Deezer’s new app offers the best in radio across 30,000+ stations

Deezer are putting radio in your pocket in a big way with their brand new app offering more radio stations than you could listen to in a year.

Radio by Deezer is a new mobile app from the French music streamer that sit’s standalone to their music service. The app is free to download and features 30,000 radio stations that listeners can tune in to with no sign-up or subscriptions required. Just open the app and start streaming from any of their giant collection of stations all in one place.

The app identifies any songs that are playing on the station you’re tuned in to and lets you save them into a ‘Favourite’ tracks library. Radio by Deezer can link up to the full Deezer music streaming app so that you can listen to any and all of your favourite tracks on-demand if you’re a registered Deezer user.

The vast collection of radio stations available on the app include everything from the top chart music stations, talk radio, sports channels, and many more. As it’s free and doesn’t require you to be a Deezer user you can simply download the app, browse and listen to your heart’s content.

The app’s layout features 3 main sections:

  • Explore: Browse 30,000 stations from top networks around the world with music, live sports, news and talk. Pick stations based on your current location, or explore FM and internet radio stations from other countries all around the world, and sort them by genre.
  • My stations: Listen to your favorite stations with no additional ads with Recently Played and Most Played tabs. Listen live to Absolute Radio, talkSport, BBC Radio, Classic FM, Kiss Network and all the stations you love.
  • My Music: Find the name of that awesome song you’ve just heard with track identification, and add it instantly to your collection – so you can keep track of all your favorite songs in a user-friendly library.

The app is available in beta on Android in the UK and you can download it here.

It’s a match! Tinder and Spotify deepen partnership to find your musical mate

Music is incredibly personal to a lot of people so when dating you want someone who matches your taste and Spotify are integrating further into Tinder to ensure you find the right match.

Tinder and Spotify have made a great match since the music streaming service integrated into the dating app 2 years ago in 2016, allowing people to give a spotlight of their music tastes to any potential suitors. The swipey dating app are now testing even further Spotify integration by letting users share Spotify songs directly as a message in chats with any of their matches.

Currently you can add Spotify to your Tinder profile so that it shows the artists you listen to most based on your recent listening and allows you to select a featured track that represents you in some way. This is great for musos who want to find someone with similar tastes as them, particularly with music’s ability to connect with people on a personal level and create a unique bond.

Tinder’s integration of music has also allowed them to analyse who would be better matches based on their tastes and matches. When listening to Spotify tracks on someone’s profile or sharing them with someone in a chat the other person will be able to listen to a 30 second snippet of the track or use it to go to the Spotify app and listen to the track in full.

Currently the feature is strangely only available in the web app version of Tinder and the company haven’t announced whether they plan to bring it to their popular mobile app or when they might.

YouTube Music could be replacing Google Play on Android devices

Google’s latest update makes it look likely that YouTube Music could take Google Play’s longstanding position as the default music player on Android devices.

Google have released their first update of 2019 for their new music service built from YouTube‘s video platform which integrates all of the video site’s music content into one. The app’s under-the-hood update has been analysed by techies and they’ve found some suggestions that YouTube Music may become the default music player for Android devices sometime in the future.

For years now Google Play Music has come as the default music player on Android devices, often offering a free trial subscription to their unlimited streaming service as well. New icons discovered in the YouTube Music 2.65 update suggest that looking forward, Google may replace GPM with YouTube Music as the default app to come on Android devices.

Since launching YouTube Music last year Google have been working to bring the app in-line with their dedicated music streaming service; the latest update introduced side-loading tracks to playlists and deleting them outright. There has been speculation that Google won’t want to run two separate but similar music services side-by-side and that eventually YouTube Music may fully replace Google Play Music.

Recently YouTube’s web player has been redesigned to represent a music player more than a video site and has brought more focus to lyrics than the video, suggesting it’s transformation to be a music service more than an extension of YouTube is underway. They are still yet to introduce certain features that have defined Google Play Music, for example streaming radio stations hasn’t been implemented into YouTube Music yet.

Despite it looking highly likely that eventually GPM will be replaced Google have made no official announcements on the matter. At the very least their latest update makes it look possible that it could be replaced as a default player on Android’s which would mark a large shift away from the dedicated streaming service, but this is all currently speculation.

The No.1 album on the US charts only sold 823 records

Digital music is dominating the music industry as less people are going out to buy CDs than ever and this has never been more clear than with the current number 1 album in the US album charts.

New York rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie has made it to the number one spot of the US album charts without a physical release at all. Whilst it’s been doing the rounds on streaming services big time the actual sales for the record are phenomenally low, with only 823 people purchasing the album in the week ending January 10th.

This is significant because it shows that music streams, with essentially 0 sales, can still create a number 1 record. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie made it to the top spot after his album Hoodie Szn was streamed 83 million times across streaming services. It shows that whilst people are moving away from traditional physical music formats, music consumption is in no way diminishing. In fact people are listening more than ever now that they have access to all of the world’s music and they have a range of devices for playing music no matter where they are.

