TikTok will be banned on US app stores from Sunday

TikTok is officially being banned from stores this weekend in the US with the potential to become illegal to download in the coming months.

Trump threatened to ban TikTok, claiming that it’s creators ByteDance had access to US citizen data. The US department of Commerce will now be banning the video sharing app this Sunday, 20th of September from app stores.

After that they have until the 12th of November to secure a deal or the app will be banned outright, warns the US government. If fully banned in November, it would make it technically illegal for citizens to download the social app.

WeChat has also been banned from US app stores under similar circumstances. Donald Trump has revealed that he spoke to Walmart about a possible deal with TikTok, and that his administration had spoken to Oracle who looked set to take over US operations for TikTok earlier this week.

As of yet, nothing has been confirmed and the huge social app’s future in the US looks shaky.

Apple One bundle prices revealed

Apple have revealed the entertainment bundles which they’re offering with Apple One and how much each subscription will cost.

Apple One combines Apple’s range of content offerings under a cheaper subscription plan. It brings together Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, and iCloud but how much are you really saving?

Now that Apple have officially announced the bundles on offer and how much they will cost we can see if they are truly good value.

  • Individual includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95 per month.
  • Family includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 200GB of iCloud storage for $19.95 per month, and can be shared among up to six family members. 
  • Premier, where available, includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, and 2TB of iCloud storage for $29.95 per month, and can be shared among up to six family members.

Apple One users can also sign up to a free 30-day trial of any of the services that they don’t have included in their plan.

How much do you save with each?

  • Individual – over $6 a month
  • Family – over $8 a month
  • Premier – over $25 a month

However, some people are suggesting that what comes in the bundles reduces their value. Whilst you’re technically saving money, many people will be getting the bundle for Apple Music and TV+ but not Arcade, and so-on.

If, however, you’re a sucker for Apple’s offerings and most if not all of the services available in the bundles are something you would use then these are some good value entertainment packages. Apple plan to launch Apple One this fall in over 100 countries.

Warner Music are in trouble over their hacked website

Warner Music Group’s commercial websites were recently affected by huge hacks and now they are named in a class-action lawsuit over the issue.

Earlier this month it was discovered that Warner Music Group’s commercial websites had been hacked. A major data breach had compromised the credit card details of an unspecified number of accounts across a number of websites.

Warner Music Group apologised to their impacted customers after discovering the hack, which had reportedly been going on for months. With any number of personal details potentially stolen, WMG paid the cost of Kroll, an identity-monitoring service, and encouraged victims to use it within 12 months for free.

It seems that for some customers, that isn’t enough from one of the 3 biggest record labels in the world. Digital Music News have received a copy of a newly filed lawsuit which names WMG over the two plaintiffs reporting unapproved changes to their banking details.

This follows another lawsuit facing Warner Music Group over the hacks. The previous lawsuit specifically targets Warner Music Group for failing to “secure and safeguard personal identifiable information”. That lawsuit states that potentially millions of transactions are now available to hackers with the potential to be sold on.

It’s a huge breach in data from one of the biggest industries in the world. We are yet to see the true fallout of this potential information theft.

New Twitch charts shows the top music used in streams each week

Twitch streams are more popular than ever and Chartmetric have launched a series of new charts to track all of the popular music that finds its way onto the biggest streams.

Twitch had already become huge before 2020, with millions tuning in to people’s streams. This year it has exploded in lockdown with musicians and personalities heading to Twitch to connect with fans and with that music has boomed on Twitch as well.

In particular the amount of music played as gamers stream has increased massively and shows how well the two go hand in hand. To keep track of just how popular certain artists and songs are doing on Twitch, Chartmetric have launched four new charts.

  • Weekly Top Users by Viewer-Hours
  • Monthly Top Users by Viewer-Hours
  • Weekly Top Users by Followers
  • All-Time Top Users by Followers

Chartmetric founder and CEO, Sung Cho says: “We feel these charts give a great overview of who’s gaining traction, as well as what level and kind of engagement they’re getting on Twitch. We think these charts will prove valuable to music professionals of all sorts as they try to see how livestreaming fits into the business.”

The uptake in both streamers and viewers on Twitch has seen notorious music presences appear. Monstercat have gained nearly 800k followers on their 24/7 stream of their label music. deadmau5 has also gained a following of almost half a million on Twitch amongst many other musicians and music organisations.

