Spotify launch in Middle East and North Africa in November

Spotify will be taking it’s world-leading music streaming service to 2 massive new territories this November, according to new reports.

Spotify will be launching in two new big territories, the Middle East and North Africa, in a matter of months according to a leaked email. The email, sent to staff at a Dubai-based advertising agency and obtained by Gulf News, details Spotify’s plans to break into new places.

The email details Spotify’s plans to find advertisers in the regions to fund their launch there. The email reportedly contains a senior media executive searching for six brands to advertise their products for $200,000 (Dh734,500) each on Spotify’s massive streaming platform. The brands would be featured in Spotify’s free tier which allows users unlimited access to their music streaming library with adverts featured throughout to fund their listening.

The unnamed executive reportedly states in the email that “he” expects all 6 of their advertising slots to be sold within the next week. If this is true then Spotify are clearly confident of their ability to break into these new markets, even with western rivals like Apple Music already present there – not to mention local services like the popular Anghami.

It’s been slightly over a year since we reported Spotify’s plans to launch in Sorth Africa and the Middle East. Last September Spotify posted a job advertisement for a Senior Editor/Music Programmer for South Africa, located in either London or… Dubai! The position sought to find someone in-touch with the music and culture of Soutth Africa to represent their broad musical culture on the music streaming service and stay in the loop with their community. 3 years before that we reported on Spotify’s earliest talks for entry into South Africa where they are now available. North Africa are still waiting for the streaming service.

Whilst Spotify are notable around the world and have become synonymous with music streaming in many Western countries, their reach hasn’t spread as far as you might think around the world. Spotify is available in 65 markets currently but haven’t yet launched in some of the world’s biggest territories like India and Russia. In comparison, Spotify’s biggest Western rival, Apple Music, is available in over 100 territories and only launched just over 3 years ago.

Pandora’s ‘The Drop’ presents you new music every day

People love discovering new music when they’re streaming and Pandora’s latest playlist will be dropping fresh cuts just for you every single day.

Pandora have just revealed a new daily playlist for Premium listeners. ‘The Drop’ is a personal playlist that will keep listeners in the loop with all the latest music that they care about as soon as it hits stores and streaming services.

The playlist will use “state of the art machine learning models” to create custom playlists for each user based on the music they already love and what Pandora thinks they will love based on that. The playlist updates itself as soon as new music goes live so listeners are up to date with all of the latest releases from their favourite artists amongst new music for you to discover.

Songs get added to the playlist on the day they’re released, giving listeners a reason to keep coming back for more every single day. It’s like Spotify’s lauded Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlists in one awesome playlist, and you don’t have to wait a whole week for a new selection of tunes to fall in love with.

Pandora the drop new music playlists recommended discover new music stream listen

The playlist will order tracks by the newest first so every time you revisit you can check out the latest additions first. The playlist maxes out at 100 so you don’t have to worry about missing a few days, you can scroll back through the latest 100 tracks added to the playlist and revel in all the new music Pandora knows you’ll be jamming.

Premium and trial listeners can find The Drop under the playlists tab in their My Music section. It will only show up if enough music has been listened to to gauge what a user likes listening to, so if it’s not appearing for you then you’d better get listening. Pandora say this playlist isn’t available for free listeners “for now” so ad-supported listeners may get it eventually.

Spotify and Nielsen team up to reach audiences

Spotify want to help advertisers understand their audiences and reach them better through their services with the help of Nielsen.

Last week Spotify announced that they were expanding their partnership with research company Nielsen. Their relationship now includes the use of Nielsen’s Brand Effect system to measure how audiences are engaging with ads on Spotify and help advertisers optimise their efforts on the music streaming service.

Spotify’s integration of Nielsen Brand Effect will allow advertisers on their platform to look deeper into how audiences are engaging and responding to ads. The system will give insights on audio, video and visual ads on Spotify and will inform brands on how to structure ads in future and whether they are reaching the right people on Spotify to make the most of their slots between free streamer’s listening experiences.

Spotify’s global head of advertising, Brian Benedik says: “Advertisers of all sizes come to Spotify to connect with consumers in an environment that millions worldwide love and trust. As our advertising platform matures, we’ve set out to prove that Spotify is so much more than the cool kid on the block; it’s a valuable platform that delivers major impact for brand advertisers. With Nielsen’s industry leading measurement tools in our arsenal, we’re able to prove just how big that impact is.”

