T-Series’ YouTube Channel gets over 750 million views a week

A new chart reveals that YouTube’s most popular channel in the world is also, surprise surprise, the most viewed by far.

Indian YouTube channel and creators T-Series are taking the helm of the video site through a new era. After a months of tension last year, T-Series took over from longstanding YouTube king PewDiePie as the most subscribed channel in the world.

Their journey to number one has followed the evolution of the website over the years. PewDiePie took the top spot many years ago when YouTube was quite a different place, with a community of top creators and a pretty open book. As the site got more popular more brands got involved to advertise in front of their massive, global audiences and rules got tighter around how YouTube worked.

To some the changes have marked a decline in quality of YouTube content. Others have simply followed the changes and evolved their content to match. Another marked change in YouTube’s platform that came as a result was the shift from independent creators – your typical 1 person channel uploading from their bedroom – to collectives, big media, and brands running channels.

In addition the site has grown and spread all around the world. Not only are there viewers in nearly every country in the world, but more importantly there are creators in all of these regions. The shift in content, the evolution in the sorts of channel that gets popular, and the global power of YouTube have all played into T-Series ascent.

India is one in particular showing huge growth, and the pinnacle of that can be seen in T-Series. Over 1,200 creators in India had over 1 million subscribers last month. T-Series, as mentioned earlier, have the most subscribers in the world with 124 million currently.

It’s unlikely to be a surprise but a new chart from Tubefilter shows that the Indian mega-channel is the most viewed channel. They are topping 700 million views a week, gaining 780.7 million views between the 6th and 12th of January 2020 alone.

Solid State Logic launch 2 new affordable audio interfaces for bedroom producers & musicians

Solid State Logic are taking their studio expertise and squeezing it down into a size made for everyone and anyone.

If you know Solid State Logic, you probably know the name from one of their huge mixing consoles designed to be in a professional studio. Sure, you could take them home but it would have to replace the sofa. Well no more, as SSL’s renowned audio consoles are getting a cheaper, compact offering.

SSL have announced the SSL 2 and SSL 2+ USB audio interfaces. They both offer 2 inputs for recording instruments and mixing using SSL’s renowned studio quality technology at a size that can be used easily in the home studio or for bedroom producers.

Both interfaces come with ‘class-leading’ mic preamps, legacy 4K analogue enhancement, studio quality monitoring. The main difference between the SSL 2 and the SSL 2+ is that the + model comes with 2 extra outputs.

They come bundled with Solid State Logic’s very own software bundle, which includes: SSL Native Vocalstrip 2 + Drumstrip plugins, Avid Pro Tools + 23 plugins, Ableton Live Lite, Native Instruments Hybrid Keys + Komplete Start, and 1.5GB of quality samples and loops from Loopcloud.

Affordable, small audio interfaces for home recording are widely available from some of the most iconic names in audio manufacturing. Solid State Logic’s entries are a little more expensive than many on the market but considering their iconic status and compared to their expensive studio desks it’s great value for money.

SSL 2 – $229.99

Your professional personal studio.

• 2-In / 2-Out USB Audio Interface

• 2 x SSL-designed microphone preamps with unrivalled noise performance and gain range for a USB-powered device

• Legacy 4K – analogue colour enhancement for any input source, inspired by classic SSL consoles

• Professional, high-current grade headphone output, with plenty of power

• 24-bit / 192 kHz AD/DA AKM Converters – capture and hear all the detail of your creations

• Easy-to-use Monitor Mix Control for critical low-latency monitoring tasks

• Balanced monitor outputs, with stunning dynamic range

• USB 2.0, bus-powered audio interface for Mac/PC – no power supply required

SSL 2+ – $279.99

Your professional collaborative studio.

