Spotify


'Spotify' Articles Page 2

EU to Investigate Apple Over Spotify's Antitrust Complaint

Apple is to be formally investigated by the European Commission after Spotify accused the company of using the App Store to deliberately disadvantage other app developers. According to a report by the Financial Times, EU competition commission has decided to launch a formal antitrust investigation into Apple's conduct "in the next few weeks" after surveying customers, rivals and others in the market. Spotify in March filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the EU in which it argued that the iPhone maker enforced ‌App Store‌ rules that "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience." Apple swiftly hit back at the accusation, labeling it as "misleading rhetoric" and arguing that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free." Spotify's complaint focuses on Apple's policy of charging a 30 per cent fee on ‌App Store‌ purchases, which means Spotify has to charge existing subscribers $12.99 per month for its Premium plan via the ‌App Store‌ just to collect its standard $9.99 per month charge. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek claimed that the policy gives Apple an "unfair advantage," since Spotify is unable to fairly compete with Apple Music's standard $9.99 per month price within the ‌App Store‌. Alternatively, if Spotify chooses not to collect payments via the ‌App Store‌, Ek said that Apple "applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions" on the company. Over time, this has also included "locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple

Spotify Testing 'Your Daily Drive' Curated Playlist That Mixes Podcast and Music Recommendations

Spotify is beginning to test new podcast features for a select group of users, beginning with a playlist that suggests podcast episodes for you to listen to, interspersed with songs. The playlist is aimed at users who commute frequently in their vehicles and is called "Your Daily Drive" (via The Verge). The podcasts seen in the playlist mainly center around news shows. Spotify has been slowly gearing up for a strong push into podcasts for a few years now, but it has yet to introduce any sort of podcast curation feature or used its algorithms to recommend podcasts to subscribers. In the new playlist, the company is testing out doing just that, albeit with a few song recommendations thrown in as well. Spotify confirmed the test to The Verge with the usual statement: "We're always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share at this time." Because of this, it's unclear if this new playlist will launch to a wide audience on Spotify. As of now, the playlist's podcast recommendations are in Portuguese so it appears the test is happening only outside of the United States. Spotify appears to have a new (?) algorithmic playlist for morning commutes that mixes news podcasts and music, but all the podcasts are in a foreign language? pic.twitter.com/8HZyq6Ji3J— dan seifert (@dcseifert) May 1, 2019 In 2019, Spotify's podcast goals began taking clearer shape with a trio of acquisitions revolving around podcasts, including Gimlet Media, Anchor, and Parcast. These acquisitions give Spotify a suite of high-profile shows to launch on its platform,

Spotify Now Has 100M Premium Subscribers Worldwide

Spotify now has 100 million paid subscribers around the world as of the first quarter of 2019 (via The Verge). The company announced the major milestone today, confirming that Spotify Premium subscribers grew 32 percent year-over-year. In total, there are 217 million monthly active users on Spotify (including the ad-supported tier). Spotify said that there were numerous reasons behind the growth in Q1 2019, namely including its Spotify Premium + Hulu bundle offered in the United States. Spotify launched this new bundle in March, offering a free subscription to Hulu with Limited Commercials at no extra cost for all U.S. Spotify subscribers. In the United Kingdom and France, Spotify offers all premium Family Plan subscribers a free Google Home Mini smart speaker. This offer is still ongoing and ends on May 14, 2019. According to Spotify, "voice speakers are a critical area of growth, particularly for music and podcasts." The company said that it plans to continue to pursue opportunities to expand its presence in this area. Spotify's update comes nearly six months after the company reported that it had reached 87 million paid subscribers and 191 million monthly active users. While Spotify is far ahead of Apple Music's over 50 million paid subscriber count, The Wall Street Journal earlier this month reported that ‌Apple Music‌ has surpassed Spotify's paid subscriber count in the United

Spotify Testing 'Premium Duo' Subscription That Offers Discounted Price for Couples or Roommates

