Spotify heads to Four World Trade Center adding 1,000 new jobs

Spotify have committed themselves to creating a giant new office in New York at the Four World Trade Center to create over 1,000 jobs.

Spotify are planning to take over a giant 378,000 square feet space in the massive Four World Trade Center in New York. The massive music streaming company will double the size of their current office in New York, taking space on floors 62-72 on the skyscraper.

New York State’s governor Andrew Cuomo announced the news on Facebook Live earlier this week. Spotify haven’t revealed what will happen to their current space in Manhattan’s Flatiron District HQ where they have around 600 employees, but they may retain both if they plan on adding over 1,000 employees as they say.

Andrew Cuomo said on Twitter: “Spotify is going to be adding over 1K employees here in the great State of New York, and moving into Four World Trade Center.” Whilst Spotify’s General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez  added: “I hope Spotify’s expansion sends a clear signal to the tech community that New York is open for business.”

The addition of more than 1000 employees will also be a massive jump for Spotify, who reported 1,610 employees in 2015. Whilst it looks like good business for Spotify it’s not clear yet how, or whether, major labels will react to such a large expansion.

Spotify are currently asking labels to drop their revenue share from 55% to 52% so that they can bolster their profits for Wall Street and eventually launch an IPO, which has been delayed again recently. Recent reports suggest that Spotify may now wait until 2018 to finally offer it’s IPO.

Whilst Spotify are massively successful, as is often the way with startups especially in music, the company still faces large quantities of debt that it’s profits aren’t able to outmatch. However year on year Spotify grows to massive extents and now stands as the world’s most popular streaming service, and with confidence enough to buy a new office Spotify must be confident they are in a good position.

Apple say Apple Music has “well past 20 million” subscribers

After revealing that they ended the year with 20 million subscribers Apple are now proudly boasting that since then they’ve grown to “well past 20 million” subscribers.

According to Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue at the Recode Media Conference, Apple Music is seeing their incredible levels of growth carrying on into 2017. Whilst Cue didn’t offer any exact figures he said that Apple Music’s subscriber count is “well past 20 million” which they announced they had earned in December.

On average Apple have been adding around 1 million subscribers a month, so assuming similar levels of growth Apple Music would be at roughly 22 million now. Eddy Cue’s tone suggests that it could be even more, but estimates suggest that their subscriber count is probably around 22 million now.

Whilst the service has seen impressive growth since launching almost 2 years ago now, Eddy Cue explained that Apple weren’t as satisfied as they want to be with Apple Music currently. Cue said they see room for “exponential” growth, citing 100 million music subscribers around the world, and even more listeners that don’t subscribe.

Cue also discussed streaming exclusives, something Apple has dabbled in in the past but has since been criticised by many in the industry. Lucian Grainge, Universal Music CEO, went so far as to ban any Universal artists from signing a streaming exclusive release.  Cue explained that they saw exclusive streaming rights as a promotional strategy rather than a long-term basis move for artists.

Cue said himself that streaming exclusives “are never good for the long-term basis” of the music industry. Cue said that their plans aren’t to try and secure exclusive streaming rights for a record but to instead work with the artists fully from start to finish on what they’re trying to do.

With 40 million subscribers last announced Apple Music have a way to go to catch up to Spotify, but their growth is showing good signs.

How does the weather affect the music you listen to? Spotify and AccuWeather find out

Spotify have teamed up with AccuWeather to find out what people listen to in different weathers and introduce new ‘Climatune’ playlist.

Music streaming giants Spotify have joined up with AccuWeather, the largest, most accurate source of forecasts and weather warnings in the world, to explore the correlation between music and weather. Spotify correlated a year’s worth of weather data from AccuWeather with over 85 billion Spotify streams to create Climatune.

Climatune is a new playlist on Spotify that lets you check out the weather in your area and listen to a playlist that reflects the mood of the weather in your area. To create Climatune Spotify analysed listening data across five kinds of weather: Sun, rain, wind, clouds and snow.

Spotify’s analysis found:

  • Sunny days typically bring higher-energy, happier-sounding music — songs that feel fast, loud and noisy, with more “action”, as well as happy, cheerful, euphoric emotions associated with the major mode and other musical factors
  • Rainy days bring lower-energy, sadder-sounding music with more acoustic vs. electronic sounds
  • Snowy days bring more instrumental music

Data researcher at Spotify, Ian Anderson said: “There is a clear connection between what’s in the skies and what’s on users’ play queues. For almost all of the major cities around the world that we studied, sunny days translate to higher streams of happier-sounding music. Sunny Weather has an even bigger impact in Europe.”

Spotify’s findings found that it wasn’t the weather itself, but how different places react to weather differently that was really interesting.

For the US Spotify found that:

  • New York City and Philadelphia music lovers are the most affected by bad weather; residents of these cities substantially change their listening when it rains
  • Unlike most city residents, Chicagoans actually get excited by the rain and stream happier music
  • Miami and Seattle listeners don’t mind the clouds – they buck the trend and listen to more energetic music on cloudy days
  • San Franciscans, on the other hand, seem saddest on cloudy days
  • Houston responds the most strongly to rain – they ditch the synthesizers and drum machines and their acoustic listening increases by 121 percent when it rain

You can listen to Climatune on Spotify now. If they don’t have your area it will work from the city closest to you.

iHeartRadio’s new partnership brings enhanced podcast insights

iHeartRadio is introducing a bunch of new podcasts and extending their analytics tools for podcast insights through a partnership with ART19.

Podcast publishers ART19 are teaming up with internet radio service iHeartRadio to bring more content and advanced insights into podcast performances. The partnership will provide deeper analysis such as start, stop, and skip times as well as listeners responses to specific ads.

With better insights both companies hope they can help their podcasters to improve monetisation of content thanks to detailed data that they can provide to advertisers rather than just download numbers. With advanced listener habits podcasters can also decide what does and doesn’t work for their content much easier.

iHeartRadio’s senior vice president of podcasting, Chris Peterson, added that measuring options for ads was one of the biggest gaps in podcasting currently, saying: “With iHeartRadio’s extensive pool of listener data and ART19’s distribution technology, we will be the first platform to provide podcasters with detailed analytics. Together we’re excited to implement a new robust ad-tech solution that is sure to drive the growth of the podcast industry.”

The data will help increase revenue for both companies but also podcasters who can use their analytics as promotion and for targeted ads that appeal to their specific audiences. In addition with one-of-a-kind analysis for podcasters the new data will entice new customers who can’t get the levels of insight anywhere else. With the recent launch of 2 new premium platforms for iHeartRadio this deal also strengthens their platform as they build themselves up in the rocky world of music streaming services.

ART19 co-founder and CEO, Sean Carr said: “60 million people are listening to podcasts in America now. It’s a huge market and a wildly effective advertising medium. By offering better data to the podcasting industry, monetization will catch up with audience scale, and that will be good for everyone. A rising tide lifts all boats.”

One of ART19’s biggest Podcast clients, Wondery CEO Hernan Lopez said: “This is a big step for the podcasting industry. Together, iHeartRadio’s massive reach and ART19’s unique technology are going to give us a wealth of new data.”