Fluent promise “immersive music” in a new kind of streaming service

A new Russian startup wants to provide a new, adaptive music streaming experience unlike the Spotifys and Apple Musics of the world.

Fluent is a new music streaming startup from Moscow, Russia. They are hoping to distinguish themselves from the slew of competitors already operating around the world with an experience based on context.

Whilst, they say: “Spotify plays static files. AI generates bland, soulless sound.” They want their service to accommodate the time and place that it’s being listened in. To this extent they are providing an adaptive selection of music that they promise personalises itself with each track.

Fluent uses 3 different elements to create its experience: Sensors and API to take an input of the surroundings. Their engine then adapts itself to the context and surroundings. Finally stems provide the output and complete the experience offering a personalised and contextual music stream.

It picks up on everything from the weather and the time of day to customise the tracks queued up. It also tracks whether you’re moving as you’re listening, and how fast so it can tell if you’re travelling or out for a jog, or sitting at home chilling.

They say: “We believe it’s time to try something new, to bring back the magic we’ve been deprived from by static music. Our technology enables to personalize each track on the go, making it suit the context. Adaptive music can enhance any kind of movement, but it’s not about performance.

“It’s about perfect timing, immersion and relistenability. But yes, you’d better move to experience this rad new thing in its full.” You can read their brief in full here.

How to get an Official Artist Channel on YouTube

As an artist you want to make sure that your image on any platform represents you as best as possible, especially the world’s favourite video site.

YouTube is the internet’s largest home of creators and viewers. It is not just a hub for video but for creativity, for education, for connecting, and of course for music.

As an artist on YouTube an Official Artist Channel brings together all of your content from music videos, interviews, teasers, behind the scenes, and more!

To get an Official Artist Channel on YouTube you will need an existing YouTube channel that you own and have access to. Then you will need to ensure that you have 3 official music videos on YouTube from a music distribution partner – Hello from RouteNote 👋

Official Artist Channels provide you with:

  • Organised content: The Official Artist Channel layout automatically organises your discography into an album section and your Official Music Videos into a new playlist. For a consistent fan experience across YouTube, you can’t edit these playlists. However, you can place one section above your locked video and album sections to promote anything you like on your Official Artist Channel.
  • Discoverability in search: When your fans search for you on YouTube, they’ll be linked directly to your Official Artist Channel from your watch card on the right side of the screen.
  • Promotional content: Choose what you want to highlight in the dedicated promotional shelf and in the featured video slot.
  • Fan engagement: One verified and official channel where you can directly reach and engage with your fans on YouTube.
  • YouTube Analytics: Track the performance of your channel and videos with real-time metrics and reports.

How to share playlists on Apple Music with friends

Bonding over music creates a special kind of connection and with playlists these connections can be made anywhere.

Each one of us has our own unique tastes, music that means something to us personally, our own selections to turn to when we’re feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Sharing these exclusive tastes and particular passions connects us, it helps us to grow and to discover new things.

Creating your own custom playlists lets you define a collection of your tastes, of your top tracks. Maybe it represents a mood, maybe they’re all your favourites from a band, maybe they’re just a mixtape of songs with the word “peanut” in – you can create any selection of songs you want with playlists.

If you use Apple Music, here’s how you can easily create and share playlists:

  • Head to your Apple Music app, iTunes or their new website player.
  • Tap on ‘My Music’ and then head to the Playlists column.
  • You’ll be able to see a ‘New’ button, on the top right if you’re using the app.
  • Now you can either select the plus button from the playlist to select songs to add to the playlist or browse Apple Music and click the three-dots to ‘Add to Playlist’ on any track, album, or other playlist.
  • Once your playlist is how you want it you can share it with other Apple Music users.
  • Click the three-dot icon on the playlist for all the options.
  • Select ‘Share Playlist’ and then you can send the playlist via message, email, social media, and more.

