Ed Sheeran is still smashing Spotify charts with 5 weeks at No. 1

This week now marks the 5th week in a row that Ed Sheeran has topped the Spotify charts with his new single ‘Shape of You’ dominating the service.

Ed Sheeran’s return to music sees him dominating the world’s most popular music streaming service and puts him in a position to take Drake’s place as Spotify’s darling. Within 24 hours of releasing 2 new singles after a year break from music Sheeran broke the record for the most streamed song in one day, breaking the record with both of his new singles.

Since then Sheeran has continued to rule over Spotify with his single ‘Shape of You’ remaining at the top of their charts for the past month. Sheeran’s second single ‘Castle on the Hill’ has also remained in the top 5 since, reaching it’s lowest point this week of 5th place.

With half the weekly streams of ‘Shape of You’, The Chainsmokers new hit ‘Paris is in a distant second  with 28,420,217 streams this week after climbing up from 3rd in recent weeks. Following shortly behind with 1 million less plays is ZAYN’s new single, taken from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack.

Sheeran has broken records on Spotify before with his track ‘Thinking Out Loud’, from the album ‘X’, being the first track ever to be streamed 500 million times on Spotify.  With a new album, named ‘%’, on the way potentially later this year Ed Sheeran is set to dominate 2017, at the very at least on Spotify.

Some of Prince’s rarest records are released as he returns to streaming services

Rhino Records have just released four 12″ inch Prince singles just in time for Prince’s return to streaming after a Tidal exclusive stint.

Rhino Records have re-released four of Prince’s rarer singles onto 12″ vinyl for purchase, the records being:

  • Kiss (1986)
  • Cream (1991)
  • If I Was Your Girlfriend (1987)
  • U Got The Look (1987)

The news comes as Prince’s expansive catalog comes back to streaming services like Spotify and Deezer after Prince signed an exclusive contract with Tidal before his death. The re-distribution was arranged to happen just before the Grammy Awards at the weekend.

Prince’s exclusive signing to Tidal has been in dispute since his death, as Jay Z’s company stated they had bought the exclusive rights to his catalog. Prince’s estate however argued that Tidal had never made the $750,000 payment required to secure exclusive streaming rights.

All Prince’s studio albums are now available on the top streaming services including:

  • For You
  • Prince
  • Dirty Mind
  • Controversy
  • 1999
  • Purple Rain
  • Around the World In A Day
  • Parade
  • Sign ‘O’ The Times
  • Lovesexy
  • Batman
  • Music From Graffiti Bridge
  • Diamonds And Pearls
  • [Love Symbol]
  • Come
  • The Vault – Old Friends 4 Sale
  • PLECTRUMELECTRUM
  • ART OFFICIAL AGE

Compilations

  • 4Ever
  • The Hits 1
  • The Hits 2
  • The Hits/The B-Sides
  • The Very Best Of Prince
  • Ultimate

Google look likely to combine Google Play Music and YouTube Music into one

Both of Google’s dedicated music apps might be combining into one as Google bring the YouTube Music and Google Play Music teams together.

According to the infamous “sources familiar with this thing”, Verge have reported that YouTube Music and Google Play Music’s product teams have been combined into one team. This move has opened up suggestions that the two services may also be combined into one offering.

Their existence alongside each other has been confusing for many as they’re both free music apps from Google that are enhanced with premium features through YouTube Red. The business development teams for both were combined last year to simplify artist relations and deal negotiations but this move suggests something bigger than just streamlining.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the news and spoke to the Verge, saying: “Music is very important to Google and we’re evaluating how to bring together our music offerings to deliver the best possible product for our users, music partners and artists. Nothing will change for users today and we’ll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.”

Though this means it could be a while before we see any significant changes to either service regarding their bundling together, it suggests that there will be changes to come. With streaming services getting ever-more competitive Google will likely want to offer the best possible streaming service they can and by simplifying their services and bringing it all into one app they would have a much more substantial product to entice users into.

