Apple Music Has Revealed A New Feature in 2019

Apple Music today announced a new initiative called “Digital Masters”, which aims to combine all its songs “Mastered for iTunes” into a single streaming catalog.

Apple has been slowly introducing Mastered songs for iTunes in Apple Music for some time. The company said that 75 percent of the 100 best songs in the United States are Apple Digital Masters and that 71 percent of the 100 best global songs are already part of the new program.

Apple started the Mastered program for iTunes in 2012, allowing engineers to optimize the music for the digital download format by encoding them at high resolution. This placed the iTunes songs as close as possible to the original recordings, and was specially designed as ” Burned to iTunes “.

In Apple Music, Apple does not show whether a song is in its Digital Masters program or not. However, for people who care about audio quality, it is a good sign that the company has formally recognized a plan for adding more high quality audio tracks to Apple Music.

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The battle between the two giants for the domain of music streaming will end before European antitrust. The Swedish company decided to move the clash from the market to the courts

The battle between Spotify and Apple for the domain of music streaming will end before European antitrust . The Swedish company decided to move the clash from the market to the courts. Reason? The 30% commission that Cupertino applies for transactions made on the Apple Store. Transactions including the upgrade to the Spotify Premium service. That is the subscription that allows you to eliminate advertising during the streaming.

The founder of Spotify Daniel Ek explained the reasons for this decision on the company’s blog . “Apple”, it reads, “is both the owner of iOS and the App Store and one of our competitors. In theory, that’s fine. But in the case of Apple, they continue to take unfair advantage ».
One of these “unfair advantage”, as Ek defines them, would be the fact that Cupertino requires “a 30% tax on purchases made through their payment system”. Sum that, argues the Spotify CEO , “artificially increases the price of our services far above that of Apple Music”, the music streaming service of the company led by Tim Cook. “To keep our prices competitive is something we cannot accept.”

Now, it is obviously more than legitimate that Apple asks a commission to companies that rely on its payment platform. The point, insists Ek, is the punitive mechanism that Cupertino would trigger for those who choose other ways of collecting. Apple, the number one Spotify insists, «limits our communication with customers. In some cases we are not even allowed to send emails to our customers using Apple. ” Also accused of “regularly blocking our updates”. And to have on more than one occasion “excluding Spotify and their other competitors outside services like Siri, HomePod and AppleWatch”.

Three, therefore, the requests, summarized also on the portal . First , apps “should be able to compete on merit and not based on who owns the store”. Second , “consumers should be able to choose which payment system to use”. Third, “stores should not control communications between apps and users”.

So far the words of Ek. Accusations of which, Apple has responded by stating that “after using the App Store for years to grow their business, now Spotify wants to continue to ensure the benefits of a presence in our store without offering any contribution this platform ».

It’s not all. Cupertino responds blow for blow to the accusations started by Sweden . Compared to that of having blocked updates, «we have approved and distributed almost 200, for a total of over 300 million downloads of their app. The only time we asked for changes was when Spotify tried to circumvent the rules followed by all other applications “.

In terms of integrations with other services, “we contacted them several times compared to Siri and AirPlay 2, offering our support”. Not to mention that “Spotify is integrated into CarPlay”. Rather, “their words surprised us about Apple Watch. When they sent us their application in September 2018, we approved it with the same procedure and speed reserved for every other application. Indeed Spotify is currently the number 1 app in the Watch Music category ».

Furthermore, compared to the 30% commission , «Spotify forgets to mention that it is only valid for the first year. And it drops to 15% in the following ones ». Just as it omits to say that “a significant part of their customers is such thanks to their partnership with telephone companies. And this does not generate any commission on the App Store, but requires Spotify to pay a commission to these realities “.

Apple insists that “Spotify would not be what it is without the App Store ecosystem. Now, after having climbed the market, they don’t want to contribute to maintaining this ecosystem for the next generation of developers “. But it’s not just «the App Store what they are trying to squeeze. The same applies to the artists ».