Nielsen’s own senior vice president of digital solution, Jessica Hogue added: “Modern marketers are increasingly faced with questions across every facet of their advertising execution, and we’re excited to collaborate with Spotify to help provide greater clarity into the campaign optimisation process. Whether an advertiser is looking to make decisions on creative format, length or placement, Nielsen Brand Effect will be able to help bring real insights based on real people to better inform those choices on maximising the value of their investments.”

The state of music streaming in 2018

2018 has been the biggest year for music streaming yet as people all around the world sign up for limitless listening.

Midia have released their report for the music streaming industry in the first half of 2018. It shows that the incredible growth of online music in recent years is still going strong and that more people around the world are listening to music on streaming services than ever before.

The report shows that in the first half of 2018 music streaming rose a considerable 16% to 229.5 million subscribers, after closing 2017 with 198.6 million subscribers. From the same time last year, music streaming has gained 62.8 million subscribers which represents over a 25% in total growth. This growth is incredible, but also represents growth similar to the year before when from H1 2016 to H1 2017 subscribers grew by only 2 million less; 60.8 million.

Midia predict that music streaming’s incredible growth is only going to continue for the rest of 2018, and no doubt will remain through 2019. Countries where music streaming has been heavily adopted like the US and Europe will probably soon start to slow down in growth as all the main audiences for streaming sign up or are already signed up.

Midia reckons that future growth for music streaming will be mostly driven by emerging territories which are newly adopting music streaming, such as Japan, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and Russia. The growth of streaming in these territories will require unique offerings however, says Midia in their report. They reckon that promotions like bundling services with telco packages will lead growth in mid-tier streaming markets.

The trends for the top streaming services were:

  • Spotify:Spotify once again maintained global market share of 36%, the same as in Q4 2017, with 83 million subscribers. Spotify has either gained or maintained market share every six months since Q4 2016. Spotify added more subscribers than any other service in H1 2018 – 11.9, which was 39% of all net new subscribers across the globe in the period.
  • Apple Music:Apple added two points of market share, up to 19%, and up three points year-on-year, with 43.5 million subscribers. Apple Music added the second highest number of subscribers – 9.2 million, with the US being the key growth market.
  • Amazon:Across Prime Music and Music Unlimited Amazon added just under half a point of market share, stable at 12%. Amazon experienced the most growth within its Unlimited tier, adding 3.3 million to reach 9.5 million in H2 2018. In total Amazon had 27.9 million subscribers at the end of the period.
  • Others:There were mixed fortunes among the rest of the pack. In Japan, Line Music experienced solid quarterly growth to reach one million subscribers, while in South Korea MelOn had a dip in Q1 but recovered in Q2 to finish slightly above its Q4 2017 figure. Elsewhere, Pandora had a solid six months, adding 0.5 million subscribers, while Google performed strongly on a global basis

How to sell your ringtones online

We can distribute your music to all of the world’s favourite music streaming services and download stores online so that you can reach fans from every corner of the globe – all for free! 

Unfortunately though, we don’t sell your ringtones online for you. But whilst we help you get your music online everywhere else, we want you to be able to sell your ringtones as well. Fortunately there is a site that can do just that for you, sending your ringtones to iTunes and Android totally free so that people around the world can jazz up their phones with your custom tunes every time they get a call.

SnipSell are the best ringtone distributors that we’ve heard about, offering free ringtone distribution to iTunes and It’s simple: You upload your snippet to them, they send it off to their partnered ringtone stores, and then you get paid each month. It’s as simple as streaming your music on Spotify with RouteNote.

SnipSell offer 3 different options for selling your ringtones online:

Beginner: Sell your ringtones free and keep 55% of your revenue.

Independent: Keep 80% of your revenues for $20 per ringtone annually.

Reseller: Keep 90% of the money you make for $35 per ringtone annually.

You can find out more and start selling your ringtones online at SnipSell.

Apple unveil the iPhone XS and XR

Apple’s iPhone launch event sees two brand new iPhones and the final nail in the coffin for headphone jacks on Apple devices.

Yesterday was Apple’s famous, annual iPhone launch event where each year we all get to see what the latest iteration of their renowned smartphones will feature. The highlight of the event saw the reveal of two new iPhones that update their popular iPhone X coming later this year.

First up the iPhone XS which will come in two models, the Max version being the biggest display ever on an iPhone. The XS boldly boast “the smartest, most powerful chip in a smartphone” which powers a super retina display delivering true colour in crisp HDR with true blacks. The iPhone X has a glass back which enables wireless charging that is faster than it’s predecessor, the iPhone X.

The iPhone XS uses advanced face ID to recognise you and secure your phone. You just have to look at your phone to unlock it, log in to apps, and even pay for things with it’s ability to scan and recognise your face faster than ever. Everything in the iPhone XS is the best possible version of itself from the X.


