Music app runs with you

21 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Spotify Adds Video, Original Programming.

Spotify has launched a big push into video and podcasts, announcing content deals with providers ranging from sport channel ESPN to youth-oriented brand Vice Media.Spotify announced Wednesday that it has added video content and new playlists in its latest update, as it works to maintain its footing in the ever-expanding streaming market.Spotify now wants to help you jog, watch videos and catch up on podcasts, all in addition to listening to music — a move that will put the company into competition with Apple, YouTube and other technology outlets.Global music-streaming leader Spotify is adding video and customizable features to draw in more users and ad revenue as competitors such as Jay-Z’s high-fidelity Tidal and a rumoured forthcoming streaming product from Apple Inc. threaten to steal its market share.

The service will now offer video clips and audio shows, including content from Disney, ABC, NBC, ESPN, BBC News, Comedy Central and MTV, among others. Spotify, which has come to dominate the world of subscription streaming music, announced a series of changes to its mobile app on Wednesday, moving into new realms of media distribution just ahead of the expected arrival of a competing service from Apple. Daniel Ek, Spotify chief executive, said the addition of video content was a “massive leap forward” and would draw new users to the company’s streaming service. The new features on Spotify include podcasts and short video clips as well as playlists that anticipate what kind of music or media a user might be interested in, based on the time of day. To do that, Chief Product Officer Gustav Söderström said Spotify will now use the sensors on your phone to detect the pace at which you’re running.

Some features, such as playlists curated to taste for different times of the day, are aimed at people who use the service for musical discovery; others, such as in-app streaming video and audio from partners such as ESPN and Vice, are designed to keep people using Spotify when they’re tired of tunes. In one symbol of how closely it competes with Apple, Spotify also announced a partnership with Nike, which has been closely associated with Apple and iTunes for years.

And if you want to change the tempo, Söderström said, “We’ll find the right music for that, again and again and again.” Even more impressive, he said Spotify is working with musicians (including Tiesto, who made a brief appearance at the event) to create specific tracks for running. The personalisation was made possible by analytics technology which Spotify acquired when it bought the Echo Nest, a data group, last year, Mr Ek said. After all, he noted that when his team talked to runners, they said that when the right song comes on, it makes them “feel like a hero.” But that effect only lasts for about a minute and a half, and then wears off — at least until the next song comes along.

Streaming music now represents more than $1-billion (U.S.) of the floundering $15-billion global recording industry, compensating for declining physical and download sales. In recent months, the streaming service has been facing growing competition and criticism, after Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify last year and Jay Z re-launched Tidal with his megastar minions.

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, the creators and stars of the Comedy Central show “Broad City,” joked about serving as video distractions on their phones, and the singer D’Angelo played with a band that included the Roots drummer Questlove and the bassist Pino Palladino. Rival providers such as Apple and Tidal, the service relaunched by hip hop artist Jay Z, are trying to secure “windowing” deals with top music stars in which new albums and singles would be offered exclusively on their services for limited periods. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015 It will likely face more competition later this year, as Apple is expected to relaunch Beats as its own streaming service, though it has not confirmed when the launch would take place. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. Spotify has 60 million users worldwide, and offers both a free, ad-supported tier and a $10-monthly all-access tier, which accounts for a quarter of its user base. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again.

This isn’t “simple beat stretching,” he said: “The composition itself seems to rearrange to fit your current pace.” Spotify has created six of these “experiences” so far, and he said “each of them have their special characteristics.” All of these features, Söderström said, were developed in consultation with runners and fitness experts. Spotify, with a four-year head start in the United States, has 15 million paying users around the world, and 45 million more who listen free with advertising. Over time, Spotify’s vice-president of user experience Rochelle King said Wednesday, playlists will keep track of listening habits and adjust to them. After months of escalating protests and grassroots organizing in response to the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police reformers have issued many demands. The moderates in this debate typically qualify their rhetoric with “We all know we need police, but…” It’s a familiar refrain to those of us who’ve spent years in the streets and the barrios organizing around police violence, only to be confronted by officers who snarl, “But who’ll help you if you get robbed?” We can put a man on the moon, but we’re still lacking creativity down here on Earth.

Mark Mulligan, a music analyst who recently wrote a book on digital changes in the music industry, said in an interview that the content expansion is both a boost to Spotify’s value proposition and reassurance for the company’s investors in the face of increasing competition. While law enforcers have existed in one form or another for centuries, the modern police have their roots in the relatively recent rise of modern property relations 200 years ago, and the “disorderly conduct” of the urban poor. Mulligan said acquisition costs for programming like Vice news hits are simpler, and video advertising a more proven revenue generator. “This is a way they could potentially create a viable advertising business, as opposed to the one they’re struggling with,” he said.

