SiriusXM enter 2020 with 34.9m subscribers

SiriusXM’s 2019 saw them expand even further beyond the car and gain record numbers in the last quarter of the year. 

SiriusXM are the streaming service of choice for many US drivers, offering satellite radio on-demand in cars. 2019 saw SiriusXM take their beloved radio offerings outside of the car to stand side by side the massive music streamers in America.

Taking Pandora under their wing last February, SiriusXM aren’t only a leading radio streaming service but also control one of the biggest music streaming services in the US. With big and bold moves in 2019, SiriusXM have bolstered their position in the thriving digital music market.

In their ‘Subscriber Guidance’ for investors they revealed that they ended the year with 34.9 million paying subscribers. The record high for them came after their tenth consecutive year of adding more than a million paid users. They revealed a massive $8.1 billion in revenues for the year.

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.”

Looking forward to 2020, they have partnered with Marvel to release totally exclusive content from the massive comic book franchise on Pandora and SiriusXM. They have also teamed up with platinum selling hip-hop artist Drake for exclusive content.

They will release their fourth quarter and 2019 earnings call date on February 4th 2020.

Spotify launch targeted adverts in podcasts

Spotify have expanded their platform for brands and are placing adverts in their vast catalogue of podcasts available to stream.

Since expanding their platform from solely music to include podcasts for streaming, Spotify have seen podcasts take off. With their now expansive list of podcasts available to stream and millions of listeners tuning in to episodes every week they are opening them up to advertisers.

Spotify have announced ‘Spotify Podcast Ads’, allowing brands and companies to pay to advertise on podcasts. Using Spotify’s ‘Streaming Ad Insertion’ technology marketers will be able to target their ads to audiences they think are the most likely to respond to their products based on the podcast and user’s listening habits.

Spotify are also offering digital advertisers a suite of tools so that they can analyse the response to their ads and see the audiences and listening behaviour behind each advert listen. Spotify reckon they are in a unique position with podcasts to offer advertising that can be truly tracked, as podcasts are streamed through their platform rather than downloaded.

Spotify present 3 main areas of importance for advertising on podcasts with them:

  • Reach the audience you want to reach
    To date, podcast advertisers have had to rely on audience surveys or inferences about the podcast’s content to figure out where to allocate their podcast ad budgets. Spotify Podcasts Ads reach a logged-in user base of millions of listeners. We provide data-driven recommendations and insights to help you reach the right audience.
  • Deliver your ads with confidence
    In 2016, the IAB unified measurement of “ad delivery” across the industry,3 but due to the distributed, downloaded nature of podcasting, the new guidelines could not tell advertisers whether listeners actually heard their ads. Spotify Podcast Ads measure real impressions as they occur, reporting on the age, gender, device type, and listening behavior of the audience reached.
  • Understand the impact of your investment
    Without knowing who actually heard an ad, podcast advertisers have largely been unable to measure the impact of their podcast advertising through typical digital media practices like brand lift studies or conversion reporting. To date, podcast advertisers have found creative ways to directionally indicate whether their ads resonated through tactics like coupon codes and vanity URLs. With Spotify Podcast Ads, we will be able to tap into our suite of digital measurement capabilities to learn more about how people perceive your brand and take action after hearing your ad.

Spotify’s Senior Product Manager of Podcast Monetisation, Joel Withrow says: “In the past five years, podcasts have become a staple of pop culture. In that time, I’ve spoken to a lot of skeptical brands, and the conversation consistently begins and ends with measurement. I’m excited to continue evolving the medium at Spotify.

“With our trusted, logged in audience, we can finally prove out the effectiveness of podcasts with the data and insights that digital advertisers expect.”

Executive Vice President of Strategy at Havas Media, Gabrielle Rossetti added: “Podcasts have long been a highly compelling advertising environment, but we’ve been hesitant to dive in given the medium’s well-known limitations.

“Naturally, we were eager to test Spotify’s new podcast ad tech and have an influencer like Jemele endorse our new line of sneakers the Clyde Hardwoods. We’re excited to continue partnering with Spotify to push the boundaries of podcasts.”

Germany streamed over 100 billion songs in 2019

Germans have joined the UK in a landmark year of music streaming with people listening more than ever.