• 2-In/4-Out USB Audio Interface

• 2 x SSL-designed microphone preamps with unrivalled noise performance and gain range for a USB-powered device

• Legacy 4K – analogue colour enhancement for any input source, inspired by classic SSL consoles

• 2 x Professional, high-current grade headphone outputs, with plenty of power and the ability to create a second independent headphone mix for the 2nd performer

• 24-bit / 192 kHz AD/DA AKM Converters – capture and hear all the detail of your creations

• Easy-to-use Monitor Mix Control for critical low-latency monitoring tasks

• Balanced monitor outputs, with stunning dynamic range

• Additional unbalanced RCA outputs for easy connection to DJ Mixers

•  MIDI I/O

• USB 2.0, bus-powered audio interface for Mac/PC – no power supply required

Both audio interfaces are available now and can be found from dealers online.

Tencent made $115 billion just from WeChat’s mini apps in 2019

WeChat and the app’s 2 million ‘Mini Programs’ have made billions from the hundreds of millions of people using them daily.

WeChat, the social messaging app from Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent, has a profitable trick up its sleeve. Beyond the app’s upfront messaging platform are millions of ‘Mini Programs’ that work as small apps within the WeChat app.

A report from South China Morning Post tells how these mini apps have made 800 million yuan. Tencent revealed the news that over 300 million people had spent a collective $115 billion in US dollar amount on Mini Programs within WeChat in 2019.

With such a visibly powerful source of income, Tencent have shared how they plan to expand the platform in 2020. They want to expand the features available to services running Mini Programs like live streaming to enhance it with some of the biggest tech trends and capabilities.

WeChat’s head, Allen Zhang said at their Open Class Pro conference: “At WeChat, we used to focus on perfecting every feature we launched. Today, we are more focused on how to prioritise and dedicate our efforts to creating value for users and customers.”

WeChat itself announced that they had reached a major milestone of 1.15 billion monthly active users last September and it has no doubt grown since. With such a great revenue stream and growth of 45% in one year we will no doubt see some exciting developments for WeChat Mini Programs in 2020.

LiveXLive have gained over 1.2 million monthly users for their live music entertainment

LiveXLive finished 2019 with a leap in new users coming to stream from their live music based library of content.

The live music and entertainment company have revealed an end-of-year report that shows a strong 2019. In a year in which they partnered with iHeartRadio to expand their offerings they also gained 140,000 paid subscribers.

As of December 31st, 2019 LiveXLive reportedly had 1.2 million monthly active users, 820,000 of which are paid subscribers. Their users came to them for 28 musical festivals and events live streamed, as well as over 275 hours of programming with more than 230 artists in 2019.

They have gained 17.6% of their monthly active users as they had at the end of the year 2018. For the year they had over 63 million views on their livestreams of the big live music entertainment that they stream.

LiveXLive Chairman and CEO, Robert Ellin stated: “LiveXLive closed out its first nine months with significant momentum and achieving new milestones, as well as focusing on key hires to continue driving growth.

“We are looking forward to reporting full financial results for Q3 2020 in early February and have a number of exciting live events coming up, including livestreaming Selena Gomez’s new album release party, as well as performances from the most popular artists today, including French Montana, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, The Black Keys, and The Lumineers, and the 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards.”

In August we reported on news that whilst LiveXLive was seeing substantial growth in their paying subscribers, their profits weren’t growing to match. They reported an operating loss of $10.3 million in the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year.

Roland have re-designed the Grand Piano for 2020

The Grand Piano has never looked more different with this prize-winning design come to fruition by Roland.

Roland have premiered the GPX-F1 ‘Facet’ grand piano, a concept that has been years in the making. The piano looks entirely different to any piano you’ve seen before and looks like it’s fresh out of a sci-fi comic book based on musicians of the future.

The design of the Facet Grand Piano is based upon Jong Chan Kim’s design that won the competition for Roland Digital Piano Design Awards in 2015. Designers around the world were asked to design their idea of the ultimate “Concert Grand Piano” and Kim’s prize earned the Grand Prize and has now become reality.

