Weak security resulted in DRM-free MP3 file downloads
A vulnerability found in Spotify's web player has been exploited, allowing users to download permanent copies of songs from the service. A Chrome extension by the name of Downloadify used the exploit to download MP3 files that were free of DRM, rather than just stream them, something which Spotify has been quick to rectify.
iSteve trailer now online
Funny or Die has released a teaser trailer for iSteve, its parody movie based on the life of Steve Jobs. First announced last month and slated for release on April 15, iSteve will be a 60-75 minute film that stars Justin Long, who became known in the Apple community for his part in the "Mac vs. PC" commercials, as Steve Jobs. While Funny or Die has branded its film as "The first Steve Jobs movie," it is certainly not the only one currently making its rounds in the news. Ashton Kutcher's Jobs premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January but is now experiencing a delayed release, while Aaron Sorkin's film that is based on material from Walter Isaacson's authorized biography has yet to begin production.
Sources point to new video offering
Spotify is reportedly preparing to launch a streaming video service that may rival Netflix and other established players, unnamed sources have told Business Insider. The unconfirmed report suggests the company is already attempting to find partners that will help produce exclusive content, following a strategy already employed by Hulu and Netflix.
Spotify lifts five-play track limit on free accounts in UK
Spotify has lifted its five-play restriction on tracks used in its ad-supported free service in the United Kingdom. The play-limit, preventing users from listening to the same track too many times once an account is six-months old, is revoked for all users, with previously greyed-out and blocked tracks now able to be played again. While France is the last remaining country to have a five-play limit, all free accounts are still restricted to a maximum of 10 hours of music per month.
Record labels balking at Apple offer, report says
As an initial offer to a record label for a forthcoming streaming service, Apple recently proposed a royalty rate of just 6 cents per 100 songs, sources for the New York Post claim. "Apple wants a rate that is lower than Pandora's," one executive is quoted as saying. Pandora pays labels 12 cents per 100 songs, which itself is below the Copyright Royalty Board's standard 21 cents for digital-only streaming. Spotify pays 35 cents, according to the Post's sources.
Spotify competitor said to offer primarily free service, subscription options
Google is planning to launch a music streaming service by the end of this year, according to a report. The search giant will apparently be leveraging YouTube to offer a subscription music service to users, something that would place Google directly competing with other music services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio.
Downloads, subscriptions credited as major factors
In 2012, the music industry posted its first overall revenue growth since 1999, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Revenues were up 0.3 percent for the year, something the IFPI credits to a mix of downloads, subscriptions, and other avenues. Digital music revenue in particular grew 9 percent to $5.6 billion, just under a third of the industry's total $16.5 billion.
Talks with Warner Music already ongoing
Managers at Spotify are scheduled to meet with record industry representatives during the next few weeks, and are hoping for some changes when it comes to renewing license agreements, say music industry sources contacted by The Verge. In particular the streaming service is shooting for some price breaks, and also rights to extend free pricing to mobile devices. While Spotify apps are available for a number of phones and tablets, use of them currently requires a paid subscription after a 30-day trial.
App required complete rebuild from Windows Phone 7 version
Streaming music service Spotify is now available to use on Windows Phone 8 devices. Now downloadable from the Windows Phone Store, the new Windows Phone 8-specific app is launching in beta, and offers new users a free trial lasting for 30 days, before requiring the premium service subscription of $10 per month.
New purchases stopped, gift cards still accepted
Spotify has stopped users in the United Kingdom from buying music tracks. A notice stating "We're no longer supporting new download purchases on Spotify" appears when users attempt to purchase songs on the service, with the link leading to the download store FAQ not offering any immediate explanation for the change in policy.
Roku 2 players, Streaming Stick get Spotify channel
Music streaming service Spotify will be available on yet another device, as the company announced today that a Spotify channel would be added to a number of Roku devices in the coming months. Owners of the Roku 2 streaming box will now have access to the Spotify channel, along with the more than 600 other video, entertainment, and casual game channels available on the device. Spotify's channel will also be coming to the Roku Streaming Stick today.
Streaming service breaks 1 million US subscriber barrier
Spotify has revealed its long-rumored browser app, among other extras, at a press event in New York today. The event also saw the music service demonstrate their upgraded user experience, including Spotify Collections, music discovery, and social additions, as well as an announcement on an increased subscriber count and higher global active user numbers.