Unfortunately with Apple Music you can’t create collaborative playlists that you and your friends can all contribute to, like on Spotify. But by creating your own custom playlists and sharing them around you can still spread the love of music.

Billboard’s parent company to purchase Nielsen SoundScan

Valence are looking to acquire SoundScan so that Billboards charts and music data are all under one umbrella.

Billboard and SoundScan work closely together, with the latter providing music data and analytics to inform the world renowned music charts of Billboard. Both companies run in their own circles currently under the parentship of Valence and Nielsen respectively.

According to multiple reports Valence, the parent of Billboard, are now looking to acquire Nielsen’s SoundScan. SoundScan represents the largest data analytics provider for the music industry. The purchase, expected to go through later this year for an 8-figure price, would provide Billboard with an edge over charting competitors.

It’s unlikely a coincidence that this deal has been reported just months after Rolling Stone launched their very own charts in July. Rolling Stone’s charts update daily, unlike Billboards which refresh each week, to represent the modern music industry of real-time streaming data constantly changing. Rolling Stone partnered with BuzzAngle Music for their own music data.

Some competitors have expressed concern over the high status of the deal. Rival music charts site, Hits Daily Double said: “Rights holders are said to be concerned about the lack of transparency and checks and balances that could result from Billboard’s impending deal to acquire SoundScan from Nielsen.

“How will this move affect the myriad credibility problems swirling about the Billboard charts, notably regarding ticket and merch bundles and unverified YouTube data?”

The sale of Nielsen’s assets follows a dramatic year in 2018 when their CEO retired and their forecast looked gloomy, leading to shares dropping. They’ve been in talks to sell the whole company to private equity buyers, but for now are only selling parts of their business.

Deezer are re-inventing how artists get paid for music streaming

In the name of getting artists paid fairly, Deezer are adopting a UCPS system that completely changes streaming payouts.

Music streaming has revolutionised the music industry, in many amazing ways and as well as fairly viewed downsides. It has opened up the endless world of music to everyone, but it’s meant artists earn less than a typical album sale, however in turn it resolved the overbearing music piracy crisis.

Whatever your thoughts on music streaming, you can’t deny it’s is now how the majority of the world listens to music – and it’s only getting bigger. So seeking ways for artists to get paid more fairly within that realm is a major next step – and to do this Deezer are completely switching up their streaming model.

Deezer are launching a User-Centric Payment System (UCPS). This model won’t change how much listeners pay, or even how much Deezer earns from the shares. What it does change is how every subscribers streams are valued on an individual basis.

On the current model, adopted across the board by major streaming services, streams are all collected into a big pot and shared out equally. So, each listeners streams are part of a bigger whole that decides the percentage of payout for the artists you listen to.

Deezer display this method clearly below:

It seems fair at first, don’t you think? The more you’re streamed the more money you make. However Sasha has been listening exclusively to Artist 2, yet most of their subscription payment is going to an artist they’ve never listened to. This is where UCPS comes in to pay subscription costs based on each listeners’ actual streaming.

Here’s how it will work on Deezer now with a UCPS:

This will make a massive change for smaller and independent artists. If you’re a local band and your streams are small compared to massive artists then you’re not going to earn much of the pie. But when your fans are listening to you more than anyone else and their personal streaming payout percentages represent that you’re immediately getting a fairer share.

This is a major change to the way that artists get paid whilst maintaining the same cost to user and service. I personally hope that we see similar systems proliferate further to other streaming services so that in the age of music streaming we can prioritise treating artists as fairly as possible.

If you use Deezer you can head over to find out how much the artists you listen to will be benefiting from this change!

Mix SoundCloud tracks in Pioneer DJs rekordbox

rekordbox are the latest software for DJs to get the SoundCloud treatment with millions of tracks for mixing.

SoundCloud have revealed their latest in a long line of DJ partners. Pioneer DJ have now built SoundCloud integration into their rekordbox DJ performance software, offering DJs and endless supply of tracks to mix and flip.