After years of discussion and design meetings, Roland finally unveiled the Facet Grand Piano at CES 2020. It’s unique style makes it look like it’s floating, eschewing the traditional large bodies of grand pianos for a sleek, slimline design.

The piano is packing Roland’s latest piano modelling sound engine, keyboard and speaker system for a powerful and authentic sound when played. It’s modern design allows it to be digitally connected so it can access digital content and provide unique visual expressions displayed on the piano lid.

Roland say: “The cabinet introduces a unique aesthetic that challenges perceptions, it also delivers the ultimate piano sound experience to both player and audience. As well as presenting a unique and exciting profile, the angular construction also helps project the ideal sound elements.

“We optimised the sounds from our latest PureAcoustic Piano Modelling technology and multispeaker Acoustic Projection System to perfectly match the potential of this piano.”

Find out more here.

Introducing Korg’s build-it-yourself headphone amp and overdrive pedal

Korg are launching a new range of DIY kits so you can get hands-on and build your own music equipment.

Last September Korg announced their new Nu:Tekt range of DIY music gear that comes disassembled to be built by the purchaser. Their first devices to be bought in kit-form have been officially announced and will be available next month.

First up is the HA-S headphone amplifier that will provide your headphones with high quality, powered audio. With their built-in Nutube technology the amplifier offers the warmth of tube-powered sound in a compact, stable package. The HA-S’ transparent case means you can see inside at the glow of your analog vacuum tube.

The HA-S has a special NFB (Negative Feedback) switch, that allows you to choose from a high fidelity clean and pristine sound, or a warmer, more harmonically rich sound as expected from a vacuum tube. When the NFB switch is ON, the distortion ratio and frequency characteristics will be modified, creating a really detailed and clean sound.

For advanced users who want to customize their amplifier even more, the circuit diagrams are readily available, making it really easy to change discrete components and make your own and unique headphone amp matching your desired tone and performance.

Korg have also announced the arrival of their OD-S overdrive pedal kit. The DIY pedal building pack lets you customise and build it to suit the sound you want to get with your overdrive.

The OD-S features 2 gain knobs: One standard gain and another Tube Gain for adjusting the vacuum tube powered amplification. The OD-S also features Korg’s Nutube, triode vacuum tube for a powerful and rich tube-driven sound.

The OD-S also incorporates a switch that lets you choose between 2 different overdrive types (with different Low – High ranges) along with True Bypass; making it an ideal pedal for live performances. For advanced users who want to customize their tone further, the modification-friendly layout allows you to change out discrete components to create your own unique pedal to match your desired tone and performance.

The HA-S kit will be available next month for $350 whilst the OD-S pedal kit hasn’t gotten a price yet but will launch next month as well. Expect to see much more from Korg’s exciting new Nu:Tekt range. Find out more from their website.

Pandora and SiriusXM bundles could be on the way

SiriusXM and Pandora look to come together to provide your music needs in and out of the car for one discount price.

Last February the US’ favourite car-streaming service, SiriusXM, acquired Pandora to make a music streaming powerhouse. Reports say that both services are considering the potential of a music bundle that offers a subscription to both at a discounted price.

SiriusXM offers thousands of satellite radio stations and is primarily car-based, though they have since expanded to desktops and smartphones. Pandora meanwhile offers a more traditional on-demand music streaming service with a station-based system that creates algorithmically tuned mixes of music.

Since the acquisition they’ve continued to operate mostly independently with a few crossovers, like a Pandora station of popular songs on SiriusXM and some of the satellite radio streamer’s talk shows coming to Pandora. A bundle would be a great way to consolidate their separate user-bases.

Currently Pandora offers a free tier with adverts and limited streaming options. They then offer Pandora Plus for $4.99 a month, which offers an ad-free version of their automated radio station style streaming. At $9.99, Pandora Premium gives listeners full, on-demand access to over 40 million songs.

On the other hand SiriusXM’s packages start at $5 a month for in-car listening and streaming at home on the Amazon Echo Dot. For $8.25 users can stream SiriusXM’s stations outside of the car on any device.