Service in beta, unavailable in some regions
The long-rumored browser version of music streaming service Spotify is apparently close to release, as reports have the company testing out a browser-based app in a limited beta session. Reports emerged today that the Spotify web player was indeed available in some regions, though Electronista's attempts at verifying this have been inconclusive. The company appears to be rolling out its web player gradually, with a layout that reportedly looks much like its desktop counterparts.
Music streaming service to seek fresh funding
Music streaming service Spotify is looking to raise $100 million in a financing round that would see the company valued at around $3 billion. Spotify hopes to raise the new funds from a number of investors, with Goldman Sachs among them. The report, if true, would represent a 25 percent drop in the valuation target for the company, as it was earlier rumored to be seeking $200 million at a $4 billion valuation.
Streaming service might lower mobile subscription price
Popular music streaming service Spotify is preparing to launch a browser-based version of its product, a considerable overhaul of the service with a greater focus on music discovery. The news comes by way of TechCrunch, which spoke with unnamed sources who said the forthcoming browser-based version explains in part why the company has been updating its desktop app less frequently of recent. The redesign could, according to sources, come along with a price drop for Spotify's mobile app as well.
Financial results show wider losses, higher revenues
Spotify is set to expand its streaming service to Canada, along with plans to open up in Asia and South America. Recently published annual accounts found by the Wall Street Journal included a management report dated April 23, detailing that the expansion into the Canadian market was always planned while hinting at moves in other continents, although not mentioning which specific countries.
Streaming revenue growth outpaces downloads by 5x
Digital music revenues are forecast to finally excede physical media sales globally sometime as early as 2015, driven by strong growth from streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Spending on digital music, including downloads and streaming services, is expected to increase by 17.8 percent to $8.6 billion in 2012, as revenue from packaged sales drops by an estimated 12.1 percent.
Verizon tops customer satisfaction
Verizon Wireless once again claimed the top spot among US carriers in terms of customer loyalty. The company reported today that its second quarter churn rate was 0.84 percent. Verizon edged out the unnamed second place finisher, which tallied a 0.97 percent churn rate. Third and fourth place carriers saw churn rates of 1.79 and 2.1 percent. Churn measures the percentage of customers who leave their wireless providers in a given period. Verizon's churn figures represent only wireless customers with postpaid contracts.
Android version a month after iOS app updated
Spotify has updated its free Android app (Google Play), adding the streaming music company's radio feature. Initially seen on the equivalent iOS app (App Store), the radio option enables US-based users to stream stations through the app for free, with no limits on the number of tracks. Personalization options for adjusting user-created stations are also present, as is the social functionality.
Designer shares his vision of what a dediacted Facebook phone could look like
A talented designer has shared images of his vision of what a Facebook-dedicated phone would look like on Yanko Design's website. Tolga Tuncer envisions the phone to have blue plastic and aluminum construction, with a 'Like' button taking the place of the where the Home button usually resides. The concept is tall and thin, however, measuring in at about 6.9 by just under 2.2 inches.
Spotify launches artist curated apps
Spotify is aiming to boost its user appeal by introducing Artist apps. The among the first apps to roll out include Quincy Jones, TiŽsto, and Rancid with an app for Disturbed launching soon. The apps are part of a new series of Artist apps created specially for Spotify designed to help music fans create a 'deeper connection' with their favorite artists.
Spotify could overtake iTunes within two years
On-demand music service Spotify is now the number two revenue source for the major music labels. Sources close to the company have told Business Insider that the music streaming service has leapfrogged the competition, and only Apple stands ahead of it now. Further, should the company continue growing, it is possible that Spotify could supplant Apple's iTunes in the near future.
Spotify, Yahoo team up on music integration
Spotify is combining its popularity as a music streaming service with Yahoo's wide reach to deliver music to nearly half the Internet's global users. The two companies today announced a deal with the potential to significantly shape the digital music landscape. The new partnership will see Spotify integrated across Yahoo's Media Network and Yahoo's original content featured on Spotify's existing platform.
US users gain personalized streams based on liked songs
Spotify has updated its free iOS app to include a new radio feature. Users can stream their own station through the app for free while on the move, with no limit to the tracks playable for either free or Premium subscribers. The app also gives options for personalizing the station in real-time, as well as some social functions.
