Category: News

Apple Music brings Up Next Live to global cities this summer

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Apple today announced Up Next Live, a series of intimate performances from past and present Apple Music Up Next artists including Bad Bunny, Daniel Caesar, Khalid, Ashley McBryde, King Princess, Lewis Capaldi and Jessie Reyez. Each artist will perform for fans in one city, for one night only.
Apple Music Up Next is a monthly program showcasing the best new artists in the world. Each month, Apple Music tastemakers and editors identify one artist to feature, then utilize the power of the platform to raise awareness of that artist to Apple Music’s growing audience of music fans. Apple Music Up Next also includes a deeply curated companion playlistfull of incredible new artists across genres from all over the world.
Each artist on the diverse Up Next Live roster has been featured as an Apple Music Up Next artist in the monthly program or through the playlist. All shows will be hosted after hours in local Apple stores in Milan, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Paris, London, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Apple stores frequently offer free creative sessions through Today at Apple and serve as the place where the local creative community can come together and share ideas, making them the perfect backdrop for Up Next Live. Performances kick off July 9 with global sensation Bad Bunny at Apple Piazza Liberty in Milan.
“The impact [of being part of Up Next] can be seen in everything, in numbers, in plays, in shows,” said Bad Bunny. “There are a lot of fans that, when I go out in the street in the US, people who do not speak Spanish, I think they will not know me and they stop me, they ask me for pictures and they sing my songs. It helped me very much to make myself known in a market different from mine, not only the USA, but in places where Spanish is not spoken or where perhaps Latin music does not dominate, exposing my music and giving people the opportunity to get to know what I do.”
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Spotify is building shared-queue Social Listening

Spotify appears to be testing a “Social Listening” feature that lets friends control the music together. This is similar-ish to its collaborative playlist feature, but it contains a real-time component. The idea is that collaborators are listening to the same songs, together — whether physically in the same room, or apart.

Software engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who is known for discovering unreleased app features by digging through code, recently spotted the feature and posted about it on Twitter. Manchun Wong found the feature buried in Spotify’s Android app code, which she combs through for “clues” of what the company is working on.

While Manchun Wong has found her way in, Social Listening is currently only available to Spotify employees. You can see screenshots of the feature in her tweets below.

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A help screen describes Social Listening as “Listen to music together. 1. On your phone, play a song and select (Connected Devices). You’ll see a code at the bottom of the screen. 2. On your friend’s phone, select the same (Connected Devices) icon, tap SCAN CODE, and point the camera at your code. 3. Now you can control the music together.” You’ll then see friends who are part of your Social Listening session listed in the Connected Devices menu. Users can also copy and share a link to join their Social Listening session that starts with the URL prefix https://open.spotify.com/socialsession/. Note that Spotify never explicitly says that playback will be synchronized.

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With streaming apps largely having the same music catalog and similar $9.99 per month premium pricing, they have to compete on discovery and user experience. Spotify has long been in the lead here with its algorithmically personalized Discover Weekly playlists, which were promptly copied by Apple and SoundCloud.

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How to set your sleep time on Spotify for Android

Now, Spotify for Android finally has a basic sleep timer for turning off the music when dozing off.

Spotify finally got around to adding the sleep timer feature after years of Android users asking for the feature. A cursory glance at the Google Play Store with the search term ‘Spotify timer‘ yields several highly rated apps.

How to set a sleep timer on Spotify for Android

To access this new feature, you’ll first need to be on the latest Spotify update from the Play Store. After that, while music is playing, head to the “Now Playing” screen and tap the overflow menu. Towards the bottom of the list, the “Sleep Timer” option will show.

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Pressing that reveals a list of timers for music to continue from 5 minutes to 1 hour. You’ll need to pick one of those times, at which point the timer will immediately start. Interestingly, Spotify also included an option to stop playback after the current track ends. To end a timer, simply repeat these steps and press “Turn off timer.”

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‘Game of Thrones’ hits record 19.3 million viewers in series finale despite fan backlash

Despite high criticism from fans, the final episode of “Game of Thrones” shattered single-night viewing records Sunday, with 19.3 million tuning in to watch the finale.

The final season of HBO’s television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” was widely criticized by fans who felt the pacing and its treatment of previous character developments were not up to par.

