Apple Music to exclusively stream Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’ album

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015

Apple Music will exclusively stream ‘The Chronic,’ Dr. Dre’s 1992 debut studio album, Rolling Stone reported Monday. As a matter of fact, the seminal album will actually make its streaming debut when Apple Music launches tomorrow morning.

This is newsworthy because ‘The Chronic’ has not yet been available on digital platforms like the iTunes Store, Beats Music, Spotify or Rhapsody due to legal disputes regarding distribution rights. Read More

 

Beats 1 celebrity hosts to include Drake, Dr. Dre, Elton John and others

By Cody Lee on Jun 25, 2015

Apple’s Beats 1 streaming radio service will feature celebrity hosts such as Pharrell Williams, Drake and Elton John, reports The New York Times. In a profile of Apple’s newly recruited D.J., Zane Lowe, the outlet says a number of well-known stars have been given spots.

Other well-known stars on the menu for Beats 1 programming include Dr. Dre, who will host a show called “The Pharmacy,” teen actor Jaden Smith, and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. Apparently, each of them will be hosting and planning the shows themselves. Read More

 

Apple denies claims that it’s threatening artists to force Apple Music deals

By Cody Lee on Jun 19, 2015

Apple denies claims made by some artists that it’s threatening to remove their songs from iTunes if they don’t sign up for Apple Music, reports Rolling Stone. A company spokesperson told the outlet that music “will not be taken off” as a result of license negotiations.

The controversy arose earlier this week when Anton Newcombe of psychedelic rock group Brian Jonestown Massacre took to Twitter to complain about Apple and its bullying tactics. “I said what if I say no, and they said we’ll take your music off itunes. hard ball?” Read More

 

Apple Music will not feature Taylor Swift’s hit album ‘1989’

By Cody Lee on Jun 18, 2015

Apple was unable to secure the streaming rights for Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ album, BuzzFeed reports. The outlet says both Swift’s label and Apple have confirmed the story, meaning the massively popular album won’t be available on Apple Music at launch.

Apparently Apple Music will feature Swift’s back catalogue, however, which includes 4 other highly sought-after records. But those can already be found on other subscription services such as Rdio and Tidal, so they won’t serve as a differentiating feature. Read More

 

Spotify launches fun new feature called Rewind that turns your music back in time

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 16, 2015

If you ever wondered which artists you would be listening to if you were born in another time, now you can thanks to Rewind, a new feature by Spotify that helps you turn your music back in time.

By doing so, Rewind makes it easy and supposedly fun to know what you’d be listening to in another decade, based on what you listen to today and thanks in no small part to Spotify’s rich knowledge graph about its user base. Read More

 

Spotify grows to 75 million active users and 20 million paid subscribers globally

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2015

Spotify has a lot to lose should Apple Music catch on with music lovers. Following Monday’s WWDC 2015 keynote which saw, amongst other things, the announcement of Apple’s ten bucks per month on-demand music subscription service, Spotify has felt compelled to share the latest stats to reinforce its position as the world’s leading streaming music provider.

As of May of this year, the Swedish startup had more than 75 million active users, of which more than 20 million are on one Spotify’s paid Premium tiers. Read More

 

Apple Music and the S-word

By Sébastien Page on Jun 9, 2015

While following the keynote yesterday and trying to cover the event at the same time here on iDB with the rest of the team, there seemed to be one word I didn’t hear Eddy Cue pronounce: streaming. I actually made a note of it in our Let’s Talk iOS episode dedicated to WWDC 2015.

It seemed odd that the word wouldn’t even get a mention. To confirm the omission was on purpose, I took a look at Apple’s mini-site dedicated to Apple Music, and realized the word streaming is nowhere to found there either. It’s like it’s not even part of the offer. Is the S-word taboo?  Read More

 

Apple looking to change 70/30 iTunes revenue split for media services

By Cody Lee on Jun 5, 2015

Apple is planning a departure from the long-standing 70/30 iTunes pricing arrangement it has with digital media companies, reports the Financial Times. According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple is discussing new commercial terms with a number of players in the video, music and news subscription space.

The split, which doles out 70% of app and media sales to content owners/creators and 30% to Apple for hosting and distribution, has been around since the iTunes Store first launched in 2003. Apple hopes the change can improve its relationships with media firms, and reassure regulators that it’s not abusing its power. Read More

 

Periscope for iPhone gains instant replays, finding location-enabled broadcasts and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 4, 2015

Periscope for iPhone, a Twitter-owned live-broadcasting app, was updated Thursday with a few new features, including one that lets you browse live broadcasts on a world map by location.

You’ll notice a new Map option under the Global section within the app. Tap it for a nicely done zoomable map which highlights live streams relevant to your current location. Read More

 

Showtime confirms online-only streaming service, launching next month on iOS and Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 3, 2015

Showtime, a CBS-owned premium cable television service, has taken the plunge and will offer a standalone video-streaming service over the Internet with Apple as its first partner, the company confirmed Wednesday.

Simply called Showtime, the service will cost $10.99 per month and will be hitting the Apple TV, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad on July 12 ahead of season premier of several shows such as Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex.

