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Spotify is catching up with broadcast companies in investing big on podcasts

Spotify has a plan and doesn’t just go by the music. Instead, focus on the new podcast season . It is curious that today we are talking about a communication channel already so rooted: just think that “podcasting” was elected word of the year by the American dictionary New Oxford back in 2005. Almost 15 years ago. And there is no doubt that with this term we were referring to the same fever that we are experiencing in these months, that is to a “digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar, made available on the internet with the purpose of allowing the download on audio players personal. ” Today we do everything with the smartphone, at the time there were (also) mp3 players and PC software, but the substance does not change. What has changed is the ecosystem that revolves around it.

This is why Spotify, which currently has 96 million paid subscribers and 207 million active users per month, wants to develop a more effective strategy with the aim of making podcasts a new (serious) income. Last year an analysis by IAB and PwCestimated that the turnover around this liquid formula of ubiquitous radio would reach 659 million dollars by 2020 only in the United States. But order must be made: today podcast listening is fragmented on several fronts, from TuneIn Radio to Apple’s Podcast app, through Spotify, Audible and other applications like Stitcher, Spreaker, Podbean and Overcast. Not to mention the applications set up by the individual radio-TV networks, like our RaiPlayRadio.

In truth, the group of Daniel Ek has already taken the first steps by acquiring two companies, which will remain independent, but will have to bring water to the mother platform. It is Gimlet Media , specialized in the production of original content, and Anchor , a simple-to-use app to make a podcast in just a few taps. The bill is 300 million dollars and both companies tell their respective strategies for the coming months: original content with which to attract the Netflix-style audience , and at the same time open to content from below by enthusiasts and creators. In short, a pincer action to understand which approach will pull more in a mix between professionalism and amateurism.

The preparatory step, however, will be the development of more effective algorithms to allow users to easily discover the podcasts and authors that might interest them. This is exactly what happens with music with Discover Weekly- style playlists , tailored to the user’s previous tastes and ratings. The same will happen soon with podcasts: “The music that we offer through our discovery engine and which we select through machine learning is damn good, and you know what? The group is working on the same thing for podcasts, “explained Courtney Holt, Spotify studio and video manager, at a recent Festival in Brooklyn.

But if I do not know what to listen to and the hunt for the podcast becomes too complex or boring, I will tend to always hear only a few, limiting the attitude of discovery typical of streaming platforms. Ek has also returned to this point; the goal is to focus on the user experience to become the reference platform for anyone who wants to listen to their favorite creators. “We believe there is enormous potential for improving the user experience – explained the CEO – and if we do we will have the opportunity to increase our market share for podcasts”.

This is why Spotify “will double its investments on original and exclusive content”, as the head of finance, Barry McCarthy, assured and confirmed Gimlet co-founder Alex Blumberg. According to Holt, among other things, Gimlet and other possible acquisitions will be at Spotify a bit like Pixar and Marvel are at Disney. Expectations, therefore, are not lacking. The contents, however, will not only come from professionals. The acquisition of Anchor, a very fun application to churn out their podcasts in just a few steps, paves the way for individual creation, an aspect to which Spotify has never looked carefully.

Difficult to understand which content will work the most: whether the shows produced from below or the Spotify Original. The decision, by McCarthy’s own admission, seems to be to focus on both fronts. It remains to understand the business model to apply to those who will sign these contents. That is how much and how they will gain.


Radio Topic: Maine Mendoza MAC Success Makes Company Proud of Her

Much talked about in radio in the south is the success of Maine Mendoza’s MAC event at a department store chain. Representatives from their local branch as well as from their New York are proud of the Phenomenal Star’s unquestionable influence. More and more MAC products not just from her lineup are being sold out but all other items from their shelves. Listeners of a local station called in, tweeted on shared on their socials how they became instant MAC fans and even those who are not really using their products like men and husbands were enticed to buy for their love ones.

The thing about Maine says the rep is that she is not afraid to experiment when it comes to make up and speaking of experiment. MAC official recently talked about the new trend in make up. The metallic eye shadows .

This year the make-up spotlights focus on the eyes creating an impact beauty look, words of Gordon Espinet , Senior Vice President Global make-up artistry Mac Cosmetics.

“This year the shade protagonists of the eye make-up are intense: deep browns, intense burgundies and rich nuances, not necessarily however ringing like red, blue or green”.

“A classic trend that we have proposed a lot on the catwalk, and that I love very much – continues Espinet – is the metallic finish . It is not a” color “but a cool finish that transforms the look making it interesting and magnetic”.