Still, the show continued to have record-breaking viewership. Each episode, save for one, topped viewer counts from the season seven finale, which was the series high prior to season eight’s release.

Each year “Game of Thrones” has seen its audience grow, a rarity for television shows. Typically, a series will lose viewership over the course of a run. The eighth season had high viewership because it was the show’s last. More than a decade of storytelling was coming to an end, and everyone wanted to know what happened.

While some fans of the long-running fantasy drama felt satisfied by the show’s final bow, others were quick to express their displeasure with how events unfolded. One of the chief complaints surrounding the eighth and final season was its pacing and its treatment of previous character developments.

While the first six seasons all contained 10 episodes, season seven was comprised of only seven installments and season eight had only six. The truncated nature of the final season seemed to have played a major factor in fan dissatisfaction. Plot lines that may have been developed further given more time fell flat for many longtime viewers of the show.

Source from cnbc.com.

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Spotify is first to 100 million paid subscribers

More than 100 million users worldwide now pay for Spotify Premium, the company has announced. Spotify reached the milestone by growing paid subscribers by 32-percent year-on-year. Including free subscribers, Spotify now has a total of 217 million monthly active users worldwide. That includes two million Indian users who joined after the company launched its service there in February.

Globally, the numbers put Spotify well ahead of Apple Music, its closest competitor, who reportedly had 50 million paid users worldwide at the beginning of April. However, in the US Apple’s music streaming service in winning, according to the Wall Street Journal, with 28 million subscribers compared to Spotify’s 26 million.

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Spotify’s latest earnings also further illuminates the company’s podcasting ambitions. The company says it intends to develop a better advertising model for podcasts, which will include better “targeting, measurement, and reporting capabilities.” This suggests the company plans to develop ways of letting podcast producers place different ads in a podcast depending on the user being targeted, similar to the ads played during ad-supported music listening. Spotify recently acquired the podcasting companies Gimlet Media, Anchor, and Parcast, and currently offers a quarter of a million podcasting titles on the streaming platform.

By the end of this quarter, Spotify says it expects to have 222 to 228 million users, including between 107 and 110 million paid subscribers. The company also says that voice speakers are a critical area for its growth. Last year Spotify ran a promotion where it gave away a free Google Home Mini speaker to every family account subscriber. However, the company’s rumored first-party speaker hardware is yet to materialize.

Spotify is still losing money despite its subscriber growth. The company posted a loss of €142 million ($158.3 million) for the January to March quarter, compared with a loss of €169 million in the same period last year.

Source from theverge.com.

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Alexa Support for Apple Music Expands to Sonos Speakers

Amazon Echo devices have been able to use Alexa-based voice commands to control Apple Music since December, but the feature has been limited to Amazon’s own devices until today. 

Sonos One and Sonos Beam owners in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland are now also able to use Alexa to control Apple Music after adding the Apple Music skill to the Alexa app.

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To get Alexa controls for Apple Music on Sonos, users will need to update to the newest version of the Sonos app, enable the Apple Music skill in the separate Amazon Alexa app, and link an Apple Music account.

From there, Sonos owners will be able to use commands like “Play My Chill Mix on Apple Music,” or “Play Beats 1 Radio on Apple Music.”

It’s not yet clear if other Alexa-enabled devices will also be gaining support for Apple Musiccontrols in the future, but right now, the feature is available on all Amazon Echo and Fire TV devices along with the Sonos One and Sonos Beam.

Source from Macrumors.com

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How to turn off Canvas videos in the Spotify Android app

If you are Spotify Android App users, you will find that when you listen to Spotify Music, there always videos popping up on the playback screen in place of the normal album artwork. Spotify calls these “Canvas” videos. But maybe you don’t want these videos, how to turn off them?
The following guide will show you how to turn off Canvas videos in the Spotify Android app.

  1. Open Spotify on your phone.
  2. Tap Your Library on the bottom navigation bar.
  3. Tap the settings icon in the top right corner.
  4. Scroll down and tap the toggle next to Canvas.

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That’s it — you’ve officially turned off Spotify’s Canvas videos. Should you ever find yourself wanting to turn them back on, simply repeat the steps shown above.
It looks so simple, now you can also go to take a try and turn off Canvas videos in the Spotify Android app.
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