June 29, 2015


Bits & Bytes: Spotify Thanks Apple For "Validating" Its Business

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Jesse Kirshbaum is the co-founder and visionary behind SoundCTRL, the authority in music tech culture, news and events. When not serving as CEO of NUE Agency, he sits on the Global Advisory Board of Social Media Week and Digital Music Wire, sharing a dynamic enthusiasm and passion for shaping the new music business. Stay tuned to Fuse.tv for Bits & Bytes, his weekly roundup and personal take on the latest in music tech. 

Words and roundup by Jesse K, powered by SoundCTRL

It’s the biggest week ever when it comes to the Streaming Wars. Apple Music launches tomorrow, June 30! A study by Nielsen released at the EDM Biz Conference showed that only 5 percent of consumers pay for streaming. Will the launch of Apple Music change the landscape? To bring you up to speed, here are the latest updates. Since last week, Apple has announced: 

  • Additional curated radio stations by Pharrell WilliamsDrakeSt. VincentQueens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, Disclosure and Jaden Smith
  • Apple Music will integrate with Sonos by the end of the year
  • They'll pay artists $0.0002 per stream during the free trial period 
  • Taylor Swift's latest album, 1989, is available on Apple Music; so, for the first time, is Dr. Dre's The Chronic
  • Apple plans to plan to raise the music cloud library limit from 25,000 to 100,000 songs with the launch of iOS 9 

How is Spotify is fighting back?

  • Acquired the data service Seed Scientific, which provides analytics to Beats Music 
  • Offering their discounted trial of $0.99 for 3 months to other markets (U.K. and various European countries) 
  • Shared their latest premium subscribers stats "in case you are reviewing any new music services this week"

I think it’s too soon to tell how this will play out but my feeling is the market is going to continue to be very fragmented for now. Maybe somebody will invent a hack that can aggregate all of the services eventually.

Spotify to Apple: "Thanks for Validating Our Business!"
"The company that was dominating the other way now saying we were right is a good feeling.” Apple Music was instrumental in shaping the digital music market, with the release of the iTunes store in 2003 enabling users to purchase and download songs. Spotify launched five years later, pioneering the “freemium” model that allows users to stream music for free or upgrade to an ads-free premium service for a monthly fee. Apple Music entering the subscription conversation in 2015 changes things—it has to. But does being big mean that you win?

Subscription: Splice Offers More
Splice saves & syncs every change to a song and lets collaborators easily annotate and share works in progress. Today, they have launched their first premium subscription service!

Festival Recap: Cannes' Trends 2015
After 300 speakers and 7 days, Cannes Lions has wrapped for another year. Here's a round-up of the trends to know about from Palais for 2015, from data and creativity to AI and virtual reality.

Record Labels: Invest In Doppler Lab
Live Nation, UMG and WME are investing in the development of a earbud technology, that has the potential to make every seat in the house the best seat in the house. Applies to other use situations.

Bands x Brands: How To Shift Culture
Music can offer the perfect opportunity for creative tie-ins to brands seeking more inventive ways to position themselves, but how do they approach these collabs? And how do artists retain authenticity?

Streaming: Apple June 30th!
Apple Music is coming tomorrow, and they want you to be ready, so they have revealed the specifics of when it'll start rolling out. June 30th at 8am PT, the iOS 8.4 update will be made available.

Venture Capital: What is Soundtrap?
Soundtrap scores $1 million seed funding and publically launched its collaborative multi-platform online music recording studio. Currently in use in 150 U.S. schools, it has grown from 20,000 to 120,000 in 5 months.