Around the world, music streaming services have become the number one destination for music addicts to casual listeners to get their fix. 2019 saw a monumental decade of music streaming close on a major high that is evident in Germany’s streaming figures.

Music streams in Germany hit 107 billion this year, research by GfK Entertainment in cooperation with the country’s Federal Association of the Music Industry (BVMI) shows. The UK also surpassed 100 billion streams last year for the first time.

Hitting the 100 billion mark isn’t just a giant landmark in listening throughout Germany but also shows the incredible growth of streaming services and music listening year-on-year.

Music streams in the country have nearly doubled in 2 years since 2017, when Germany streamed music 56.4 billion times. In 2018, Germans streamed music 79.5 billion times. That represents 35% more listening in just one year following a decade of continuous growth that is clearly not slowing.

BVMI’s CEO, Dr. Florian Drücke said: “Over a hundred billion audio streams in Germany in 2019 – this is not only a milestone, you can also see the continued considerable dynamism in this area and thus the acceptance among music fans. Streaming continues to expand its position, but at the same time the other usage formats remain relevant, the offer of our members continues to range from vinyl to the cloud.”

Their research noted how Christmas music had been a particular boost to streaming numbers. The season created tens of millions of streams on old songs that hadn’t been ranking for the rest of the year. Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ broke the record for most streams in a single day with 3.2 million on December 24th, Christmas Eve.

GfK Entertainment’s Managing Director, Dr. Mathias Giloth said: “Music streaming is popular across all genres – and the playlists were particularly hot at Christmas time. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve had new records in 2019 with 431 million and 407 million hits [respectively].

“The days with the most streaming so far have been set up. At the beginning of the year, the daily number of hits was still less than 250 million, which shows the enormous leaps in the format that has been part of the Official German Charts since 2014.”

SoundCloud spotlight and track editing now on iOS

SoundCloud have added new control for artists over their music when they’re on the go in the iOS SoundCloud app.

SoundCloud have added the ability for users to edit their tracks whilst on the go for iOS. Creators can change their track artwork easily on the go and edit the title if they feel like a new name is in order and can’t wait until they’re at a computer again.

Edit tracks on the go:

  • Within the latest version of the iOS app, select the track you want to update
  • Tap the three dots
  • Select “Edit track” 
  • Update your artwork, track titles, descriptions, genre and privacy settings on the spot
  • Once your tracks are ready to go, you can turn them from private to public
  • After all that hard work, make sure your best tracks get heard first with the Spotlight feature, available to SoundCloud Pro subscribers

iOS users of the SoundCloud app can also now select their tracks to be in the Spotlight as their top track that comes up when people view their profile. Uploaders can select a single track or pin a whole playlist to the top of their page, simply from their phone.

Add music to your Spotlight from your phone:

  • Just tap on the “Pin items to your profile” banner
  • Select up to five tracks, albums or playlists and hit “Done” 
  • Review and save your selections
  • See your priority content pinned to Spotlight where fans can play it the second they land on your profile

Hopefully we’ll see editing access and Spotlight selection come to SoundCloud’s Android app soon as well.

Roland’s new mixing studio is perfect for livestreamers on smartphones

Roland are tapping in to the leagues of vloggers and streamers using their phones with a plug and play broadcast studio.

Roland have announced the GO:LIVECAST, their first announcement for the Consumer Electronics Show – and we got this one early! They hope that with this simple looking box they can help streamers make their smartphone broadcasts more professional with ease.

The hardware and its accompanying app give streamers the power to easily mix their sound, play other media, even harness their inner radio DJ and trigger sound effects. It works simply by plugging into your smartphone and with a Plug-and-Play setup users can jump straight into using it.

There’s a built-in microphone that offers high quality sound to replace your phone’s mic. Plug in a pair of headphones and you can mix the sound on the fly to perfect the output you want and add reverb if you’re a singer or just want to add some dramatic effect.

If you want to make it really professional then the GO:LIVECAST features an XLR input for microphones. The input can be harnessed to add a stereo connection to instruments or other mixers for a total diversity in what you can stream to your viewers in high quality. Two simple knobs help you keep control of the volumes for your microphone and any media that’s playing.

With it’s simple interface users can share photos and videos and play music or sound effects at the tap of a button. Use the partner app to set up custom libraries of media that you can access at your fingertips. The app connects with Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube, and others for a seamless streaming experience to the top sites.