A free 30-day trial will be available to new customers who sign up through Apple in July. Like HBO Now, Showtime’s new service will be an Apple exclusive at launch. Read More

 

Apple to live stream this year’s WWDC keynote

By Cody Lee on Jun 1, 2015

It looks like Apple is going to once again be providing a live stream of its WWDC keynote this year. On Monday the company updated its Events channel on Apple TV with a new program labeled “WWDC 2015 Keynote – LIVE.”

There’s no word on Apple’s website yet regarding streaming to other devices, but the company typically offers live video on both Macs and iOS products via its Safari web browser. It’s set to begin at 10am Pacific Time on June 8. Read More

 

Apple not expected to unveil rumored TV service at WWDC

By Cody Lee on Jun 1, 2015

Apple won’t be announcing a new subscription TV service at WWDC next week, reports Recode. According to its sources, the Cupertino company has told network executives the unveiling will be postponed until the proper licensing deals are in place.

The holdup seems to be with negotiations over financial terms and new tech that would be required for broadcasters to deliver local programming. Apple is hoping that offering local stations will differentiate its service from Dish’s Sling and others. Read More

 

Rdio to launch new ‘Select’ streaming music tier for $3.99 per month

By Cody Lee on May 13, 2015

Rdio is planning to launch a new budget tier for its streaming music service soon, BuzzFeed reported on Wednesday. CEO Anthony Bay tells the publication that they are calling the new tier ‘Rdio Select,’ and it will give users limited access to the streaming service for just $3.99 per month.

“We’ve all been flying airplanes that had business class only,” Bay quips. “There is no coach.” The $4 tier will include two components: the first is a Pandora-like streaming radio offering without ads and unlimited skips, and the second is on-demand music with a daily allowance of 25 songs. Read More

 

Try before you buy: Apple’s new music service to offer lengthy trial periods and free song samples

By Cody Lee on May 8, 2015

Apple’s new music service could include multiple ways to listen for free, Recode reported on Friday. Citing sources familiar with the project, the site says that while the service won’t include a typical ‘free version,’ Apple is hoping to offer a lengthy trial period and free song samples.

The trial period could range anywhere from one to three months, depending on the outcome of Apple’s current negotiations with record labels, which would give users a lengthy look at the service. It may also allow music owners to upload a sampling of songs that others could listen to. Read More

 

Apple still missing key licensing deals ahead of rumored Beats Music relaunch

By Cody Lee on May 5, 2015

Apple is really cutting it close if it wants to relaunch Beats Music at its developer conference next month. Citing sources familiar with the company’s plans, Billboard reports that it is still missing a number of key licensing deals it would need to secure to unveil a new streaming music service.

“A June launch is still attainable,” one source tells Billboard. “If any company can do it, they can.” However, another source at a major record label tells the publication that there is no way Apple will be able to pull off a June launch for the new service, saying simply that “the deals aren’t done.” Read More

 

Amazon’s Instant Video for iOS can now stream content in HD and over cellular

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 30, 2015

Amazon’s Instant Video client for the iPhone and iPad has received an update Thursday, bumping version number to 3.0 and bringing out several improvements to streaming video quality.

Users can now stream Instant Video content on their iOS device through their carrier’s cellular network while controlling their mobile data usage settings. In addition, the ability to watch video streams in high-definition has been added, too. Read More

 

YouTube is going ad-free… for a monthly fee

By Cody Lee on Apr 8, 2015

It looks like the rumors were true, YouTube is readying a new subscription service. In an email obtained by iDownloadBlog, Google tells video creators it wants to offer an ad-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee, which has yet to be determined. The service will offer features like offline playback, kickbacks for content creators, and could be ready to launch as early as this year. Read More

 

Twitter gives Periscope verified badges, Follower Only mode, new Global section and more

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2015

Twitter on Wednesday issued a second update to its live-broadcasting app on iOS, Periscope for iPhone. The new build brings an additional three new features along with a few enhancements and bug fixes making your experience more pleasing than before.

In addition to easier blocking and major scrolling improvements, a new Follower Mode can be now turned on before starting a broadcast to limit comments to only viewers that you follow. Read More

 

Apple said to currently not have 4K plans for new Apple TV

By Jake Smith on Apr 5, 2015

So you thought the new 4K television you paid ridiculous amounts of money for during Christmas was going to be supported by Apple soon enough? Sorry bud, maybe a couple more years.

Apple scoopster John Paczkowski of Buzzfeed reports that when Apple’s next-generation Apple TV is released to the market later this year, it will lack 4K video capability, even as the television industry grasps onto the new technology that provides a more detailed and immersive viewing experience. Read More

 

Twitter’s Periscope app receives its first update with live broadcast improvements

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 2, 2015

Twitter’s live-streaming software, Periscope, was released in the App Store a week ago and today the app has received its first feature update. Periscope 1.0.1 fixes issues with chat not working sometimes and addresses performance concerns when watching broadcasts with many users.

Now people you follow who are live-broadcasting appear at the top of your feed, allowing you to jump into the action with just a tap. Video streaming and in-app maps showing broadcaster’s location have been enhanced as well. Read More

 
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