Sales may be diminishing, even digital download sales which the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry found dropped by 20% in 2017, but the global digital revenues overall grew by 19% in the same year. In the first half of 2018 Nielsen found that both single song downloads and album downloads dropped in the US, by 27% and 22% respectively. But in the same period music streams grew by 42% to offset the decrease in consumption.

The physical music industry reflects the same abandonment as CD sales in the US have dropped 47% year-on-year whilst in the UK CD sales fell 23% in 2018, selling 32 million. However A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie just goes to show that whilst purchasing music straight up may be slowly forgotten people’s love for music won’t fade and you can still have a number 1 hit.

Get Apple Music free with unlimited data on Verizon’s new plans

Verizon are adding Apple Music to their biggest unlimited data plans to give users unlimited music streaming on the go, wherever they are.

Last Summer Verizon began offering 6 months of Apple Music free when customers signed up to their Verizon Unlimited plans. Now they’re taking that great offer to the next level by offering a full Apple Music subscription – not just a limited free trial – included with their Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans starting on January 17th.

Verizon’s vice president of marketing, Angie Klein said: “When we introduced six months free of Apple Music to Verizon Unlimited subscribers, we said it was just the beginning of a great collaboration between Verizon and Apple to bring music streaming to our loyal customers. Our customers loved the offer, so we’re expanding the value of our Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans by including Apple Music at the same plan price. You can stream more of the music you love on the network you deserve.”

Customers on the Go Unlimited plan will still gain access to 6 months of Apple Music for free. With Apple Music on Verizon’s Unlimited plans you can stream from their 50+ million library of songs anywhere using 4G LTE data on iPhone, iPad, Android, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, HomePod, CarPlay and PC without ads.

Above Unlimited includes 75 GB of premium 4G LTE data*** along with HD video streaming, 20 GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot, 5 international TravelPass sessions per month and 500 GB of Verizon Cloud storage, and now Apple Music, all for $60 per line per month with Auto Pay on an account with four lines.

You can tell Pandora what to play with your voice now

Pandora, play music for my workout. Pandora, play more music like this song. Pandora, thanks for letting me use my voice to tell you what I want.

Tell Pandora what you want it to play and now it will play it with a new Voice Mode making music streaming simpler than ever on their mobile app. Their smart assistant works like many of the voice controlled AI’s we’ve become accustomed to in recent years like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa but entirely based around controlling your music streaming experience on Pandora’s app.

Wake Pandora’s Voice Mode up by saying ‘Hey Pandora’ then gain hands-free control over the mobile app as well as unique discovery commands. For example you can ask the app obscure requests such as “play something I like” for a random selection from your listening history, or try “play something different” to discover something new – all powered by it’s unique and expansive Music Genome Project. You can use it to add songs to your playlists, like tracks, and of course control playback and more.

Pandora’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Phillips says: “Pandora is the leader in personalised audio entertainment, and millions of our listeners are already loving the experience we’ve created on smart speakers and other voice-enabled connected devices. With Voice Mode, we are introducing an even more natural and conversational way for listeners to discover new music and enhance their experience directly in the Pandora mobile app, like getting recommendations from a friend who really knows you.”

It’s interesting that Pandora have created their own voice recognition platform in partnership with SoundHound instead of integrating one of the big brand’s powerful assistants. Although Apple, Amazon, and Google all have their own music streaming services so it makes sense that they would want independent and un-biased control built into their apps.

Pandora have begun rolling out Voice Mode access to select listeners on iOS and Android now and will make it more generally available for all mobile users soon.

Spotify want to make 2019 the year of the podcasts

Spotify continue to dominate music streaming worldwide and as they look to the year ahead after a phenomenal year in streaming they’re focusing on areas outside of music.

After the most phenomenal year for music streaming yet with more people listening on services around the world Spotify are looking to the year ahead and how to go beyond music. With over 200 million users Spotify are one of the biggest music services in the world but in 2019 they want to put more attention on podcasts as well as expanding their beloved music platform.

Taking their lead from services like Deezer and Google Play who have enjoyed success offering podcasts alongside their giant music catalogues, Spotify have built up the spoken word offerings on their service in the past couple of years. They launched their first exclusive podcasts at the start of 2017 and have since gained in reputation nabbing big names like Joe Budden, who partnered with Spotify to exclusively distribute The Joe Budden Podcast in August, to host their podcasts on Spotify only.

Their exclusive podcasts are only going to grow this year and they’ve already announced a new podcast for Spotify hosted by former chief correspondent and senior columnist for ESPN’s The Undefeated and Emmy winning journalist Jemele Hill. Hill will look at the news of the week across sports, politics, culture, music and identity with a range of guests in her weekly podcast ‘Unbothered‘ coming in March on Mondays and Thursdays.

With their focused growth in podcasts Spotify are looking to boost their advertising business by selling them within podcasts to help monetise more areas of their platform and move further towards profitability. The company’s approach to working with podcasters doesn’t reflect it’s exclusive work with artists whose music they don’t want only on Spotify – particularly thanks to the controversy over album exclusives a couple of years ago when Apple were buying artists out.