A bundle could be a very attractive offer for in-car and at home listeners, though they haven’t revealed any information on which tiers a package would offer. They have confirmed that they’ve been testing cross-promotions with discounts for subscribers who sign up to both.

SiriusXM and Pandora Chief Product Officer and Head of Technology, Chris Phillips said: “We’re giving listeners choice. But when we give them choice, we want them to be able to have the best of what we offer in many places. In the future, the idea that there’s a single opportunity – we’re looking at what that might be.”

SiriusXM entered 2020 with 34.9 million subscribers after a big year thanks to taking their service outside of the car as well as their acquisition of Pandora. This made for a significant year in growth and expansion for SiriusXM.

SiriusXM CEO, Jim Meyer said: “Last year was a milestone for SiriusXM. Not only did we achieve our tenth consecutive year of million-plus self pay net additions, but we also completed our acquisition of Pandora Media and made significant investments in our business, all while returning more than $2 billion to our stockholders. And our new 2020 guidance points to what should be another excellent year of growth for SiriusXM.”

These will be 2020’s best earbuds revealed at CES

Wireless earbuds have become massive and this year we will see a lot more competition to Apple AirPod’s for the best TWS earbuds available.

Since Apple launched AirPods, True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds have become the biggest selling smart, personal audio devices. Last year they took over both wireless headphones and earphones with nearly 200% growth in sales.

We saw loads of new announcements at CES 2020 marking a remarkable upcoming year of the small listening devices to come. We’ve compiled the top earbuds to check out and keep your eyes on this year.

JBL LIVE 300TWS – £129.99 / $150

JBL had a few announcements at this year’s CES but their LIVE 300TWS stole the show, particularly in comparison to their other pair of $100 TWS earbuds.

The LIVE 300TWS comes with advanced features like voice control with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. They have been designed to fit tightly into the ear whilst remaining snug so as to perfectly accompany fitness and activities with IPX5 water and sweat resistance.

With TalkThru technology the 300TWS earbuds can detect voices and allow their sound to intelligently cut through your audio. AmbientAware technology offers a similar function with background noises, so you don’t miss that car coming!

JBL’s LIVE 300TWS are expected to launch in March.

Jabra Elite Active 75t – £169.99 / $199

Jabra earbuds active elite

Jabra revealed a sequel to their popular Elite 75t earbuds at CES, bringing sweat and water resistance to the quality in-ear noise-makers.

Designed with comfort in mind, the Elite Active 75t fits softly into your ears like their predecessor. They’ve been touted for having better sound quality than Apple’s AirPods.

They will last up to 7.5 hours on a single charge and by using their included charging case you can juice them up for 28 hours worth of charge on the go. With fast charging their case can give you 1 hour of listening after just 15 minutes.

They will release early this year in a range of 6 different colours.

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC300TW – £209 / $249

Audio Technica unveiled a great new offering, as that’s what they do, with their new true wireless earbuds with built-in noise cancellation.

The small devices are capable of offering HD sound and support Hi-Res audio streaming. Their 5.8mm ‘diamond-like carbon’ coated drivers offer supreme audio quality in a small package making their higher price point worthwhile.

Using Quietpoint Hybrid Digital Noise-Cancelling Technology, 2 microphones pick up environmental sounds to tune them out for a pure listening experience.

The ATH-ANC300TWs will launch in May.

JLab Go Air True Wireless Earbuds – £220 / $230

JLab jumped onto the TWS earbud ship with what they’re claiming are the “smallest fit ever” earbuds.

Their Go Air pair offer a super compact design with a slim case that make them portable as ever. The earbuds can interestingly work independently so you can use one to keep track of calls and keep an ear on your surroundings, or use both for a stereo music experience.

Using touch sensors on the earbuds you can easily choose the sound you want using JLab’s EQ3. No need for an app, do it all with a tap.

JLab’s Go Air TWS earbuds will be available in March.

