Apple Music’s New Feature Helps New Artists Get Discovered Every Week

Apple have added a ‘New Artist of the Week’ feature to put the spotlight on rising talents and help you discover new music.

Ahead of Apple’s reboot of their music streaming service they’ve introduced a new feature that promotes an up-and-coming artist every week. The first artist featured is the British alternative pop artist Laurel, with her new single ‘San Francisco’ highlighted.

Every friday a new artist will be selected to appear on the front page. Apple say: “Each week, our editors handpick one emerging act as our New Artist of the Week. Underground MCs and cutting edge producers on the rise. Pop prodigies en route to chart domination. The next generation of indie heroes. Lavishly gifted singer/songwriters. No stone or scene will be left unturned.”

This new feature works great for all involved as it helps rising artists get exposure, introduces listeners to music and gives Apple Music more appeal in the competitive industry of music streaming. With Apple’s big update coming soon a few new features will be added, like lyrics on songs, but they haven’t revealed whether any more music features will be added.

Drake and Beyoncé Just Created Music Streaming’s Best Week Ever

Drake just broke Adele’s streaming record and Beyoncé debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with 12 tracks in the top 100 at once – another record broken.

If you didn’t know that Beyoncé surprise launched her passion filled album and Drake dropped his long awaited fourth album this week, then how’s the rock you’ve been hiding under? These aren’t just massive releases for the music industry in general, these two new albums once again position streaming in a massively important role for modern music releases.

Beyoncé released her surprise album ‘Lemonade’ last weekend to critical acclaim and created brilliant publicity by stirring controversy over her personal life. But it mattered to us because she released the album as a streaming exclusive to Tidal, proving the prominence of music streaming and the competition that comes with the streaming boom we’re seeing happen before us. With a mix of Record Equivalent Streams (RES – number of streams that count as a record sale) and album sales Beyoncé’s Lemonade debuted at number 1 in the album charts with a record breaking 12 songs from a female artist all appearing in the chart.

Drake streaming music views
Beyoncé’s Lemonade featured a full visual counterpart streamed first on HBO & Tidal

Drake’s album on the other hand was released as a streaming exclusive on Apple Music. Just days after launching his new album ‘Views’, Drake’s streams boosted so high on his single ‘One Dance’ that it beat Adele’s record breaking 7.32 million streams, for her track Hello’s first week available. His combined sales and RESs have also been doing incredibly putting him at number one of Buzzangle’s charts with ‘Views’ expected to surpass 1 million album sales by the end of its first week.

Drake music streaming exclusive
Album cover for Drake’s ‘Views’

So this week has been massive for music and streaming. But on the other hand both of these global music stars releasing their new albums exclusively on particular streaming services can split fans and services. Although Drake’s album only remains exclusive for a week and it’s yet to be confirmed if Lemonade will only stream on Tidal forever it represents an issue within the new industry. With the varied choice of streaming services, the services want exclusives to draw you in – but exclusives can alienate fans who chose other services, and takes away an element of choice, it can even promote piracy.

What do you think – Are streaming exclusives just healthy competition or does it create a rift in a platform that is quickly becoming the primary source of music consumption? Let us know in the comments below.

SoundCloud Go Launches In UK & Ireland For Ad-Free Streaming

5 weeks after launching their first ever subscription service in the US, ‘SoundCloud Go’ has arrived in the UK and Ireland.

SoundCloud Go is the debut of a paid service for listeners, not artists, on the platform. It launched for American customers on the 29th of March and just over a month later it’s spreading to the UK and Ireland.

With SoundCloud Go you get to listen to all your favourite music without advertisements and gain access to more music than on SoundCloud free. For example Kanye West made his much talked about recent album, The Life of Pablo, available on SoundCloud exclusively to Go subscribers.

With over 125 million tracks available to listen to without interruption you can build your own playlists featuring any tracks spanning SoundCloud Go’s expansive catalog. For comparison Spotify only has roughly 30 million tracks. On top of all that you can save any of the available tracks for offline listening on mobile devices.

