When not writing incisive commentary on big US brand’s social video strategy, giving new bloggers helpful advice on setting up a WordPress site or searching around the Topshop website wondering where my youth has gone, I’m also just staring blankly at the internet.
Occasionally during my comatose-like revery, something registers as vaguely interesting, and when it does I wipe the drool from my mouth and add the link to a little document on my desktop called ‘stuff that is good on the internet that I should tell people about’.
Here are the contents of that very document, spilled out on to your monitor like a fisherman who has cut open a net of bottom-feeding suction eels onto the deck of his trawler.
I love Spotify, I’ll just make that clear from the start. Spotify has completely changed the way I listen to music.
In fact, while I briefly linger in this positive mood, here are some more reasons why I love Spotify:
As a part-time music journalist, I couldn’t function properly without its unlimited access to 20m songs. Also, new album releases for any given Monday seem to appear not long after midnight on the Sunday before. This is terrific for my Monday morning commute.
I can also use Spotify on as many devices as I like (desktop, laptop, phone, work computer) with up to 3,333 songs able to be synced for offline listening on up to three devices at a time.
Just in case Thom Yorke is reading, I will also add that far as I’m concerned, using Spotify has led to me spending more money on music through other channels (mainly independent record stores), purely because of the access I now have to music that I wouldn’t normally listen to
As a final bonus, in the free version of Spotify, it has jettisoned the limits to how many times you can listen to a song and how many hours a month you can use it. I would however suggest that £10 a month is a small price to pay not to have to put up with some of the most irritating adverts ever hosted on a platform.
And this is where we arrive at the major thrust of this article.
It's a treacherous place out there on the internet.
One misstep and you could be the unwitting victim of a phishing scam.
One erroneous ecommerce visit could lead to an accidental purchase of goods or services you didn't want because the 'buy it now' button is far too ambiguous for our tiny brains to handle.
One innocent search for 'who is Kim Kardashian' can lead you directly to the Mail Online.
Again. It's a treacherous place out there.
If only there was a safe harbour. An area cordoned off from the scammers, the tricksters and the muck-rakers. A place you can be guaranteed nothing but high quality entertainment and useful information provided by the most ethically minded curators.
Well until that place is found, you'll just have to make do with this…
Beats, the ubiquitous headphone brand co-founded by Dr Dre, will release its music streaming service Beats Music in the USA on 21 January.
Beats currently controls 27% of the $1.8bn headphone market and 57% of the premium market (an eye-watering place where headphones can cost anywhere between $100-$400) and its headphones have quickly become a visual staple of public transport, the high street and indeed the very office I’m writing this article in now, within only the last few years.
Now it looks like Beats is set to take on the music streaming market with what appears to be an expertly planned, theoretically artist-friendly and potentially Spotify smashing service.
Let’s take a closer look…
In 2013, 7.4bn songs were streamed in the UK, doubling the previous year's total of 3.7bn.
This figure comes from the latest report by the Official Charts Company and the British Phonographic Industry, or BPI as it wishes to be known as nobody since the turn of last century knows what a phonograph is.
2013 saw an even bigger shift towards digital technology being the primary way that listeners discover and enjoy new music, helped with the continued increase of tablet and smartphone ownership, and the improvement of music streaming apps on mobile devices.
Here are some more digital music related stats from the report, which may feature names of artists you’ll have to ask your kids about or consult your nearest NME reader.
Using any music in one’s work is often a headache if one is unsure of the ins and outs of licensing.
Epidemic Sound aims to simplify the process with its users paying one fee to access a whole bunch of music to use in their work.
We caught up with CEO, Oscar Höglund to ask him more about the service.
The global music streaming giant Spotify made £370m in revenue for 2012 with increases in both users and advertisers.
Spotify has a selection of ten main advert formats. Some are interruptive, others arrive during extended terms of no-use of the application, and some are clickable.
These ad formats will suit various types of businesses. The high-end or in need of last-second promotion (movie studios, album launches) will enjoy the light boxes and homepage takeovers, while small businesses with low budgets may prosper with trendy playlists.
This post details the five most commonly selected advert formats, with my own quick survey (via SurveyMonkey) of 100 people providing opinion as to which works best.
Take a look and which your brand could be using.
The year is 2031. Flying cars have just hit the open market, the New York Mets are on the verge of winning their first World Series in forty-five years, and television as we know it has ceased to exist.
Let’s first imagine that a super smart group of MIT engineers solved all the technical troubles we’d encounter in switching from a broadcast to a unicast model.
The public’s consumption habits now overwhelmingly favor an on-demand format, and each household is equipped with a SmarTV capable of streaming content instantaneously from anywhere on the web.
Traditional channels have fallen in the face of more agile competition from platforms like Netflix and Hulu, or they’ve adapted to HBO Go-esque versions of their former selves.
As mobile's prominence has grown, so too have the myths about what it takes to create and execute on a successful mobile strategy.
Given the size of the mobile opportunity, the size of the challenges and the speed with which mobile ecosystems are evolving, it's not surprising that many of these myths are accepted at face value. Unfortunately for companies trying to make mobile progress, some of these myths are detrimental.
For steaming music subscription service Spotify, the web hasn't been all that important.
To play their favorite tunes, Spotify's users fire up Android and iOS apps, or download a Spotify desktop application.
But as the company looks to increase its exposure through social media and partnerships with companies like Yahoo, that's changing.