Posted inNews

Spotify upgrades family plan with new features (but same price… for now)

Last week, it was reported that Spotify will test a price increase for its family-plan subscription in Scandinavia. This morning, the company is announcing that it is launching an “upgraded” version of the plan globally, although the press release sent out by Spotify made it clear in the very first paragraph that this is “for the same price of $/£14.99”.

What’s the upgrade? The plan still offers six individual accounts: the subscriber plus five members of their family, as long as they’re sharing a household. There’s also a new ‘Family Hub’ where the main subscriber can manage their settings, including new parental controls to turn on or off the ‘Explicit Content’ filter for younger family members.

There’s also a new algo-personalised playlist called ‘Family Mix’, offering “songs the whole family enjoys” with the option to set who’s listening to tune the selection (or to tune out ‘Baby Shark’ / ‘Let It Go’ / all 164 ‘Old Town Road’ remixes more specifically, depending on your family’s musical dynamics). Spotify has been quietly testing ‘Family Mix’ since earlier this year judging by a couple of online-forum posts (here and here), but this morning is its official announcement.

Posted inAnalysis

BalconyTV turns 10: ‘At the start it was just a bog-standard camera…’

BalconyTV is 10 years old and in that time has grown from a small-scale operation in Dublin to now being in 65 cities around the world.

The company was bought by The Orchard in 2014 and now finds itself headquartered in New York and setting up its own label. All this, from an idea that started as a hangover.

“My friends and I were living in an apartment in Dublin which had a small balcony that we would never use – and we usually threw our rubbish onto it,” explains co-founder Stephen O’Regan.

Posted inNews

Virgin Media in Ireland ordered to stem file-sharing

Time was (15 years ago) when the headlines in digital music were dominated by the war on ISPs and attempts to get them to stop their customers illegally filesharing, so we felt a keening sense of nostalgia when we read that the Court of Appeal in Ireland has ruled that Virgin Media, the country’s second largest ISP, has to take steps to stem illegal downloading on its network.