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Big-data battle heats up as Spotify buys Beats supplier

One of the dynamics of the intensifying competition around streaming music is the way acquisitions of the companies servicing this space can send people scrambling for new partners.

When pre-Apple Beats Music bought D2C firm Topspin, Spotify turned to BandPage for its merch sales feature. When Spotify bought The Echo Nest, the latter’s clients (Rdio, Rhapsody, MixRadio and more) had to find or develop new solutions. And recently, Spotify has seen both its external analytics partners – Semetric and Next Big Sound – bought by Apple and Pandora respectively.

That’s a useful – although it shouldn’t be the only – lens through which to see Spotify’s latest acquisition: a New York-based “data-centric consultancy” called Seed Scientific.

As the announcement press release notes, the company’s data and analytics technology had clients including Audi, Unilever and the United Nations, but as every report on the acquisition quickly pointed out, one of its other customers was Beats Music. Spotify confirmed to TechCrunch that Seed Scientific will no longer be supplying those other customers.

Posted inAnalysis, News

WWDC 2015 liveblog: Apple streaming music plans revealed

9.25am PST: Hello! I’m wide awake in San Francisco – and thanks to the miracles of jetlag, have been since about 3am. The main dramatic tension in Apple’s WWDC keynote speech will be whether I suddenly slump, snoring, scattering two rows of attendees in my wake just as Taylor Swift and Adele spring out of a cake brandishing surprise new albums for the ‘one more thing’ moment. Pray for me.

But yes, Music Ally is present at the Moscone West convention centre in San Francisco all set for Apple’s biggest music announcement since… well, since the launch of its iTunes Store all those years ago.

The company is expected to unveil its big move into streaming music: a relaunch of Beats Music and/or iTunes Radio, bossed by Jimmy Iovine, Dr Dre, Trent Reznor, Ian Rogers and the rest of the team that Apple has put together for what I’m journalistically-required to describe as its #SPOTIFYKILLER.

Posted inAnalysis, News

Apple streaming licensing deals expected to go down to the wire

On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook will step onto a stage in San Francisco for his company’s WWDC keynote, with anticipation high that the announcements will include Apple’s new streaming music service.

Yet the rumours of last-minute dealmaking are intensifying: Bloomberg claimed yesterday that Apple is still locked in negotiations with major labels.
It includes this specific claim: “In talks with Apple, the music labels are seeking a benchmark for negotiations with other services, including Spotify. The labels take 55 percent of Spotify’s monthly $9.99 rate, and publishers take about 15 percent. Labels are pushing for closer to 60 percent from Apple.”

Posted inAnalysis, News

Facebook should watch out for Apple Music social features, not just Spotify

Apple’s Ping remains one of its very few flops in the digital music world, having only lasted two years after its launch in 2010 as a way for music fans to communicate within iTunes.

Its memory lives on, though, which is why so many people will be mentioning it today, after tech site 9 to 5 Mac reported that Apple is making social features a key part of its upcoming relaunch of streaming service Beats Music.