Tidal adds Dolby Atmos Hi-Fi music for users to stream

Tidal are increasing their high fidelity music offerings with a whole new range of exceptional sounding music for subscribers.

Since day one Tidal have prided their music streaming service on offering high definition audio for music lovers to stream anywhere. They have now added Dolby Atmos Music which promises some of the best quality music available and “moving audio” for a real, room-listening experience.

Dolby Atmos powered music promises a cinema sound experience from your smartphone direct into your headphones and quality speakers. Dolby Atmos creates a “moving sound” that is supposed to sound like the music is coming from all around you for a truer to life listening experience than just speakers in your ears.

Tidal’s HiFi tier of music streaming will now bring music from Universal and Warner Music artists who have been mixed with the pseudo-surround sound format. Unfortunately you will need a compatible Android smartphone or tablet to listen, including the Nokia 6, OnePlus 7 Pro, Razer Phone, Samsung Galaxy S10 and more.

Tidal are planning on working with artists to release more music with Dolby Atmos sound. They said in their press release that they are “working closely with its artist-owners, including Jay-Z, to mix their catalogues in Dolby Atmos – which are expected to become available in 2020.”

Tidal subscribers can look out for the Dolby logo and a Dolby Atmos identifier to find the compatible songs. The Explore tab also features a list of Dolby Atmos powered music that listeners can explore.

Music streaming service Boomplay announces 62 million users with major growth

African streaming service Boomplay has had a massive year that has seen it’s growth boom as it approaches Apple Music’s numbers.

Music streaming in Africa is seeing a boom. In the past year giant services like Spotify and YouTube Music have launched for listeners in Africa. Africa’s own music streaming services are seeing enormous growth as well.

Boomplay have had an incredible year that has seen them grow over 50% in nine months. In April they announced that their user-base had grown to 42 million. Later this year in August they’d already gained over 10 million more users and they’ve now revealed that they have 62 million total users.

Boomplay announced a licensing deal with Merlin alongside the user numbers. Their new deal with the indie agency will increase their music offerings which already include global major record labels and a host of African music from local labels and artists.

Boomplay’s head of marketing for Africa, Tosin Sorinalo said: “Boomplay’s vision is to build the largest and most reliable music ecosystem in Africa, and working with Merlin brings us significantly closer to that goal.”

With $20 million of new funding given to Boomplay this year they look set to make a big mark in the global music streaming arena.

A Netflix series about Spotify is on the way

Netflix have just ordered a brand new series that will explore the rise of the service that has helped to transform the music industry in the last decade.

In just over 10 years Spotify have launched themselves into the position of one of the biggest names in music. Their service is used by over 250 million people around the world, giving them access to a wealth of music from all over the world and throughout history at their fingertips.

Netflix have now given the green light for a new series that follows the story of the Swedish music streaming service. The scripted series will follow the story of Spotify Untold, a book by investigative tech journalists Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud. Their book used extensive interviews to tell the story of Spotify’s rise with Daniel Ek at the helm.

The service, along with other internet music companies, has been influential to no end in transforming the music industry. With the internet came incredible access to music, but piracy began destroying the music industry. Spotify provided an affordable solution that kept the world of music out there available to listeners, whilst ensuring artist’s still got paid.

The series will follow how they carved their own space in the industry, fought opposition from the likes of Apple, and spread across the globe. It will be executive produced by Berna Levin of Young Wallander fame, and Per-Olav Sorensen will direct.

Levin said of the upcoming production: “It’s the story of how a small band of Swedish tech industry insiders transformed music – how we listen to it and how it’s made – it is truly a tale for our time. Not only is this a story about the way all our lives have changed in the last decade, it’s about the battle for cultural and financial influence in a globalised, digitised world.”

TikTok’s biggest artist this year revealed

TikTok has taken the world by storm with over 1.5 billion users around the world and with so much music based content; who was their biggest artist?

TikTok is the world’s quickest growing social media craze. In just 2 years since it launched in 2017 it has been downloaded by nearly half the number of smartphones in the world.

