Apple Music and iTunes analytics platform launches for more artists

Apple are giving more power to the artists to see who’s loving their music and where they come from.

In January Apple revealed that they were rolling out an analytics platform for ‘a few thousand artists’ to track their streaming performance on Apple Music. Now they’re releasing ‘Apple Music for Artists’ to a wider range of artists but is still currently invite-only.

Artists can apply to gain access to the platform which gives you snapshots of your music’s overall streaming performance on Apple Music as well as sales on iTunes. Apple Music for Artists will also identify and present “milestones and all-time bests” in artists’ music performance. Charts show how performance has changed over time and make it easy to see when music was peaking and which tracks/albums were making it happen.

Their analytics platform will also show where listeners are discovering and listening to your music the most. For example if there’s a big playlist that is pushing your music. This will help artists advise future campaigns and who to push their music to in order to keep growing. Setting dates for a tour also becomes easier as a global map will show you exactly where all of your biggest fans are located. Zoom into countries and cities to find even more in-depth info.

Apple are considering even including data on how much income artists are making from their streams for the future but as of yet are not featuring them. In January Billboard reported that Apple “decided not to [include financials] for the immediate launch, in part because of the complexity of how royalty payments are calculated”.

You can apply to gain access to Apple Music for Artists and see exactly how your music is performing on Apple Music and iTunes here:

Spotify launches in 3 new countries: South Africa, Vietnam, and Israel

Spotify have moved one step closer to streaming music to the entire world going live in 3 new countries.

Spotify is now live for music streaming in 64 countries around the world after launching in South Africa, Israel, and Vietnam. This introduces a massive new potential audience for the music streaming giant with 160 million people across all 3 countries now able to sign up to stream music on Spotify.

Customers in South Africa and Vietnam will be able to sign up to a 30 day free trial of Spotify Premium offering unlimited, ad-free music streaming. After their trials users can sign up for 59.99 South African Rand a month (roughly $5) or 59,000 Vietnamese Dong per month (roughly $2.50). Listeners in Israel can sign up for 19.90 NIS a month (roughly $5.80) however they don’t seem to be offered a free trial.

To celebrate their launch in Israel Spotify put out a video with big time artists like Maroon 5 and Major Lazer celebrating the launch.

Their launch comes within days of Apple revealing that their streaming growth has finally caught up to Spotify’s, though Apple Music still has half the number of paying subscribers. With these new territories signing up to Spotify it may be too soon for Apple to bring out the champagne.

Sex up your Spotify artist pages with 2 new features

Spotify are giving you even more options to make your artist page represent you and your music in exciting ways.

Spotify have introduced photo galleries and new tools for connecting with fans to artist pages. The new features will allow artists to customise their artist pages further as well as making it easier to connect up social media accounts for fans to find you and find out more.

Spotify say:

Here at Spotify, we know that music may be the main thing, but it’s not the only thing – there are all kinds of ways for artists to share who they are with their fans. We want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so… Our goal with Spotify for Artists is to make it easy for you to control how you’re represented in Spotify – whenever you want, from wherever you are.

With their new photo galleries artists can create their own photo gallery straight from the Spotify for Artists. Artists can add up to 125 pics of anything from snaps at the latest gigs to behind-the-scenes shots in the studio, or just having fun. You can edit your gallery including the order in which images show up straight from the Spotify for Artists app.

In addition to adding photo galleries Spotify have made it even easier to change your profile avatar image by making it possible directly from the app. This addition joins the mobile app’s existing abilities to update your artists bio and select your ‘Artist’s Pick’ song straight from the app. As Spotify say: “Now there’s no excuse for not keeping your page in tip-top shape.”

The second addition is the option to add social media links to artist pages. Using the Spotify for Artists web tool artists are able to add Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Wikipedia links. Then when fans go to artists pages they will be able to head straight to their social pages from the About section. They say that it’s only available on the web tool at the moment and isn’t on the Artists app “just yet“.

Spotify launch Amplify, a new hub for Women’s History Month

Spotify have launched a new hub for highlighting, empowering and amplifying causes and voices from subjugated communities.

