Support SoundCloud artists with the click of this new button

SoundCloud have added a new feature to help artists raise money either for themselves in these difficult times or for others like charity.

Many artists have been forced into a tight spot by the Coronavirus which is leaving them without live performances and by extension a huge source of income. SoundCloud have come out with a list of initiatives they’re providing for artists to help them out.

The latest feature to launch is the ability to add a simple button to your SoundCloud profile. This button allows listeners to click on it and they’ll be sent to a place where they can donate or fundraise for the artist or other good causes.

It’s as simple as this:

  • Click the “Edit” button on the top right side of your profile page on web
  • In the “Edit your Profile” pop-up, click “Add support link” to add a link to financial exchanges or online stores like Kickstarter, Bandcamp, Patreon, Paypal and more (full list of supported platforms can be accessed here – SoundCloud never takes a cut)
  • Hit “Save changes” to generate a Support button on your profile that’s visible above your stats and on your track pages
  • Use your bio to let fans know what they’re supporting – whether it’s your rent for the month or the album you dropped this week
  • Promote on socials so your day-ones know there’s a way to help you beyond playing your tracks on repeat 

SoundCloud say: “We’ve built this feature to help creators impacted by the COVID-19 virus and will keep it active as long as we’re all in this so you can fund your projects, offset bills, or get whatever you need to stay on your feet.”

Dolby boosts Twitch stream audio for musicians live-streaming concerts

With so many artists taking to the web for home-concerts Dolby are stepping in to upgrade the sound.

Coronavirus has many of us working at home including musicians who have taken to the livestream for home concerts in everyone’s houses. It’s helping to give us all a taste of the joy that live music brings and that we’re missing so much, but the sound could often be a bit better.

Well thankfully Dolby looked on at the situation with their famously high quality sound technology and decided to help out. They’re adding a feature called Dolby On to streams on Twitch which they claim will enhance the sound quality from musicians using… lets just say: not studio-quality equipment.

The feature isn’t exactly new, you may have used it if you’ve watched anything on Facebook Live before. But Twitch is definitively the king of live web streaming right now and therefore a huge source of sound going out that could be even better.

Dolby On is actually it’s own app beyond stream enhancing placements. It can be downloaded on both iOS and Android for recordings that use ‘Dolby sound’. The app is built with functions that allow you to adjust and tweak the sound to your definition of perfection – or at least, as perfect as a phone recording can get to.

Musicians can use the Dolby On app to get their sound just right and then stream to Twitch from it with tweaked sound.

This new quarantine game lets you play with friends from home + your smart speaker

This party game sets you the task of talking to your Smart Speaker in just the right way to win this new quarantine game.

Hey Robot is a game that’s been building support on Kickstarter and is yet to launch in full. However it’s lovely creators saw everyone getting bored whilst stuck at home self-isolating and have launched a rough version early that is free to play.

You need either an Amazon Alexa or Google Home speaker, they say it doesn’t work so well with phones. You place that near to your computer and call your friends to bring them in and you’re off in one of the two game modes.

To play Hey Robot, you have to make your Smart Speaker say a word or certain phrase without saying it yourself. It’s like taboo with a robotic and sometimes nonsensical player who also happens to have a hell of a lot at their disposal.

There are two game modes: versus and co-op. In the first you battle your friend, or friends, to be the first to complete enough words and phrases to earn 14 points. In the other you work together to complete the words and phrases in 15 turns.

You can head to the online game’s website here.

The creators commented on releasing a free, stripped down internet version, saying: “We’re all socially isolated and in great need of some anxiety-relieving conntection, we thought we’d make a version to play with Zoom or Skype and as many friends as you can fit on your screen.”

The full edition of Hey Robot comes as a board game with gorgeous Pop Art design and 850 “lovingly-curated” words. You can pre-order that, which is expected to ready in June, here: everybodyhousegames.com/heyrobot.html

YouTube said to be working on TikTok competitor with ‘Shorts’

Kings of video sharing YouTube want a piece of TikTok’s massive market.

TikTok are the biggest social media app in the world after launching a little over two years ago. It’s no surprise there’s reports of YouTube wanting in on the shareable lip-syncing and dancing clips, with a new feature they’ve been developing called ‘Shorts’.

Shorts will allow users to upload brief videos to the mobile app, accompanied by YouTube Music’s massive catalogue of licensed music. There’s no official word on this from YouTube yet, so a release date is still unknown.

Pioneers of copying popular apps – Facebook have begun testing their own ‘short-form videos with music’ feature on Instagram with ‘Reels’. The feature is currently only available in Brazil, but expected to come to the rest of the world should it prove successful.

To get your music on YouTube Music (& YouTube Shorts), YouTube Content ID, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and just about any other platform for free, head to RouteNote and start distributing today.

