Even, Napster Launch First-Ever Personalized Sound Feature within a Music Streaming Service

evenNapster, and MeQ Inc., creator of Even and the Even EarPrint, have launched the first fully-personalized listening experience within a music streaming service. Starting today, Napster subscribers on iOS can create a customized sound experience, the Even EarPrint, directly within the Napster application with any pair of earphones or headphones. The Even EarPrint set up takes approximately 90 seconds. Once a Napster subscriber completes an EarPrint, he or she automatically hears music tuned to his or her unique hearing, in real time.

“We are excited to partner with Napster to offer our breakthrough Even EarPrint to millions of Napster listeners,” said Danny Aronson, CEO and co-founder of Even. “Even’s EarPrint technology challenges the two basic precepts of personalized audio — that we all hear the same way and that we all have perfect hearing. The integration between Even and Napster is a first-of-its-kind capability that allows us to bring the breakthrough Even listening experience to many more people.”

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Europe’s Biggest Tech Hope Spotify Starts Talking About Profit

Music streaming service Spotify, one of Europe’s most valuable tech start-ups, could start to become profitable as early as next year, said a board member who was also one of the company’s first investors. Spotify, the global leader of the music streaming industry even in the face of mounting competition from tech giant Apple Music  – has posted steep losses since it was created a decade ago by Swedish founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon.

“Up until now, I think it’s been growth, growth growth,” Par-Jorgen Parson, a general partner at venture capital firm Northzone, told Reuters on the sidelines of tech start-up conference Slush in Helsinki.

“Maybe profitability will start to become a priority too.” Asked if that profitability could come as early as next year, Parson said: “Absolutely, yes.”

Source: Reuters

Labels are ‘Investing in Music’… but so are Streaming Services

gettyimages-504377090_largeThe IFPI and WIN have released their latest ‘Investing in Music’ report, which as in previous years quantifies the A&R and marketing investment made by major and independent labels.As before, its goal is partly to fend off the now-familiar ‘do artists need labels?’ debate by hammering home their role as the financial backers for the recording and marketing of music.

The headline figures this time round: the IFPI and WIN say that labels spent $4.5bn on A&R and marketing in 2015 – 27% of their revenues – which breaks down into $2.8bn of annual A&R spend and $1.7bn on marketing.

Source: Music Ally

iHeartRadio Releases Beta Versions of New Streaming Services

iHeartMedia, the largest radio broadcasting company in the U.S., has pulled the curtain off a beta of two new services, iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access, the latter of which will use the streaming infrastructure of Napster (previously Rhapsody, the longest-running music streaming service).

The services will launch in full in January, 2017.The pricing ($4.99 — which we pretty much already knew) and functionality (offline listening, unlimited song skips, customized “stations”) of iHeartRadio Plus closely mirrors that of Pandora Plus, the mid-price subscription service launched by iHeartRadio’s primary digital competitor in early September. iHeartRadio Plus does arrive with one significant differentiator: live radio from the company’s 850 terrestrial stations, and the ability to replay songs aired and heard on those stations.

Source: Billboard

Drake is the Most-Streamed Artist on Spotify for the Second Year in a Row

Spotify today unveiled data on the most popular music on Spotify for 2016. At the top of the charts is Drake, just like last year. This time around he had 4.7 billion streams. Plus, Drake was the most-streamed male artist on Spotify.“Drake has been unstoppable this year — he’s a true global superstar,” Stefan Blom, Spotify’s chief content and strategy officer, is quoted as saying in a blog post.

“With the top album and the top song this year, as well as his successful Summer Sixteen tour, Drake continues to engage his fans in a way that only Drake can; it’s no surprise he is dominating the music industry.”

Source: VentureBeat

Spotify Could Have ‘Died’, CEO Says He Had to Bet Company to Survive

While Spotify has been reportedly valued at $8.5 billion, its founder and chief executive says the company could have ‘died’ a few years ago. Speaking during a talk at the Slush technology conference in Helsinki on Wednesday, Daniel Ek said the company didn’t realize the significance of mobile early on.

Before 2013, Spotify only had a mobile product that required people to pay a subscription for. On desktop, the music streaming service had a freemium model – with both a free and premium tier. In the short term, Spotify benefited with people paying for the mobile product, but it was missing out on further growth.

Source: CNBC

Don’t Blame Jay Z, Tidal’s Music Streaming Service Has Always Been a Disaster

Back when the music industry was being ravaged by piracy and the slow demise of the compact disc, Kjarten Slette and Thomas Walle wrote business-school papers about turning things around. After graduation the two got a chance to test their theories as top executives at a Norwegian streaming music service that made its debut in 2010, not long after Spotify appeared in neighbouring Sweden.

You may have heard of their startup, Tidal, even though it hasn’t flourished.The also-ran streaming service achieved pop-star status after Jay Z purchased the company for US$56 million in 2015 and vowed to use it as a vehicle to revolutionize the music business. But the rapper-turned-mogul didn’t deliver on his grandiose vision.

Despite exclusive steaming releases of big albums, including his wife Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” Jay Z’s Tidal had amassed only 4.2 million subscribers by May 2016, the most recently available figure. Spotify claims more than 100 million active users, 40 million of whom pay to use its service. Apple Music, a distant No. 2 among streaming services, had 17 million subscribers as of September.

Source: Financial Post

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