Google Clock Adding Spotify Integration for Music Alarms This Week

Spotify Integration with Google Clock

In a surprise announcement today, Google stated that the Google Clock app for Android will be updated this week to support a new Spotify integration.  That integration will allow you to set the Clock app to play music as your alarm instead of the range of tones already available.

The news is surprising for two main reasons.  First, Google has had a clock app for years and the decision to put in this somewhat basic feature now is a bit of a mystery.  Second, why Spotify?  The feature works for both free and premium subscribers to the service but why not use their own Google Play Music?  The feature, as it appears, only supports Spotify for the integration.

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In Case You Missed It – Spotify Progressive Web App is Available

Spotify Progressive Web App

Just in case you missed it, fundamentally because I certainly did, Spotify has released their Progressive Web App in Chrome and it is pretty darn good.  Like other PWAs, you install it from the menu in Chrome 67 or later while on the Spotify web player page.  This will install the app on your laptop so you can quickly access it with a single click.

For those of you who may not know what a Progressive Web App is exactly, it is a web page in an app-like experience.  The idea being that you can install it instead of a full fledged app to and get that experience.  Chrome 67 introduced support for Progressive Web Apps and you can install them in Chrome OS and other platforms.

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Spotify Update Allows for Playlist Reordering – Finally

Spotify Playlist Editing Option

It has take a long while but Spotify has finally added the ability to edit your playlists.  The streaming music service has long had the ability to create playlist but to this point, they better be in the exact order you want the songs.  There was no way to edit the lists after the fact.  That, thankfully, has now changed.

So long as you have the latest version of the app, which is 8.4.61.683 for Android, you can go into a playlist that you have created and you will now see an edit option for that playlist.

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Apple Music is Outpacing Spotify in Monthly Growth Numbers

Apple Music for Android

Apple Music, the subscription music streaming service from the Cupertino company, is doing exceptionally well.  In an exclusive report at Variety, the company shared that the service now has 40 million subscribers world wide.  Perhaps even more of an indicator of the health of the service, it is outpacing Spotify when it comes to month-over-month growth.

Right now Spotify is gaining about 2% each month in new subscribers, which outstanding growth.  But Apple Music is growing at a staggering 5% each month.  The service, like Spotify, is helped by the fact that it works on both Android and iOS phones.

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Spotify Launches New Spotlight Feature, Adding Visual Layers to Podcasts

Spotify for Android

Spotify has announced a new Spotlight feature that is rolling out to US subscribers.  The new feature is aimed to bring visual content to podcasts, audiobooks and news that you are listening to through the streaming service.

Spotlight gives fans a deeper insight to their favorite artists, playlists, books, publishers and more by offering contextual visual elements, such as photos, video and text, that appear as users move through each episode.

Spotlight will launch with content from the following Spotify partners including BuzzFeed News, Cheddar, Crooked Media, Lenny Letter, Gimlet Media, Genius, The Minefield Girl, Refinery29 and Uninterrupted. Additionally, Spotlight will feature content from some of Spotify’s own original series such as RISE, Secret Genius, Spotify Singles and the new Viva Latino podcast.

The aim of Spotlight is to give Spotify users streaming this content more information on the topic being covered in the audio media itself.

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Spotify Hits The 50 Million Paid Subscriber Mark

Spotify for Android

The streaming music Spotify continues to grow, passing the 50 million paid subscriber mark this week.  The news came via company’s official Twitter account yesterday and is a good indicator of the popularity of the $9.99 per month service.

The number of paid subscribers is across all platforms and includes Android as well as iOS.

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Links to Songs on Spotify Now Play In Your Twitter Timeline

Twitter and Spotify have teamed up to give you a pretty cool way to share music from the streaming service to your timeline.  Starting today, you can link to a Spotify track on your timeline and it will generate an audio card where your followers can listen to the track for 30 seconds.

The idea, of course, is to attract your followers who aren’t using Spotify to join the service but it is also a great way to sample a song to decide if you want to purchase it.

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Spotify Announces Move To Google Cloud Platform

Spotify has announced that starting this year they will be moving their back end cloud platform to Google Cloud Platform globally.  The move comes as the streaming service has continued to grow rapidly and the data center requirements and hardware have become painful to manage.  The post from Vice President of Engineering and Infrastructure, Nicholas Harteau, was candid in their reasons for the move.

But in a business growing quickly in users, markets and features, keeping pace with scaling demands requires ever increasing amounts of focus and effort. Like good, lazy engineers, we occasionally asked ourselves: do we really need to do all this stuff?

For a long time the answer was “yes.” Operating our own data-centers may be a pain, but the core cloud services were not at a level of quality, performance and cost that would make cloud a significantly better option for Spotify in the long run. As they say: better the devil you know…

Recently that balance has shifted. The storage, compute and network services available from cloud providers are as high quality, high performance and low cost as what the traditional approach provides.

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