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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Spotify Adds Video Content To Music App

Spotify has upped the ante and has added video content to their app, still named Spotify Music.  The update comes after months of speculation and an announcement last summer that the company would be moving beyond just music.  The update is hitting Android this week while iOS users of the service will have to wait an additional week.  Now when you open the app, you have a video section that allows you to view content from a range of providers.  Right now the content is limited but it is expected to grow as other providers get signed up.  Right now you can get content from ABC News, Adult Swim, Comedy Central, NBC Entertainment and ESPN.

Spotify – Free (In-App Purchases) – Download Now

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Starbucks App Now Has In-House Spotify Support

Starbucks has released a great little update to their already pretty impressive Android app that allows you to capture the music you are hearing in the store with Spotify and add it to your account.  The update is version 3.4 for those keeping score at home and is rolling out to the Google Play Store now.  If you haven’t seen the update yet, you should in the next day or so.

In participating stores, you can use the Starbucks app on your phone to capture the music you are hearing and then add it to your Spotify playlist.  I’ve always found the music playing in most stores to be pretty good and often music that I wouldn’t discover on my own.  Now you have a great way to capture it, take it with you and listen to while you are away from your local Starbucks.

Starbucks – Free – Download Now

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1st Gen Chromecast Update Brings Spotify Streaming

If you are using a 1st generation Chromecast and are a Spotify customer, good news is coming your way today.  The latest firmware update to the 1st Gen Chromecast brings support for the music streaming service casting, something that the 2015 Chromecast users have enjoyed for a couple of weeks now.  Google made it clear that the update would be coming and it appears that it is finally here.  The update is rolling out to now so you can check your Chromecast app and see if it is available to you.  If so, reboot your Chromecast and the new firmware will be applied.

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