SoundCloud subscription service

SoundCloud CEO Alexander Ljung spoke on their new subscription offering, saying: “We think of Go as an expanded version of the normal SoundCloud. It’s not like a different app or anything, it should feel the same. We tend to have a younger audience. It’s less of a spreadsheet and more of a Snapchat in terms of how you actually interact with it.

“It’s not so stale, it’s not just a utility. It’s actually something that’s alive. And just the fact that you can now build a playlist, for example, with the new Kanye album and remixes of it that don’t exist anywhere else, that’s a really special and unique experience. We are bringing a whole new revenue stream to the entire industry by thinking about how we can monetise derivative content.”

SoundCloud Go is available now to those in the UK and Ireland for £9.99 a month, or £4.99 a month with a SoundCloud Pro Unlimited account. They haven’t given any dates for further expansions of their paid service but told Reuters: “We are planning to roll out to multiple territories this year. We are looking at a couple of years to really take this to the whole world.”

RouteNote Artists: If your music is already monetised on SoundCloud then it will be eligible for SoundCloud Go from the beginning. If you haven’t yet joined our SoundCloud Network then please login to your account and add your SoundCloud channel to receive monetisation, unlimited uploads, and more.

Spotify Buy Visual Platform CrowdAlbum For Artist Promotion

Spotify’s have just bought social media aggregator CrowdAlbum that creates a “visual history” of their performances to help artists market themselves.

Spotify announced that they had acquired a new company, CrowdAlbum, yesterday. The company which launched in 2013 collates photo and video from around the web of artists’ performances and creates what they call a “visual history” of tours, performances, and careers. Using CrowdAlbum you can view an artists’ feed and even select between specific dates and gigs to look at.

They’ve worked with over 1,000 artists and venues around the US to create CrowdAlbum that collects photos and videos from performances uploaded to Instagram and Twitter. In a blog post, Spotify said: “The acquisition of CrowdAlbum will enhance the development of products that help artists understand, activate, and monetize their audiences.”

CrowdAlbum Spotify artists

Vice President of product at Spotify, Charlie Hellman said: “We’re working every day to find ways to tighten the connection between artists and their fans. The CrowdAlbum acquisition is the latest way Spotify is investing in helping artists find and engage their audiences on and off Spotify, especially around the ever important business of touring.”

CrowdAlbum’s team will join Spotify to focus on “building products for artists”. They will join the same team at Spotify that brought Spotify Fan Insights to help artists get to know their listeners, and Concerts which provided gig recommendations based on your Spotify listening history.

Billboard Partner With Spotify To Stream Charts and New Features

Spotify will power over 75 of Billboard’s music charts along with new Billboard features like New Music Fridays.

No matter your opinion on music streaming you can’t deny it’s massively important to the music industry today. Billboard, media entertainment company renowned for their music charts, are well aware of it’s prevalence and as of yesterday have partnered with Spotify to power their charts and bring some new weekly features.

Co-president of Billboard Media Group, John Amato said: “For decades, Billboard has remained the world’s most influential music brand because we’ve never stopped innovating and giving our audience expanded access to new content. Our partnership with Spotify will unite both brands and launch new features to better serve today’s growing digital audience.”

Over 75 Billboard music charts now have playback powered by Spotify. New to Billboard is a weekly ‘New Music Fridays’ article featuring a Spotify playlist embedded so you can listen to new music as you read about it. There will also be 3 new charts, you guessed it, powered by Spotify.

Viral 50 – This chart will host the top 50 trending tracks of the moment based on shares around the                                              web and social activity.

Velocity Chart – Velocity features a top 30 list of cover songs that are getting the most love on Spotify

Spotify Rewind – Rewind takes you back in time through decades in music, selecting 5 tracks for each                                                    decade from the 60’s up to the noughties – ranked by popularity and revival.

Billboard partner charts playlist

Spotify chief strategy/content officer, Stefan Blom said: “As the world’s largest streaming music service, it’s exciting to partner with a highly influential music brand like Billboard to help expand its chart offerings. We’re pleased to offer passionate music fans the ability to listen to hundreds of artists on the Billboard charts alongside new content, powered exclusively by Spotify.”

Unfortunately you won’t be able to listen to full tracks straight from the website, you can however listen to 30 second previews where with the click of a button you’re sent straight to Spotify to stream the whole songs.