In a recent sales and revenue report, the Recording Industry Association of America estimated that the American music industry experienced its biggest gain since 1998 last year. The report notes that retail revenues from recorded music in the United States grew 11.4% in 2016, reaching $7.7 billion thanks to an increase music streaming. In 2016, paid music streaming services saw a doubling of subscriptions with the emergence of different platforms and better services. But with the increase sales of physical products and digital downloads continue to fall significantly. With the report noting although the increased revenue, what is being earned now is merely half of what it was in 1999.
Climatune is Spotify and AccuWeather’s new joint project that offers weather-based, location-specific music listening data. The new website creates playlists based on weather and listening data compiled over a year-long period from 85 billion anonymous streams on Spotify in over 90 countries. Not only useful for curating playlists around climate conditions, Climatune also reveals some pretty interesting factoids, allowing users to track how moods and audio attributes change during weather shifts. Apart from telling us what we probably already know — i.e. “Sunny day moods trended towards ‘Yearning,’ ‘Excited,’ and ‘Empowering’” — the platform reveals that on rainy days, NYC and Philadelphia are the most musically-affected cities, that Detroit opts for throwback songs like “Sk8r Boi” and “Bittersweet Symphony,” and Perth prefers moodier tunes such as Gorillaz’s “Feel Good Inc.” and a song from Hans Zimmer’s Inception soundtrack. You can learn more about Climatune here and read more of the Spotify x AccuWeather study on how weather affects music listening here.
The dating app Bumble is partnering with Spotify to let users efficiently left and right swipe based on more than just looks—now they can judge each other based on their music listening habits, too.
Bumble is planning to give users the option to connect their dating profile to their Spotify account. If they do, the top artists they listen to will be automatically shared on their Bumble profile. When someone clicks on an artist on a Bumble user’s profile, they will be redirected to Spotify. Users can already manually share their musical tastes, but soon that process will be automated.
“Music is one of the most powerful forces for connection between two people, and giving our users a chance to share even more of what interests them most is something we’re always looking to do,” said Whitney Wolfe.
Of course, what interests you most—say the oeuvre of Jason Derulo—doesn’t always translate into dates. But Bumble is rolling out the new feature in the coming weeks, so there’s still time to tone down all those “Top 50” listens in favor of obscure indie bands with hipster cred. Eventually, Bumble says it will institute a feature that allows users to hide any favorite artists they don’t want potential dates to know about.
In other words, it’ll be just as easy as it ever was for online daters to make themselves sound cooler than they really are.
Where can you find Prince now?
He is not on Spotify. He is not on Apple Music. He’s not on YouTube or Vevo; he never posted his official videos on either platform. He released his last album exclusively on Tidal. And no one wants to subscribe to Tidal. Even Beyoncé knows that.
So fans hungering for the sweet, mostly-NSFW sounds of Prince’s phenomenal catalog had to get it the old-fashioned way: By buying the albums.
The Very Best of Prince, a greatest hits collection released in 2001, is sitting at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart, with 179,000 copies downloaded, streamed and/or purchased on CD. In the number two spot: 1984’s Purple Rain. Making this already-impressive feat even more noteworthy is the fact that the Billboard 200, dated May 7, closed only hours after the news of Prince’s death became public. Since his death, Prince has sold almost 3.5 million albums and songs.
Way back when — in 1999 — after fulfilling his misery-inducing contract with Warner Brothers, Prince became one of the first artists to embrace online distribution models for his music, releasing his new work through his personal internet subscription service, NPGOnlineLtd.com, a site he later closed down. He launched a number of other sites, including LotusFlow3R.com in 2009, but shut them all down as well. In a 2013 Billboard story, Prince told a reporter that he employs “a team of female black lawyers who keep an eye on such transgressions,” seeking out and taking down Prince videos or performance footage posted online.
As he told the Daily Mirror at the time, “The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it.” In July 2015, Prince pulled his music from all streaming services, save for Tidal, with no public explanation. His move coincided with the launch of Apple Music’s streaming service.
Though Prince is an exceptional case, access-wise, posthumous album sales spikes are fairly common among well-loved musicians. Some research indicates that a musician’s record sales can jump by more than 50 percent following their death. Whitney Houston hit a sales record after she died in February 2012, becoming the first woman to get three albums in the top 10 of the U.S. Billboard 200 charts simultaneously. In the week of Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, all three of the best-selling albums in the U.S. were his: Number Ones, The Essential Michael Jackson, and Thriller. The week after Kurt Cobain died in 1994, Nirvana album sales increased by over 150 percent. Notorious B.I.G. was killed in 1997, just before Life After Death was set to be released; the album went on to sell 689,000 copies in its first week.
Spotify is looking to help listeners rediscover old tracks from years past with the introduction of its new “Taste Rewind” feature. Utilizing a series of intricate algorithms, the feature suggests old songs that non-premium listeners may enjoy based on the user’s selection of three artists while registered premium users will see the feature recommending artists and tracks based on listening history. The main hope here is to introduce lesser-known acts to users as the feature will place an emphasis on more obscure tunes rather than showcase obvious selections.
More info on Taste Rewind can be found over at Spotify’s website.
adidas has partnered with Spotify to launch adidas go, an app that works with a runners iPhone to match their favorite music to their workout.Using the iPhone’s accelerometer, adidas go calculates the user’s stride rate to identify and play tracks with matching bpm from Spotify’s music library. Users will then have the chance to review and save their distance, time and pace and will be given the option to share their results on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Describing the ground-breaking and intuitive app Adrian Leek, General Manager of adidas Running, claimed “adidas go lets your energy level control the music that plays during your run, so you’re always in control. For the first time, instead of runners listening to music, music will listen to runners.” adidas go will be available for iOS via the App store from April 10 and you can read more about it here.