Anghami could be up for sale at a value of up to $400m

One of the biggest names in music streaming for the Middle East right now, Anghami are weighing up their options for the future.

Anghami is a major music streaming service based in the Middle East and is one of the biggest streamers in the region. New reports from “people familiar with the matter” reveal that Anghami are eyeing up a potential sale if not a round of investment.

Despite facing encroaching competition from worldwide streamers like Spotify Anghami weren’t worried, announcing over 21 million users with more than 1 million paying subscribers last March. However if reports about a sale are true it could be a sign that streaming rivals in the Middle East are becoming a threat.

Bloomberg reveal that the company could be worth as much as $400 million in a sale. Dubai-based premium TV network, Orbit Showtime Network are penned as the front-runners for a buyer. However, reports also suggested that Anghami might instead look to raise funds with the aid of investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co..

Anghami had an eventful year of expansion last year, seeing their platform grow to include podcasts. As seen by Spotify, podcasts have become a highly valuable source of streams and as more Spotify users listen to podcasts every day they’re looking to monetise them in new ways.

Last year Spotify and Deezer both launched in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region. Despite that increased competition Anghami brushed it off, saying that: “YouTube is by far a more important competitor than Spotify or Deezer; understanding that means that video isn’t a second class citizen for us.”

As such Anghami have been expanding their video offerings. Last year they made a deal with Wavo, a subsidiary of Orbit Showtime Network, which included the rights to stream the final series of HBO’s massively popular Game of Thrones.

YouTube’s new policy to protect kids is going live now

YouTube have launched the changes to their platform that they announced last year to protect children’s privacy online.

Towards the end of last year YouTube announced a change to policy across their entire platform. In increased efforts to protect children’s privacy online when accessing YouTube they required every YouTube to mark itself as ‘Made For Kids’ or ‘Not Made For Kids’, among other changes.

These changes have begun rolling out globally now. Here’s what creators need to know and what to expect from the changes:

What is made for kids content?

According to the FTC, a video is made for kids if it is intended for kids, taking into consideration a variety of factors. These factors include the subject matter of the video, whether the video has an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys or games, and more.

To help us identify made for kids content, in November we introduced a new audience setting in YouTube Studio to help creators indicate whether or not their content is made for kids. Creators know their content best, and should set the designation themselves. We also use machine learning to help us identify this content, and creators can update a designation made by our systems if they believe it is incorrect. We will only override a creator designation if abuse or error is detected.

An updated experience for made for kids content

YouTube now treats personal information from anyone watching children’s content on the platform as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user. This means that on videos made for kids, we limit data collection and use, and as a result, we need to restrict or disable some product features. For example, we no longer serve personalized ads on this content or support features such as comments, live chat, notification bell, stories, save to playlist, and others.

Many creators around the world have created quality kids content for their audiences, and these changes will have significant impact. We’re committed to helping creators navigate this new landscape and to supporting our ecosystem of family content. We’ll share more in the coming months. In the meantime, we continue to engage on this issue. For example, we participated in the FTC’s public workshop and submitted our comment on COPPA, where we discussed the importance of clear guidelines that help creators live up to their legal obligations and support access to quality kids content.

Continued investment in YouTube Kids

We still recommend parents use YouTube Kids if they plan to allow kids under 13 to watch independently. In fact, tens of millions of people use YouTube Kids every week, and recently we saw an all-time high of weekly viewers since the app’s launch. Starting today, you will see a YouTube Kids promotion across all made for kids content. We also continue to improve the product. For example, we recently launched signed-in support for YouTube Kids on the web and connected devices — such as smart TVs — so parents can now access and control their child’s YouTube Kids experience across even more surfaces.

Responsibility is our number one priority at YouTube, and this includes protecting kids and their privacy. We’ve been significantly investing in the policiesproducts and practices to help us do this. Today’s changes allow us to do this even better and we’ll continue working to provide children, families and family creators the best experience possible on YouTube.