You can find all four of Chartmetric’s new Twitch charts at chartmetric.com.

Spotify may finally be streaming on Apple Watch with Series 6

Spotify are looking to build their app up after 2 years of limited offerings on their prime competitors electronic wristwatch device.

Spotify launched a music app on Apple Watches in 2018. The much requested official arrival of the music streaming service on Apple Watches wasn’t quite what people were after, however, as it allowed you to control playback through other devices but not stream music directly from it.

It now seems that, with Apple Watch Series 6 on the way, Spotify are working on their app to stream music straight from the device. The news comes from Germany where a number of users have reported a recent update bringing streaming to their Spotify app on Apple Watch.

Those who claim to have received the update say that they have been able to connect to Bluetooth headphones to stream from their Apple Watch. Spotify can now be streamed straight out of the Apple Watch’s in-built speaker for those with the update, however I can’t imagine it’s very enjoyable listening to music through it.

Spotify seem to be looking to build their music streaming services with a bunch of potential new features coming soon. A new job advert seems to show they’re looking to build their own audiobooks whilst a recent update seems to hide the potential for a karaoke function and music downloads for free users.

Boss have just revealed a multi-effects pedal and amp modelling that fits in your pocket

No, like, seriously… Boss have a pocket sized effect module that your guitar plugs straight into with over 100 amps and effects coming out.

The Pocket GT is a soon to launch effects package from Boss that basically puts it’s middle finger up to pedal boards everywhere. With a direct input and both amp modelling and effect units built in you can plug straight in and output your powerful variety of guitar sounds to sound cards, speakers, and earphones.

It uses their sound engine packed inside their GT-1 multi-effects pedal however the size negates the pedals. In fact, the size obviously limits control quite a lot and it’s unlikely you’ll be switching sounds in the middle of playing with this but that brings us to its primary function: a guitar learning module.

Using its companion app and integrated YouTube learning tool users will use it to learn from a variety of videos with hundreds of sounds at their disposal. Setting video markers in the guitar tutorial videos does actually allow you to change guitar tones without touching it – though it doesn’t seem like you’ll be able to do that outside of their YouTube tool.

Whilst it’s primary function is as a learning tool it seems to me like a sick little package for recording. You can plug it up and use it as an audio interface to record into your DAW, phone, and other devices. With so much potential from its sound bank there’s plenty to play with.

Here’s what it promises:

  • Ultra-compact guitar amp/effects processor with powerful integrated learning features
  • Companion BOSS Tone Studio app (iOS/Android/Mac/Windows) with built-in YouTube browser and deep tone editing tools
  • Create video song lists and set A/B markers to repeat sections
  • Assign user memories to markers and change sounds automatically during video playback
  • Authentic GT sound engine with over 100 amps and effects, ready to play with zero latency
  • 99 user memories (amp and effects settings compatible with the floor-based GT-1 guitar processor)
  • Wirelessly stream music over Bluetooth or connect via the Aux In jack
  • Control song/video playback with dedicated hardware buttons
  • Center Cancel function reduces the volume of guitar solos and vocals in videos and music tracks
  • Built-in rechargeable battery with up to four hours of runtime
  • Onboard tuner with dedicated button for fast access
  • USB audio interface for recording in desktop music software
  • Download additional patches at BOSS Tone Central

Boss’s Pocket GT is set to launch late this month or early October and will cost $249.99. You can find out more on their website.

Discover Spotify’s new global RADAR hub for discovering new artists

Spotify want to break new and rising artists around the world with the release of their RADAR hub around the world.

It’s been half a year since Spotify launched their new RADAR initiative to put up-and-coming artists on people’s radars (get it!). Since launching in March they’ve promoted 115 artists through their program and their new global hub will bring their efforts from all over the world into one exciting place for music discovery.

The new hub will be integrated onto the Spotify platform to show off all of their emerging artists. So far Spotify claims over 2 billion streams, and more than a million hours listened to the artists they have helped to promote through their RADAR programs.

Spotify’s Head of Global Hits, Ned Monahan said: “The launch of the Global RADAR Hub is the perfect illustration of how our editorial teams collaborate to build up-and-coming artists from all over the world. We hope this will be an easy new way for fans to discover artists from outside of their home countries and for artists to begin to develop a global fanbase.”