The reference to the fact that «just this week, the Swedish company has sued some artists after the US Copyright Royalty Board has imposed an increase in an increase in the royalties that Spotify has to pay them». Which, Cupertino concludes, “is not only wrong, but represents a real step backwards for the music industry”. On the contrary, “our approach has always been to make the cake grow”. It is up to the European antitrust authority to decide to whom and in what quantities they should eat it.

The Latest on YouTube Music App, Widget and Google Play Store Access

YouTube Music, widget and integration with Waze in development on Android

Having recently improved the transition from a music video to the audio version only , YouTube Music is preparing to receive new and interesting features, as revealed by the decompilation of the latest version 3.27, already available on Play Store.

To analyze the version were as always the boys of APK Insight , the goal and look for lines of code not yet active, which describe features still in development and that could arrive in future versions. Youtube Music 3.27 highlights two possible novelties, the first refers to the integration with Waze , the GPS navigation application that already operates in a very similar way when used with Spotify. The strighe describes a “Waze-nav-bar” able to provide basic directions about routes while listening to audio content. There are also several icons related to navigation and the user interface, which we offer in the image below.

The second new arrival could be a widget for the home screen of Android phones , a new “app_widget_info.xml” resource describes a rather standard set of controls. The description defines the presence of the cover on the left side, flanked by the title of the song and the name of the artist, while below are the control buttons. The layout looks very similar to that of the Play Music widget, of course it is not yet active and it is not possible to describe it in great detail.

These possible novelties emerged from the decompilation of version 3.27, of course these functions are currently not available and it is not possible to define a possible date of arrival.

Here is how to know what voice recordings Amazon gets from your Alexa device

Don’t you want Amazon to listen to recordings collected by Alexa? You can revoke the permission with a click.

News of Google and Apple’s turnaround on listening to voice messages collected by Assistant and Siri during interactions with users, after the controversy on the matter was taking effect. Since even Amazon was no stranger to the controversial practice, he decided to run for cover by clarifying more explicitly – in the section of his website dedicated to privacy – the way in which he treats the data collected by Alexa, leaving the user the right to grant or not allowed .

In particular, as reported by Bloomberg , Amazon has now included a postscript explaining the possibility that the recordings are  “manually reviewed” , in order to contribute over time to improving the service offered by Alexa, clarifying immediately after that “only one extremely small fraction of vocal recordings is manually reviewed ».

As mentioned, on the same page (which you find at this link ) users can revoke the permission to manually listen to their recordings. In other words, Alexa will continue to save voice recordings from various daily interactions, but will no longer use them that way. However, it should be remembered that Amazon expects users to be able to delete recordings stored on its servers, so if you want to be sure that there is no trace of what you say, you will have to delete them periodically on your behalf.

The Origin of Slipknot Finally Revealed

The Slipknot are considered among the best heavy metal band in terms of live performances and more. With their extravagant and disturbing masks , often inspired by the great horror classics, they have become an icon of the genre. The group was formed in 1995 in Iowa , the US federal state, and is still active with the release of their album We Are Not Your Kind . But why are Slipknot called that ? What is the path that led them to have this name? Let’s find out together in this article.

Why are Slipknot called that? All band names

As often happens in the world of music, as to delineate the personality of a group, the name of the band changes over time, until it reaches a definitive one. It must be remembered that Slipknot members like Shawn Crahan ,  Joey Jordison  and  Paul Gray (who died in May 2010) had already formed a prototype of what would later become the group. They also managed to publish several demos that aroused interest on one side and the other confusion for their lyrics.

In this first period, which goes from 1993 to 1995 – the year in which the band was officially formed – there was no real identifying name for these guys from Des Moines , in fact there were several. These include Ones , Pyg System , Meld and only at the end Slipknot.

The meaning of the name

The term Slipknot  can be translated as ” slipknot “, these are characterized by being very robust in response to the tension of the string. Although they are often called knots “of the hanged man”, since they were used in cases of suicide or in executions that included hanging, the choice of the name could be attributed precisely to their great sturdiness . The band has always stood out for its aggressiveness and power , finding in their name ‘Slipknot’ their identity that made them famous until today.

