Chinese streamers NetEase Cloud Music reveal whopping 400 million users

Music streaming is booming in China as it spreads worldwide with native streamer NetEase revealing an incredible amount of people listening through them.

Chinese music service NetEase Cloud Music have revealed just how well they’re doing, announcing that they now have 400 million users. The incredible amount of listeners on NetEase Cloud Music is a result of 44% year-on-year growth of monthly active users.

NetEase’s vice president, Mathew Daniel said: “Consumption of international music on our music service comprises more than 30% of all usage – over – indexing compared to other music services in China, with increased listening in electronic/dance music, hip-hop, soundtracks and rock genres being significant.”

The company claims that it is the most western-oriented streaming service in China due to the popularity of western music on the service. They say that the majority of their users fit between the 15 and 35 years old demographic which signifies a larger diversity in the listening habits of China’s younger generations.

One of NetEase’s primary competitors are rival Chinese streamers Tencent. Their music boss Andy Ng said earlier this year that they 600 million active users every month, however 80% of their listeners only listen to Chinese music. With only 20% of users listening to western music is highly unlikely it beats NetEase’s 30% of all streams coming from the west.

They may not be the biggest, but having a niche puts NetEase in a great place and opens up potential to expand farther West. NetEase have also been teaming up with South Korean company KKBox for playlists, tours, videos, and original music.

How to make sure your music is uploaded before the Holidays 2017

The holidays are upon us and that means some changes to our schedule for uploading your music as we get ready for a small festive break to get us rared up for another year of amazing music.

Here’s all you need to know to make sure your music is up when you want it before the new year:

To get your release on stores by
12/8/2017
12/15/2017
12/22/2017
12/29/2017
1/5/2018
Upload to RouteNote by
November 28th, 2017 (PST)
December 5th, 2017 (PST)
December 5th, 2017 (PST)
December 12th, 2017 (PST)
December 12th, 2017 (PST)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           If you upload your music after these dates then we cannot assure your release(s) will be uploaded by the release date you desire.
Due to an increase of uploads over the holidays we recommend that you do not make changes between the 20th December and the 1st January 2018. We will be back to usual in the New Year.

YouTube’s back on Amazon Echo Show with Vimeo and Dailymotion

The new Echo Show brings video to your home speaker and now you can stream YouTube on it, again.

The new Amazon Echo Show introduced a screen to the wave of new smart home speakers coming out since the original Echo took the world by storm. Despite seeming a perfect fit for YouTube, Google removed their video streaming site from the Show a couple of months ago. Now it’s back.

Back in September Google dropped YouTube from the Echo saying that it’s integration of their video site violated their terms of service. Reportedly the layout didn’t fit YouTube’s terms for an app on a third-party device. Now they’ve redesigned the app on Echo Show so that it looks more similar to the web version and has thus returned.

It was a fairly damaging move for the Show as it’s screen, whilst cool, doesn’t add many more exciting possibilities to the speaker video calling and watching videos. YouTube being the biggest video streaming site in the world it’s a big addition to any video capable device.

Whilst it’s great to see YouTube back on the Echo Show apparently it’s not working as smoothly as it used to. Users are citing the fact that videos don’t open in full screen straight away as an annoyance, and making it full screen is a hassle as you have to ask Alexa to do it.

Whilst YouTube returning is the news highlight, Amazon have also integrated 2 of the other biggest video sites in the world to the Show. Vimeo and DailyMotion were both announced to have been added to the Echo Show for all your viewing pleasure.

Google Translate goes on tour introducing multi-lingual concert shows

In an epic re-imagining of what Google Translate could be used for they’re going on a music tour around Europe.

It’s been 11 years since Google Translate first launched to help the world understand each other. An 11-year career is taking Translate on tour, exporting a Swedish band with shows being translated across 3 languages.

Google cite musical prominence from bands such as Abba, The Cardigans, producer Avicii and many more as evidence of the excellence in Swedish music. However it can be harder for foreign speaking artists to break in a very English-speaking dominated industry. Google Translate to the rescue.

 

The Translate Tour will see up-and-coming Swedish indie pop band Vita Bergen perform their latest single ‘Tänd Ljusen’ in 3 languages across 3 cities. Over the course of a few days Vita Bergen will visit London, Paris, and Madrid to perform in the 3 different languages.