Marshmello, A$AP Ferg and others curate brand new artist playlists on Pandora

Pandora have launched a new series of playlists with some major artists sharing the music they love right now.

Listen In… Pandora have recruited some beloved artists to come on to their streaming service and share the music they love. Each playlist is entirely curated by a different artist and resembles the music of the moment for them. They’re sharing it with Pandora so that their users can Listen In.

They’re planning to get even more artists to come and share the tunes they want you to Listen In to. Future artists creating personal playlists include All Time Low, Broken Social Scene, Fitz and the Tantrums, Jeezy, Jim James, Prince Royce, amongst many others.

Here are all the artists you can Listen In With right now:

A$AP Ferg: Rapper and songwriter A$AP Ferg put together a playlist packed with bangers to have you jamming from sun up to sun down (and beyond). “I’ve got a lot of music I’m listening to, artists I’m loving, artists I’m discovering,” the musician explained to Pandora, promising that his picks get a little “crazy.” From Bad Bunny to Kendrick Lamar, crank the volume on Ferg’s choices, ahead.

DaniLeigh: Singer, dancer and rapper DaniLeigh is making sure you get through this strange situation with a jam-filled soundtrack to keep you going. Her picks include her own collab with DaBaby, “Levi High,” as well new bops from Lil Uzi Vert and Megan Thee Stallion. “I hope everyone is safe and spending time reflecting on life right now,” she told Pandora. “Wash your hands, stay inside and enjoy your downtime!”

Godsmack: Godsmack’s Shannon Larkin and Tony Rombola want to make sure we all jam out together, even if we’re doing it from afar. “We picked a bunch of songs that pretty much represent our musical styles,” the hard rock musicians said of their playlist, which is packed with plenty of guitar solos and killer riffs from bands like Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin, Oasis and AC/DC. Hear a message from Rombola and Larkin ahead, as well as their musical choices.

H.E.R.:Grammy-winning R&B singer-songwriter H.E.R. put together “a mid-day, mid-tempo playlist for days in quarantine,” featuring Snoh Aalegra, Rihanna and Frank Ocean. As H.E.R. says, she hopes to “keep the mood light” with “easy vibes.”

Kiana Lede: Singer, songwriter, actress and pianist Kiana Ledé is making sure you get through this unusual situation with a jam-filled playlist featuring R&B picks by Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Baby Rose, Daniel Caesar and more.

LeAnn Rimes: Singer, songwriter, actress and author Leann Rimes pulled together a playlist full of songs that she promises will “uplift the spirit and remind us of the beautiful days we have ahead.” Her selections span multiple genres and include tracks by an eclectic group of musicians like U2, Andra Day, Bon Iver and more. Rimes added that “music can speak for us in moments when we can’t find the words, and remind us of lighter days in dark times,” so take a deep breath and press play, ahead.

Marshmello: Electronic music producer and DJ Marshmello curated a pulse-pounding list of 20 of his current favorite tracks to keep your energy up while you’re staying in. From Galantis to Slushii to his own collaborations with Kane Brown and A Day to Remember, find out what Marshmello has been listening to lately ahead.

Meghan Trainor: Fresh off of the release of her third album, ‘Treat Myself,’ singer Meghan Trainor created an exclusive playlist for Pandora packed with pop hits from Lennon Stella and Harry Styles, as well as high-energy tracks by Summer Walker, SZA and more. “I chose these songs because these are the jams my husband and I bond over,” Trainor explained. “They get me happy and excited, and remind me why I love music.” Hear her picks ahead!

Rod Wave: Singer, rapper and songwriter Rod Wave put together a playlist packed with both rap classics and contemporary bangers. From 2Pac’s “Staring Through My Rear View” to Drake’s “Weston Road Flows,” crank the volume on Wave’s picks, ahead.

Tate McRae: Singer-songwriter Tate McRae, who you might know from her viral pop performances on YouTube, put together a list of the top 10 songs she’s listening to right now, including two tracks from Summer Walker and a single off of The Weeknd’s new album. “There are so many different genres in these 10 songs,” she explained, noting that her playlist are always “all over the place.” Listen to McRae’s picks, ahead.

The Chainsmokers: The Chainsmokers — aka DJ duo Alex Pall and Drew Taggart — have joined the cause, sharing an exclusive Pandora playlist full of uplifting, energetic bops that they hope will “transport” fans from their living rooms to somewhere a little more exciting. Ahead, hear songs by Christian French, The Weeknd and more.

Tommy Vext of Bad Wolves: Hard rock singer and songwriter Tommy Vext, who fronts the band Bad Wolves, is making sure we rock out together. “It’s a good time for us as a community to share music with each other,” he says of his exclusive playlist, which he describes as “all across the board” thanks to mellow tracks from Lana del Rey, as well as pulse-pounding songs by Suicide Silence, Korn and Ozzy Osbourne.