In celebration of Women’s History Month Spotify have launched Amplify for fans in the US and Canada. The year-round hub on Spotify will focus on causes including Gender Equality, Mental Health & Self Care, LGBTQ rights, and Immigration.

Amplify will kick off with ‘Amplify Women’, a celebration of women via a host of podcasts and playlists that speak on and represent the views and voices of women. The primary Amplify playlist will this month be named ‘Amplify: Women of the World’ and artists will include Raisa x Isyana from Indonesia, Saaro Aalto from Finland, and Fatouma Diawara from Mali + many more.

Spotify have teamed up with Demi Lovato for a video interview to celebrate the rise in popularity for Latin Music, and highlight the women within it. The video joins Lovato as she records a Spanish version of her hit track ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ where they discuss gender equality, her confidence as a woman, and more. Her track and the video will be available on Viva Latino, Spotify’s hub for Latin music.

Demi Lovato said: “Our world is inspiring people to speak up about the things they believe in, to make a difference, to make a change. And one of the things that people are speaking out against is women’s rights, women hold so much power, so much strength, we really need to embrace that as a society and all genders.”

Becky G is another artist getting involved with a special Viva Latino podcast episode discussing similar topics of female identity and gender equality. She said: “It’s an honor to be part of Spotify’s Viva Latino Podcast, especially on International Women’s Day! I take pride in being an empowered, young Latina who works hard to honor other strong women around me, and all over the world, not just today, but everyday.”

Their Latin Hub will also include a new ¡Viva Latinas! section which will promote entirely female led Latin playlists. In addition Spotify have created a special edition of their Latin Divas playlist which is made up of female artists from all over Latin America, Spain and Latin members of the US community including Karol G, Leslie Grace, Mon Laferte, Francisca Valenzuela, and many more.

You can head to Amplify and Spotify’s Latin Hub from those links or find them in the Browse section of Spotify.

Amazon Prime goes live for music in India

Music streaming in India gets a new player as Amazon launch their Prime bundled streaming service there.

Amazon launched Prime in India last year to offer free one to two day deliveries for over 100 cities and early-access to deals. Later in the year they launched Prime Video, their Netflix style video streamer, and now they’ve launched their Prime music streaming service which comes bundled with the service.

Indian publication Medianama reported that Amazon had signed deals with the five major labels for India, including Sony. The launch went strangely unannounced by Amazon but brings 2 million songs for streaming and downloading to the region. Prime has been available in India since they released their Echo Smart Speakers in October, but only through Echo speakers. Now anyone with a Prime subscription in India is able to stream from their computers or the Prime mobile apps.

A Prime membership will cost Rs 999 a year, which is equal to roughly $15. It’s cheaper than a number of it’s competitors, including native Indian streamers Saavn (Rs 1050) and Gaana (Rs1020). Western competitor Apple Music is even higher at a price of $1200 a year.

Amazon have launched Prime Music in India within a week of Gaana announcing a $115 million round of funding led by the ‘Google of China’ Tencent. Gaana plan to use this massive round of funding to develop artificial intelligence that can create more personalised services and features.

This could be a sign of increasing competitivity in the region, following the Western world where music streaming has become a battle of the biggest to carve their own unique experiences. Hopefully now that services have moved away from unfair practices, like paying for exclusive releases, the competition will instead breed a drive to create better services with their own USP.

“Hey Alexa, make me a new playlist” – Create playlists from Amazon Echo

Amazon have added one of the most requested features to Echo speakers so you can make and stream playlists without the touch of a button.

There are thousands of things you can ask Alexa or tell her to do, and that list just got one big feature bigger. Creating playlists on Amazon Music is as simple as telling Amazon Echo to create a new playlist, then add whatever songs you like and stream away. The playlist will be saved to your service.

Amazon are making it easier to track and explore music with every move, trying to make modern, tech-filled home life as convenient as can be made with voice control. Unfortunately Amazon have only added this ability to Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited on the Echo speakers.