Spotify has begun testing a new subscription plan called "Premium Duo," offering users two Spotify Premium subscriptions for a discounted price of €12.49 per month (via The Verge). Tests for Spotify Premium Duo are currently being held in Colombia, Chile, Denmark, Ireland, and Poland, and the company has not mentioned when or if the plan will expand to more territories, including the United States. The new plan is aimed at couples and roommates, providing a separate Spotify Premium account for each person so they can enjoy their own music. Both users on the plan must live at the same address, and Spotify requires a confirmation of address during the sign-up process. Spotify Premium for Family (up to six people sharing the same plan) also requires users to live at the same address, but many people still use it to share accounts from afar with their friends, so Spotify appears to be attempting to curb this behavior with Premium Duo. Premium Duo comes with an exclusive playlist called "Duo Mix," which Spotify regularly updates based on music that each user on the plan listens to. On mobile devices, Duo Mix will also have two alternate versions that users can switch to with just a tap: "Calm" for more mellow tracks and "Upbeat" for songs with a faster tempo. Additionally, the two members on Premium Duo will be able to create playlists and share them with one another thanks to a Shared Playlists feature. The bill for the plan will be sent to the person who sets up and purchases the Premium Duo account. In terms of pricing, it appears that the new plan sits somewhere

Spotify Continues Push Against Apple Podcasts With Third Podcast Acquisition

Spotify today announced its latest acquisition, this one related to a podcast company called Parcast (via Reuters). This marks Spotify's third podcast-related acquisition in two months, and represents the company's ongoing plan to boost the music streaming platform as a hub for podcasts that can compete with Apple Podcasts. Last month, Spotify purchased Gimlet Media for $300 million, acquiring the company's big-name podcasts like "Homecoming" and "Reply All." Around the same time, Spotify also purchased Anchor, a company that is more behind-the-scenes of the podcast world and lets its users record and create their own shows that can easily be shared online. Parcast will be added to that list, and Spotify will now have ownership of its specialization in crime and mystery-themed podcast content, genres that are hugely successful in the market. Parcast is home to a big list of popular genres and podcasts, covering topics like cults, serial killers, haunted places, unexplained mysteries, extraterrestrials, and more. These purchased shows will also join new and original podcasts created by Spotify, all of which will be curated by the team that built Spotify's Discover Weekly playlist algorithm. Eventually, the music streaming company hopes to become the Netflix of podcasts, able to provide recommendations on what to watch and house both third-party and exclusive first-party content. Spotify first began its efforts to enter the podcast field around two years ago, when it said it was "coming after" Apple with a strong push into podcasts. The last few years have been

Spotify Offering UK Family Plan Subscribers a Free Google Home Mini Speaker

Spotify on Monday began offering all premium Family plan subscribers in the U.K. a free Google Home Mini smart speaker. From today, both new and existing family plan subscribers can claim their free Google speaker, worth £49, simply by heading to the Spotify website. The offer ends on 14 May 2019. Spotify's premium family plan costs £14.99 per month and allows up to six people to access the service using a personal account for each family member. Apple Music vs. Spotify With that in mind, it's worth noting that the free speaker offer can only be claimed by the master account holder. However the device's built-in Google Assistant can recognize up to six different voices in the home, which means each person in the family can stream Spotify tracks from their own accounts. Update: This offer is no longer available and Google is no longer offering free Google Home Mini speakers to UK family plan subscribers.

