Waze and Spotify soundtrack your drives, now on iOS

Following this years partnership with Spotify, Waze have been guiding your journey with music streaming all the way and now it’s come to iOS.

In March this year Waze, a navigation app owned by Google, teamed up with Spotify to integrate their music streaming player into their app. This meant you could easily listen and browse your music whilst following directions to your destination. Having been Android exclusive since, iOS users can rejoice as the integration comes to Apple devices.

Now with Waze on iOS you can start navigating your journey straight from the Spotify app. If you’re inside the Waze app, with Spotify integration you can easily play your music and pop a mini player up at any time above the map by tapping the small Spotify icon. Then, all directly from the Waze app, you can play/pause, skip tracks or go back, and more. Once at a complete stop you can easily tap to switch straight between the two apps.

It’s a great introduction for Spotify listeners as it allows them to keep track of their music whilst also following directions from their phone without having to risk their safety by fiddling with their mobile. With a linked Spotify account, Waze can start playing your music library automatically when you set off or you can choose from your playlists (only whilst stopped for safety reasons).

Head of Waze in the UK, Finlay Clark said: “We are delighted to team up with Spotify to create a new function that allows iOS wazers to enjoy their favourite music, while being re-routed around traffic in real-time. Safety is our priority at Waze. By discouraging drivers from tapping their device to switch between apps while on the move, we believe this partnership presents a valuable way for drivers in the UK to use their favourite technologies whilst concentrating fully on the road ahead.”

iOS users can start taking advantage of the partnership today with the Waze and Spotify apps. 

LiveXLive double down, acquiring Slacker Radio and Snap Interactive

Just days after LiveXLive bought Snap Interactive they’ve gone and purchased Slacker Radio to combine resources and assert their relevance.

On Monday LiveXLive media started their work week by acquiring video streaming company Snap Interactive. Now they’ve closed the week with the purchase of Slacker Radio, the internet radio streaming service, for $50 million.

The Slacker Radio acquisition was the first move made by new LiveXLive president Andy Schuon, yes it’s been a busy week for them. Schuon joins LiveXLive from a successful career in radio as well as having helped to found Revolt TV with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs. Speaking on his hiring, LiveXLive CEO and Chairman Robert Ellis said: “Andy joins us at a perfect time to lead this latest acquisition of Slacker Radio and direct the company overall.”

LiveXLive plan to integrate their content programming teams with Slacker Radio’s to optimise each service and to build a network of audio and video channels across multiple platforms. Slacker will be able to offer up their knowledge and experience in audio streaming. Additionally Slacker have been creating hundreds of videos over the past year since introducing original shows last year, so LiveXLive will be able to take from that as well.

Newly appointed president, Andy Schuon said: “I walked into a radio station at 16, and it became who I am, not what I do. To continue to have the opportunity to shape the future of music streaming services and streaming radio with a leading platform like Slacker Radio is incredibly exciting.”

Text your favourite tunes from Spotify with iMessage integration

Share all of your best music experiences with the ones you love as iMessage adds sharing by Spotify via text.

Spotify have launched their own application on Apple’s iMessage app to make so you can share your music streaming experience easily with others. Whilst it hasn’t been formally announced for whatever reason the iMessage app can be downloaded from the iMessage app store now.

The Spotify extension in iMessage is essentially the same as the one introduced to Facebook Messenger in the past year. You can easily open up the app inside iMessage from where you can search the entire Spotify catalogue and share any song in a text message. Whoever you sent the song to can then preview the cover, title and artist and open up a tab to preview 30 seconds of the song. You can also select to go to the Spotify app to listen to the whole song.

A Spotify spokesperson spoke on the new app, saying: “Spotify’s iMessage app is available now, allowing users to quickly search for and share music with friends directly from iMessage. It’s the latest way in which we’re empowering users to share music with friends in a fast and fun way.”

The integration is interesting considering the rivalry between Spotify and Apple thanks to Apple’s own streaming service Apple Music. Interestingly sharing songs via Apple Music on iMessage allows you to listen to the whole song from the app, assumably due to being able to license streaming on their own platform with existing streaming licenses for Apple Music. However Apple Music sharing only lets you select songs from your ‘Recently Listened’ list, a massive restriction compared to Spotify’s entire catalogue of 30 million plus songs.

Unless you have automatic enabling of new iMessage apps you will have to activate the Spotify iMessage app. First you must have the Spotify app on your iOS device then, on iOS 11, select the App Store in iMessage and find Spotify. Once you’ve found it select edit to switch it on and start sharing.

