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Posts Tagged ‘launch’

Spotify: What is it, and why it’s US launch is significant to the music industry

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Though users in Europe have been reaping the benefits of Spotify since 2008, music lovers in the United States got their first taste for the first time a few days ago, when it officially became available in the U.S..
Created in Sweden, At first glance, Spotify must appear like yet another overtyped streaming music service, but upon further investigation users will find that it could very well be the future of the music industry.

It’s not that Spotify is unique, it just blends some of the best features of several competing streaming media services. Like Google Music, it uploads music you own to a cloud library, and like Qrocity allows you to stream full albums and songs from a database of millions of songs to a wide range of devices. Like Amazon Cloud Player, you can even access it from a wide variety of devices, including your PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone. But most important of all, it’s like Pandora in that it’s free, subsidized by ads.

Basically, it’s the ultimate way to get, discover, and listen to music.

The foundation of the service is the computer software player, an iTunes like portal that is attractive, powerful and flexible. The interface feels good, presenting songs in an organized list, with a side bar that displays your library and playlists, playback controls and artwork.

When you first start the software, all you’ll encounter is the music you already have localized on your computer, but there is a much larger cloud library that you can explore…

Unlike digital marketplaces like iTunes or Zune, however, Spotify doesn’t present the cloud database as a storefront, but relies on search, an listing of most popular songs and albums, and social interaction amongst users for new music discovery.
The Top Lists present 100 of the most popular songs and albums on the service, which can be filtered by locale (U.S., U.K., Spain, etc.), and a New Releases panel shows off the newest additions.

But what really drives the service is social interaction and search. Spotify integrates with Facebook, which allows users to find friends who use the service, and share public playlists with each other. It also allows users to copy direct links to their custom playlists, which can be shared publicly (to users who sign up for Spotify)

Browsing custom playlists from friends is a great way to find out their tastes, but using the search tool to dig into the larger database is the best way to expand your library.
Spotify has built a library of over 15 million songs, with 10,000 new tracks added every day. Currently the site’s foremost publishing partners include Sony Music, Universal, EMI, Warner Music, and many others.
In searching for music on Spotify, we’ve found most or all of the tracks we’ve been looking for, with only a few limited instances where we couldn’t.
The biggest names in music? They’re there too. Most have their entire catalog available.

Adding songs to your personal library is as simple as dragging them to a playlist, and there’s no limit.
Once you’ve built a large library, you can take it on the go using the Spotify mobile app for iPhone, iPod touch, Android smartphones and tablets, Windows Phone 7, and WebOS.

Of the various versions of the app we tried, all had surprisingly speedy high-fidelity playback, even over 3G. Browsing music using the mobile UI was also pretty intuitive, though obviously browsing thousands of songs is preferable on your desktop or laptop.
The one catch, however, is that only users who pay a monthly subscription fee will be able to stream their complete music library on their mobile device. While the app will allow free users to browse the Spotify library, only premium users will be allowed to play tracks, and flag songs to be cached for offline playback.

The fee for unhindered access is actually pretty reasonable, however, at $9.99 a month, which grants you unlimited offline mode playback on both your PC or your mobile device, as well as higher audio quality and the ability to remove ads.
Of course, nobody likes paying monthly subscription fees, but the beautify of Spotify is that the core service of unlimited access to the larger streaming library is free, so if you decide you don’t want or need a premium account, you don’t lose any tracks you’ve organized. For six months, the free version of the service will offer unlimited playback, but after that it will limit users to 10 hours of playback and only 5 plays per song each month.

For those who don’t care about mobile access and offline functionality, but loathe ads and want unlimited access, there’s a separate option called Spotify Unlimited that costs $4.99 a month and eliminates ads.
If you’re cheap like us, however, you’ll want to stick with the ad-subsidized version. The ads really aren’t that bad. Over the span of two hours, music playback is usually interrupted around twice, and the ads are less than a minute. They were actually not annoying at all. The audio ads either advertised functions of Spotify or played a sample of a song available.
There were also banner ads built into the player, but we hardly noticed them.

What does all this mean for the music business and the future of music?
If you used Spotify, we think you would know the answer, basically it fulfills the need of the music lover that has existed ever since the release of a $18.99 CD with one good song on it. It’s quite simply, the legal solution to music piracy.
Music fans want their music when they want it where they want it without restrictions and limitations, or a hard drive of files that gets filled up and won’t fit on your phone iPod…
And best of all, the music creators all get paid!

If your a music fan, get on Spotify now (let us know if you can’t because you don’t have an invite, or your in a different country, we can help…)
if your a music creator, contact us if you want help getting your music on Spotify.

Booklet deals – the Monetization of Mimi?