1 in every 4 people are listening to podcasts in Germany

According to the BITKOM study, a quarter already hear podcasts – shorter posts are the most popular

Podcasts are still on the rise: One in four Germans (26 percent) say they hear such digital radio shows – in the previous year it was 22 percent. This is the result of a representative survey of more than 1,000 people, ages 16+, on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. So, every eleventh (9 percent) hears podcasts at least weekly, another 9 percent at least once a month. Especially young people like to access podcasts. More than one in three people between the ages of 16 and 29 (35 percent) indicates this. “Whether news, thrillers or relationship talks – the podcast offer is as big as ever and is constantly growing,” says Bitkom expert Dr. Sebastian Klöß, The vast majority of Germans, on the other hand, have not gotten the taste: 70 percent of respondents said they never hear podcasts.

Popular topics: news, film, television, sports, comedy

Particularly popular among podcast listeners are the news and politics (45 percent) and film and television (41 percent). Similarly many are interested in sports and leisure as well as comedy (each 38 percent). One in three (33 percent) likes listening to music podcasts, closely followed by the topics of science (29 percent) and education (28 percent).

For the duration of a podcast, the majority of listeners prefer short shows. Half (49 percent) say a podcast should ideally be between 5 and 10 minutes, and 5 percent like even shorter podcasts. A quarter (24 percent) likes programs with a length of between 10 and 15 minutes. For only 7 percent, the preferred duration is over 60 minutes. The average value is 13 minutes. “With the smartphone, podcasts can be heard very well on the way – for example, on the way to work. But podcasts are also popular in household chores or as a companion in sports, “says Klöß. But not all listeners endure until the end of the episode. Only two out of five (38 percent) say: I usually listen to podcasts completely.

Bitkom’s tech podcast is called “Ctrl-Alt-Del.” The interviews, talks and keynote speeches are about trends around the digitization of the economy and society. The podcast is available on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, on all major podcast apps, and on the website .

Methodological note: The basis for the information provided is a representative survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of Digitalverband Bitkom. 1,003 persons in Germany aged 16 and over were contacted by telephone. The questions were: “How often do you listen to podcasts?”, “What topics do you listen to podcasts?”, “How long is a podcast ideally so that you like to hear it?”, “Listen to podcasts usually completely or only partially ? “

The Secret of Freddie Mercury and Queen Revealed in 2019


The famous collaboration between Queen and David Bowie that led to the birth of Under Pressure, the masterpiece published in Hot Space , has been the subject of so much speculation over the years. Indeed, successive declarations to that partnership itself have not been lacking, which has led to so much enviable musically, but also to clashes that – although part of the nature of a recording studio – hardly seemed to be suitable for the level of collaboration between Queen and David Bowie . Now, even more, we know more: there are songs made by the two parties but never published.

The clashes between Freddie Mercury and David Bowie during the registration

Despite the temperament and character of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie , to which was added the common goal of making songs that could remain in history, the climate within the recording studios was not always quiet.

Imagining a quarrel between two greats like Freddie Mercury and David Bowie would seem difficult , yet, it is enough to mention Brian May to understand that this happened: “Freddie and David challenged each other and clashed. But these are things that happen in a studio: sparks flew to get a result like that. They challenged each other in indirect ways, like those who arrived last in the studio. It was beautiful and terrible, but I only remember the wonderful part. And of those sessions a lot of material never came to light: we’re thinking about it “ . The guitarist not only declared disagreements between the two, but also the presence of new material that the band could give birth to.

The songs of Queen and David Bowie that have never been published

To confirm the theory of Brian May also Peter Hince, band’s roadie , decided to confirm the version according to which some songs – made between Queen and David Bowie – would never have been realized.

Thus stated Hince: “There is stuff with Freddie and David singing together – whole pieces of rock’n’roll, raw but complete. They started singing covers and pieces of their own, to come back the next day and record what would become “Under Pressure”. But tracks were recorded in that period, which were never finished or mixed. David recorded voices on some tracks that were not used. So there is an archive somewhere. “ In short, the songs exist and have never been lost … would you like to hear completely new songs years after the death of Freddie Mercury?