Endless offers a virtual hang out for collaboratively jamming out music with loops

Endless is the perfect companion to those itching to get creative with others but stuck socially distancing themselves with only a smartphone for company.

Jamming with people around the world has become shockingly plausible with the internet and there are many ways to go about achieving this in entirely different and creative ways. One that has been newly brought to my attention is mobile app Endless.

It offers a loop-based creative space that allows its users to collaborate in jams together. Using drum shots, melodious notes, effects and more contributors can bring their additions in the form of loops for others to riff off of or as their own segment of someone else’s jams.

You can link up with friends and jam together or explore Endless’s wider community and discover new creators. It’s simple to hop into but excitingly broad in its potential under your control. It can be connected up to Ableton Link for use with external instruments as well.

If you’re really into what you’re creating then there’s an export option that uses .aiff files to convert it to your DAW of choice. The app is free and is available to enhance with many more additional sounds and effects for a monthly subscription cost.

The app is available for iOS devices now and is hopefully coming to more platforms soon.

Huawei gets the approval of all 3 major labels for Spotify rivalling music app

Huawei Music has launched in Europe to take on the plethora of music streaming services with over 50 million tracks.

Chinese phone, tech and software developers Huawei have launched a brand new music streaming service for Europe. They face fierce competition from Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon, and the rest but they’re not worried.

They’ve got the support of the 3 major labels: Universal, Warner, and Sony who have all licensed their music catalogues for the new service. Overall Huawei Music offers European customers over 50 million tracks and 1.2 million albums.

The service has been live in China for years and, according to them, 160 million people around the world using their music app. It’s now available in 16 European countries and they’re planning further launches across Europe in the coming months.

Huawei Music is being offered for a 3-month trial period before users need to pay their €9.99 monthly subscription costs. Huawei’s Vice President of Mobile Services, Jervis Su says that they “hope it will bring some joy at this time”.

Su continues to say: “Huawei Music is [just] one of the mobile services we are rapidly building to offer the first real alternative to smartphone users in ten years.” These services, of course, work seamlessly with Huawei brand smartphones and tablets.

Whilst Huawei Music resembles what we’ve come to expect as standard from music streaming apps for the most part, it does feature a unique Party Mode. This mode makes listening social by connecting with others and playing the same songs at the same time wherever you are to the others.

Huawei Music is available now in the UK, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy Germany, Sweden and France.

How to send music fans to streaming services and stores

Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Facebook, YouTube – which should you share on social media to maximise clickthrough rate? Fanlinks with Push.fm allow you to share all of them and more with one URL.

Our partner site Push.fm offers tools designed to help you promote your music in new and creative ways.

Fanlinks give you a way to share all of the places your music lives, be it streaming services, stores or social sites, in one handy link. With over 40 stores to chose from, we cover all major platforms. Fanlinks are fully customisable, link to one site or all of our partner stores.

Push.fm also offers Pre-Saves and Content Unlocks for artists and creators.

All of the these promotional tools are free. Get 30 Fanlinks, 1 Pre-Save and 10 Content Unlocks for free, or go premium for unlimited everything at just £4.99/month.

Head to Push.fm to get started today.

SiriusXM Premier Streaming Service is now free until May 15th

In a move to help curb coronavirus and get people to stay-at-home, SiriusXM are following other digital platforms in offering free content.

SiriusXM Premier gives you full access to all of SiriusXM’s premium channels. This includes Howard Stern’s show, channels dedicated to Dave Matthews Band and Billy Joel, feel-good tunes with #StayHome and hundreds of other talk and music channels.

All of this is available for free for the next six weeks. Usually SiriusXM Premier costs $13/month.

Get SiriusXM on the App Store, Google Play store or web player.

Russia’s Yandex Music seeing huge growth with over 3.3 million subscribers

The Russian streaming service has been building a steady user-base for years which is now growing rapidly.

The last time we looked in on up-and-coming Russian streaming service Yandex Music was in early 2017. They had just surpassed 250,000 paying subscribers to become the second biggest music streaming service in Russia behind only Apple Music.

They’ve grown massively in the past 3 years, boasting 3.3 million subscribers at the end of January. Considering it was only around halfway through 2019 that they were closing in on 2 million subscribers that is serious growth for the service – part of internet search giant Yandex.

In 2018 Yandex boosted the percentage that subscription services made up of total music sales in Russia from 36.8% to over half at 58.9%. Their considerable growth pushed the overall music market in Russia up by 25% that year.

Yandex are also developing some interesting tools to enhance their music streaming service. They are building a voice assistant called ‘Alice’ to aid users with their navigation through playlists, radio-style stations and more. More than just a device to select and play music, she has been built to entertain with comments on tracks, artists and cultures.