Spotify’s Family Plan gets an upgrade

Spotify are making it even easier to manage your music streaming plan for the whole family with upgrades to Premium Family.

Spotify have just announced an update for the Premium Family Plan, which lets up to 5 people at one address pay for the low price of 1-and-a-half single subscriptions. Everyone gets their own account so their tastes and music library are still personal and unique.

With the update Spotify have introduced a new Family Hub so that whoever’s managing the account can control it, all from one place. From the hub the leading user can view all the family members on the account and easily add or remove them. You can also change your home address and adjust parental controls like setting the ‘Explicit Content Filter’ for any profiles.

With Family Mix, every member on the plan will get a personalised playlist with a culmination of everyone’s tastes. It updates regularly, taking each person’s taste profile and finding music to compile based on music that Spotify’s algorithms reckon the whole family will love.

The updated plan includes on-demand access to Spotify’s giant 50 million track library as well as their constantly expanding selection of 450,000 podcasts.

Find out more about Spotify Family and sign up here.

“Siri, play Spotify” Apple and Spotify’s rivalry settles for voice control

Spotify and Apple’s rivalry is no secret, especially since Apple Music launched, but finally you’ll be able to tell Siri to use Spotify on Apple devices.

Spotify and Apple are two of the most prominent streaming services in the world and as such have a lot of competition with each other, over other services in the business. A truce is in sights however as Spotify are hoping to gain Siri functionality.

Whilst you can ask Siri to play you music, she won’t work with non-Apple music services even if they’re installed on your device. This is the same as with their smart Homepod speakers. As Spotify put it – If you ask Siri: “Siri, can you play that awesome Spotify playlist?” Siri says no.

The potential reconciliation over Siri comes amid ongoing tussles between the two companies. Spotify filed an anti-trust complaint in March with the European Commission, claiming that Apple have become a monopolist. Meanwhile Apple are accusing Spotify of not paying their 30% ‘Apple Tax’ on Spotify subscriptions made through the Apple App Store.

It may seem that if Spotify gains Siri functionality, perhaps there is some form of settlement between the two. However, the move comes with the anticipated launch of Apple’s iOS 13 software and will see Siri support with other music-streaming services too, if they integrate themselves.

Apple have often been reluctant to allow support with other competitors on their devices, a driving force of Spotify’s criticism to the European Commision. Hopefully Siri and Homepod support will see Apple ease up their sanctions on rivals, or they may be forced to by the European Commission.

If you want a very biased take on the rivalry, Spotify have a timeline of the many times they’ve butted heads with Apple over the years:

Tencent Music Entertainment Financials – Karaoke App Strong! Music Subscribers Growing

Tencent Music Entertainment had 652 million mobile monthly active users across QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music, which was only 1.2% up year on year. However, paying subscribers grew by 33% year on year to 31 million at the end of June.

Tencent Music reported a net profit of $135 million, but the company’s ‘social entertainment’ business with karaoke and live-video apps played a big role there. Tencent Music’s revenues from that side of the business grew by 35.3% to RMB 4.34bn ($632m).

Social entertainment now accounts for 73.5% of Tencent Music’s overall revenue. The company had 239 million mobile monthly active users for the social apps (up 4.8% year-on-year) and 11.1 million paying users (up 16.8%). But those paying karaoke and live-video users spent an average of RMB 130.2 (around $18.57) a month, more than 15 times the ARPPU of the online-music payers.

LiveXLive Financials Q1 2019 – Strong Subscriber Growth But Struggling on the Bottomline

LiveXLive Media just announced their Q1 2019 results and it seems like the results are very mixed.

Revenues rose from $7.6 million to $9.5 million year on year. Subscribers grow by 50% year on year to 740,000 at the end of Q1 2019.

However, LiveXLive again struggled to get anywhere near profit. The company reported an operating loss of $10.3 million for the quarter.

The company also cited non-cash depreciation, amortization, and stock compensation and non-recurring expenses for the quarter to the tune of $5.7 million, leaving their adjusted operating loss $4.6 million, roughly the same as in Q1 2018.

“LiveXLive is off to a strong start in fiscal 2020, highlighted by 25% revenue growth, a significant improvement in contribution margin and continued 50% growth in paid subscribers when compared to Q1 2019,” said Robert Ellin, CEO, and Chairman of LiveXLive. “We are streaming many of the most exciting music festivals in the world and have partnered with the biggest artists and promoters, resulting in record levels of viewership. LiveXLive has quickly established itself as the authentic thought leader in music globally and we have an incredibly exciting roadmap and business plan for the rest of the year and beyond.”

Beatport announce a ‘clean-up’ of tracks that aren’t selling

Beatport are having a cull of their electronic music catalogue so that only the music that sells is on offer from their digital download store.

Beatport is the largest electronic music store on the internet offering up a massive catalogue of electronic songs for download. It makes sense then, that with over 7 million tracks, there are songs on there that aren’t doing anything.

Starting this year Beatport have pledged to have a “yearly storage clean-up procedure” to remove music that unfortunately hasn’t sold anything since they released. This prioritises the music that people are interested in and will make Beatport’s library more manageable.

Beatport promise that only content release before January 2019 will be affected in the clean up, allowing tracks released this year to have a chance. They plan to enforce this clean up once a year around the same time, so if those tracks still haven’t made a sale in a years time they will be removed.