The app is heavily focused around music, with the majority of it’s short form videos being set to music including lip-syncing videos, dance videos, skits with musical accompaniment and more. So as it’s almost the end of the year, who were the biggest artists on TikTok whose music was used the most?

In first place was Lil Nas X who topped the list as the most popular artist on TikTok, largely thanks to his hit Old Town Road. According to TikTok’s own data, that song alone has been used in over 2.6 million videos and it could be said that the app was a part in making the song so popular.

The list was followed up with Mariah Carey in second place and Lizzo in third. Their music gains popularity in a range of ways on TikTok and could be anything from the soundtrack to a new viral meme to becoming a dance craze.

You can get your music on TikTok for free with RouteNote. Make it available to be used by more than 1.5 billion people and you could soundtrack the next viral video. You get paid every time your song is used and it’s totally free to sign up at www.routenote.com.

Here is the full top 10 list of artists on TikTok in 2019 as well as all of TikTok’s other top 10s.

TOP 10 ARTISTS

  1. Lil Nas X
  2. Mariah Carey
  3. Lizzo
  4. Stunna Girl
  5. Blanco Brown
  6. Y2k & Bbno$
  7. KYLE
  8. Luh Kel
  9. Billie Eilish
  10. Ashnikko

TOP 10 VIRAL VIDEOS

  1. @daviddobrik — David Dobrik and Nick Uhas’s crazy take on Elephant Toothpaste (17.4M likes)
  2. @calebcutler — They did surgery on a banana (6.1M)
  3. @malorielynn14 — Swimming pool fun takes a hilarious twist (7M)
  4. @jayleennina — Man vs Wild: Roach edition (4.9M)
  5. @sammielewiss — The MFing Tea (2.1M)
  6. @jade13tr — This cat has the moves (2.2M)
  7. @brittany_broski — Kombucha Girl gives us her honest opinion (2M)
  8. @herecomedatkush — A wholesome hummingbird (1.5M)
  9. @kidkneesothra — Crocs + shaving cream (785.1K)
  10. @raeganbrownn — Bear suit daredevil (619K)

TOP 10 MEMES

  1. #POV
  2. #VSCOGIRLS
  3. #RiseandShine
  4. #Area51
  5. #imbaby
  6. #walkamile
  7. #DNAtest
  8. #MirrorFall/Run
  9. #Microwave_Challenge
  10. #TikTokChecks

TOP 10 CELEBRITIES

  1. Will Smith
  2. Miley Cyrus
  3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  4. Howie Mandel
  5. Terry Crews
  6. Selena Gomez
  7. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  8. Steve Harvey
  9. Post Malone
  10. Shawn Johnson

TOP 10 BREAKOUT CREATORS

  1. @zachking
  2. @noeneubanks
  3. @jamescharles
  4. @lilhuddy
  5. @charlidamelio
  6. @nickuhas
  7. @glitterandlazers
  8. @mahoganylox
  9. @thisaintjay
  10. @curtisnewbill

TOP 10 DANCE TRENDS

  1. The Woah
  2. The Git Up
  3. Obsessed Dance
  4. Hey Julie
  5. Scary Spooky Skeleton
  6. The 223
  7. The Chucky Cheese
  8. Drop Dance
  9. A-Punk
  10. HBS Dance

TOP 10 CREATIVE EFFECTS

  1. Face Zoom
  2. Green Screen
  3. Disco
  4. Whirlpool
  5. Portrait
  6. Distorted
  7. Fire Breath
  8. Time Warp
  9. Infinity Clones
  10. Clown Makeup