The Most Popular Topics in Podcasts

What are the most popular topics in podcasts in the US and Europe? How do these categories “behave” according to the time of day? How can these analyzes help the development of a rapidly growing sector such as podcasting? And again, can the listening behaviors of a category influence the strategic plan for promoting a podcast?

Voxnest – a leading company in the podcasting market –  has attempted to answer these questions by bringing to light some data and topics based on listening to podcasts related to their property, with the main objective of opening a discussion and discussion table with and for the industry of podcasting.

“The analysis of listening to podcasts based on the categories allows us to understand how the podcasting market is developing and what the audience behaviors are compared to the contents – says Tonia Maffeo , Head of Marketing Voxnest World -. Observing these data is of primary importance, especially in a historical moment like this, in which the giants of the ICT audio are also entering the podcasting market: it is therefore good that all the industry is compared, both to understand how we will move, both to share data entries with those who are betting on audio. “.


Podcasts: the 5 most popular content categories.


To understand how we got to analyze the categories and what are the most popular issues via podcast in a USA / EU comparison, Voxnest analysts have collected all the European countries under the same hat in order to compare them with the USA (a country that, again according to Voxnest’s analysis, it “holds” the record for podcast listeners in the world): a rather different picture of people’s listening tastes emerges, also in relation to time slots.


But let’s go into detail: among the first 5 categories examined by Voxnest regarding the United States , Religion stands out  , followed by Culture , Sport , History and finally News and Information .


As for the most popular category by Americans, Religion, it can be said that there are mainly two favorite moments for listening to dedicated podcasts: in the morning between 7.00 and 8.00, and in the evening after 21.00.


Sporte News and Information maintain a constant trend throughout the day, with a substantial difference linked mostly to the peaks that they record: Sport, in fact, is most listened to around 7.00 and 17.00, while news-related podcasts record three peaks, one around 8.00 am, one around 6.00 pm and finally one more pronounced at around 9.00 pm: a countertrend compared to what is usually expected, namely that listening to the news is the prerogative of the first morning.


In light of this, it is not incorrect to say that the listening behavior of news podcasts is similar to that of TV, which records the peak of spectators in the various newscasts during the evening.


Regarding the History category, the attention of the listeners is concentrated in the early hours of the day, around 7.00 am, where we find a first peak.


After that, the interest gradually declines during the course of the day, except for a final recovery, between 9.00 pm and 10.00 pm, similar in size to the morning peak, to then enter the night band where the natural lowering of the you listen.


The second US category is that of Culture, which the Americans prefer to “consume” in the morning: listening grows in fact after 6.00 in the morning with a clear peak at 8.00, which is slowly diminishing after 9.00.


The Top 5 Categories in Europe

The data of Europe photograph a completely different situation: in the first place in the most listened to categories there are all the podcasts related to the theme  Business followed by Culture , Psychology , History and, finally, Education .


The obvious datum in common with the USA concerns essentially the most listened time slot, transversal to all the categories, that is the 7.00 of the morning. Before school, before work, at a time when many find themselves already in the car in long lines or doing some morning fitness.


The Business category has a constant trend in the chart examined by Voxnest, with a second peak detected after 16.00. The same happens in general, albeit in a slightly minor form, also for the Culture and Psychology categories.


The case of Storia is different, where Europeans prove to be more attentive listeners between 16.00 and 18.00. Podcasts related to the Education category, however, are heard most often between 12.00 and 13.00 and between 16.00 and 17.00, as well as around 8.00.


Basically, both the USA and Europe prefer timetables linked above all to moving from home to the office or to school, confirming a rather deep-rooted tendency to listen to podcasts mainly by car or public transport, but also in gym or while facing the morning appointment with running.


The analysis of Voxnest’s data allows podcasters, publishers, as well as advertisers, to draw a fairly realistic picture of the type of listener and his preferences , which may have repercussions on the podcasting business, on the monetization for podcasters of own audio content and on advertising campaign planning.


The complexity of categorization

Going back to the Culture category, it is a container of almost endless topics, it contains a wide range of contents. And it is here that an important issue emerges, concerning the entire podcasting market: how to categorize the content of a podcast .