Students can now get Amazon Music Unlimited for just $0.99

Amazon are helping those on a student budget out who want to stream all of the music around the world without interruption.

Music streaming has made it possible to access nearly all of the music in the world, present and past, at an affordable monthly price. But if you’re a student, once you’ve dished out for all those $100+ textbooks even $10 a month may not be feasible.

Amazon have got students covered with their new pricing plan for Amazon Music Unlimited. Students can now sign up to the service for just $0.99 a month and stream from over 50 million songs, as well as thousands of curated playlists and stations to explore.

Amazon Music Unlimited’s discounted student offering comes as part of their Prime Student package. Prime Student offers Amazon’s Prime service with one-day delivery, Prime TV’s film and TV shows and more for a discounted price. As part of the new offer they’re offering students a free 6 month trial of Student Prime.

Those on the Student Prime plan can add Amazon Music Unlimited for just $0.99 a month to their plan. Amazon Prime’s Vice President, Cem Sibay says: “Music is truly an integral part of campus life and bringing Amazon Music’s premium subscription tier to Prime Student members lets students enjoy their favourite artists, songs and playlists on demand and ad-free at an incredibly low price.

“With Prime Student, members can enjoy this new music benefit along with exclusive student offers throughout the year, making it easy to access the best of shopping and entertainment from Prime at a great value.”

Head to Amazon Prime now to check out all the student benefits and sign up for your free 6 month trial.

Spotify for Podcasters offers deep insights for creators

Spotify’s new home for podcasters brings together all the information that matters so creators can get in touch with their listeners.

With a major push on podcasts in the last year Spotify have been building their platform up to be a great place for podcast listeners and creators. With the launch of Spotify for Podcasters, creators are now able to take a deep look at the analytics and audiences for their podcasts so they’re in the know with how they’re doing.

Spotify’s new hub gives one streamlined place for podcasters to look at how people are engaging with their shows. It provides analytics for audience demographics so creators can look at where their audiences are and the types of people that are listening. Analytics are an invaluable tool for creators to understand their audiences and what works for them.

Spotify for Podcasters launched in beta last year so that the music streaming service could work with a select number of creators to find how the platform could work best. There are now over 100,000 podcasters from 167 countries on the platform and Spotify feel they’ve created the perfect hub from working with all those creators.

Spotify said in an announcement: “[Spotify for Podcasters] was built to empower you, the podcast-creating community, to continue innovating and sharing your work with the world. Our hope is that Spotify for Podcasters will help you engage with and understand your listeners, find new fans, discover insights from your peers, and ultimately grow your career.”

Spotify for Podcasters is available now to sign up so that any podcast creators can submit their podcasts to Spotify and get deep insights.

Beatport team up with sample shop Loopmasters

Beatport are joining forces with one of the best resources for digital music production on the web creating a major electronic music hub.

Beatport have joined forces with English record label and sample, sound pack and plugin retailer Loopmasters. Beatport’s ‘Sounds’ section of the company has sold their own assets of beats, loops, and samples to Loopmasters and Beatport have made a strategic investment in them.

CEO of the major electronic music store Beatport, Robb McDaniels said: “Our partnership with, and investment in, Loopmasters illustrate Beatport’s commitment to delivering the best products to our loyal customers and the global DJ/Producer community. Loopmasters’ long history of delivering a world-class product and customer experience is going to be a valuable asset for Beatport’s more than 36 million annual visitors for many years to come.”

Beatport will begin integrating Loopmaster’s array of content for producers and DJs into their store. This will open up a new comprehensive section of their website for browsing and purchasing music production tools and assets. They will also team up with Plugin Boutique to offer a range of virtual instruments, VSTs and more from established music software companies.

Loopmasters founder and CEO Matt Pelling says: “We are thrilled to integrate the Loopmasters product suite into the Beatport site, enhance our sound library with their licensed sounds catalogue and gain access to the amazing artist and label relationships they have cultivated over the last 15 years. The combination of these two great companies will surely create an unparalleled product offering for emerging and established producers around the world.”

Smart Speaker Market Still Dominated by Amazon Echo – China is Catching Fast!

The Consumer Intelligence Report Partners (CIRP) is out with their latest report on the state of smart speaker sales and market share.

End of June – 76 million units in USA (up from 70 million at the end of March and 66 million at end of December)

Its reported that Amazon still holds a 70% market share of the install base, with Google on 25% and Apple on 5%.

“Continued aggressive pricing of the entry-level models seems to continue to encourage new customers to try a smart speaker and existing owners to consider adding more devices to their home,” said Lowitz in a statement. The company reckons that more than half of Echo and Google Home owners have the cheapest model in the range.

The USA is still the largest smart speaker market, but China is growing fast and is expected to reach 60 million units by the end of 2019.

Reliance Jio Is Now India’s Biggest Mobile Operator – and Owner of India’s Largest Music Streaming Service

Reliance Jio has become the largest mobile operator in India with 331.3 million subscribers. This overtakes Vodafone India which has round 320 million subscribers.

Reliance is also the owner of JioSaavn, which is India’s most popular music streaming service with over 104 monthly active users at last count. JioSaavn is only slightly ahead of its biggest rival Gaana.