How to edit your artist bio on Spotify

How you are represented is massively important in building your artist image, and Spotify are adding even more customisation for artist pages.

On Spotify, the world’s most popular streaming service, every artist with music gets their own unique profile with images, streaming data and a biography explaining the band/artist’s music, origins, style and more. Spotify have updated Spotify for Artists so that every artist can now edit their bio themselves.

Now all artists, managers and teams can create, edit and publish their own bios to their Spotify profile with 1500 words to tell the world your story. If you have a Wikipedia page too you can link it up with your Spotify profile so that fans can easily click over to find out more.

How to edit your Spotify artist bio:

  1. Open Spotify for Artists, go to Profile, and scroll down to the text field under “Artist Bio.”
  2. Write whatever you want! We recommend a creative bio that helps fans get to know you better, but seriously go nuts.
  3. Link to anything on Spotify. You can paste Spotify links directly into the text field, or just use the @ symbol to link to whatever you want—artists or albums that inspire you, or playlists you’re featured on, or other artists you’ve collaborated with.
  4. Add a link to your Wikipedia page for fans who want to dig deeper.

Up until now artists have had to go through Rovi, a third-party company providing band info and details to services. In their announcement Spotify said: “We know that sometimes you want to speak directly with your fans, and tell them who you are. It’s a part of our overall commitment to giving you more and more control over your presence on Spotify.”

They continued, speaking on the benefits of being able to edit your bio in testing, saying: “When we opened this up to a handful of artists for the first tests, we saw them use this space to share their story, the inspiration behind their latest release, or the most-up-to-date version of their bio. The Peach Kings gave us a great overview of their major influences. Dan Snaith of Caribou used it to speak directly to his fans in the first person.”

One thing to note is that if you have an existing Rovi bio it will be permanently removed when you add your own bio on your artist page. Bio’s will also have to stick to a number of guidelines set out by Spotify: artists.spotify.com/faq/profile#what-guidelines-should-i-follow-when-writing-my-bio.

Soundcharts get $3m+ in funding to track your music’s performance

Paris company Soundcharts just raised $3m+ to help them keep track of all the music activity and data for the industry.

Less than a year after officially launching, spending a year in beta until late last year, Soundcharts have gained some whopping funding in a Series A round. Raising a giant $3.1 million (€2.65 to them) their round of funding led by Alven Capital should help them to establish and expand their exponentially rising success.

Soundcharts keeps track of as much music data as they can, surveying streaming activity, music charts, playlists, radio airplay, and more, all in real-time. Their vast collection of information about the market is then utilised by executives from all across the industry, in particular marketing and A&R as well as being a useful tool for artists to track their own progress.

The funding will go towards strengthening their position in the industry, making sure they stand up to competitors, and will also be put towards expansion outside of Paris. Soundcharts appear to be looking to open up offices in Los Angeles, New York and/or London by 2018.

Soundcharts’ CEO and founder, David Weiszfeld says: “Soundcharts processes, analyses and archives a mass of information in real-time and gives meaning to this data thanks to an intuitive, personalised dashboard and automated reports. What is magical about Soundcharts is that we help artists, managers and product managers, digital marketers, sales team, radio programmers, playlist curators, brands as well as with the A&R discovery process.

“This puts Soundcharts at a central position within the ecosystem. We are thrilled to see that many industry leading companies chose us to power their daily workflow and we hope to keep building the platform for tomorrow’s usages and help our users execute their strategies more efficiently.”

Alibaba and Tencent precede $10bn IPO by sharing Sony and Universal music

Before embarking on Tencent’s rumoured, enormous $10 billion IPO they have secured a deal with Alibaba to share each others music.

Tencent are a giant investment company with their fingers in a multitude of pies, including deals with two of the world’s 3 major labels, Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME). This made up the majority of Tencent’s new deal with another Chinese company, peer-to-peer sales provider Alibaba.

The new deal will see Tencent provide Alibaba with the international rights to stream some music from their associated labels, including Sony and Universal. The deal announced on Tuesday will give Tencent rights access to Alibaba’s localised collection of Chinese and Japanese music.

It’s a sign of the shifting importance of digital music in China as local and international stores and streaming services catch up with the rest of the world in the country. We’re seeing growth in the music industry internationally as streaming pushes the best profit bumps in over 10 years. The effect should have an even more significant impact in China where their physical market has also been made up in large part by pirated music.