The data take into account the fact that the categories analyzed are rather wide (like the one related to Culture), and that is why it would be necessary to rethink the categorization methods, a hot topic in the podcasting industry, so much so that Apple recently announced that by the end of this summer, some categories of its podcast section will be rethought and added.


If on the one hand, it denotes trust and freedom, leaving podcasters the choice to register under a specific category, on the other it is very useful and necessary to refine the tools able to support podcasters in this choice, to simplify the process and help them to making the most of the content they propose, so they can be traced more easily and maybe even in more than one category.


«The ideal to solve this problem? It could be an artificial intelligence that can help the podcaster in choosing to belong to one category or another, “says Maffeo. ” That of podcasting is a market in continuous evolution and like all” new things “it needs constant adjustments, and shared reflections on the progress of the market and the medium “.


Billie Eilish is not Lady Gaga or Madonna but she is going to get even bigger

In a musical scenario, Billie Eilish has been on the stagnant for a whileentered the butter like a knife. Driven by the best pop record of the last few years, the Interscope has presented a winning offer because it is perfectly seductive for the target audience: a radiantly beautiful girl, just like millions of her peers, completely inserted in the flow of styles, behaviors and languages ​​of his generation. Coming from an emblematic cultural matrix as a rather cool residential area of ​​Los Angeles, she grew up in a family of entertainment people, with a brother endowed with a musical point of view, but in search of the format to give meaning to her vocation. And then she, Billie in first person, with a marked predisposition – at the limit of a slightly cynical boldness – in embodying everything, in condensing these prerogatives in the form of an artistic project. Once the industry has taken over, he has shown for now ease and ability to interpret a role that is completely adjacent to him, built in his image and likeness, that of a very cute American teenager, who will turn 18 at the end of 2019.

Then, and above all, there is the musical side of the discourse, without which this introduction could relate to any of the thousands of very young women who write songs, learn to sing them rather well and then wonder what is the least blocked way to get a minimum of attention and approach a dream that is still pale colors. Of course, there are the talent and their exhausting qualifying rounds. Above all, there is the web where to post what you know how to do and to see if something happens. But the departure must be scorching, to justify some decent ambition. And to Billie and her brother Finneas, who is always his partner in the award-winning firm, things went exactly that way, a sign that what they proposed immediately exposed strong prerogatives,

Billie is only 13 years old when ” Ocean Eyes ” peeps out on the internet , made at home with Finneas, and causes a small tsunami that anyone working in the field can’t help but notice. The two kids just need that song to wisely hit the audience at “13” and “Stranger Things”. Rather impressive performance, born of a skill that is also a belonging to a lifestyle, of consumption, of taste. They come from there, and therefore they possess the sound, the intention, the nature: a dreamy adolescent voice, a romantic electronic carpet, an intangible, generic but suggestive vision – then everyone puts his own: ” I don’t stop thinking to your diamond mind / I made friends with time / Those ocean eyes / You know how to make me cry”. The numbers are viral and the Eilish machine starts up.

The Interscope label presented a winning offer because it was attractive for the target audience, made by adolescents

An interesting aspect of the story is that it is immediately a family affair. The O’Connell family (Billie’s real surname, Eilish is the middle name) landed badly for a living: dad and mom only work occasionally in the far periphery of the world-Hollywood and Finneas knows the grammar of contemporary pop, he is good, he would also the face, but he always lacked the grip to make it. Now that Billie turns out to be the right bet, they don’t take prisoners and the whole family focuses exclusively on her, with a military discipline that evokes those stupid comedies on American camping holidays.