The app also offers up camera filters that can soften the footage or smooth out skin. The GO:LIVECAST works with both the front and rear cameras, whichever suits the streamer best. A second camera can even be connected via Wi-Fi and selected via one-touch switching or add a split-screen view.

Last year Roland launched a sophisticated piece of kit aimed at live-streamers on the computers, called the VR-1HD. It was capable of a lot more but it also came at a $1,500 price tag. This simplified version for smartphones is much cheaper at just $249.99.

Roland’s GO:LIVECAST will be available later this month.

Charge your phone wirelessly and blast the tunes with Belkin & Devialet’s Smart Speaker

Belkin have teamed up with house-shaking speaker makers Devialet for a Smart Speaker that keeps your phone juiced sans-cable.

Devialet are renowned for making speakers to blow your face off with crystal quality in an unassumingly small, compact package. We got our hands on their powerful Phantom Reactor speaker and you can see what we thought of the little boomer here.

They have just announced the results of their partnership with leading wireless charging company Belkin. Together they’ve combined the powers of compact and powerful music playing with wireless charging technology for the loudest phone charger around.

The SOUNDFORM ELITE HI-Fi Smart Speaker + Wireless Charger offers a Google Assistant-powered Smart Speaker packing Devialet’s high-end sound in it. With the wireless charging pad, you can charge your phone using the speaker by simply placing it on it’s sloped top using the 10W powered Qi wireless charger.

The speaker will use Devialet’s smart ‘Speaker Active Matching (SAM) technology to monitor output and eliminate distortion at louder volumes. Devialet’s other famed feature is their anti-vibration technology which works to negate the effects of vibrations from loud bass noises from their powerful sub-woofers.

Devialet CEO, Franck Lebouchard said: “We are excited to be partnering with Belkin for our first global partnership. At Devialet, we want to share the incredible audio experiences that our technology can deliver with as many people as possible.

“Partnering with Belkin on SOUNDFORM ELITE has given us the opportunity to bring our acoustic expertise and best-in-class sound architecture to an innovative new product type and reach a whole new audience of music lovers around the world.”

Belkin International’s senior vice president shared his excitement, saying: “Our heritage in audio, leadership in fast wireless charging, and Devialet’s acoustic expertise allow us to make products for consumers that are both exceptional and convenient.”

It’s an interesting pairing and we’ll be interested to see how it sounds more than anything. The SOUNDFORM ELITE speaker is expected to launch this spring and will cost $299.

Korg’s Wavestate brings the sound of 90s vector synths back to 2020

Korg have announced the exciting return of one of their shortest lived, yet most influential, synths in a bigger and badder build.

Korg’s Wavestation made the unique sounds cemented in time by the X-Files theme and the music of Genesis and Depeche Mode. With it’s unique form of synthesis the sound laid a distinct blueprint for it’s users to experiment with.

Using vector synthesis, Korg combined samples together to create Wave Sequencing and a whole new world of sound. By cross-fading multiple samples together the synth was capable of creating sounds with a totally distinct and evolving motion.

Korg have harnessed the essence of what made the Wavestation and it’s 90’s successors so renowned and enhanced it for the modified return in the Wavestate. Wave Sequencing 2.0 has been built from the ground up again to develop upon their creation and present it to a brand new audience of sound makers.

Korg said alongside their announcement: “The Wavestate is designed from the ground up for a new generation of musicians, producers, and composers, taking cues from sources as diverse as modular synths, groove boxes, and algorithmic composition. The compact form-factor, with 37 full-size keys, transports easily and fits neatly into any stage, studio, or desktop setup.”

The original Korg Wavestation looked like a keyboard with some functional buttons for customisation. The Wavestate takes it’s design to the next level with dials galore for filters, envelopes, LFOs and effects to truly customise and refine in-depth the sounds you’re synthesising as you play.

The original Korg Wavestation in all of it’s plain glory

What’s new with Wave Sequencing 2.0:

Wave Sequencing 2.0 splits apart the timing, the sequence of samples, and the melody, so that each can be manipulated independently. Also added are new characteristics including shapes, gate times, and step sequencer values. Each of these is a “Lane,” and each Lane can have a different number of steps and its own start, end, and loop points.