It’s SoundCloud’s second partnership with Pioneer DJ after adding their library into their WeDJ app. Now with rekordbox integration SoundCloud music will be available to snatch and stream on any Pioneer hardware.

Any SoundCloud Go+ subscriber can now start mixing with millions of tracks in their rekordbox DJ app. It’s as simple as this:

  1. On Wi-Fi, download and log in to rekordbox.
  2. Enable SoundCloud within the app and sign in to your account (you need to be a SoundCloud Go+ subscriber).
  3. Restart your rekordbox app to pull in tracks from your SoundCloud playlists, and to search, mix and stream from SoundCloud’s catalog of official releases, emerging creator content, and everything in between – directly from the app, in real time.

This year SoundCloud have made a big push to make their giant library of music available to DJs. With a massive catalogue of user uploaded music on top of the label music available on traditional streaming services, SoundCloud have an advantage of scope with 125+ million tracks on offer.

Earlier this year SoundCloud also partnered with Traktor DJ 2, DEX 3, Virtual DJ and Serato DJ. SoundCloud are still planning more integrations with leading DJ applications before the end of the year.

Social Blade updates channel’s pages as YouTube changes subscriber counts

Social Blade have updated their channel pages as YouTube introduces “abbreviation” of their subscriber numbers.

If you want to know the ins and outs of how any channel on YouTube is performing then Social Blade is the site for you. It allows you to search any channel to view how it’s ranks against other channels in subscribers, video views, performance in it’s category on YouTube and much more.

They have just added country rankings so that you can quickly see exactly how a channel compares to the rest of YouTube creators in their country.

For example now we can see that RouteNote and Outertone artist Tobu is the 3rd biggest channel in his home country of Latvia!

This is an excellent new feature that, with just a glance, helps users to quickly view just how well a channel is performing and its popularity. New graphs in the User Summary section at the top of a channel’s Social Blade page give a great overview of their performance in views and subscribers over the past week.

Social Blade have had to change how some statistics are shown due to a recent change in YouTube’s subscriber counts. After a channel reaches 1,000 subscribers YouTube they will “abbreviate” the public subscriber count.

Social Blade spoke on the change and how it affects their counts, writing: “While we’re not happy that YouTube has chosen to go forward with these changes despite the overwhelming opposition from the community we have adapted the site to support them. We want to thank the community for all of their support over the past few months surrounding this issue and to let you know we’re not going anywhere.”

Sony are really hoping nostalgia pays off with their new Walkmans

Sony have unveiled 40th anniversary Walkman players that will offer less than a smartphone at a higher price, but with MQA support.

Sony have unveiled their NW-A100TPS Walkman 40th Anniversary Mp3 player in the hopes it will light up the eyes of the middle aged with a nostalgia combined with a love for high quality portable music. It shouldn’t be a tough sell then…

At first glance you might be convinced that Sony have really taken the leap and launched a tape player for £400 in 2019. But you’d quickly realise your foolish mistake and that their supposed anniversary edition Walkman loses it’s relation to the original as soon as you lift the soft cover.

Lifting up the screen cover it then reveals an Mp3 that resembles nothing like it’s 40 year old ancestor. Now it’s not like anyone was expecting, or even wants, a portable tape player now.

However, what Sony have launched is a brand new Mp3 player in the guise of a throwback – probably hoping that that will forgive how pointless the device is. Though they do promise the 40th anniversary version comes with a UI and screensaver resembling the cassette tape so that your digital screen looks like a tape…

It’s an android powered Mp3 player with a touchscreen. So, it is essentially an Android smartphone with less power and functionality that still costs £400 / €440 or $599 AUS dollars. You can get some of the most powerful smartphones around for that, and they have space for music and inputs for headphones!

What the new Walkman does offer to entice music lovers for that price is Master Quality Audio. So there’s the potential for a top quality listening experience on the go – okay, that’s not too bad is it? *Except* for the fact that it only comes with 16GB of memory!