When your listening to an Amazon music service with Alexa, give it a go by saying:

  • “Alexa, add this song to my playlist”
  • “Alexa, add this to my playlist”
  • “Alexa, add this to my ‘Studying’ playlist”
  • “Alexa, create a new playlist from this song”
  • “Alexa create a new playlist”

Apple Music gaining on Spotify with 1 million+ new subscribers a month

Apple may not be at Spotify’s level yet but considerable growth shows Apple Music is here to stay in music streaming.

Apple have been fairly quiet about their music streaming service since Jimmy Iovine revealed they had reached 30 million subscribers at the end of September last year. Now talking on it for the first time 5 months later Apple reveal they’ve added 6 million subscribers since then, over 1 million a month.

Wall Street Journal reported the growth first revealing that they now have a total of over 36 million paying subscribers. Despite the impressive growth their main rivals Spotify have double the number of paying subscribers, and then yet even more users on streaming for free on their ad-supported tier.

Whilst Apple seem to be adding 1.2 million a month, according to the latest reports Spotify are adding roughly 2 million subscribers each month. At least that’s what the reports suggest after Spotify announced 70 million Premium users last month. It was only in August that Spotify announced 60 million, and before that they revealed 50 million paying users in March of last year. That’s over 20 million in less than a year, impressive stuff.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s report however, Apple look set to overtake Spotify for subscribers in the US alone sometime soon. WSJ say: “Apple’s subscriber-account base in the U.S. has been growing about 5% monthly versus Spotify’s 2% clip.”

Deezer team up with Indonesian tel-co Tri to offer customers music streaming

Deezer have teamed up with Indonesian telephone company Hutchison 3 to offer streaming deals to Tri customers.

Deezer have partnered with another telephone company to offer their music streaming service to customers. Their latest partner is Indonesian tel-co Hutchison 3 who runs phone operatind brand Tri, known as Three in the UK, which will offer unique methods of payment for a Deezer subscription.

Tri customers will have the chance to pay for a monthly Deezer Premium+ subscription with their balance credit. It will cost IDR 49,990 which is around $3.73 in US dollars and matches the price of a Spotify subscription in Indonesia. Tri customers will have the option to pay that fee to cover their first 3 months.

Deezer’s APAC vice president Daud Aditirto said: “Given that over 51% of Indonesians use their mobile devices to listen to music we are thrilled to be partnering with Hutchison 3 Indonesia to be giving music fans the complete experience that matches all of their mobile needs.”

Deezer have already made existing deals with Hutchison’s subsidiaries around the UK, Ireland, Denmark, and Sweden.

Spotify have a new app Stations that’s all about playlists

Spotify have silently launched a new mobile app that is dedicated to exploring and streaming playlists and stations.

Spotify have quietly launched a new app on Android called Stations. The app, called Stations, is an “experiment” according to company that is all about playlists and Spotify stations. They call it “the easiest way to listen to the music you love. Totally free.”

The app features an incredibly simple user interface with the playlists listed in big, bold text and a scroll down menu taking up the top 80% of the screen so you can simply scroll through playlists and stations to find one to play. Spotify Stations music streaming app playlists stationFrom the settings you can customise which playlists appear on the app’s homepage so you can select your personal favourites to jump into at anytime. At the bottom of the screen is your player which shows what you’re playing with a progress bar.

The minimised player also has pause and heart buttons so you can do either at anytime. Liking or ‘hearting’ songs is a big part of the Stations app as each like unlocks personalised stations that are better refined by your tastes. With the condensed user interface recommendations are important so that you can easily find the playlists and stations you want to hear.

Strangely whether you’re a free listener or a Premium subscriber you won’t be able to skip tracks, so whatever you’re streaming you have to commit or find a new playlist. Among the thousands of curated playlists and custom-made selections Stations also features Spotify’s personalised playlists for you like Discover Weekly and Release Radar.

The app makes it simple to jump straight into listening to a selection of tunes which will appeal to many of the streaming generation. The app is currently in testing and according to The Verge is only available in Australia. Spotify haven’t commented on the app yet.