I'm a big proponent of cloud-based music services for mobile devices. I struggle figuring out which 500 songs I want on my 8GB iPhone at any given time, and the problem gets worse as as I download more apps. So it's gratifying to see an explosion of mobile music services in the last six months. Start-ups and established companies alike seem to believe that the current model, where users transfer songs from a computer to their phone using a wired connection, is not long for this world. Instead, these companies are coming up with various ways to dispense … Read more
Thumbplay Music launched an iPhone version of its music subscription service on Tuesday, making it the first such service available for the top three mobile-phone platforms in the United States: iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry.
I gave it a quick run-through on Tuesday morning, and it looks like Thumbplay has dramatically improved its service and desktop app since I tried the beta version on BlackBerry in March. The search engine works perfectly now, and some of the catalog gaps appear to have been filled, such as the full catalog of She and Him. I only had a couple of "misses&… Read more
On-demand music service Spotify, which is currently available only in Europe, has been broadly praised by users (including me) for its large selection of music and exceptional responsiveness. Today, Spotify added two new levels of service: Open and Unlimited. The Open tier is more notable because, once again, it opens the service to users without an invitation.
The new levels are the latest step in Spotify's ongoing experiment to broaden its audience without compromising performance. When it launched in 2008, Spotify was free and offered unlimited streams to a PC, but an invitation was required. In February 2009, it … Read more
If 3D is the chicken and the Avatar DVD is the egg, somehow we should all get free chickens or 3D is DOA. Or something like that. We've all still got a bit of a BBQ hangover from our time in Austin, but at least Rafe's here to make a little sense. Oh, wait, he came up with the 3D chicken thing. Anyway, Facebook rules the Web, IE 9 may or may not embrace actual standards, and Droid users are getting 2.1, finally. We're home.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--It turned out to be just a rumor that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek would use his Tuesday keynote at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSWi) to announce that the streaming music service would be expanding from Europe to the U.S. Ek said onstage that the stars just aren't aligned yet, and that he would rather wait than launch a lackluster Spotify.
"The most important thing for us when it comes to the U.S. launch is the fact that we want to build the best product that we can," Ek said. "Here you … Read more
Update 2-26-10, 6:17 a.m. To include quotes from Spotify and to clarify that NPD's numbers were for U.S. only.
NEW YORK--Free on-demand music sites haven't fared very well when it comes to driving song sales.
Russ Crupnick, an analyst with market researcher NPD Group, told a crowd of music and tech executives here Wednesday that free streaming-music sites, which enable people to listen to any song at any time free of charge, lead to a 13 percent decrease in paid downloads.
Speaking at the Digital Music Forum East conference, Crupnick sized up the situation this … Read more
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek last week offered crowds at a tech conference in Los Angeles a glowing report about launching an ad-supported music service in the U.S.
Ek, who founded the site that has wowed Europe and ignited huge anticipation in the U.S., told the audience the launch was "looking pretty good." He told Billboard later that Spotify's preparations were "in the final stages." Well, Daniel Ek meet Edgar Bronfman Jr.
Spotify, the already much-buzzed about European music service, has seen speculation about an impending U.S. launch cranked up to such high levels that it's hard to separate fact from fiction.
On Tuesday, Billboard's Glenn Peoples landed an interview with Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and asked him when the popular service will finally land in the United States. This is what he said: "We're in the final stages of setting up. Yesterday we signed a data center contract, which is huge for us...So, we're gearing up for a U.S. launch. I can't … Read more
Don't look for Spotify and Google to roll out an iTunes killer on Tuesday.
If a Spotify software application is offered with Google's Nexus One phone, it won't include music from at least three of the four major labels, according to several music industry sources.
TechCrunch on Monday reported that Google and Spotify, the Swedish company that created the most-buzzed-about music service in Europe, had discussed offering a Spotify app on the much-anticipated Nexus One phone that Google is expected to debut on Tuesday.
In the same story, however, TechCrunch reported that the "deal had likely … Read more
So, Bono has been listening to his manager and soaking up the idea that the Internet needs to be locked down before it ruins the video industry. This selfless act of Cassandra-like prophesying involves talking about how great the U.S. is at stopping child porn and how great the Chinese are at stopping anything they don't like. We point out a few holes in the theory there. Also, Google is doing everything. Seriously, if you even think fleetingly that Google might do something, well, apparently it already is.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) … Read more