Spotify on Apple's Response to App Store Dispute: 'Every Monopolist Will Suggest They Have Done Nothing Wrong'

Spotify on Wednesday announced it filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission over unfair App Store practices. Apple responded two days later, labeling the complaint as "misleading rhetoric" and arguing that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free." The war of words has since continued. In a statement issued to Variety, Spotify said "every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong" and that, consequently, Apple's response was "entirely in line" with its expectations. Spotify's statement:Every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong and will argue that they have the best interests of competitors and consumers at heart. In that way, Apple's response to our complaint before the European Commission is not new and is entirely in line with our expectations. We filed our complaint because Apple's actions hurt competition and consumers, and are in clear violation of the law. This is evident in Apple's belief that Spotify's users on iOS are Apple customers and not Spotify customers, which goes to the very heart of the issue with Apple. We respect the process the European Commission must now undertake to conduct its review.See Spotify's Time to Play Fair website and Apple's Addressing Spotify's Claims press release for each company's

Apple Says Spotify Seeks to Keep All Benefits of App Store Without Making Any Contributions to Marketplace

Apple today responded to Spotify's recent complaint with the European Commission over its App Store practices in a press release, referring to it as "misleading rhetoric." Apple adds that Spotify "seeks to keep all of the benefits of the App Store ecosystem" but "without making any contributions to the marketplace." The intro of Apple's press release:We believe that technology achieves its true potential when we infuse it with human creativity and ingenuity. From our earliest days, we've built our devices, software and services to help artists, musicians, creators and visionaries do what they do best. Sixteen years ago, we launched the iTunes Store with the idea that there should be a trusted place where users discover and purchase great music and every creator is treated fairly. The result revolutionized the music industry, and our love of music and the people who make it are deeply engrained in Apple. Eleven years ago, the ‌App Store‌ brought that same passion for creativity to mobile apps. In the decade since, the ‌App Store‌ has helped create many millions of jobs, generated more than $120 billion for developers and created new industries through businesses started and grown entirely in the ‌App Store‌ ecosystem. At its core, the ‌App Store‌ is a safe, secure platform where users can have faith in the apps they discover and the transactions they make. And developers, from first-time engineers to larger companies, can rest assured that everyone is playing by the same set of rules. That's how it should be. We want more app businesses to thrive —

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Speaks Out on Dispute With Apple Over App Store Policies

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek elaborated on his company's complaint against Apple with the European Commission in a speech today at the International Conference on Competition in Berlin, according to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Spotify has accused Apple of unfairly applying its 30 percent App Store commission. While a 70-30 revenue split applies to most apps, including Spotify, others like Uber and Deliveroo are exempt since Apple's commission does not apply to "goods or services that will be consumed outside of the app." Ek doubled down on this issue, referring to Apple's commission as a "competitor tax":Let's call this 30% revenue-share exactly what it is – a competitor tax. Importantly, Apple's posture towards Spotify became increasingly hostile after Apple acquired a rival music streaming service and launched Apple Music. But until now, we felt like we didn't have much of a choice.Spotify Premium normally costs $9.99 per month, the same price as ‌Apple Music‌, but if Spotify were to offer that price on the ‌App Store‌, it would only receive $6.99 of that amount after Apple's cut. Spotify did experiment with offering Premium for $12.99 per month through its iOS app starting in 2014, netting it $9.09 per subscriber after Apple's cut, but this put it at a competitive disadvantage since ‌Apple Music‌ is $9.99 per month. Spotify has since stopped allowing upgrading to Premium through its iOS app.As we all know, iOS and the ‌App Store‌ is the only way to offer our service to anyone with an iPhone or iPad. That's over a billion people around the world. So not

Spotify Files Complaint Against Apple With European Regulators Over 'Unfair' App Store Practices

Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, accusing the iPhone maker of enforcing App Store rules that "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience" and "acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers." In a blog post, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek took particular issue with Apple charging a 30 percent "tax" on ‌App Store‌ purchases. This results in Spotify charging existing subscribers $12.99 per month for its Premium plan via the ‌App Store‌ just to collect nearly the $9.99 per month it charges normally. Ek believes this gives Apple an "unfair advantage," since Spotify is unable to fairly compete with Apple Music's standard $9.99 per month price within the ‌App Store‌. This is a big deal given there are over a billion active iOS devices. As an alternative, if Spotify chooses not to collect payments via the ‌App Store‌, Ek notes that Apple "applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions" on the company. Over time, this has also included "locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch." Ek stresses that this is "not a Spotify-versus-Apple issue" and simply about seeking "the same fair rules for companies young and old, large and small." Apps like Uber and Deliveroo, for example, are allowed to collect payments directly from customers since they offer "goods or services that will be consumed outside of the app," according to Apple's App Store guidelines. Unlike Spotify,

