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Spotify began rolling out a brand new redesign for its users last week. It’s a sleeker, darker, apparently much improved revamp across all three of its platforms: web, desktop and mobile.
Apparently both YouTube and Apple will be launching similar subscription based streaming services this year so Spotify’s multi-platform redesign seems like an early attempt to set the pace.
I took a look at the previous incarnation of Spotify just over a month ago in Seven reasons why I love Spotify and 17 why I don’t. I use Spotify more than any other music platform (I actually use them all on an almost weekly basis) and I couldn’t function without its unlimited access to 20m songs and ability to sync playlists to multiple devices.
However I am profoundly aware of its limitations and frustrations. Just a few UX tweaks here or there could massively improve the experience.
There’s an argument to say that because Spotify never really had any competition, it didn’t have to worry too much about improving its functionality. However with Google Play, Beats Music and now iTunes and YouTube launching rival services, it’s time for Spotify to up its game.
Let’s see if the redesign has done just that?
Let’s put this to bed.
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to find a decent replacement for iTunes.
The reasons why I want to abandon the world’s most popular music download service are many and varied.
iTunes is a deeply flawed experience. It's impersonal and slow, with lack of support for different file formats. It has a stubbornly rigid pricing model and no browser access whatsoever.
In fact I rarely use the platform to download. Instead I use a collection of different digital download sites to purchase MP3s online.
Yet I still use iTunes almost exclusively to organise and access my songs on both desktop and smartphone.
Surely there’s an easier way. Well I’m going to try and find one. For the good of you, me and the music loving public of the world.
As of July 2013, the Google Play store officially reached over 1m apps published and over 50bn downloads.
As of the same date, iTunes achieved 575m registered users and it’s adding 500,000 new accounts every day.
There is no denying the power and ubiquity of Apple’s digital music service, after all it has transformed the way that everyone on the planet consumes music.
iTunes is a deeply flawed experience though. It's impersonal and slow, with lack of support for different file formats, a stubbornly rigid price model and no browser access.
In an ongoing series I’ve been checking out the competition to see if I can find a digital music platform that can finally trump iTunes.
I was wrong.
Google has launched a brand new feature called Music Timeline.
The timeline charts the rise of different music genres over time, highlighting specific album releases and key artists specific to that time and musical styling.
This visual representation of music history uses data from Google’s own music download service Google Play, delving into the many preferences and downloads of its users.
It isn't always easy to find what you want in the app store, or to browse for apps that might not be in the charts.
With this problem in mind, Magvault brings together digital publications, to be perused on a digital newsstand.
I chatted to Neil Morgan, Founder of MagVault, to find out more about the service.
Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we've seen this week.
Statistics include Enhanced Campaigns, on-page SEO, mobile content, Google Play, and football's most social team.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
Smartphone apps are an important way for brands to engage with consumers, however a new study has found that many brands are falling short on the user experience.
The Xtreme Labs Retail Apps Report found that just under a third of top 100 US retailers don’t have smartphone apps, while those that do suffer from issues such as a lack of features.
The average rating achieved by iOS apps in the App Store is 2.9 stars out of five, while on Google Play it is just 2.2 out of five.
On iOS the most common complaints were a lack of features (26%), frequent crashing (23%), and poor design (22%).
Android users suffered similar problems, with crashing being the main complaint (33%), followed by the app not working as intended (26%) and a lack of features (25%).
In the debate over mobile websites versus native apps, native app detractors frequently make a seemingly good point: there are just too many native apps, so you can't expect consumers to install and use yours.
For companies hoping customers and potential customers, that assumption has a significant implication: if your mobile strategy is native app-centric and you don't have a mobile-friendly website, you might be missing out on the mobile opportunity.
According to mobile analytics firm Flurry, the amount of time U.S. consumers spend per day interacting with mobile apps surpassed time spent browsing the web in 2011.
In 2013, television will be the target. This month, the average consumers has spent 168 minutes each day in front of the small screen and 127 minutes in front of the even smaller screen. If mobile apps continue their march next year, they could conceivably leave television in the rear view mirror.
Google's new smartphone, the Nexus 4, is available to buy and the search giant is currently accepting pre-orders through Play, its version of iTunes.
However we've been hearing some negative feedback around Play and the way Google is handling the entire purchase cycle for the Nexus 4, so decided to investigate the user experience.
We used the same e-commerce best practice criteria that we used for previous posts, the full details of which can be seen below.
The verdict? Wait and buy the Nexus 4 in store. Here is why...
For developers building mobile and tablet apps, in-app billing is an indispensable monetization tool.
After all, it's often easier and more profitable to give an app away for free and then charge for extra features. This is particularly true for gaming apps.
But there's another monetization tool that many developers, particularly those building content-rich apps, have been eying: in-app subscriptions.
Facebook has built a multi-billion dollar ecosystem with its application platform, but much of the growth of that platform has been driven by social games created by companies like Zynga.
In an effort to help the 900m-plus Facebook users discover apps of all shapes and sizes, and create new monetization opportunities for app developers, Facebook yesterday announced the launch of its own app store, the App Center.