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Posted inAnalysis, News

Amazon launches Prime Music streaming service (but with only 1m songs)

Earlier today, we wrote a story with the headline Will Amazon’s streaming music service launch today? And will it have UMG? Both questions have been answered quickly: yes and no.

Amazon Prime Music went live this morning in the US only, pitching its wares thus: “Over a million songs. Hundreds of Playlists. Unlimited, ad-free streaming. FREE with Amazon Prime.”

That covers the salient points. Rather than charge a standalone subscription fee, Amazon is bundling Prime Music into its existing Amazon Prime subscription service. For $99 a month, that now offers free two-day shipping on products bought from Amazon’s online store, a library-style e-book lending service, and streaming TV shows, films and now music.

Posted inAnalysis, News

Will Amazon’s streaming music service launch today? And will it have UMG?

Rumours that Amazon is preparing to launch a streaming music service have been circulating for some time now, and in recent months they have narrowed down to suggestions that it’ll be part of Amazon’s Prime subscription service, alongside free shipping and access to TV shows and films.

When will it launch? Potentially as early as today, according to the New York Times, although its report warned that the service will be “limited”. Some of those limitations have already been reported on: particularly the suggestion that Amazon’s service won’t carry albums until some time after their release.

Posted inAnalysis, News

Universal launches subscription-based music app with fitness chain David Lloyd

Universal Music has a brand new music app out for iPhone and Android – the latest release under its U-Apps brand. The app is David Lloyd Playlist, which appears to be a partnership with the UK-based chain of fitness clubs.

The app – available for iOS and Android – is similarly healthy in ambition: “10 Playlists of music for warming up, jogging, spinning, strength training and more,” according to its app store listing. “Working with Dr. Costas Karageorghis from Brunel University, one of the world’s leading sports scientists, our team of expert curators update your app with fresh music every week so there’s always something new to listen to when you get to the gym.”

Posted inAnalysis, News

Rap Genius inks Universal Music publishing deal (with wheelbarrow thrown in)

Annotated lyrics site Rap Genius has been under fire in recent months from music publishers over its lack of licensing deals. The company has moved quickly to respond, announcing a deal tonight with Universal Music Publishing Group.

As ever with such deals, the terms haven’t been announced. “We love UMPG! They have a truly incredible stable of writers – we will lend them a wheelbarrow for the Grammys they are about to win!” said Rap Genius founder Ilan Zechory in a statement.

Posted inAnalysis, News

Live from Music 4.5: Nielsen, UMG, She Makes War and more (#m4pt5)

Today’s Music 4.5 conference in London is subtitled ‘The Rise of Video’, with a focus on how YouTube, Vevo and other platforms are driving music videos in 2013, rather than traditional TV.

The first session included a presentation by YouTube’s Candice Morrissey that we’ve published separately, but also a range of other speakers: Radar CEO Caroline Bottomley; former Nielsen Music MD Jean Littolff; Universal Music Group’s curation and new product development manager Justin Barker; musician Laura Kidd (aka She Makes War); The Orchard founder Scott Cohen; and strategic agency Face’s chief innovation officer Francesco D’Orazio.