TOP 10 PET VIDEOS

  1. @strykerthecat — A pro chicken hunter, who was saved from a cage, gets the best birthday gift (7.5M likes)
  2. @kodyantle — A wildlife conservationist gets chased by two tigers (6.3M)
  3. @marleymalin — What’s going on inside this cat’s head? (8.9M)
  4. @beingbirch — This puppy shares his life story (7.5M)
  5. @friendlyquest — A ferret shows off his dance moves (10.1M)
  6. @ame269 — When a hamster isn’t so cute and cuddly (4.4M)
  7. @hollyandhazelnut — The goodest dachshund puppies (5.3M)
  8. @mokshabybee — A baby jaguar goes swimming (4.7M)
  9. @huxleythepandapuppy — A chow chow puppy in a panda costume (4.8M)
  10. @divinefalcon0 — Not the pet we expected to be waiting at the door (3.5M)

TOP 10 BEAUTY & STYLE VIDEOS

  1. @youngnailsinc — Creating the perfect blue glitter acrylic (582.6K likes)
  2. @abbyrartistry — Checkered clown check (4.1M)
  3. @jamescharles — That contour and highlight, though! (3.5M)
  4. @glitterandlazers — Six different festival fashion trends (2.3M)
  5. @emilymunyak — Multicolor hair highlights (2.4M)
  6. @learnwithlati — Unicorn-colored braid! (2.3M)
  7. @jamescharles — Create an eyeshadow look by randomly picking three different colors! (2.2M)
  8. @victorialyn — The ultimate glitter mask (1.1M)
  9. @addyurdaddy — An 80’s inspired look (1.3M)
  10. @victorialyn — A purple-perfect Barbie inspired look (1.1M)

TOP 10 SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS

  1. @brodiesmith — Donating your phone to frisbee parkour (3.2M likes)
  2. @overtime — Lots of effort, but still a basketball fail (2.3M)
  3. @alsjdbwbdhhscristian — Try not to flinch (885.2K)
  4. @tylerdownss — Talk about focus (392.9K)
  5. @mozzaronnie — No hands needed here (909.6K)
  6. @b1akemckay — When the beat distracts you from the game (1.7M)
  7. @bennythebull — When being fans of different teams gets in the way of love (1.2M)
  8. @_er1k — Hitting home runs everywhere (277.6K)
  9. @nygiants — NY Giants player bun tutorial! (18.6K)
  10. @ryanwachendorfer — Snowboarding halfpipe practice (209.9K)

Deezer has been added to Facebook Portal TV

Facebook’s new TV platform has added Deezer for unlimited music streaming from millions of tracks and thousands of podcasts.

Deezer is now available to stream on Facebook Portal TV and is coming to all other Portal devices in early 2020. The addition brings music streaming to the social media website’s smart speaker like platform with an added focus on social communication.

Deezer brings unlimited streaming from the entirety of Deezer’s music catalogue onto the platform. In addition, all of their podcasts and radio stations will be available to play as well.

When playing from Deezer the TV will show album artwork and lyrics alongside the playback. It works with Alexa voice command so you can control your playback using your voice with Facebook Portal.

Deezer’s Chief Product and Growth Officer, Stefan Tweraser said: “A smart device that is also part of the biggest social network in the world changes the game. You can enjoy music and shows with your family without having to be on your phone. Our library of 56 million tracks is there for you with just a few simple commands.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re cooking, having a night in or getting ready for a party. Just enjoy your time and let us bring the entertainment.”

How to set up Deezer on your Facebook Portal Device
  1. Open “Portal apps” and find Deezer on your Portal device
  2. Tap on “Get it” to download the Deezer app
  3. Use the smart login, or enter your username and password to enjoy music on Deezer
  4. (You can’t create a new Deezer account from the Portal devices, you can only log into an existing account)
  5. Once you download the app and log in to your Deezer account, you can start using Deezer on Facebook Portal

Portal TV is available in the US, Canada, France, UK, Spain, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand.

Deezer offering music streaming deals with Middle East telco

French music-streaming service Deezer are seeing their reach expand across the world with new partners in MENA.

Just over a year ago Deezer launched their music streaming service in the Middle East and North Africa region. Now the French streamer have announced a deal with Saudi Arabia’s biggest telecommunications company, Saudi Telecom Company.