One of the tricks, perhaps the most acute born from the O’Connell forum, is to protect Billie as much as possible from the contaminations with the outside world, read the productive procedures in the making of of a pop star, with professionals and focus experts on “what expecting the public “gathered to” create “the character, rather than just seeing where it goes alone. Which is what is claimed by Patrick and Maggie, mom and dad who have signed the first recording artist contracts on behalf of their minor daughter . It is true that this version of the facts is already part of the legend and that in the end, even if in the Billie interviews, with slacker air, guarantees that things have gone exactly like this and that she does not put anyone’s feet in the head – “Tyler the Creator, Lord, Childish Gambino, Avril Lavigne and Justin Bieber: they are the ones who created me,” he says in a revealing chat about Pitchfork site, credibly defining its musical genesis – a careful listening of “ When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”, His debut album, reveals an obvious double work plan: first what Billie continued to do with Finneas in his bedroom, where the mini-recording studio is still mounted, a computer, a keyboard, a guitar, a microphone and a lot of software. And where the verses written by Billie in the notebook become multigeneral songs, capable of eclectically boiling from the ballad to the melodic rap, citing everything, the dark reflections of Lana Del Rey, the synthetic pop of Dua Lipa, the beats of the white Edm.

Secondly, to arrive at the dazzling final result, Billie’s ideas and Finneas’s intuitions received a masterful post-production in bringing the work in exact conjunction with the expectations and sensitivity of an audience. And voila, the connection is made: the naturalness of an original impetus and the competent finalization of careful market connoisseurs to create a new prototype disc. Which will become a reference for years to come, as, to name another, it happened with ” Back to Black ” by Amy Winehouse- another target, more time, but the same improvement technique applied to a well-established model. In addition, put the thriving video side of Billie’s production: horror, blood, nightmares and suburbia, the same ingredients as the multiplex scary movies , with which she got her hands dirty, in the manga version (” You Should See Me in a Crown ” ) even someone like Takashi Murakami, not to neglect the flourishing market basin of the East.

Billie is only 13 years old when she publishes “Ocean Eyes” on the internet, a homemade song with her brother Finneas. It’s a tsunami

The contagion has officially begun, the game works, the effect expands, like circles in the water, all over the planet. Billie is the new global-rate American teenstar prototype, though she pretends that it disgusts her a little. It is so and she is at play, because it is natural for her to be the American girl full of tics and with traces of Tourette’s syndrome, rebel against the right, aware of the right, a dreamer the right, very bold, creative with an undeniable touch of class camp . It’s a model that never sets, you can swear, ask Katy Perry , Miley Cyrus , or Lana Del Reyif you want to be more sophisticated. The fact is that an album like this is the best listening possible, if you go to work in the subway in the morning with your head full of thoughts, or on the bus to school, or in the car stuck in traffic: pure honey from headphones. Musical Serotonina. It touches cerebral conjunctions, tickles nervous centers, moves and involves a lot, induces self-contemplation and teases outraged narcissism. It is good, in short, especially if you are fifteen years old, on your identity card or even just in the way you get excited, in contrast with the forty you feel on your shoulders. Of course, it is better to be widely under twenty to live this crush to the end, without mediation and with the momentum that will make it memorable for the rest of life. ” When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”Is the record that you will keep forever in your cell phone and Billie’s turbidly gothic look, when she poses for photographers, will enter the gallery of evergreen memories (when instead, instead of making her pussy copying the Instagram models, Billie’s images they are on the move and she speaks and shakes, another character emerges, masculine and impetuous , very opinionated , ready to shoot her big, certainly a talent in burping contests with friends).

The debut album is good especially if you are 15 years old, on your identity card or just in the way you get excited

Now the promotional campaign orchestrated by those who feel they have found the big nugget does not go much for the subtle: the kind of communication is that of the “revelation”, nor were we faced with a new Annunciation. It would seem that perennial rock stars jostle every night in front of the Eilish dressing rooms – Eddie Vedder, Thom Yorke, Dave Grohl – committed to sanctioning that she is the future of music, or rather rock, which is therefore officially well and lives again in the single-family house of the O’Connells. We, mindful of the wavering parables of Avril or Lorde – others “announced” at the time of take-off – are more cautious.