That growth is already being seen as the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry revealed that last year China’s online music market grew by 20%. That’s an incredible increase compared to the global average of 6% growth last year in online music. Alibaba’s ever-increasing library of music they can distribute to services, and Tencent’s multiple music apps, including QQ Music, Kugou, and Kuwo. Those 3 Tencent apps claim 526 million users every month which makes up a whopping 78% of the market revenue.

Those outstanding figures are just one big reason why Tencent is, rumoured to be, looking for such an incredible amount of investment in their upcoming IPO. Tencent recently merged their music business  with China Music Corp for an even larger place in their music streaming market which is expected to make 4.37 billion yuan, or $664 million. Tencent will reportedly put up 3% of its shares to raise the funding in their IPO.

Next Big Sound update notifies you when you’re going viral

The Pandora owned music tracker Next Big Sound will now let you know when people are loving your music.

Next Big Sound is the social media and music streaming tracking platform for artists and fans that helps you know exactly how you’re performing over the web. A new update brings notifications to Next Big Sound so wherever you are you can be in the know when you’re popping off.

Notifications are a single email that alerts you to notable streaming and social spikes for all the artists you follow on Next Big Sound. ​This allows them to share data science research directly with artists and their teams, so you can spend less time looking at dashboards, and more time being creative.

In a release statement, Next Big Sound said: “Delivering data-driven analytics to hundreds of thousands of artists over the years has taught us something that may sound surprising: Data is not just about numbers. People come to Next Big Sound to find their social and streaming data aggregated in one place, but they also want to understand context surrounding that data.

“Knowing when something exceptional is happening is the first step, discovering why is what really matters. For each graph we send, we also aim to pinpoint the events that likely caused the change. We do this by including the most engaging social posts surrounding that spike.”

Pandora Next Big Sound tracking streaming social data analytics notifications

Next Big Sound notifications will alert you about:

  • Know when your audience reach and/or engagement is picking up across streaming and social networks
  • Understand what caused a spike with associated events
  • Validate the effects of the moves you’re making
  • Catch opportunities to re-engage your fans

We all know how annoying constant unnecessary notifications from apps can be so Next Big Sound have built theirs to only provide the most relevant and important information. They say: “We built Notifications atop years of historical data and data science research, so we only send you what is exceptional and noteworthy. Each notification comes with a graph and relevant events to explain why an artist is trending. Need even more context? You are one click away from more extensive reporting on Next Big Sound.

“We define an alert when the value for a day is well outside of the expected range from the previous 40 days. In more technical terms, an alert is triggered when the observed value is outside of 4 standard deviations from the exponentially weighted moving average generated over the previous 40 days. You gotta love your standard deviations.”

Notifications are free, and are for everyone. If you are already signed up to Next Big Sound, all you have to do is follow the artists you’d like to be notified about.

Not a user yet? Signing up only takes a few seconds. If you or an artist you work with isn’t already on Next Big Sound, adding a profile is a few clicks away.

Spotify won’t work with Apple’s Safari web browser anymore

Recent updates to Spotify’s web app means it will no longer play in Safari browsers, coincidentally made by rival Apple Music’s parent Apple.

Bad luck to those of you who like streaming music from your web browser if it happens to be Safari, and your service of choice is Spotify. Updates made in recent weeks to Spotify’s web player have removed it’s compatibility with Apple’s Safari browser meaning you can no longer stream music from Spotify from a web page in Safari.

It was noticed earlier this week by Spotify users when they attempted to access Spotify via Safari and were shown a message saying that it is no longer compatible. The message also reportedly directed them to download Spotify’s desktop app or to download and use another browser. Additionally the system requirements section on Spotify’s site has removed Safari leaving Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera as listed, supported browsers so it was definitely intentional, or at least known, that Safari doesn’t support Spotify now.

Following inquisitive forum users a representative on Spotify’s forum confirmed the move, saying: “After recent updates, Safari is no longer a supporter browser for web player.” Spotify haven’t confirmed that this is a permanent move but they also wouldn’t say “if or when any specific features will be back.”

Whilst it’s easy to assume this may be some form of petty rivalry against one of Spotify’s largest threats, Apple Music – obviously owned by Apple, this is unlikely. For a start it would impact on their user-ship, no matter how minutely, by taking away a platform that isn’t inherently involved with Apple Music. Mac Generation, a french site covering Apple, say that it could be due to one of Spotify’s plugin that isn’t supported by Safari.