16GB of memory is pretty poor for an expensive music player regardless. But, if your primary selling point is high quality audio then you *need* decent storage space because – and this may be news to you Sony – HQ audio takes up a lot of memory.

You can always add an external micro SD card, as it includes a Micro SD slot. But come on Sony… they cost you so little why not just put a bigger card in there to start with?

Fortunately for Sony though, next to their WM1Z Signature Walkman Series players this is a steal! For 256GB of Hi-Res audio on the go, one of those babies will set you back a simple £2,500. So at less than a grand you’re getting a bargain with the 40th Anniversary Walkmans.

Perhaps I’m being harsh. Perhaps there are music lovers with small libraries of high resolution audio for whom £400 is a reasonable experience to take that their experience on the go in superior quality. If MQA is something you desire then this probably is pretty great, but MQA is a questionable format in some respects.

Personally, why this couldn’t have just been a phone case designed to look like a Walkman tape player.

A new Danish streaming service wants to change how we listen to music

Moodagent is a new streaming service coming out of Denmark that wants to reinvent the music streaming experience based around how you feel.

To launch a music streaming service now in the age of Spotify and Apple Music dominating and plenty of others holding on to distinct markets, you need to offer something new and exciting. A new Danish streaming service is stepping confidently onto the scene with a focus on complementing you with music rather than you leading the helm.

Moodagent is a playlist-based service that takes the idea of moods to provide a stream of music they craft to suit your needs in that place of time. With curation of personal tastes based on machine learning and sound analysis as well as good ol’ fashioned human music expertise, Moodagent hopes to be the personal music curator of it’s users.

The service was created by Danish self-confessed music lovers Peter Berg Steffensen and Mikael Henderson. CEO and co-founder Henderson says: “With Moodagent, you can initiate a music experience with something you like, be it a track or mood. You can then reactivate that specific moodagent at any time and either let it play or adapt it.”

Moodagent’s technology is capable of analysing and extracting key elements of music like emotions, moods, genres, instruments, vocal styles and more. The app presents keen listeners with four mood sliders that they can adjust to represent how sensual, tender, happy, and angry the feel. Then the interactive playlists begins and can be adjusted by mood as you listen.

Of course you can still search for specific artists and songs, and when you do play them a moodagent will be created based on them. Again, the playlist created is entirely customisable down to each individual track in the queue.

Chief Innovation Officer, and the other co-founder, Peter Berg Stevenson says: “Moodagent is recreating what albums used to provide. An order, the right tracks in the right sequence, but presented in a way that matches the mood of the listener whilst giving them complete control.”

Steffenson adds: “It’s not a one size fits all approach. The Moodagent experience is about emotional connection with both music and other listeners who share your passion for music as conversation, not command.”

Moodagent is planning it’s launch for the 19th September in Denmark. Over the next year they hope to bring the new service to even more countries and you know we’ll be talking about it as soon as it does.

Share your favourite songs on Snapchat with Spotify

Spotify and Snapchat have teamed up to keep you and your friends connected with the latest tracks lining your playlists.

Spotify have revealed their latest in a slew of partnerships with social media apps so that users can share what they’re listening to with everyone. Soon listeners will be able to add music to their Snap Stories straight from Spotify so that all their friends can get in on the mood.

The announcement comes just a week after Spotify teamed up with Facebook to get music onto Facebook Stories. Spotify are slowly building the music streaming experience on social media so that listeners are more connected and the love of music is shared.

They plan to start rolling out the integration on iOS and Android devices soon. It will allow all Spotify users with the Snapchat app to share tracks, playlists, albums, and podcasts directly with friends or on their Story for everyone to see.

Anyone looking at the Context card can join the experience and start streaming straight away. It’s as simple as tapping the Spotify card and it will take Snappers straight the Spotify app and they can start streaming as simply as that.