The iPhone XR offers a slightly larger screen than the XS, but slightly smaller than the XS Max, but in lower quality. The XR’s features are mostly a watered down version of the XS allowing it to go for a cheaper price. The screen is the main draw of the XR with a Liquid Retina, the “most advanced LCD in the industry” which stretches into the corners making edges a thing of the past.

The iPhone XR will be available for pre-order on October 19th and will release on October 26th. The iPhone XS can be pre-ordered from the 14th of September and will be available in shops on September 21st.

You can find out more about the iPhone XS and iPhone XR on the Apple website as well as all their upcoming products like their new Beats headphones and the updates to Apple Music.

Beats new headphones will match the new iPhone XS and XR

The new iPhone XS and XRs are the biggest talking points from yesterdays Apple Event but Beats headphones are getting snazzy to join them.

Apple are refreshing their Beats headphones with some funky new colours to match them up with the new, upcoming iPhones. The urBeats3 headphones are going to come in 3 new colours of yellow, blue and coral which will match some of the colours the new iPhone XS and XR will be available in.

I don’t know whether some cool new colours will persuade you to spend $60 on a fairly standard pair of headphones. The urBeats3 do use a lightning cable connection so that they can be used on modern iPhones which lack a headphone jack after Apple controversially decided to remove jack inputs 2 years ago.

Apple are also giving their Beats Solo 3 Wireless headphones a makeover with new satin gold and satin silver colours. Though looking at them you might not be able to tell the difference between their regular silver and gold paint jobs.

Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones

The new urBeats headphones will launch later this year along with the iPhone XR, whilst the Beats Solo 3’s new colours are available right now.

Apple Music is getting even better with iOS 12

iOS 12 is on it’s way and it’s bringing with it a bunch of new features for Apple’s streaming service making it the best music experience they’ve offered yet.

Now with roughly 50 million songs available for streaming and over 50 million subscribers choosing Apple for their music pleasure the service is becoming a real contender for Spotify’s top spot. Apple are releasing the next generation of it’s mobile operating software and the 12th iteration will see enhancements to Apple Music and will go live on September 17th.

Lyric Search

A pretty massive feature that’s going to save a lot of people trying to find music is Lyric Search, which let’s you search for music using song lyrics. For example, as Verge say after having their hands on the new version for a few weeks, searching for ‘mom’s spaghetti’ will bring up Lose Yourself by Eminem.

Artist Pages

Artist pages are getting an update to push artists even more with larger artwork so that their albums stand out, front and centre. In addition artist discography has been split up into sections so that you can easily explore their releases by Albums, Singles and EPs, live albums, and compilations.

In addition there is now an Essential Albums section showcasing an artist’s top albums, though that may be a point of contention. The play button on artist pages now plays a customised stream of that artist’s tracks rather than just playing all of their songs in order of popularity.

Charts and Playlists

Apple are adding top 100 charts to their music streaming service so that listeners around the world can see what’s hot in the 115 different countries where Apple Music is available. As well they will have a global chart showing the most popular songs on Apple Music everywhere.

A new playlist called Friends Mix presents up a selection of what your friends on Apple Music have been listening to into a personalised playlist. It’s a fun feature that will allow you to dive into the tastes of your friends and hopefully discover something new.

Spotify now allows 10,000 offline songs on 5 devices

Spotify have upped the amount of songs you can download on each device so you can enjoy your entire music catalogue on the go, anywhere.

Great news for music lovers who take their music with them on the go – Spotify are increasing the amount of songs you can download to each of your devices to 10,000. That’s over 3 times the original limit of 3,333 per device, which everyone can admit is an annoyingly specific number regardless of whether you feel it was low – which anyone who streams music everyday will also agree, it’s definitely low.

In addition to allowing far more songs downloaded to your devices to listen to offline, with a Premium Spotify account, the streaming service have raised the amount of devices you can download offline on from 3 to 5. Spotify confirmed the news to Rolling Stone, saying: “At Spotify, we’re always working on improving the experience for our users. We can now confirm that we have increased the number of offline tracks per device – from 3,333 on three devices to 10,000 tracks per device for up to five devices.”

Many users will be excited to hear the news as the limit has been the source of many complaints for Spotify over the years, being branded their “dumbest bug” by Vice. Unfortunately Spotify haven’t raised the limit for user’s personal, saved music libraries. Streamer’s ‘Your Music’ sections are still limited to a maximum of 10,000 tracks, and that’s not for downloading that’s just for saving to your library online.