The Billie record is beautiful and you never tire of listening to it, in the summer by the sea. But the feeling is that the time is nowfor her, everything and immediately, because this is the meaning of her success: the right girl at the right time. Because it is strong and defenseless at the same time. Because he says fuck off Trump and the legislation against abortion. Because he talks about the monsters under his bed. Because it changes the color of hair every day and miraculously, it doesn’t seem ridiculous. Because it says naturally that punk is beautiful, even now, out of time. Because it is the result of an evolution and a mutation that come from so far away that one does not even remember how it started, but that, as such, will continue to free wheel and variable speed. Also injecting Billie Eilish, normalizing her, after having digested her, when she will try to remake her mantra of melancholy and inconsistent American decadence.

The promotional campaign orchestrated by those who feel they’ve found the star don’t go much for the subtle. Yet another “revelation”

Being a Madonna, holding on, is a damned difficult job, which causes suffering and joy in the meter. It is almost a stubbornness, wanting to turn the making of songs into art and then singing them hopping. It takes a stubbornness that borders on madness, even if one like Lady Gaga , at a certain point, gave it up. Billie gives more the feeling of a moment, of a glow of intense light. A flash, more than a beacon that pauses to patiently illuminate the crevices of our imagination.

Apple and Spotify Are Still In A Race, How they Perform in 2019

Although Spotify remains ahead of rival Apple Music, it disappoints expectations a bit with only 108 million subscribers. Here are the details of the quarterly report

“We got lost on subscribers”. This was stated yesterday by the managing director of the Swedish music streaming platform Daniel Ek, communicating the results of the second quarter . Despite having reached 108 million new users, Spotify lacks analysts’ expectations on subscribers. At the same time, the app grew by 31% in revenues and reduced losses but was not enough to enthuse investors: Spotify shares slipped by more than 4% in pre-market exchanges. Here are the details.

The world’s most popular paid music streaming service has stated that premium subscribers have increased by 30% from a year earlier to 108 million by June 30, 2019. The analyst’s expectation of 108.5 million subscribers is very little paying. However, there is still a significant increase compared to 100 million paid subscribers that the company reported in April . In total, Spotify has 232 million active monthly users, including those registered to the free version of the platform. This is an increase of 29% year on year.

Spotify therefore reconfirms itself as the global leader in paid music streaming with a large margin. The number one Ek noted that quarterly subscribers grew 31% year-on-year, “which we believe is about twice the growth rate of our next closest competitor”. Without naming it, he was referring to Apple. The Cupertino giant said it had reached 60 million paying subscribers in June for its Apple Music music streaming service. A nice gap compared to the Swedish platform. However, in early 2019 Apple Music exceeded the total number of paid Spotify subscribers in the United States, the largest market in the world for recorded music. At the time, Apple Music had about 28 million US subscribers, compared to 26 million in Spotify. Not only,Financial Times reported that Amazon’s premium music streaming service, Amazon Music Unlimited, was growing faster than its rivals, Spotify and Apple Music . Spotify expects it could reach 125 million paid subscribers by the end of the fourth quarter, but the competition remains fierce.

Returning to the accounts, the rest of the results were largely better than forecasts. Spotify recorded an operating loss of 3 million euros on revenues of 1.67 billion euros (up 31%), better than analysts’ estimates for a loss of 56 million euros on sales of 1.64 billion euros . In the last quarter the Swedish company managed to reduce the loss: 76 million euros compared to 394 million euros a year earlier.

However, Spotify’s future profits and losses will depend on how its margins change during music label negotiations. In fact, most of the revenue generated by Spotify goes to record companies. In the spring, the company led by Ek began negotiations with the three main labels – Universal, Sony and Warner – plus Merlin, a group that represents independent record labels. However, yesterday did not reveal with which of these he reached agreements .

To differentiate itself from the competition, Apple and Amazon in particular, in addition to the music pieces Spotify is focusing a lot on podcasts. In April, the company revealed that it had acquired the Parcast (Cutler Media) podcast studio for about $ 56 million. Also in the first quarter, Spotify spent about $ 344 million to acquire two podcasting companies, Gimlet Media and Anchor FM. In addition to being cheap to produce, the podcast is an increasingly popular format, generating loyal fans and offering Spotify the opportunity to increase advertising revenue. Winning strategy so far: the company has declared that its podcast audience has increased by 50% since the last quarter.

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