Will.i.am, the futuristic frontman of The Black Eyed Peas, established his Silicon Valley bona fides long ago.
The “technology obsessed” rapper made a viral video for Barack Obama in 2008, sent his music back from Mars via the Curiosity rover, and is Intel’s “director of creative innovation.” He drives an all-electric Tesla, is partnering with Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, and markets a $300 high-tech iPhone case.
But in a song on his poorly-reviewed new album #willpower, will.i.am takes his infatuation with startup culture to another level.
Called “Geekin’”, the track begins with a thudding chorus in which he repeats: “Get my geek on, get my, get my geek on.” Read more
It’s a moment that many tech industry observers have predicted for the best part of a decade: the US music market is now more digital than physical, by volume at least. Read more
Google has unveiled a new online music store after reaching deals with three of the Big Four record companies. At an event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, it announced EMI, Universal and Sony were part of the new Google music service, with no agreement having been reached with Warner Music.
The existing “Music beta by Google” service had allowed users to upload their music to Google’s cloud and access it through a browser or an Android app. The new service replaces it and adds a store and the ability to share music bought – for one play – with friends. But it is only open to US residents. Our live coverage of Google’s unveiling of its upgraded service is after the jump. Read more
Spotify’s launch in the US has helped to boost its subscriber numbers by more than 400,000 in three months, according to its chief executive. Read more
While investors were giddy this week about the latest tech-company IPOs, the technologists themselves were more interested in the advent of services bringing music to people from the cloud–or clouds. Read more
Along with Google, Amazon beat digital-music kingpin Apple in the race to launch a cloud offering that lets users hear their songs on any device, but this week’s deal with Lady Gaga shows just how much it dreads the widely anticipated arrival of competition from Cupertino. Read more
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
Shazam, the mobile phone music discovery service, could be on track for an IPO, with Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers taking a stake in the company. Shazam, which was the original service that allowed users to hold up their phone in a noisy bar to identify what music track was playing, has seen phenomenal growth over the last few months, reaching the 50m user milestone this week.
The company has seen rapid growth after launching the service free on the iPhone App Store in the summer of 2008. The iPhone app has been downloaded more than 10m times. Read more