Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is currently in talks with record labels to have an Internet radio service “within the first three months of 2013.” Bloomberg cited unnamed music sources in the report. Having Apple as competition is very bad news for Pandora. Pandora has compulsory music licenses that limits their flexibility in serving songs to users. Spotify has a bit more flexibility than Pandora and Apple is pushing for more flexibility too. [Bloomberg]
The Microsoft Xbox Music service is expected to launch tomorrow on October 16th. Xbox Music users will be able to choose from 30 million songs. Xbox Music users will be able to stream free music and download tunes. Microsoft Xbox Music is rumored to compete against services like Spotify and Apple iTunes.
Currently Spotify can be used as a desktop application or a mobile application. However the company is preparing to launch a web-browser version. This move would directly compete against Pandora and rumored upcoming browser-based version of iTunes. Spotify’s music streaming app lets people listen to an unlimited number of songs for free with ads. To sync their accounts with the mobile app and without ads, Spotify charges $10 per month. About 4 million people have the paid version of Spotify as of late July. The web browser version of Spotify would help improve music discovery.
Spotify has announced that the Android version of their mobile application now has access to the “Radio” feature. Android users can create any station based on their favorite artist/song/genre. Their station will be improved as they give more thumbs ups or thumbs downs. On a related note, Spotify Chief Content Officer and Managing Director of Spotify North America Ken Parks announced that Spotify has over 15 million active users with 4 million paying subscribers today.
Spotify announced today that they have added free streaming radio to the iPhone and iPad, but only for the ad-supported streaming radio feature. Up until today Spotify was only accessible on mobile devices if you were paying for a $9.99 per month Premium account. The new app even lets you add songs to playlists as you are listening to the radio on your mobile device so that you can listen to them later on your computer too. The app has not yet been updated, but it will be soon. [iTunes Link]
Social music service Spotify is preparing to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in a deal that would value the company at as much as about $4 billion according to sources with The New York Times. Goldman Sachs is going to participate in the round with about $100 million from their wallet. Spotify’s total round of funding would be at about $220 million.
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Spotify has officially launched an iPad app. The app is brilliantly designed for a larger screen. The iPad app is available to Spotify’s three million premium subscribers, but there is a trial version available. Unfortunately the iPad app does not work with all of the new Spotify apps. The way Spotify works on the desktop is by using a P2P network, which uses your Internet connection to help provide music for other people on the network. The Spotify iPad app streams music directly from Spotify’s servers. Check out the demo video below:
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According to Bloomberg, Spotify will be launching a U.S. Internet radio service that would be a direct competitor of Pandora Media. The new format would be similar to Pandora, which works just like a radio and is cheaper to operate since royalty rates are lower and is set by U.S. Congress. The new service would be monetized by advertising. Content partners have been notified about the new service already.
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