Track scrobbling joins Android interface improvements
Spotify has updated its Android app with an improved interface and new features. Previously hinted in April, the app [Free, Google Play] has upgraded sound options, high-resolution artist imagery and a new slide-out navigation system. Users of Last.fm can also add their account details to the app, so played songs can be scrobbled and added to the playlist history.
Expected 12 weeks to US market took 2.5 years
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek answered a question posed during AllThingsD's D10 conference earlier today, claiming that "Apple was threatened by what we were doing" in regards to the streaming service. The 18-million-user-strong service took nearly two and a half years to complete the deals with record companies, leading to speculation that Apple may have slowed the process.
New Zealand and Australia gain Spotify and chart apps
Spotify has expanded its music service to reach customers in Australia and New Zealand. As of today, both Southern Hemisphere countries will be able to use the streaming service, and will have country-specific apps offering curated music playlists. The launch takes place three months after Spotify first arrived in Germany.
Spotify details changes to version 0.83 of the desktop app
Spotify on Friday detailed the latest update to its Windows and OS X desktop apps that brings with it a number of improvements. Version 0.83 brings with it the ability to create radio stations based on a playlist or an album thanks to dedicated buttons. Start Playlist Radio and Start Album Radio will launch a stream of similar music based on each respective category.
UK Official Charts Company measuring Spotify usage
The Official Charts Company of the UK from Monday onwards will start releasing a chart based solely on streamed music tracks. The Official Streaming Chart will be the first chart ranking audio streams from both ad-funded and subscription streaming services in the UK, instead of product sales or radio airplay figures.
Rdio prices web service at £5, mobile at £10
As expected, Rdio has just launched its paid music streaming service in the UK and France. Pricing is not a surprise either, with £5 ($8) per month for web browser streaming and £10 ($16) for mobile and web streaming. This mimics the price structure and offerings from competitor Spotify, which launched in the UK.
Supports full-screen, AirPlay modes
Music service Spotify has released an updated iOS client, v0.5.0, introducing a native iPad interface for the first time. This mainly allows iPad users to stay in the same view while searching through tracks, users, and playlists. Users also get access to higher-resolution album art though, and a full-screen mode, intended for people connecting their iPad to a home stereo system. An AirPlay menu allows for Wi-Fi streaming to compatible speakers.
UK demands Pirate Bay be screened
The UK's High Court decided in favor of ordering The Pirate Bay blockeD on Monday. Internet providers in the country must prevent their users from getting usual access to the site. The measure followed a November call from the music industry's Britsh Phonographic Industry to voluntarily block the site.
Spotify may compete with Pandora, Slacker
Spotify might be gearing up a more formal Internet radio option, a pair of sources claimed Thursday. While it already has basic radio features, the new method outlined to Bloomberg would be more akin to one like at Pandora or Slacker, where explicitly labeling it as radio would get government-regulated lower royalty rates. The method would also purportedly get it access to artists that normally wouldn't sign for the usual on-demand Spotify system.
Woodstock music to have Facebook link, more
Microsoft's restarted music plans will see them escape the platform and feature limits of the Zune Music Marketplace, according to new leaks. Tipsters for The Verge had the service, codenamed Woodstock, being available not just to Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox users, but Android and iOS as well. It would also be playable on the web, although without needing a plugin.
Spotify Android app remade
Spotify on Thursday addressed complaints over its Android app with a new preview version of its remake. The new version is completely remade and designed explicitly to support Android 4.0 phones like the Galaxy Nexus or One X. The UI change brings swipe-based navigation columns, extra-large artist artwork, and a Facebook-style slide-out menu.
Big name brands to get apps, ad space
Rumors abound regarding Spotify's future plans and workings as the music streaming service continues to grow in popularity. Now, with a major press conference scheduled for later in the day, news emerges that Spotify has inked advertising deals with AT&T, McDonalds, Intel, and Reebok, as well as a worldwide ad deal with Coca-Cola.
Facebook brings Listen button to musician pages
Facebook has quietly added a dedicated Listen button to the pages for major musicians. Conveniently placed next to the Like button, the Listen button will bring up the most commonly accessed streaming music service on a user's account. In our case, it was Rdio, but Spotify and others can pop up as well.
Spotify iPad app spotted in beta version?
Music streaming service Spotify may announce a release date for an official app for Apple's iPad at its event this Wednesday. The indication comes from a purported Instagram image of the app on an iPad, since pulled, from a Swedish technology consultant. It was captioned "It's getting closer!" and preserved by The Verge.