Every time the sequence moves forward, the individual Lanes are combined to create the output. For instance, a sample may be matched with a different duration, pitch, shape, gate length, and step sequence value every time that it plays. You can modulate each Lane’s start, end, and loop points separately for every note, using velocity, LFOs, envelopes, Mod Knobs, or other controllers. Each note in a chord can be playing something different!

Lanes can also randomize the step order every time they play, with realtime control over the range of included steps. Finally, individual steps can be randomly skipped, with a modulatable probability from 0 to 100%. The result is organic, ever-changing sounds that respond to your control. The four onboard arpeggiators can interact with Wave Sequences for even more possibilities.

Korg’s Wavestate is expected to start shipping very soon for $800 / £699. Find out more about the new Wavestate synth from Korg’s website.

Best Lofi / Chill Study Beats [2020] – via RouteNote Sessions

RouteNote Sessions has long been focused on live productions in our studio in RouteNote HQ. However, it is slowly expanding out and here is the first mix session containing some amazing lofi.

Lofi is just amazing to put on in the background while relaxing and studying. Just drop on this mix and 12 minutes will very quickly disappear.

Roland unveils their first MIDI 2.0-ready keyboard

The latest MIDI keyboard controller from Roland features a bunch some exciting things, most importantly MIDI 2.0 functionality for the first time.

Roland have just announced their A-88MKII keyboard at NAMM. The 88 note MIDI keyboard controller will be their very first MIDI 2.0 ready controller for when the new technology launches.

The keyboard will be ready to take advantage of the latest advanced technologies. The soon to launch power of MIDI 2.0 as well as USB-C connections for bus power and single cable connectivity will make for one of their most powerfully connected keyboards yet.

Beyond the A-88MKII’s connective capabilities the keyboard offers some very special features. Roland have undertaken the controller’s construction with care to make it feel like a real instrument. Using robust wood on the keys rather than synthetic materials the weight, sensitivity and responsiveness matches an authentic Roland experience.

The keyboard is capable of layering sounds and instruments with 3 different definable zones. A set of RGB-lit knobs and pads give players extensive control over their playing and sound. There is also a classic pitch/modulation lever so that you can play expressively.

The A-88MKII extends your creative arsenal with three configurable zones, advanced arpeggiator, chord memory, and multipurpose pads that can trigger commands and events, and energise real-time performance. The keyboard can also be customised in-depth using the control app on macOS and Windows.

The A-88MKII keyboard is set to release in March at a price of $999.99. Find where you can buy it here.

TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin has over 400m daily users

TikTok has become massive all over the globe and in China it’s sister app is growing like nothing else with nearly half a million active users daily.

TikTok is everywhere. It’s creating viral hits out of songs, birthing new memes across the globe, bringing people together to dance and bringing them together to laugh. The app has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times around the world in just 2 years.

The social media phenomenon has it’s origins in China where parent company ByteDance’s sister app Douyin is spreading throughout the country. They have revealed that Douyin now has 400 million active daily users creating and watching videos on the app.

At the start of 2019 Douyin had 250 million users coming to the app every day to view the latest trending videos. Interestingly, ByteDance claim in their report (translated version here) that Douyin has become China’s largest knowledge/culture/art/non-promo platform.

Whilst Douyin and TikTok are in essence the same app, ByteDance’s report shows that the trends on the Chinese app are quite different to the most popular types of video on TikTok’s ‘beyond-China’ app.

Notation Capital investor, Katherine Wu wrote on the cultural differences between the apps saying: “Knowledge-based content is extremely popular in China and less so in the US. Also- this was wild to me: those creators that did the most dance-based videos in China are users born in the 60s (!!), whereas in the US, it seems that it’s mostly teenagers (Gen Zs) who are creating those types of content.”

She went on to note how these differences highlight the fact that social apps, even when it’s based around short video content, don’t just target young demographics. With smartphone usage so high around the world, when an app gets massive it permeates through most rungs of society now.


Get your music on TikTok, the new viral video giant with over 1 billion viewers worldwide!

We have partnered with TikTok so that video creators all around the world can choose your music for their videos. You will get paid each time your music is used in a TikTok or Douyin video.

Get your music on the social media sensation today.

For more information head here: routenote.com/…/routenote-and-tiktok-partnership-puts-indep…