It seems Google aren’t just trying to show off how well their translation software works, but also spread culture and show the extent of possibilities with Translate. Google will also be inviting people all around the world to tune in and watch the barrier breakdown as one Swedish band goes multi-lingual.

Google Translate tour music european translated translation concerts gig music live show
William Hellström from Vita Bergen will be performing his song in English, Spanish and French.

Google updated Translate’s system last year from a phrase-based translation which translated recognisable phrases. Now using their Neural Machine Translation it reads the entire sentence so it can account for context and grammar for far more accurate translations.

Google said: “Using this updated version of Google Translate, the English, Spanish, and French translations of the song were close to flawless. The translations will also continue to improve, as the system learns from the more people using it.”

Vita Bergen’s release event will be live-streamed today at 5PM CEST.

The Poly Expressive lets you take control of your entire rig with a piece of paper

Poly Expressive is a new MIDI foot controller that gives you full XY control over your pedal-board on a printed piece of paper.

MIDI switching systems are nothing new, but this new take on a pedal-board certainly is. It works simply, you create your custom pedal-board how you want it on their app then print it out and place it into the Poly Expressive case.

That’s not the only fascinating thing about the Poly Expressive though, with it’s expressive layout you can control your parameters all whilst playing, using your foot.

Poly Expressive isn’t a 1 dimensional controller like an expression or wah pedal. Instead, it senses horizontal and vertical position and pressure at very high precision and low latency, giving you much more control with every movement.

You can also customise the curve / taper of each of control. Imagine that you want to control a filter but only half of the range of the control knob suits your style. It’s easy to setup to have just the section you want.

Don’t worry about giving up your pedal collection though as Poly Expressive snugly fits into your setup. The team behind Poly Expressive have been working with real pedals with plans to have default controls and boards for every major pedal. They say: “Currently we test with pedals from Chase Bliss, Pigtronix, Positive Grid, Strymon and Line 6.”

What about music production? Yep, it’s good for that too: “Clip launching, live looping, parameter control, it’s all easy with Poly Expressive. Do you want something like a clip launcher for your feet? Just print out that board. Poly Expressive is great with Bitwig Studio, Ableton Live and other DAWs. You can connect up to your DAW with Bluetooth MIDI or traditional wired connections. If you’re running Bias FX / Amp on your iPad, tablet or laptop you can easily control it with Poly Expressive.”

The Poly Expressive is currently on Kickstarter where you can blag yourself one before it ships and help to make it happen! Head on over and secure yours now, shipping starts next March: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1961989452/poly-expressive-midi-foot-control-dont-switch-cont

Spotify gives you more reasons to use Artist Picks on your profile

It was almost a year ago that Spotify let artists pin their fave songs to their profile and it’s getting even better.

Artist Picks are a section of artist profiles on Spotify where the artist can choose a standout piece of music that they can highlight to anyone who visits their profile. You can pick any song, album or playlist you love and give a short message about it to greet anyone who comes to your Spotify profile.

Spotify loved what they created, saying: “We saw some really cool stuff happening – artists were using it to share their new albums, or music that inspired them when they were kids, or things that made them angry, sad, or happy… The more cool stuff we saw artists doing, we realised you wanted to use Artist’s Pick in new ways. So, we gave it a little makeover.”

Add your own image

It’s simple! Upload an image as part of your Artist’s Pick. When you announce a new tour—more on that below—you could add a cool backstage photo from your last show. When you put out a new record, you could share the cover, or a pic of you recording it. Or, when you share your first favorite album, you could add a photo of you from when you were a teenager. (Or not.)

Share your tour dates in your Artist Pick section

But that’s not all: those tour dates will be perfectly tailored to listener’s location.

Nothing sucks more than when your fans find out, after the fact, that you came through last week and they missed the show. When you announce your tour, you can leave a comment and an image to capture your fans’ attention. We’ll automatically personalize the announcement to show specific performances happening near the listener’s location. And, even though other Artist’s Picks expire 14 days after they’re posted, tour announcements will stick around until your tour ends.


It’s super easy to make an Artist’s Pick. Just open up your account and go to Profile. You can do this from anywhere – the app (for iOS and Android) or when you check out Spotify for Artists on your computer. On your fans’ phones, the image will show up at about the size of an Instagram photo.

SoundCloud recommend your music and now show many plays they’ve gained you

SoundCloud have various ways of promoting your music on their platform and new enhanced stats will show you just how much they’re helping you.