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

mariah_careyIs matching bands to brands with advertising on CD booklets a well thought out campaign to hedge the downturn in record sales? fueled a debate and asked its readers whether Mariah Carey’s “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” released on Sept. 15 – should include as part of Ms. Carey’s Album packaging a 34-page mini magazine, with ads from Elizabeth Arden, Angel Champagne, Carmen Steffen’s, Le Métier de Beauté and the Bahamas Board of Tourism?

Is this a questionable practice? Is the corporate cog digging music even deeper into the dark pit of advertising? Is the musician’s art being vandalized by the addition of paid sponsor ads littering the CD booklet alongside the liner notes and lyrics? Or, will this brainstorm idea makeup for lost revenue – and as one reader commented: “I see a trend here….. free = comes with ads, no matter how you slice it. I’m okay with that if it keeps the music free. We’ve had it good for too long and I’m not against getting the Artists paid.”

No doubt, corporate Mariah is getting paid, but alas so will “Mimi” – and if paid ads could help the independent artist pay for marketing, producing, and retailing their music, it might be a very interesting and useful concept. Again, time will tell.

Mariah Carey’s CD is gaining attention not only because of the ad controversy, but seems her beef with Eminem is heating up again. After the video for Obsessed featured Carey dressed as a deranged stalker and word has it was meant to portray Eminem – the rapper came back with a heated rush track “The Warning” – and if you’ve followed any of the music gossip out there, you’ve heard the whole story. This is buzz, the best in Viral Marketing – all publicity is good publicity, and the beef is brewing nicely between two of music’s biggest hitters: at the exact precise moment in anticipation of the CD launch!

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Spotify Launched in the UK

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Recently a new type of technology called Spotify has been taking off online. This is from Sweden and it does live streaming of music.

Many are tired of wasting time uploading their CD’s to their computer, but how do you think the creator of Spotify feels, finding all that music? A little more difficult task…

Spotify is free, legal and quick. So, what will this make of the CD? The ever slowly dying CD industry is being suffocated by creations such as these. But many feel having the actual CD is a thrill. Looking at the album work, and actually physically holding it in ones hand. Are MP3 USB drives are next? Will ideas like this stifle things like Spotify? Will the moblie phone with built in iPod be the ultimate victor as the method people access and listen to music?

We are at a stage where there are many questions, but one thing is for sure, we are swiftly moving towards the death of the CD, and that means artists need to fully embrace alternative ways for people to get music if they don’t want to suddenly left high and dry when CD’s become the least popular format for music.

Pro Soul reveals re-designed website

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Welcome to the new and improved!

Our cool new site features a blog on the latest and greatest Pro Soul and music industry news – and even some inside info for artists. Want an example of the hot topics we’ll be posting on our blog? How’s this:

Right now, before Pro Soul’s official launch in January 2009, we’re taking a limited number of submissions from artists to join the Pro Soul roster. Just check out our SUBMIT page.

We’re excited about the fact that the new site is built on a customized version of the system, which will allow us to add features and customize it in various, interesting ways. And it was designed by the same professionals that will be developing our artists websiites.

Since we’re just starting up, the site might look a bit sparse. It’s still in the beta stage till January, so let us know if you come across any issues or if there’s anything you’d like to see that isn’t already on our site. We’re always open to new ideas!

And be sure to check back regularly for new posts by the Pro Soul team. We would love to hear your comments on our blog; we encourage all visitors to participate in the discussion. Things are changing, and we’re all learning the new ways in which things are working.

Hope you love our new site as much as we do and find it to be a valuable resource!

Welcome to Pro Soul Alliance!

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Pro Soul opens its doors today as a progressive, 21st century record label to combat the exploitation of artists by major label conglomerates. Led by music industry veteran, Jarome Matthew, Pro Soul’s approach of providing services to artists without taking the rights to their music or earnings will revolutionize the music industry, providing welcome relief to artists who are struggling to develop their career without professional help.

“Despite being perceived as the holy grail of the music industry, major label deals are accessible to very few artists. Unfortunately, the artists who sign these contracts often aren’t aware that the labels are taking advantage of them,” explains Jarome. “There is something wrong when a million selling, top 5 charting artist has to declare bankruptcy. Pro Soul is helping to put the power in the industry back where it belongs – in the hands of artists. The music industry has changed; the Internet allows music lovers to show how they want to consume music. Unlike the major labels, Pro Soul is embracing that change. It’s time to give both artists and fans what they want: accessible, high quality music and meaningful interaction. This is a wake up call for the industry; start living in the 21st century!”

Pro Soul’s official launch party is open to the public and will be held on January 25 at the Backstage Lounge in Vancouver.