The streamer started it’s business in their home country of France and got off the ground by working with telco Orange. Through deals that offered Orange users special music streaming offers the company built it’s userbase up and, in recent years, has expanded to the US and beyond.

Through their new telco partnership, Deezer will offer 3 months of free Deezer Premium to Saudi Telecom Company users on their prepaid or postpaid plans. Deezer have unique, exclusive access to Saudi Arabia’s Rotana Records which is reckoned to be the biggest record company in the Middle East.

Deezer’s CEO for MENA and Turkey, Tarek Mounir said: “We are teaming up with STC to offer a complete mobile experience in tune with the needs of Saudi music fans. As our first-ever partnership with a MENA telecommunications provider, this agreement marks a new milestone for our regional growth journey.”

Mounir adds: “We look forward to enabling listeners in the Kingdom to acces millions of their favourite Arabic and English tracks.”

Mobility Growth Services General Manager of Saudi Telecom Company, Mohammed Alfahad said: “We are committed to enriching the lives and experiences of our customers through best-in-class, innovative services.

“Our partnership with Deezer is one more step in this direction. For the first time in KSA STC postpaid and prepaid customers will receive an exclusive three months of Deezer Premium. Quality entertainment is now just an STC connection away.”

Deezer are no where near the scale of services like Spotify, who overtook them for users in their home country this year. However their partnerships are getting their services in front of listeners in unique ways, like teaming up with Emirates for in-flight music streaming in November. They certainly aren’t going away despite their smaller userbase.

Spotify’s ‘Pay for Plays’ ad programme gets a price

Spotify have revealed more about their upcoming tool that lets artists and labels pay for targeted ads to boost streams.

Spotify have been testing a feature that lets creators and their teams pay for targeted ads in a bid to boost streams. They hope that using a tailored system to present the music to people they think will be interested based on their algorithms, they can naturally present new music with a new ad scheme.

The pop-ups present a user with the message “Brand new music for you!” as a targeted recommendation. It’s a unique opportunity for artists and labels to not just pay for promotion on the platform, but to have their music advertised in front of listeners who are the most likely to enjoy it making each advert more worth the cost.

Much like their Discovery Weekly and Release Radar playlists, Spotify will use a combination of listeners tastes and human curation to present music to the best audiences. They are presented in a full-screen recommendation for users where they can simply click and listen.

Rolling Stone have reportedly received a pitch for the new platform which they’re calling ‘Marquee’. They’re saying it will cost $0.55 per click from a listener, and Spotify are reportedly recommending a minimum $5000 ad spending.

As Spotify are still running without a profit margin, the streaming company have been looking at ways to enhance their revenues. For the past few years they’ve been working on transitioning free users to paying users. Unique advertising that allows creators to pay more for better reception could be a great way to boost revenues.

No more pauses between songs on YouTube with gapless playback

You’re one among many if you hate that awkward pause of silence that breaks the flow of music between tracks but YouTube are fixing that.

If you’re like me, nothing ruins a listen of an album or breaks up the party more than that annoying pause and buffer between songs when you’re streaming. Would you believe that it still happens on music streaming services? Thankfully it will no longer happen on YouTube Music.

Subscribers to YouTube’s music platform, YouTube Music, will have seamless listening when they’re streaming music. They’ve added gapless music playback for everyone so that when you move from track to track uninterrupted.

Some users say that the feature has been available to them since October. Now YouTube Music has joined Spotify and Google Play Music, offering gapless playback for everyone listening on their platform.

This is one amongst many features that users have been calling out for since the launch of YouTube Music. The service separated all of the music content on YouTube into it’s own place dedicated to a music streaming experience, but lacked many of the features that make up modern streaming services.

SoundCloud are no longer changing their upload limits

Earlier this week SoundCloud announced that they would reduce their free upload limit, to the backlash of their community.

SoundCloud have announced that they will no longer be changing the upload limit for free users. The limit will remain as it always has, at 3 hours of content after which artists will need a subscription to upload more audio.