With the launch of their new RADAR hub around the world, Spotify have also announced a new artist partnership in the UK. beabadoobee is the latest to join their roster, a 20 year old from London who has been building a strong following since 2017.

By partnering with her, Spotify are offering her the production of an immersive fan experience through Storylines, a printed zine offered exclusively to her top fans on Spotify, as well as features across Spotify’s top playlists and pages.

beabadoobee said: “I’m really excited to be picked for Radar: Spotify have been so supportive of me from the very start. From recording my first Spotify Singles at Abbey Road to my debut album, it’s been a crazy journey with them. We’ve worked on something really cool together that I hope people will love!”

Find Spotify’s hub for their RADAR artists and discover amazing new artists from around the world.

Now YouTube are doing a TikTok too with YouTube Shorts

Following TikTok’s success and then this year’sInstagram’s Reels, YouTube have just dedicated a new space to short and sweet videos.

YouTube have just released ‘Shorts’, a new short-form video format for quick and snappy content. Taking after the success of multiple platforms in recent years who have discovered the fascination and popularity around the world of short dance trends, funny videos, and easy to share content.

Just like TikTok and similar platforms, you record Shorts straight from your phone and add a musical soundtrack, adjust the speed of your video and more. They’re the latest to get on the TikTok hype after Instagram launched Reels earlier this year.

  • Create: Creation is at the core of short-form video, and we want to make it easy and fun to create Shorts. We’re starting to test just a few new tools for creators and artists with our early beta in India: 
    • multi-segment camera to string multiple video clips together,
    • The option to record with music from a large library of songs that will continue to grow,
    • Speed controls that give you the flexibility to be creative in your performance,
    • And a timer and countdown to easily record, hands-free.

YouTube have launched Shorts in a beta in India to test it out whilst they look to add new features and launch it further. They are actively looking from feedback from users to build and improve the new platform as they expand it over the next few months.

Deezer’s new Selector lets you pick the country your music, podcasts, and audiobooks are from

Whether you’re learning a new language, interested in another culture, or visiting somewhere but want your home country’s recommendations back: Country Selector lets you pick.

Deezer have added a new toggle for users to select the region their content is based around. The Country Selector lets you choose the content that Deezer presents to you on their homepages and in recommendations by region.

The feature can be used in all 180 countries where Deezer is available on their web and mobile apps. Once you choose a country Deezer will tailor its music, podcasts, and audiobooks to content from the region you’ve selected. It’s ideal for language learners, particularly with Deezer’s large podcast library.

Deezer’s Chief Product and Growth Officer, Stefan Tweraser said: “We want our listeners to be able to hold onto a piece of their home or immerse themselves in a different culture, even if they’re a thousand miles away. It’s also a good way to pick up a new language, as our curated playlists and channels will introduce you to the best selection of tracks from any chosen country.”

All Deezer users can change their content using the Country Selector form their settings now. Your language preferences will still stay the same, it’s only the content that will be tailored to a new culture.

The Chainsmokers are launching an investment firm

Moving away from the controversy of their recent not-so-socially distanced gig, the DJ duo have raised money for a new venture capital firm.

The Chainsmokers, an electronic music duo made of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, have raised $45 million in funds for their new firm Mantis. The duo began raising funds at the start of this year and have even started making investments as well.

The operations will be managed mostly by UCLA graduate and investor Milan Koch alongside record label founder and creator of TigerConnect (formerly TigerText) Jeffrey Evans. The Chainsmokers themselves have been investing in startups themselves for years, according to a report by TechCrunch.

According to Taggart, they hope that their funding will in some way benefit their young audiences. In particular they want to use their celebrity status to help lend credibility and attention towards ventures they feel are particularly promise. As the highest paid DJs in the world, that’s a decent testimony!

Taggart says: “When we started eight years ago, our fans were primarily all in college. Now they are dealing with paying back their college loans, and they’re probably applying to buy their first house, so a company like LoanSnap feels like one of those startups whose services our fans have grown into needing.”

The Chainsmokers were recently at the centre of some dispute over a concert at the Hamptons they’d played. With good intentions to adhere to social distancing guidelines and use proceeds from the gig to go towards multiple charities, the event was shared on social media looking a little less than distanced. Old habits die hard when you’re dancing to EDM…