Spotify Studios’ head, Courtney Holt, said at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week: “Over the last year, we become very focused on building out a great podcast universe. The first step was to make sure that we’ve got the world’s best podcasts on Spotify, and integrated the experience into the service in a way that allowed people to build habits and behaviour there. What we started to see is that the types of podcasts that really were working on Spotify were ones where they were really authentic voices… so we just decided to invest more in those types of voices.”

In October Spotify opened up their Podcast platform to everyone in a Beta. This allows podcasters to add their podcast feed to Spotify to upload all existing episodes and ensuring that each new episode gets published to Spotify when they’re uploaded to their host or aggregator. Although the podcasts are uploaded to their platform to be playable by any of their 200+ million users it isn’t actually hosted by them and rather just linked in from the podcast’s original source. Because of this Spotify don’t monetise the podcasts, working on the assumption that those who want to earn money from their podcasts will monetise it at the source.

You can add your podcast feed to Spotify and see stats about how they’re performing at Spotify for Podcasters now. If you run a podcast it’s a good idea to get on Spotify with over 200 million potential listeners and their increased focus on boosting podcasts this year.

Find the hidden gems on Spotify and be found yourself with Forgotify

There are millions and millions of tracks on Spotify, we should know! But for every track that finds listeners new and old and gets it’s spins there are another hundred that don’t get played at all. Forgotify helps you show the forgotten music of Spotify some love.

The makers of Forgotify are much like you and I – they love music. Music can have a personality and and identity, whether it be the brightly dressed disco kid moonwalking into the party or the sad, down on their luck person trapped inside a room. So just like the creators of Forgotify it makes us sad to see music that only a few people have heard or even sadder – no-one!

Forgotify helps you find the music that has gotten lost in the crowd and lets you be one of, if not the, first to listen to tracks on Spotify that haven’t been played. Head to their site and discover some new music and maybe you’ll find a new favourite to share with your friends and help an artist be remembered.

Forgotify has helped to inspire similar sites for videos that haven’t been seen on YouTube with Petit Tube and posts on Instagram that no-one has given a like to (show them some love) on No Likes Yet.

If your music hasn’t gotten any listens on Spotify then you get in contact with Forgotify to see about being featured on their web page highlighting the forgotten gems. Don’t forget to share the love right back and discover some music and share it on Facebook and Twitter. While you’re at it share Forgotify on your socials too and help some artists get the appreciation they deserve.

Head to forgotify.com and start your journey of discovery now.

An AI in every home: 23% of the US now owns Smart Speakers

Smart speakers are in more and more homes every month with almost double the amount of Smart Speakers in US homes at the end of 2018 compared to the end of 2017.

NPR and Edison Research have released their ‘Smart Audio Report’ looking back at the Smart Speaker industry in 2018. It’s easy to tell from the ever-growing number of companies revealing their entry into the Smart Speaker market that they are on a massive trend and 2018 saw more people than ever picking up an internet-activated, artificial intelligence powered speaker to place in their homes.

As of December 2018 21% of over 18s in the US own a Smart Speaker, which is around 53 million people. According to the study there were 14 million new Smart Speaker owners in 2018 but even that doesn’t account entirely for the incredible 78% increase in Smart Speakers now sitting in homes in the US thanks to the number of people owning multiple speakers also growing rapidly.

Last December 62% of Smart Speaker owners only owned one whilst 21% owned two speakers and 17% owned three or more. Last month the number of Smart Speaker owners with only one in their home accounted for just 48% of smart speaker owners. 22% of owners now claim to own two whilst a whopping 30% of those with a speaker in their home own three or more.

During the holiday season in 2018 almost 1/10th of the entire US got a Smart Speaker. 8% of the US bought or received a Smart Speaker between Black Friday and the end of December 2018.

See the NPR and Edison Research report and how ridiculously popular Smart Speakers are becoming here.

Apple Music brings song lyrics to France, Germany, Ireland and 4 more countries

Sometimes you want to sing along to the song you’re listening to and Apple are making it easy on Apple Music by bringing lyrics to 7 more countries.

When you’re grooving along to music sometimes you just want to belt out the words yourself or just look at the meaning behind what they’re saying. Apple have you covered if you don’t already know the words with lyrics on their streaming service, now available in France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and Spain as well.

Apple Music allows listeners to watch lyrics on-screen for songs that they have integrated the lyrics to whilst they play if they want to. You can also search song lyrics in Apple Music’s search bar to find music if you don’t know the artist or song name by typing in a line or sentence from the track.

Before today lyrics on Apple’s popular music streaming service were available only in Australia, Canada, US, and the UK after they introduced them early in 2017. In October Apple partnered with Genius, the massive lyrics site that allows community-based annotations to look into the meanings and stories behind songs and their lyrics. Genius became the official lyrics provider for Apple Music and brought their annotations to supported songs so that listeners can truly look into what artists are saying with their words.

Apple Music subscribers in the newly added countries can now view lyrics when they’re listening on PC, Apple TV, or on mobile and tablets.