Like every structure we’ve known all our lives, it seems that the policing paradigm is inescapable and everlasting, and the only thing keeping us from the precipice of a dystopic Wild West scenario. To distinguish themselves and hold on to customers, music services have come to emphasize the value of playlists that can automatically supply songs, making it as easy as possible for a listener to plug in without feeling overwhelmed by endless choices. He, too, pointed out the tight margins that come with music-licensing costs. “I don’t think Spotify or any music service will get far with just music streaming.” he said. “The video market is a lot bigger than the audio market in terms of advertising dollars.” While the video market is dominated by YouTube, Mr.

Rather than be scared of our impending Road Warrior future, check out just a few of the practicable, real-world alternatives to the modern system known as policing: Unarmed but trained people, often formerly violent offenders themselves, patrolling their neighborhoods to curb violence right where it starts. Ek said was vital to the development of its new features. “Playlists are the new radio,” said Jay Frank, an independent record company executive and consultant with the firm DigMark, “and success in this area will determine the streaming winner.” Verna said, Spotify doesn’t need to own the market to reap its benefits. “Video is such a broad market that you can carve out niches in it and still have a huge business,” he said. Stop believing that police are heroes because they are the only ones willing to get in the way of knives or guns – so are the members of groups like Cure Violence, who were the subject of the 2012 documentary The Interrupters. While Spotify is a private company and does not report its results, British newspaper The Guardian reported earlier this month that despite year-over-year revenue growth of 45 per cent in 2014, the company still posted a loss.

There are also feminist models that specifically organize patrols of local women, who reduce everything from cat-calling and partner violence to gang murders in places like Brooklyn. While police forces have benefited from military-grade weapons and equipment, some of the most violent neighborhoods have found success through peace rather than war. Violent offenses count for a fraction of the 11 to 14 million arrests every year, and yet there is no real conversation about what constitutes a crime and what permits society to put a person in chains and a cage. Decriminalization doesn’t work on its own: The cannabis trade that used to employ poor Blacks, Latinos, indigenous and poor whites in its distribution is now starting to be monopolized by already-rich landowners. Technology website The Verge revealed the company’s original contract with Sony Music Entertainment earlier this week, outlining its large advances for labels and the murkiness surrounding how much label revenue flows to artists.

To quote investigative journalist Christian Parenti’s remarks on criminal justice reform in his book Lockdown America, what we really need most of all is “less.” Also known as reparative or transformative justice, these models represent an alternative to courts and jails. From hippie communes to the IRA and anti-Apartheid South African guerrillas to even some U.S. cities like Philadelphia’s experiment with community courts, spaces are created where accountability is understood as a community issue and the entire community, along with the so-called perpetrator and the victim of a given offense, try to restore and even transform everyone in the process. In expanding to video, Spotify faces its first uphill battle for market share – it’s an audio Goliath, but a video David – but it’s betting that letting users watch video in its app will pay off in spades. Communities that have tools to engage with each other about problems and disputes don’t have to consider what to do after anti-social behaviors are exhibited in the first place.

The world’s most valuable company has an enormous arsenal of content, and rumours are swirling that it’ll be taking that to the streaming game under the Beats moniker at its June 8 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote presentation. A day before Spotify launched its sweeping content additions, Paris-based Deezer, which bills itself as the world’s second-largest music streaming service, announced a similar, but less sweeping upgrade: more than 20,000 podcasts to hear within the app. In Mexico, where one of the world’s most corrupt police forces only has credibility as a criminal syndicate, there have been armed groups of Policia Comunitaria and Autodefensas organized by local residents for self-defense from narcotraffickers, femicide and police. Obviously these could become police themselves and then be subject to the same abuses, but as a temporary solution they have been making a real impact.

While both those offerings give it a higher price point than Spotify’s, Tidal has the market cornered for audiophiles and I-got-it-first consumers. In New York, Rikers Island jails as many people with mental illnesses “as all 24 psychiatric hospitals in New York State combined,” which is reportedly 40% of the people jailed at Rikers. We have created a tremendous amount of mental illness, and in the real debt and austerity dystopia we’re living in, we have refused to treat each other for our physical and mental wounds.

Mental health has often been a trapdoor for other forms of institutionalized social control as bad as any prison, but shifting toward preventative, supportive and independent living care can help keep those most impacted from ending up in handcuffs or dead on the street.

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