster. Let’s see…

iHeartMedia radio network set to launch new music streaming services

Giant online radio broadcaster iHeartMedia have revealed that they’re in the process of launching a new music streaming service with 2 paid offerings.

People close to iHeartMedia’s plans have revealed that they are planning to announce their very own music streaming service this week. The sources close to iHeartMedia also revealed the the new service will come with 2 different paid options so users can decide what is best for them.

The massively popular radio network will reportedly offer an ad-free radio station on the service for $5 a month as well as a traditional on-demand music streaming service for $10. According to the sources close to iHeartMedia, their Chief Executive Bob Pittman will make an announcement during their music festival this week, taking place in Las Vegas.

Although it’s suggested that iHeartMedia will reveal their music streaming service this week they are reportedly yet to acquire music licenses with labels that they will need to launch their service. Once they have their licenses iHeartMedia will still have a bigger hurdle to cross, and that is it’s competition in other music streaming services.

iHeartMedia won’t be the only newcomers to the streaming landscape with the US’ massively popular radio streaming service Pandora launching a streaming service soon, as well as others. In addition the existing music streaming services present a giant force that has already been established, with Spotify’s incredible user numbers and Apple Music’s phenomenal first year growth, not to mention the variety of smaller streaming services that represent more rivalry.

However, the sources familiar with iHeartMedia’s plans say that it’s an important move for them to set up their own streaming service and diversify from just online radio networks. One of the sources said: “It is so clear that digital is everything in radio and in streaming.” It’s true that music streaming is currently making the music industry boom again with 2 years of growth driven by streaming after 10 years of decline in the music business.

Digital music subscriptions grew by 50% last year and shows no signs of slowing, with paid streaming revenues expected to rise from $2.2 billion in 2015 to $12.7 billion by 2020. Radio has been seeing a large decline over the years as music becomes more and more digital and whilst iHeartRadio have found a medium between the two it hasn’t been enough as they currently have $21 billion in debt.

Director at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Larry Miller told the NY Post: “Radio has underinvested in digital. I’m very impressed with iHeart services, and although they haven’t announced anything in response to Pandora, I’ve got to believe they are feeling the heat of competition, especially in the car, which has been the one area they have enjoyed exclusive positioning.”

Sonos Speakers: Grouping and Ungrouping Rooms with Multiple Speakers

Sonos is known for its amazing wireless speakers and its common place to have more than one in your home. A lot of users have had issues with creating the perfect multi-speaker system within their house. Here are the steps for quickly Grouping and Ungrouping speakers.

Grouping Rooms:

Touch the speaker name at the top of any screen to bring up Rooms.

1. Tap Group next to the room that’s playing the music you want to send to your other speakers.
2. Select the rooms you want to add to the group.
3. Tap Done.

Want to line up different tunes in different rooms?
(It’s just as easy.)

Ungrouping Rooms:

Again, touch the speaker name at the top of your app screen to open Rooms.

1. Tap Group next to the group you want to change.
2. Deselect the rooms you want to remove from the group.
3. Tap Done.

Muzik’s new headphones come with built in Spotify access

Headphone startup Muzik are breaking new ground by integrating Spotify’s music streaming into their headphones so you can stream your favourite music with a touch of a button.

Muzik are breaking onto the headphone scene with the Muzik One, headphones that take technology to the next level. Muzik One’s aren’t like normal headphones, they’re connected to the world in a similar fashion to home speakers like Amazon’s Alexa.

Here’s what Muzik have to say themselves about Muzik One headphones:

Introducing Muzik® One, the world’s most advanced headphone. Program and touch a Hot Key that you personalize to make your life easier and more connected, like a remote controls a TV. Save or share the current track, identify what’s playing, call your mom, hear the news, hear your weather forecast and much more, all with one touch from your headphones.

With an array of hot keys and gesture controls the Muzik One has incredible functionality taking it beyond just a pair of headphones. Just in case you were convinced by all the tech, the Muzik One comes with interchangeable ear cushions with options for on-ear or over-ear cushions so that you can decide what’s best for you.