SoundCloud have been a free platform for creators all over the world to share their music with anyone. For the last 12 years SoundCloud has been a favourite destination for artists but news announced earlier this week split the community.

The original upload limit for free creators allowed up to 3 hours of uploads, after which users would either be required to remove some tracks or pay to upgrade – a reasonable position. The news earlier this week stated that from the 9th of December that limit would change to either 3 hours of audio or 15 tracks maximum.

Many artists were outraged, being more than capable to be within the 3 hour of limits with 15 or more tracks. They promised that it wouldn’t affect past uploads that went over the new limits, but the community were split. Some said it was fair enough and told users they should pay for it if they enjoy using SoundCloud so much, whilst others looked to alternative sites to migrate to.

One user on a Reddit thread, where SoundCloud took note of the criticism, said: “There isn’t a lot of easy-access websites like this that offer the same services at the same quality.”

In defense of SoundCloud’s decision, another Reddit user responded saying: “Pay to use the service if it’s so great! If you don’t want to pay, find a different service. If you want the service, then pay. It’s as easy as that.”

But SoundCloud listened to the responses and decided to reverse their decision. They said about their community, that they had learned “from what you’ve said, and reflecting about what makes SoundCloud special as an open platform that helps creators of all types express themselves.”

They’ve promised that instead of changing their upload limits they will continue to refine their balance between their free and paid offerings. From many of the comments it seems artists deem the subscription cost for SoundCloud Pro Unlmited to high to convert to – though it’s unknown what SoundCloud meant by refining their balance.

They finished their statement, assuring their community that: “We’re exited for what’s ahead. We have a strong roadmap of new features, products and updates for you. And we’ll continue to gather support and feedback from you, the community of creators who have helped build SoundCloud into what it is today.”

How many people are subscribed to each music streaming service? The figures revealed

There are over 300 million music subscribers around the world. How are those numbers split between all of the music services around the world?

Midia Research have released their latest data showing the incredible position of music streaming in 2019. Taking a look at the numbers from the end of June this year they’ve painted a picture of how the millions of listeners around the world spread their choice of platform.

With 304.9 million people paying for music streaming around the world the industry is at it’s biggest ever. There are 69 million more people paying to stream music than June 2018, last year. It’s an increase of 34 million since the end of 2018, representing pretty steady growth rather than an exponential rise or fall in uptake.

Spotify are, as always, the global leaders in music streaming with their growth matching the worldwide industry’s. Spotify ended June with 108 million paying subscribers for a market share of 35.6%. Funnily enough, that’s the exact same market share they held at the end of 2018 and 2017.

Apple and Amazon have both increased their market shares in second and third place. Apple are firmly in second behind Spotify with 54.7 million subscribers, accounting for 18% of the market share. Amazon are in third globally, with 13% of the share thanks to 38.3 million paying streamers globally.

Thanks to launch of YouTube Music, Google’s growth has grown fairly significantly recently. Before YouTube Music, Google’s share was based solely on Google Play Music which has been an outlier on the music streaming scene.

Google have gained 2.3% between Q4 2017 and Q2 2019 for a total of 5.3% with YouTube Music building their numbers significantly. Google will eventually be shutting down Google Play Music and focusing solely on YouTube Music. This will likely see a drastic drop as people move away from GPM but could work out well as YouTube Music is prioritised and built upon, particularly translating it’s many users on the main site.

Here are the H1 music subscriber market shares from Midia music research:

  • Spotify – 108.1 million subscribers (36%)
  • Apple – 54.7 million subscribers (18%)
  • Amazon – 38.3 million subscribers (13%)
  • Tencent – 31 million subscribers (10%)
  • Google – 16.2 million subscribers (5%)
  • Deezer – 8.5 million subscribers (3%)
  • Pandora – 7.1 million subscribers (2%)
  • MelOn – 2% million subscribers (2%)
  • Others – 34.5 million subscribers (11%)