Apple Music preparing to launch in Korea

Korean outlets have reported that Apple are almost ready to launch their music streaming service Apple Music over there.

An official  in Korea (South Korea that is) for the Federation of Korean Music Performers has revealed that Apple’s incredibly popular music streaming service will be launching their soon. The official says: “We formed a contract with Apple Music to begin streaming service here. We made agreements on how to pay the copyright fees to the artists.”

The official said they couldn’t discuss terms of the contract as there as still agreements to be made, particularly with local music distributors. Apple are also yet to finalise agreements with the Korea Music Copyright Association and the Recording Industry Association of Korea and similar bodies.

There’s no timeframe as to when Apple might finalise deals to launch in South Korea but with progress on the way Apple likely don’t want to delay. South Korea will join over 100 markets across the globe where Apple Music is available to sign up for unlimited music streaming, exclusive music, and other benefits.

When it launches South Korea will have access to Apple Music’s extensive music library of over 30 million songs which will presumably also include Korean Pop, or K-Pop, the genre marking Korea’s place in the world music map.

Apple Music has been a runaway success since it launched last June earning 15 million subscribers in it’s first year. For comparison that’s half of streaming giant Spotify’s roughly 30 million paying users that they’ve spent 8 years building.

Deezer launch very first podcast with comedian Alex Horne for EURO 2016

Deezer have announced their first ever podcast following the biggest news of the Euro 2016 tournament.

Led by British comedian Alex Horne of The Horne Section and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown fame, the podcast will feature Horne taking on all the big news on and off the pitch for this summer’s Euro 2016 football tournament.

Deezer’s managing director for UK and Ireland, Christian Harris said: “This marks our first foray into original talk content for the UK market, and following suit from our successful tongue-in-cheek TV advertising we are sticking with the comedy route with our Balls Up series. We are excited to see what football fans think, and will look to create more original content in the future based on different passion points.”

Deezer say that in the show Horne will answer questions like “Which player looks most like a ghost this week?” and “Which team has the best beards?”. It’s clear the podcast will have a comedy focus, they did hire a comedian to host it after all, with guest comedians like Carly Smallman and Michael Legge appearing in it at some point.  It will still cover the essentials of Euro 2016 with guests like football writer Philippe Auclair.

Deezer got involved with sport on their streaming service last year when they added live premium sports, on top of their music library of over 40 million tracks, and their talk and entertainment offerings including more than 40,000 podcasts.

You can listen to the podcast, aptly titled Balls Up, here now.

Spotify work with Merchbar to sell your merchandise

Adding to the Spotify’s constantly growing list of partners is now Merchbar, the online store for artists to sell their merch.

Merchbar feature “the largest selection of artist gear on the internet” and their new partner, Spotify, just happen to be the most successful music streaming service in the world. The partnership will see artists’ Merchbar offerings integrated into their artist profile on Spotify.

If you have products listed on Merchbar they will automatically be displayed on your artist profile, showing your top products that your fans can view, buy, or browse more of.

Merchbar already hosts the merchandise of over 35,000 artists and they can help you sell yours too, get in touch with them here.

SoundCloud aid music discovery with new feed of recommended music

SoundCloud look to cement themselves as a serious music streaming service with Discover, their first section dedicated to music recommendations based on what you like.

SoundCloud have added an entire new section to their website to help you discover new music throughout their giant music catalog. The Discover feed lives next to your home ‘Stream’ and the no-longer-newest addition ‘Charts‘.

Discover will present you with loads of suggested tracks based on tracks or artists you’ve liked or listened to in the past. In grid view you get a list of 10 tracks on each line based on different suggestions: for example your first line of tracks might be “Because you played Kanye West – No More Parties In L.A.” and would show you 10 tracks recommended to you based on that track. Each line after then shows another list of 10 suggestions based on other music you’ve liked or played.

Discover music streaming android
SoundCloud’s new discover feature is on mobile too

SoundCloud’s focus has always been on creating an open, free platform where artists from around the world could upload their music to be heard by a global audience. Having achieved that to a giant extent over the years SoundCloud looked to move into the music streaming world of today with their first paid subscription service – SoundCloud Go.

Music discovery and personalised recommendations have become an integral part of music streaming services and is often the basis of competition between rival services. Spotify’s Discover Weekly has been a giant success, used by 40 million unique users and resulting in over 5 billion track streams since launching last July.

Microsoft just recently previewed a personalised collection of playlists on their own streamer Groove to Windows Insider users. With the streaming landscape heating up with competition it was only a matter of time before SoundCloud added discovery features, and luckily for us that time has come.

SoundCloud Discover is available now on the web and the SoundCloud iOS and Android apps.


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Microsoft Groove update brings Spotify-like music discovery features

Microsoft’s music streaming service Groove have unveiled a new feature to Windows Insider users that aims to take on Spotify’s popular Discover Weekly feature.

Groove Music hasn’t really made a whole lot of noise since introducing itself as the reworked Xbox Music last year. Microsoft look to change that with their new feature that looks to finally set it apart from competitors.

The new feature, titled Your Groove, shows your recently played music but also creates playlists for you based on your music. Unlike Spotify however, Groove can analyse your personal music collection that you upload to the service and can create recommendations based on that. Groove also tracks the activity of artists to an extent that they can now provide you with playlists of artists in your area at the time.

Groove music streaming discovery playlists

Groove doesn’t just help you discover music though, under it’s ‘Playlists for you’ section in Your Groove you will also get certain playlists of your own music that has been collected into one nice package for you. Aww, thanks Groove.

It may not be enough to convert you from your favourite streamer yet but it’s a big step in the right direction for Groove, in an industry where you have to be unique to strive. Just last month Microsoft added Cortana functions into Groove so that you could ask her to play music for you.

This new feature is available to Windows Insider users on the ‘Fast Ring’ tier, and you don’t have to be subscribed to Groove to access it – though if you aren’t you’ll only have access to playlist created from your personal music library.

There’s no word on when it will become publicly available, or if there will ever be a mobile version but hopefully soon.