Pandora and Microsoft double down on music discovery
Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist has been a hit with listeners – and, so it seems, with rivals. The upcoming Apple Music redesign includes a new playlist called ‘Discovery Mix’ which is thought to be a similarly-algorithmic...
June 21, 2016
Sandbox 159 – Brand Aid
Lead: In this issue of Sandbox and the following one, we look at the ways in which brand partnerships have evolved in response to digital and how they now straddle everything from app sponsorship to VR. In the opening part,...
June 15, 2016
Sandbox 155 – A note from our Sponsors
When the iPhone arrived in 2007, some thought that artist apps would be the future. So there was a gold rush followed by a lot of disappointment. They were expensive to build and hardly anyone used them. Even platforms like...
April 20, 2016
Microsoft retiring its Zune services in November
Behold, the quote that spawned dozens of ‘what, Zune services are still going?’ comments in the media: “As of November 15, 2015, Zune services will be retired. You will no longer be able to stream or download content...
September 17, 2015
Tech firms call for safe harbour rules to be strengthened
Lobbying body the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) includes Google, Pandora, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft among its members. So its new report on “Copyright Reform for a Digital Economy” will...
August 28, 2015
Microsoft loses 7.8k jobs and writes down Nokia acquisition
In the history of corporate acquisitions, Microsoft’s decision to pay $7.3bn for Nokia’s devices and services business in 2012 is looking like one of the most-regretted ones – certainly within Microsoft. The deal was...
July 10, 2015
Microsoft rebrands Xbox Music as Groove
Yes, Xbox Music is still a thing, or at least was. Microsoft is rebranding its cloud/streaming music service to Groove as part of its Windows 10 software launch. “Groove describes what people feel and do with music, and...
July 7, 2015
SoundHound’s new direction is more like Siri and Cortana
We know SoundHound best as a rival to Shazam that didn’t quite get the same traction with users. However, the company is receiving excitable press this week for its new direction: voice-search app Hound, which is being...
June 3, 2015
Financials Watch: Google, Amazon, Microsoft
Yesterday was a big day for financial results from tech giants, with Google, Amazon and Microsoft all reporting their latest earnings. A summary follows. Google reported $17.3bn of revenues for the first quarter of 2015,...
April 24, 2015
Report claims Nokia is planning a smartphone return
Nokia sold its smartphones division to Microsoft, but what’s left of the company is reportedly planning a return to the market once the terms of that deal – which bar it from competing in the mobile market for a set period...
April 21, 2015
Clean Bandit meet Microsoft and Rightster for YouTube vids
YouTubers covering songs has sometimes been a source of tension for rightsholders, but a recent marketing campaign for Microsoft’s Lumia smartphones featuring Clean Bandit showed the positive side. It involved 13 YouTubers...
February 25, 2015
Social app Line launches YouTube-like Line TV feature
Originally a messaging app but now a fully-fledged social/entertainment network, Line has been building its profile in the West over the last year, even if the majority of its 181 million active users are still in its native...
February 9, 2015