Spotify Premium Now Includes Hulu's Ad-Supported Plan at No Extra Cost

Following a collection of student-related bundles, Spotify today announced that Spotify Premium will now include a free subscription to Hulu With Limited Commercials at no extra cost, for all users in the United States. The bundle is launching today and is open for sign-ups by Spotify Premium customers in the U.S. through June 10, 2019 (via The Verge). Hulu With Limited Commercials recently lowered in price to just $5.99/month, but now Spotify Premium users will gain access to the video streaming service for free, as long as they stay subscribed to Spotify. This means that for $9.99/month, these users will be able to listen to all of the music on offer at Spotify, as well as stream the ad-supported version of Hulu. To start saving, new Spotify Premium users can sign up for a 30-day free trial now and activate Hulu on the "Your Services" page in account settings. Those who already have Spotify Premium with Hulu, the company will automatically switch these users over from a $12.99/month price to the new $9.99/month price. Lastly, those who already have a Hulu account but not Spotify will have to cancel their billing through Hulu and switch it over to Spotify. All Hulu plans connected to Spotify for this offer can not have any extras added onto it, so premium channels like HBO aren't allowed. For the student bundles, Spotify and Hulu last August updated their offer by including Showtime. This means that eligible college students can get a Spotify Premium subscription ($9.99/month), Hulu With Limited Commercials subscription ($5.99/month), and a Showtime

Samsung to Preinstall Spotify on New Smartphones, Including Galaxy S10

Spotify today announced that its streaming music service will be preinstalled on the latest Samsung smartphones starting today, including the Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, S10 5G, Galaxy Fold, and select Galaxy A models. New subscribers on those devices can receive a free six-month Spotify Premium trial in the United States. The announcement reflects a major extension of a partnership that saw Spotify become Samsung's go-to music service provider in August 2018, a move intended to provide a seamless listening experience across Samsung devices. Spotify being preinstalled on millions of Samsung smartphones brings it more in line with Apple Music, preinstalled on hundreds of millions of iOS devices. Last month, Spotify announced that it had 96 million paid subscribers as of the end of 2018, easily topping ‌Apple Music‌'s over 50 million subscribers. We recently put together an Apple Music vs. Spotify guide that compares the two streaming music

Apple Not Fighting Royalty Increase for Songwriters That Spotify, Pandora, Google and Amazon Have Appealed

Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Amazon have all teamed up to appeal a ruling by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that will increase royalties paid to songwriters by 44 percent, reports Variety. In a joint statement, the companies, which all operate major streaming music services, said that the decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners. "The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), in a split decision, recently issued the U.S. mechanical statutory rates in a manner that raises serious procedural and substantive concerns. If left to stand, the CRB's decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners. Accordingly, we are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the decision."Apple is not joining the other streaming music services and will not appeal the decision. According to Variety, songwriter organizations have been heavily praising Apple while condemning the other streaming services. David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publishers' association, called the appeals from Spotify, Pandora, Google and Amazon "tech bullies who do not respect or value the songwriters who make their businesses possible." He also thanked Apple Music for not participating in the appeal and for "continuing to be a friend to

Spotify Focusing on Exclusives and Improved Discovery to Challenge Apple as Go-To Destination for Podcasts

