music streaming

Hannah Kuchler

Sunday night’s US finale of Emmy award-winning TV series Breaking Bad sent viewers flocking to their laptops to hear a song played on the programme, boosting downloads of the 1970s British rock band Badfinger’s hit “Baby Blue” by almost 3000 per cent this week. In the last hours of Sunday night, the track was bought 5,300 times, compared to 200 the week before.

As TV viewers got ready to wean themselves off their addiction to the Crystal Meth fest, they found comfort in being able to instantly hear the song featured on the show, as well as other Badfinger songs. Sales of those tunes increased their sales by up to 260 per cent.

But according to the data from research firm Nielsen, the real story is in the streaming. Read more

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has pulled the music of his latest band Atoms for Peace from Spotify, accusing the streaming service paying musicians too little.

New artists “will no[t] get paid. meanwhile shareholders will shortly being rolling in it,” Yorke told his 400,000-odd Twitter followers.

That’s unwelcome PR for Spotify, the Swedish start-up that seemed to be getting the music industry onside with streaming, rather than downloads, as a viable model for serving up music to fans. Given that the service fails to make a profit even at current royalty rates, is its model in question? Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Spotify is to open its doors in Germany this week in the digital music service’s biggest launch since coming to the US last year.

It is the latest example of a digital music firm growing its global footprint as record labels become increasingly bullish on subscription services.  Read more

Media streaming has become a staple of our daily digital consumption. So much so that this week music lovers in the US finally welcomed the arrival of Europe’s music-streaming subscription service Spotify, while angry Netflix customers turned to social networking sites to vent their rage over subscription fee increases. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Spotify knows how to brand a music service.

Last year, the ad-supported streaming service introduced “offline listening” to its mobile and desktop music applications for premium subscribers without ever mentioning the dreaded phrase “DRM” – in spite of the fact that access to the songs disappears as soon as you stop paying.

Today, it has announced a couple of new ways to access its extensive library in the cloud, whose limitations are so cleverly branded that you’d hardly notice. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Spotify is growing up fast. After first pitching itself as the best weapon against piracy, the online music service now has Apple in its sights. Apple’s approval of Spotify’s mobile application into the iPhone’s App Store surprised many last year but with a major upgrade to its main desktop software, Spotify is now challenging iTunes on its home turf.

Daniel Ek, Spotify’s co-founder, has never seemed short of self-belief but putting itself up against iTunes directly is a confident move for a service that has been around just 18 months. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Excitement about Spotify, and more recently MOG, has remained at boiling point for months now, as the music streaming sites raise new funds and gear up for international expansion.

But although Spotify and MOG have attracted the most hype, new rivals – from start-ups Deezer and Grooveshark, to Sky Songs and Virgin Media’s long-awaited MusicFish – are emerging all the time.

In the UK, We7 has been quietly building its offering after launching here around the same time as Spotify in late 2008.

Some 3m people now use its free, ad-supported site. Last month saw a new £4.99-a-month ad-free service, followed today by the release of a £9.99 monthly “Premium+” offering that adds mobile access to its library of millions of tracks. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The music industry has taken another beating in the blogosphere over the last 24 hours after the head of Warner Music lashed out against online music streaming services such as Spotify and We7.

“Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry, and, as far as Warner Music is concerned, will not be licensed,” Edgar Bronfman Jr, Warner Music’s chairman, said on the major label’s analyst call yesterday.

“The sort of ‘Get all of the music you want for free and then, with a few bells and whistles, maybe we can move you to a premium price’ strategy is not the kind of approach to business we’ll be supporting in the future.” Read more