The best metallic eye shadows
We have selected for you the best metal eye shadows of the moment, discover them below by continuing to read this article.

Mac Cosmetics Dazzleshadow Liquid Blinking Brilliant
Metallic foil effect enriched with glitter for the liquid eyeshadow of the Canadian professional cosmetic house.

Mac Cosmetics Dazzleshadow Let’s Roll
Multi-reflection red bronze, ideal for creating metal-eye tricks with a highly glamorous catwalk.

Removing makeup and deep cleansing the face and eyes is a fundamental daily gesture to keep the skin fresh, young and radiant for longer.

Do not clean the skin well, in fact, in the long run it can cause clogging of the pores and the appearance of dryness and impurities.

After a whole day wearing makeup it is necessary to remove make- up with specific products, able to remove any type of makeup, even the most stubborn and waterproof.

How to remove Waterproof or long-lasting make-up?
The secret to removing the most stubborn make-up is to choose formulas based on oily ingredients that can effectively dissolve even water-resistant makeup. For waterproof eye makeup, choose a two-phase make-up remover : it is a mix of two liquids consisting of aqueous and oleic molecules that, once mixed, can dissolve the makeup quickly and with little aggressiveness. For face skin instead, go ahead for natural oils and butters that blend with the complexion to clean it without drying out the skin.


To Stay Relevant, Radio Has To Be Friends with Amazon and family of Alexa Devices

Echo Show, Alexa makes the most sense with the screen
Amazon’s new smart speaker has a 10-inch display, so searches are more complete

It is already twenty days that we are testing Echo Show , Amazon’s 10-inch smart speaker with display, which combines the classic features of the voice assistant with images. We take for granted all the things that can be asked of Alexa (we will come back to them later on) and start with the product description.

The shape is apparently that of a tablet, even if the back is not flat but pyramidal, to house two 2-inch neodymium drivers and a passive radiator that return a powerful and defined sound, even if with a slight tendency to bass too pronounced. The equipment is completed by eight microphones to receive and interpret at best the voice commands and, included in the body, the antennas necessary to communicate with smart appliances that use the Zigbee protocol , such as light bulbs, interphones, cameras and thermostats.

But the added value gives it a touch display of good size even if not of excellent resolution (720p).

That is where the vocal requests made to the Echo Show “come to life”.

You can ask Alexa which movies and there are in the cinema and show you the trailers in Italian (you need to install the MyMovies skill). You can view a recipe step by step while you are cooking – and indeed the kitchen seems to be the most suitable environment for this type of product – or ask for the weather forecast for the next few days. You can browse the internet with one of the two pre-installed browsers (Firefox and Silk), see the Vevo music videos or the Amazon Prime Video movies and TV series.

You can track the shipment of a package (Amazon, of course), view an itinerary on the maps or make video calls to anyone who has Echo Spot, Echo Show or the Alexa App (Skype is coming).

In short, there is a whole series of functions more than the already popular classic smart speakers, which, given the price which is certainly not prohibitive for the gagdet ( € 229 ), make us advise the purchase. In short, Alexa has an edge over the screen . It could have even more, if Echo Show was a bit more customizable – being able to install apps, for example – or if the video sector could be used more (let’s think about the lack of Netflix, for example). And, again, if some somewhat cumbersome mechanisms, such as having to explicitly ask which skill to use to perform a certain action, were simplified.

How to make smart speakers portable just like radio in the old times

Five batteries are coming from the British manufacturer i-box to make portable smart speakers like Echo, Echo Dot and Google Home Mini.

Maybe you never thought about it or you wanted to do it but you didn’t know how. In any case, several batteries have been available in Italy for some time now to make smart portable speakers like Amazon Echo Dot (third generation), Echo (second generation), Echo Spot and Google Home Mini . All speakers that need an electrical outlet to work and therefore, at least not to use awkward extensions, can hardly be taken to the garden, on the terrace or in a part of the house where there is no outlet at hand.

In our opinion the most interesting solutions are those of the British manufacturer i-box, which ensure respectable performances for those who want to make his (or his) smart portable speaker. It starts with the i-box Run, which provides about 12 hours of autonomy to the third-generation Echo Dot, while the Release version reaches up to eight hours , but also integrates a 12W stereo speaker, a passive radiator and an audio input for 3.5mm jack in order to improve the audio performance of the Dot (which are certainly not brilliant).