In July 2017, reports surfaced that Spotify had set its sights on Apple Podcasts and was planning a strong push into the space with a vastly reimagined podcasts segment that would become the default podcast listening app for many users. Today, The Verge has detailed Spotify's ongoing plans to make the service a premium podcast destination. To start, Spotify intends to fix podcast discovery and prioritize the user experience by tweaking the algorithm that it uses for its streaming music Discover Weekly playlist. According to Spotify head of studio and video Courntey Holt, the team that built the discovery engine for music "is now working on podcasts." Spotify also plans to create new and exclusive podcasts for the service, so that users have to subscribe to watch all of the latest and most popular shows. Outside of exclusives, Spotify is also planning timed exclusives that will go to other platforms after a set window and other release schedules with "a lot of experimentation," according to Gimlet Media co-founder Alex Blumberg. Gimlet Media is a content creation company that Spotify acquired for $300 million last month, and is the home to notable big-name podcasts like Homecoming and Reply All. At the same time, Spotify also purchased Anchor, a company that offers a podcasting solution on the opposite end of the spectrum: letting users record and create their own shows that can be easily shared online. According to Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy, "We're going to place a bet on both ends of the spectrum," because at this time the company isn't sure if

Spotify Reaches 96M Paid Subscribers Compared to Apple Music's 'Over 50 Million'

Spotify today shared its Q4 2018 earnings report, detailing a 36 percent growth in Spotify Premium subscribers from the year-ago quarter. Specifically, Spotify now has 96 million paid subscribers around the world as of the end of 2018, compared to Apple Music's over 50 million paid subscribers. According to Spotify, there were a few factors that bumped up subscriber numbers in 2018, including a promotion where Family Plan account holders in the United States were able to claim a Google Home mini free of charge. The company also pointed towards its year-end "Spotify Wrapped" event as a major factor for its Q4 subscriber boost. In December, we also launched our annual Wrapped Holiday brand campaign where existing users were able to explore stats about their listening habits throughout the year. The campaign saw the highest traffic ever to the Wrapped site spotifywrapped.com, with 28 million users visiting the site in just one week (up from 20 million last year total.) The Holiday campaign became the #1 trending topic on Twitter globally and generated over 5 billion streams of the “Your Top Songs 2018” playlist, now the fastest growing personalized playlist in Spotify history. In total, Spotify has grown to 207 million monthly active users (also counting those on its ad-supported tier), a growth of 29 percent year-over-year. Thanks to all of this, Spotify had major milestones in Q4 2018, reporting operating income, net income, and free cash flow as all positive, marking the first time that Spotify has operated at a profit in its history. The company said that

Spotify Adding Feature That Lets You Block Artists From Playlists, Radio Stations, and More

Spotify will soon launch a "don't play this artist" feature in its iOS app, which will allow subscribers to block an entire artist from playing across the app (via The Verge). This means that you won't hear their songs in your library, Spotify playlists, chart lists, and radio stations. Image via Thurrott The feature is in testing right now, and it currently works on the artist's own songs but does not extend to collaborations. The feature is found in the ellipsis menu on an artist's page, and will sit alongside options like Follow, Share, and Go to radio. A specific release date for the launch of the block feature has not yet been announced, but during its test of the update Spotify told The Verge it would be coming "soon." Artist and song blocking is a feature that many users have been asking for in both Spotify and Apple Music, and so far Apple has not yet announced a similar update for its streaming music

Spotify Officially Debuts Apple Watch App, Rolling Out to Everyone Over Coming Week