SoundCloud have launched even deeper statistic reports for you to keep track of how well your music is doing. The new statistics will show your music performance across SoundCloud’s 3 types of promotion; Related Tracks, Stations and The Upload.

SoundCloud’s recommended features are algorithmically-driven, creating plays from music their system works out is alike. It can be a massive source of discovery for listeners who want to hear new music and are looking for something similar to their tastes. This enhanced discovery can create major boosts to your music or even break a new artist.

Creators on SoundCloud can now log in on the web or head to the SoundCloud Pulse app to see your plays and streams from SoundCloud’s recommendations. SoundCloud’s advice on getting more plays from it all? “Keep uploading. The more you upload, the more likely they’ll appear in recommendation features that connect creator’s with listeners who will love your content.”

SoundCloud’s newest stat additions follows a bunch of recent updates which include playlist stats and enhanced SoundCloud Pulse details.

Get Spotify extra cheap for the holidays

Spotify have some new deals for the festive season so that you can stream all your favourite Christmas songs this holiday.

It’s almost time for the holidays again and that means 3 months of Spotify super cheap again! Spotify famously give out incredibly cheap subscriptions to their Premium tier, offering ad-free streaming, better quality, offline listening, exclusive content and more, each Christmas season.

Three months of Spotify Premium that gives you access to millions of songs on demand, ad free, and high quality audio, for less than a dollar? That is what music fans can expect this season as Spotify announces two of its biggest deals of the year.  Whether you are curating a list of your favourite holiday-themed tracks or compiling a playlist of the hottest songs of the year for an upcoming Holiday party, these offers will undoubtedly warm up your mood this season.

There are deals for new users and for past Premium users, here’s whats on offer:

  • First-time Spotify Premium users can receive three months for just $0.99 if they have not previously provided credit card information or used a 30-day trial.
  • Spotify Premium users that did not have an active account as of October 21, 2017 can receive three months for the price of one: $9.99.

The deals are available until December 31, 2017. You can sign up now, here: www.spotify.com/intro

Spotify just bought a DAW, online studio Soundtrap

Spotify have bought an online recording studio/DAW in an interesting move that could see Spotify’s biggest divergence from music streaming yet.

Spotify have acquired fellow Swedes Soundtrap, the company behind an entirely web-based music creation, recording and production program. Spotify says: “Soundtrap’s rapidly growing business is highly aligned with Spotify’s vision of democratizing the music ecosystem.”

The incredibly accessible digital music studio has spread across the world with its ease of use perfect for beginners, introductions in schools and more since launching as the first web-based, cross-platform collaborative music recording studio. In their announcement Soundtrap said: “All our staff will continue to revolutionize the music-making process for consumers, educators and students from within the Spotify family.”

Soundtrap was founded in 2012 and we’ve been impressed with what they have to offer in recent years. Now Spotify have purchased the company which we can assume will lead to some interesting expansion of either or both services. For now however Soundtrap will continue to function online as usual.

Spotify say: “Soundtrap joins a team at Spotify that is dedicated to helping millions of artists connect with millions of fans, and helping fans discover their favourite new artists.”

Soundtrap finished: “This forms a new chapter of our Soundtrap journey and we are super excited to accelerate and realize our joint vision together with our new family at Spotify.”

Amazon’s Echo Show gets first exclusive entertainment show from 7digital

7digital have launched an entertainment news channel on Amazon’s new Echo, the first exclusive video content for the new speaker/screen combo.

Amazon’s latest addition to their popular Echo home speaker range adds a 7-inch screen and all the fun that comes with one. Having just launched in the UK after its US launch earlier this year 7digital are making the most of it with a new channel for everything music, film, and TV.

7digital’s new show, Entertainment News Xtra, brings visuals to their existing news channel on Echo – Entertainment News Xtra. The show will keep you up to date with the latest in entertainment news, updated daily, and will even feature special celebrity guests from time to time. They say: “Whether it’s a chat to Channing Tatum or James Corden singing his heart out. We have it all.”

With the Echo Show’s reach expanding it shouldn’t be long before we see more and more cool video content – it would make a great platform for music labels to start doing cool things with. Especially as Amazon’s Echo Show might not be the only home speaker with video for long as Apple’s HomePod sequel is rumoured to be adding visuals.

If you’re in the UK you can get your own Echo Show now from, you guessed it, Amazon and start video chatting, slideshowing and, now, watch entertainment news shows.