If, on the other hand, you want to make your second generation Echo portable, Want to make your fixed smart speakers portable? Here’s howthe Surge i-box allows you to use it without an electrical outlet for about 8 hours , Want to make your fixed smart speakers portable? Here’s howwhile the i-box Vault ensures the same autonomy for the Echo Spot and in addition adds one speaker and a passive radiator to improve the audio quality. Finally we find the i-box Move , a variant of the Run for the Google Home Mini available shortly which ensures 12 hours of autonomy.

All these batteries can also recharge a smartphone or tablet thanks to the USB input and this is therefore a doubly useful solution. It should be noted, however, that i-box is not the only manufacturer to offer batteries for smart speakers (we also mention brands like Majority, Smatree, Ninety7 and Accevo ), but in our opinion these are the most interesting of the British manufacturer also as a quality ratio -price.

Smart Speakers, Audio, Podcasts Are Booming, Where is Radio Heading?

What Happens in an Internet Minute in 2019? The infographic of @LoriLewis and @OfficiallyChadd aggregates the online activity of billions of people globally and helps us understand what happens in 60 seconds on the Internet.

Every minute 188 million emails are sent around the world and Google processes 3.8 million queries. Platforms such as Instagram and Netflix continue to grow at a dizzying pace, but the fastest-growing phenomenon seems to be the smart speakers: last year 67 voice devices were shipped every minute (sold worldwide), in 2019 in the same time frame they are shipped 180, almost three times as much.

Interesting to understand the evolution of online consumption is the comparison with last year.

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There is no doubt that the Japanese Sharp (controlled by the Chinese Foxconn) is one of the hi-tech companies that has shone the most in this beginning of 2019: unsheathed the first smartphone without physical keys and holes, Aquos Zero , and on the list to produce the next OLEDs on behalf of Apple, the Osaka company presented a full-bodied set of smart appliances and, in addition, a delightful series of retro radios with a 2.0 heart.

In Cologne, during the “LivingKitchen” event (14-20 January), Sharp brought the Smart Works line-up , a series of appliances enriched with support for Amazon Alexa’s voice commands consisting of a refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and intelligent washing machines, which can also be controlled by a mobile app.

In the kitchen, the KA-70S50ISW oven – although it has 150 cooking options, including one for pizza and one for browning and grilling the food – uses Alexa to allow the user to choose between various recipes , obtaining the automatic setting cooking times and temperatures . Energy saving is guaranteed, in the Sharp smart oven, by the ” Boost ” function which halves the pre-heating time.
Always remotely manageable even though it does not have a smart display in favor with the competitors of LG and Samsung , the SJ-F1526ESI-EN smart refrigerator uses zoning to increase the refrigeration capacity (fielding the space otherwise destined to the freezer), door the foods at their respective and optimal storage temperatures more quickly, through the Super Cool mode , while – by virtue of the Quick Drink mode, specially designed for cans and bottles – allows you to put drinks on the table already cold. In tandem with an Amazon smart display (eg Echo Show ) or with a smart speaker, the QW-HD65F444A dishwasher lifts – in less than a quarter of an hour – covers for 4 people.

The cloud of synergy with Amazon, however, is in the Sharp ES-HFT0148AZ washing machine . Thanks to Alexa’s voice commands, in fact, you can choose one of the 22 supported washing programs , going from the little disturbing for the neighbors ( NightWash ), to the lightning-fast one that scrubbers a load in 12 minutes, without forgetting the anti-allergy one. In addition, the smart washing machine from Sharp is able to intelligently dose detergent and softener for 20 washes, starting – via Amazon Dash – the order of the new detergents as soon as those supplied, according to the estimated use, are about to run out .

Along with smart appliances, a further opportunity, Sharp also presented two digital radios, and an internet radio. The digital radios Sharp DR-450 (mono sound, 119 euros) and Sharp DR-S460 (30 watts stereo sound, 139 euros), can acquire audio sources through the 3.5 mm AUX port, but also from the telescopic antenna put into tandem with RDS / DAB, DAB + / FM standards (60 pre-settable stations), and from smartphone / tablet via Bluetooth . Set up in white, gray and wood-colored nuances, they have a wooden structure with an aluminum front on which stands a dimmable round display .

DR-I470 internet radio (179 euros) is controllable from the armchair thanks to the remote control . The latter, launched in shades of wood, white or gray, always supports Bluetooth to play Spotify playlists on your smartphone, and DAB / DAB + / FM standards, however, thanks to Wi-Fi , even receives (10,000 ) radio stations that broadcast on the internet . Convenient 2.4-inch display , on which the user can view short text strings to learn about alarms and alerts, weather forecasts, or consult the time .