Spotify for the Apple Watch is rolling out to all users over the coming week. Announced by the company today, the release follows a beta version of the app that appeared in early November, and comes well over a year since Spotify hired "Snowy" developer Andrew Chang onto its team to help build the app. Spotify says the app provides users with useful playback controls and the ability to connect to their music speakers and other devices through Spotify Connect. Like Apple Music on Apple Watch, Spotify subscribers will now be able to hit play, pause, skip, and rewind songs by interacting with their Apple Watch. We’re constantly on the go—whether bouncing between the gym, work, school, errands, or just chilling—and our smartwatches are the tool to help keep us up to speed. Today, Spotify is introducing a new app for the Apple Watch, giving you the ability to seamlessly access and control your favorite music and podcasts without missing a beat. Additionally, users will be able to access their recently played songs and favorite the currently playing song by tapping the heart icon on the Apple Watch screen. Down the line, Spotify plans to make music and podcasts available to listen offline on Apple Watch, among other updates it hasn't yet announced. To get the Spotify app for Apple Watch, the company says that users will need to make sure they have the latest version of the Spotify iOS app (8.4.79), and they should begin seeing the Apple Watch version of the app over the next

Spotify is Coming to Apple Watch With Beta App Available Now

Spotify is officially coming to Apple Watch, as the streaming music service today delighted users with an early beta version of the watchOS app through TestFlight. There is no timeframe for a public release yet. A few Reddit users participating in Spotify's public beta testing program have shared screenshots of the app's icon, playback controls, and recently played list with a toggle for shuffle mode. According to one Reddit user, offline downloads are currently not supported, but the feature could be added later of course. The user also says the app has yet to be optimized for 40mm and 44mm sized Apple Watch Series 4 models, but that's also something that could be taken care of during the beta testing period. An official Spotify for Apple Watch has been long awaited, especially after third-party app Spotty was discontinued. Update: In a statement provided to MacRumors, a Spotify spokesperson said "we're always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share at this

Spotify Grows to 87M Paid Subscribers and 191M Monthly Active Users

Spotify today reported its third quarter earnings for 2018, announcing that paid subscribers for its streaming music service have grown to 87 million and total monthly active users (including the free tier) now reach 191 million. This is an increase from 83 million paid subscribers and 180 million total users that Spotify had in July 2018. In terms of year-over-year growth, paid subscriber numbers have grown 40 percent in comparison to 2017 and MAUs have grown 28 percent. Spotify touted its various multi-partner bundles as a big help to signing up new subscribers, which are also retaining users for longer and driving churn lower. The latest bundle includes Spotify, Hulu, and Showtime for $4.99/month for students. Spotify is in an ongoing race with Apple Music to add more subscribers, and as of now Spotify is still winning in terms of paid subscribers. It's been a while since we've heard news of updated Apple Music subscriber numbers, with the last count in April 2018 putting Apple's service at 40 million paid subscribers. Apple Music does not have a free tier like Spotify, but counting users on the three-month free trial along with paid users, Apple's service hit over 50 million subscribers in May 2018. These numbers refer to global paid subscriber users, and in a report over the summer it was suggested that Apple Music is actually ahead of Spotify's paid subscriber count in the United States. Both Apple Music and Spotify were said to have more than 20 million paid subscribers in the U.S. as of July 2018, and at the time Apple was "a hair ahead" of its rival.

Spotify App Update Brings Personalized Artist Radio Stations and Better Search to Premium Subscribers

Spotify has announced a major update to its mobile apps for users with a Premium subscription to the service, including an overhauled radio feature and changes to the onscreen navigation controls and search functions. Paying Spotify users can now search an artist and song to generate a unique radio station that can be saved for offline listening. Like the service's Discover Weekly and other user-tailored playlists, Spotify says the endlessly playing radio streams are personalized to the user's own musical tastes. But unlike the old radio stations, the new Artist Radio playlists don't have thumbs up/thumbs down buttons as they rely more heavily on Spotify's personal listening algorithms, and Spotify says they will be regularly updated to keep things fresh. As for the other changes, the navigation controls at the bottom of the interface now consist of Home, Search, and Your Library. While Home is where recommendations live, the redesigned Search screen opens with Top Genres at the top and Browse All buttons below. Spotify says users can also expect a better song search experience, with the app now able to generate unique playlists based around searched songs, rather than just returning a list of tracks with the same name. The mobile app update is a global update rolling out today to all premium subscribers on both iOS and Android