Spotify allowing large brands to make apps
Large brands will be releasing their own Spotify apps in the next few months. According to Ad Age, brands like AT&T, Intel, and Reebok are in line to provide and promote their apps on the music streaming service.
Spotify press briefing hints at more big plans
Spotify has sent out more invitations to a special event on April 18. Referring to the New York City gathering only as a "press briefing," the invitation has no clues as to the actual substance. Founder Daniel Ek will headline the event just after he finishes his Ad Age keynote.
Spotify now has pseudo-embedded audio option
Spotify on Wednesday hoped to give more public exposure to its music through the Play Button. The new web code lets sites post individual songs or whole playlists that, while they need Spotify open in the background, can be controlled directly from the browser. Spotify sees it as a way to legally embed music and, by extension, pay artists for each listen.
Rdio working on new free-flowing radio feature
Online music streaming service Rdio plans to offer a radio-like listening option to its service, letting users set and forget a station or constant music playback, VP of Product Malthe Sigurdsson revealed in an interview with GigaOM. Doing so would mimic similar features from competitors like Spotify and Slacker, the latter offering it on their paid, Premium service.
Boxee Box Spotify functionality nears desktop's
Boxee has just detailed an update to the Spotify app on its hardware. The Boxee Box app now has a full search feature, giving an easier way to find specific tracks in Spotify's catalog. They can filter by song name, artist, or album.
Spotify may havw slow US paying subs
Spotify's ability to lure paying subscribers in the US might be disappointing labels if a rumor proves true. Those near the labels have supposedly told the New York Post that there were fewer paying for the $5 or $10 tiers than the industry had hoped for. Free users either weren't staying subscribed for long, weren't leaping to the $10 Premium tier, or weren't renewing, one of the unnamed contacts said.
Weird Al claims Sony underpaying on Internet music
"Weird Al" Yankovic accelerated a trend that may see musicians get better pay for their Internet content after suing Sony Music Entertainment for at least $5 million. The suit, filed in New York City on Friday, followed a similar pattern to the Eminem dispute, where the Straight Outta Lynwood producer and his company Ear Booker alleged that Sony had deprived him of sales revenue at iTunes and elsewhere by counting them as sales rather than licenses, which would give him a 50 percent cut of what the publisher receives. He also argued that fiscal stake in YouTube Sony has in return for its content deal also means he should get a proportionate amount of money for plays on his videos.
Spotify plans to solve longstanding Android flaws
Spotify is planning to resolve some longstanding flaws with its Android app, leaks uncovered Tuesday. The "major" update identified by The Verge didn't have elaborate details, although it would possibly tackle widescale crashing and other flaws. Android 4.0 isn't officially supported and has had the most problems.
French three strikes law not leading to sales help
A cross-check of facts at TorrentFreak has called into question the effectiveness of France's three strikes anti-piracy law, Hadopi. Despite claims (below) by the Hadopi office that bootleg file sharing is down 66 percent in France, new music sales data shows that revenues were still down 3.9 percent over 2011, two years after Hadopi had been enacted. It points to the measure's warning and disconnection process not only having little effect but possibly having hurt sales by reducing exposure to new music.
Move will help devs add song information, more
Echo Nest, the self-proclaimed music intelligence platform that supplies music data, has now partnered with streaming music service Spotify to allow developers integrate data into their apps. Developers will now just need to use a Spotify song's ID to pair it with Echo Nest's Rosetta Stone database, which includes song and artist identifiers. They can then integrate this data easily with sites such as Facebook, Twitter, 7Digital, EMI, Free Music Archive, and Rdio, among others.
Spotify extends free trial in the US, more
Streaming music service Spotify has removed the five-track playback limit for its free service in five European countries. At the same time, the unlimited free trial will be extended in the US, due to a claimed very high response. Exactly how many more plays will be available in Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Spain hasn't been revealed, however. Nor is it known by how much the six-month trial in the US will be extended.
RIAA shows streaming on the rise
New RIAA music data has shown streaming music starting to get mainstream acceptance in the US. Although the number of those paying for subscription music services like Rdio, Slacker, and Spotify in 2011 was small at 1.8 million users, it represented an 18.9 percent boost over the year before. Revenue was up by a smaller rate, at 13.5 percent, as the faster paid subscriber rate was partly offset by free or low-cost users signing up.