Whilst both apps are similar YouTube Music works from YouTube videos with music and operates with a similar autoplay function to it’s normal site, allowing an endless stream of similar and recommended music. Google Play Music on the other hand is much like a regular streaming service with the option to go to YouTube for music videos. Bringing both app’s unique advantages together would be a no-brainer.

Get Spotify Premium free now with a New York Times subscription

The New York Times are sweetening their digital subscription offer by teaming up with Spotify to offer their Premium streaming service in the subscription.

Last year the New York Times saw the highest increase in digital subscribers in more than 5 years, adding 276,000 new subscribers in 2016’s fourth quarter. To keep their popularity going The New York Times Co. are offering free access to Spotify Premium with all of their digital subscriptions.

Both Spotify and New York Times hope to increase their audiences with this new deal. Spotify with 40 million subscribers and NY Times with 3 million, they hope that the deal will introduce people to each others services through their joint bundle as well as attracting entirely new readers/listeners.

Executive vice president and chief revenue office at the NY Times, Meredith Kopit Levien said: “At The Times we are not only dedicated to helping our readers understand the rapidly changing world around them, but also to helping them live better lives. News and music have gone hand-in-hand since the early days of radio, and because personalization and curation are central to what both The Times and Spotify do so well, we created an experience for Times readers that gives them access to all the news and all the music that they want in one premier subscription.”

With Spotify Premium subscribers will be able to stream unlimited music from one of the world’s biggest streamers without ads, save music offline, access exclusive content and more. Whilst a Spotify Premium subscription costs $9.99 a month an All Access subscription to The NY Times digitally costs $25 a month, so if you don’t plan to read the Times it might not be worth it but for readers who want some music streaming in their life it’s perfect.

Annoyingly for existing subscribers of either Spotify or the NY Times the deal doesn’t apply for existing subscribers, so if you want to take advantage of discount music streaming alongside your news then you’re going to have to unsubscribe first. Whilst the offer is available only for a limited time to US customers, Spotify will remain free for those who bought a subscription within the bundle offer.

Whilst the New York Times hope to continue their success from 2016 it’s thought that the rise in new subscribers was boosted by Trump’s election campaign and eventual presidential win. Whilst that news may be over there is still plenty to read about in President Trump’s presidency, as we’ve already seen two weeks into his term.

You can get your free Premium Spotify subscription by signing up to All Access with the New York Times for $3.13 a week here: www.nytimes.com/subscriptions/inyt/lp88U9Y.html

Pandora & iHeartRadio dominate on the Amazon Echo over Amazon’s own streamer

Music Streaming is one of Amazon Echo’s greatest uses but it turns out Amazon’s own streaming service isn’t dominating on it.

Amazon Echo is Amazon’s incredibly popular home speaker that has evolved since it’s launch with various iterations and deals. It can be used as an assistant thanks to it’s in-built Alexa AI with loads of functions, however music streaming is undoubtedly it’s prime (get it?) use.

Unfortunately for Amazon, even with the recent launch of their own standalone music streaming service, with special offers for Echo users, competitors in the streaming industry are dominating their speaker’s use. Pandora were revealed to be leading streams on the service with an incredible 43% share, however it may not be so surprising considering Pandora ranked as the top streamed service last year even above Spotify.

iHeartRadio was another leader on Amazon’s speakers with a 36% share of streams, putting it in second place before Amazon Music with 22% of streamed music on Echo. Amazon’s new streaming service hasn’t quite had the impact they might have wanted but it is still early in it’s lifecycle.

It was reported that last year only 13% percent of Echo users listened to music on Amazon Music Unlimited. Additionally, whilst Spotify may be a world leader in music streaming, their presence on Amazon Echo is surprisingly stark with just a 7% share of listening through Echo speakers.

Amazon likely aren’t too concerned with who’s dominating on Echo speakers as they are selling like hot cakes on their own. There are rumours that Amazon later this year might be introducing a fourth version of their home speaker, this time with a touchscreen.

Amazon Music Unlimited is available for £9.99 a month, £7.99 a month with a Prime subscription or for just £3.99 when streamed exclusively through Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. You can sign up here to start a free trial.